Can Dogs Eat Licorice? Candy Queries!

selective focus photography of three brown puppies

Can Dogs Eat Licorice? — No, They Can’t

When it comes to the ques­tion of whether dogs can eat licorice, the answer is a clear no. Licorice, although a pop­u­lar treat for humans, pos­es poten­tial risks to dogs if con­sumed. It is impor­tant for dog own­ers to under­stand the rea­sons why licorice can be harm­ful for their fur­ry friends, the symp­toms to watch out for in case of inges­tion, imme­di­ate steps to take, and safe alter­na­tives for dogs to enjoy instead.

Can Puppies Eat Licorice?

Pup­pies, just like adult dogs, should not be giv­en licorice to eat. In fact, pup­pies are even more sus­cep­ti­ble to the risks asso­ci­at­ed with licorice con­sump­tion due to their devel­op­ing diges­tive sys­tems and small­er body size. It is cru­cial for pup­py own­ers to be aware of the dan­gers of feed­ing licorice to their young canine com­pan­ions.

Why is Licorice Harmful for Dogs?

There are sev­er­al pri­ma­ry dan­gers asso­ci­at­ed with dogs con­sum­ing licorice.

1. Xylitol

Licorice often con­tains xyl­i­tol, a sweet­en­er that is extreme­ly tox­ic to dogs. Xyl­i­tol can cause a rapid release of insulin in a dog’s body, lead­ing to a dan­ger­ous drop in blood sug­ar lev­els, known as hypo­glycemia. Symp­toms of xyl­i­tol poi­son­ing in dogs include vom­it­ing, loss of coor­di­na­tion, seizures, and in severe cas­es, liv­er fail­ure.

2. Glycyrrhizin

Gly­cyrrhizin is a com­pound found in licorice that can be harm­ful to dogs. It can cause an increase in blood pres­sure and lead to water reten­tion, elec­trolyte imbal­ances, and in some cas­es, heart prob­lems. Dogs ingest­ing licorice with high lev­els of gly­cyrrhizin may expe­ri­ence symp­toms such as exces­sive thirst, increased urine out­put, mus­cle weak­ness, and irreg­u­lar heart­beat.

3. Choking Hazard

The tex­ture of licorice can pose a chok­ing haz­ard for dogs, espe­cial­ly if it is con­sumed in large quan­ti­ties or if the dog bites off a larg­er piece than they can com­fort­ably swal­low. This can lead to air­way obstruc­tion and poten­tial res­pi­ra­to­ry dis­tress.

Symptoms to Watch Out For After Dogs Consume Licorice

  • Vom­it­ing: Dogs may expe­ri­ence vom­it­ing as a result of licorice inges­tion. If your dog vom­its after eat­ing licorice, it is impor­tant to mon­i­tor their con­di­tion and con­tact a vet­eri­nar­i­an if the vom­it­ing per­sists or is accom­pa­nied by oth­er con­cern­ing symp­toms.
  • Loss of Coor­di­na­tion: Coor­di­na­tion prob­lems, such as stum­bling or dif­fi­cul­ty walk­ing, can indi­cate tox­i­c­i­ty from licorice con­sump­tion in dogs. This symp­tom should be tak­en seri­ous­ly and vet­eri­nary atten­tion should be sought.
  • Seizures: Dogs who have ingest­ed licorice with xyl­i­tol may expe­ri­ence seizures. Seizures are a seri­ous med­ical emer­gency, and imme­di­ate vet­eri­nary care is essen­tial.

Immediate Steps to Take if Your Dog Eats Licorice

  • Mon­i­tor Your Dog: Keep a close eye on your dog and observe any poten­tial symp­toms or changes in behav­ior after con­sum­ing licorice. Note the time of inges­tion and the quan­ti­ty con­sumed, as this infor­ma­tion will be help­ful for the vet.
  • Con­tact Your Vet: If you sus­pect that your dog has ingest­ed licorice or is show­ing any con­cern­ing symp­toms, it is cru­cial to con­tact your vet­eri­nar­i­an imme­di­ate­ly. They will pro­vide guid­ance on the nec­es­sary steps to take based on your dog’s con­di­tion.
  • Offer Water and Observe: Make sure your dog has access to fresh water and mon­i­tor their drink­ing habits. Pro­vid­ing water can help dilute any poten­tial tox­ins in the dog’s sys­tem. How­ev­er, do not induce vom­it­ing with­out con­sult­ing your vet first.

Safe Alternatives to Licorice

While licorice is dan­ger­ous for dogs, there are safe alter­na­tives that they can enjoy. Con­sid­er offer­ing your dog these safer food options instead:

  • Apples — Apples are a crunchy and refresh­ing treat that many dogs enjoy. Just make sure to remove the seeds and core before serv­ing.
  • Car­rots — Car­rots are not only low in calo­ries but also pro­vide excel­lent den­tal ben­e­fits for dogs. They are a great alter­na­tive to licorice snacks.
  • Blue­ber­ries — Blue­ber­ries are packed with antiox­i­dants and make a deli­cious and safe treat for dogs. They can be served fresh or frozen.


In con­clu­sion, licorice is not safe for dogs to con­sume due to the poten­tial risks it pos­es to their health. The dan­gers of licorice include the pres­ence of xyl­i­tol and gly­cyrrhizin, which can lead to severe health issues such as hypo­glycemia and elec­trolyte imbal­ances. It is essen­tial for dog own­ers to be aware of these risks and pro­vide safe alter­na­tives for their fur­ry friends. Remem­ber to con­sult with your vet­eri­nar­i­an if you sus­pect your dog has ingest­ed licorice or is show­ing any con­cern­ing symp­toms.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can licorice cause liver failure in dogs?

No, licorice does­n’t direct­ly cause liv­er fail­ure in dogs. How­ev­er, licorice con­sump­tion can lead to elec­trolyte imbal­ances and oth­er com­pli­ca­tions that may affect liv­er health if left untreat­ed. It is impor­tant to seek vet­eri­nary care if your dog ingests licorice or exhibits any con­cern­ing symp­toms.

Is licorice toxic for all dog breeds?

Yes, licorice can be tox­ic to all dog breeds. The com­pounds found in licorice, such as xyl­i­tol and gly­cyrrhizin, can have adverse effects on dogs’ health, regard­less of their breed.

Should I induce vomiting if my dog eats licorice?

No, you should not induce vom­it­ing with­out con­sult­ing your vet­eri­nar­i­an first. The appro­pri­ate course of action will depend on the amount of licorice con­sumed, the dog’s over­all health, and oth­er fac­tors. It is best to seek pro­fes­sion­al advice to ensure the safe­ty of your dog.

Can licorice cause seizures in dogs?

Yes, licorice con­tain­ing xyl­i­tol can poten­tial­ly lead to seizures in dogs. Xyl­i­tol can cause a rapid drop in blood sug­ar lev­els, which may trig­ger seizures. If your dog exhibits seizures or any oth­er con­cern­ing symp­toms after con­sum­ing licorice, imme­di­ate vet­eri­nary care is nec­es­sary.