“Sugar for dogs, is it good?”; “Won’t it cause health problems?”; “If at all, how much sugar is OKAY?”; “Is there a calculation?”
Too many questions about feeding huh? Of course, that’s a tough call as it’s your responsibility concerning how, what, when and which food to be fed to your ‘Furriend’ in a way that’s meant exactly for them. Don’t worry, we got your back! Let’s talk about sugar consumption today.
Sugar is addictive, not just to humans but to dogs as well. Hence, this justifies your dog’s attraction to anything sweet. Now you know why does your dog run after the sugary treats like a maniac! 😀
BUT, sugar is a lot more hazardous for your dog, than for you! Want to know why? Here is your answer-
- Inflammation– Excessive amount of Sugar intake can cause inflammation all throughout the body of your pooch, which can lead to further problems like arthritis, dermatitis, to name a few.
- Sensitive Stomach– Apart from Inflammation, intake of Sugar can affect adversely on the tummy of your pooch and can make it sensitive, that can result in vomiting & diarrhea.
- Toxicity– We’ll be a little technical here, but it’s important for you to know how toxic is sugar for the dog. There are a few food elements that you must STRICTLY avoid feeding to your dog, including- Xylitol (an artificial sweetener) that tops the list. Dogs tend to absorb it more rapidly as compared to humans, this affects adversely on their insulin & blood sugar levels and make dogs vulnerable to liver damage in many cases.
- Cavities– Unlike humans, dogs are prone to cavities which can further lead to a toothache, bad breath, oral infections etc.
- Obesity & diabetes in dog– Obesity is common among dogs & can potentially lead to type II diabetes in dogs.
- Metabolic Changes– Sugar for dogs means increased secretion of insulin, which in turn effects on other hormones in the body. This can adversely affect your dog’s fat storage, muscle tone, energy levels, and immune system. All these factors lead to weakness and thus result in a lack of activities, especially in those dogs who are prone to hormone-related diseases.
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Beware! Symptoms that go along with a high-sugar diet:
- Weight gain.
- Bloodshot eyes.
- Highs & Lows-a streak of hyperactivity followed by depression.
Though sugar is essential for the dog as it is a source of energy, but, it’s just NATURAL SUGAR that we’re talking about.
Here are a few things you must keep in mind-
- Dogs do need some form of natural sugar to function, but, as we repeatedly say, moderation is the obvious key.
- Some fruits such as apples, bananas, and pears are good for your dog and double up as sugary treats for them.
- You can opt for natural sugar alternatives for your dog, such as:
- Few drops of raw honey.
- Pure Coconut Syrup/ grated coconut mashed in the food.
- Sprinkling a tiny pinch of stevia, a natural sweetener.
- Opt for treats that have natural sweeteners instead of the artificial ones. As a parent, you must be aware of the fact that many brands add sugar to the dog food, which leads to the preference of that particular food/treat by your dog due to the sugar addiction. Thus, always check labels before you purchase.
We will repeat once again, no matter how helpless you might feel when your little one looks at you with those innocent eyes, do not give in to the temptation. Though we have listed a few alternatives for you, an excess of everything is bad and in a dog’s case, this could be toxic as well. Before any alteration in your dog’s diet, a consultation with your vet is fundamental. They are always the best medium to gather relevant information regarding all the health and nutrition concerns. Hence, sugar for dogs is a BIG NO!
Be a smart parent.