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

Can Dogs Eat Syrup?

No, dogs should not eat syrup. Syrup often contains high sugar levels and sometimes other harmful ingredients such as artificial sweeteners. These can lead to numerous health issues in dogs, including obesity and even more severe conditions like pancreatitis.

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

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

Updated on Jul 1, 2024

Did You Know?

Sugary foods like syrup can lead to obesity and diabetes in dogs.




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Feeding Frequency


Allergic Risk


Why is Syrup Bad for Dogs?

Syrup is loaded with sugars that can wreak havoc on a dog's digestive system. Excessive sugar intake can result in obesity, diabetes, and dental problems. Even more alarming, some syrups contain xylitol, a sweetener that's extremely toxic to dogs, causing a rapid insulin release and possibly leading to liver failure.

How Much Syrup Can Dogs Eat?

It is best to avoid giving your dog syrup at all. Even small amounts can contribute to unhealthy weight gain and other medical issues. If your dog accidentally consumes a tiny lick from a spill, it might not cause immediate harm, but keep an eye out for symptoms like vomiting or lethargy.

Common Misconceptions

There's a common myth that a bit of natural syrup, like maple syrup, is okay for dogs because it's a natural product. However, even natural syrups are high in sugar and can cause similar health issues as processed syrups. Always err on the side of caution.

Similar Harmful Products

Similar sugary products to keep away from your dog include:

  • Candy: Loaded with sugars and sometimes toxic ingredients like xylitol.
  • Baked Goods: Cakes, muffins, and other sweets can contain both high sugar and dangerous sweeteners.
  • Flavored Yogurts: Often sweetened with sugar or artificial sweeteners.

What to Do If Your Dog Eats Syrup?

If your dog consumes syrup, the first step is to assess the amount eaten. Immediately call your veterinarian for advice, especially if the syrup contains xylitol. Never induce vomiting without professional guidance, as it can sometimes do more harm than good.

Long-term consequences of consuming syrup can include chronic health conditions like obesity and diabetes. Treatment can be expensive, so having pet insurance can be a financial lifesaver. It helps manage unexpected veterinary costs and ensures your dog gets the care they need.

What are Healthy Alternatives?

Instead of syrup, opt for dog-friendly alternatives that provide sweetness without the harmful effects:

  • Fresh Fruits: Small pieces of apple or banana are sweet and safe for dogs.
  • Plain Yogurt: A small dollop of plain, unsweetened yogurt can be a tasty treat.
  • Pumpkin Puree: This offers natural sweetness and is excellent for digestion.


In summary, syrup is not a safe option for dogs due to its high sugar content and potential toxic ingredients. Always be cautious and consult your vet if you have any concerns about your dog's diet. Remember, keeping your furry friend healthy and happy starts with a well-informed diet!