A dog with a wary expression looking at marshmallow, showing they are harmful to dogs.

Can Dogs Eat Marshmallow?

No, dogs should not eat marshmallows. Marshmallows are not recommended for dogs as they offer no nutritional value and can pose serious health risks due to their high sugar content and potential xylitol presence, an artificial sweetener toxic to dogs.

A photo of Stefan Stumpfl, the co-author of this article.

By Stefan Stumpfl, in collaboration with Dr. Ali Raza.

Updated on Jul 8, 2024

Did You Know?

Marshmallows contain high amounts of sugar, which can lead to obesity and dental issues in dogs.




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Feeding Frequency


Allergic Risk


Why Are Marshmallows Bad for Dogs?

Marshmallows contain high amounts of sugar, which can lead to obesity, dental issues, and diabetes in dogs. Some marshmallows, specifically sugar-free varieties, may also contain xylitol. This sweetener is extremely toxic to dogs and can cause severe health issues, including liver failure and even death.

How Many Marshmallows Can Dogs Eat?

Ideally, dogs should not eat any marshmallows at all. However, if your dog accidentally consumes a small, regular marshmallow (with no xylitol), it might not cause immediate harm. It's best to monitor your dog for any adverse reactions and consult with a vet if any symptoms arise.

Common Misconceptions

Some dog owners believe that small quantities of marshmallows are harmless treats. While a single marshmallow might not cause immediate danger, the repeated feeding of sugary treats can contribute to long-term health problems and bad habits.

Similar Harmful Products

  • Candy: Items like licorice and gummy bears also have high sugar content and can contain xylitol.
  • Baked Goods: Many pastries, cakes, and cookies often contain high sugar levels or xylitol.
  • Ice Cream: Often has high sugar content and sometimes artificial sweeteners harmful to dogs.

What to Do If Your Dog Eats Marshmallow?

If your dog consumes marshmallows, particularly those containing xylitol, contact your veterinarian immediately. Inducing vomiting without professional guidance can worsen the situation. Observe your pet for symptoms like vomiting, lethargy, or seizures.

Long-term consequences of consuming harmful foods like marshmallows can be dire, including chronic health conditions or costly treatments. Pet insurance can help manage these unexpected expenses, providing peace of mind and financial assistance during health emergencies.

What are Healthy Alternatives?

Looking for safe, tasty treats? Consider these dog-friendly options:

  • Carrot sticks: Low in calories and great for teeth.
  • Apple slices: Packed with vitamins and fiber.
  • Pumpkin puree: High in fiber and aids digestion.


To sum up, marshmallows are not a good choice for dogs. It's crucial to avoid offering them marshmallows due to the health risks. Always consult with your vet regarding your dog's diet to ensure their health and well-being.