Is Sugar Bad for my Dog? - 4 Reasons Why the Answer is YES.
Knowing what is in your dog’s food is key to ensuring they get the best chance at a happy, healthy life. Choosing a high-quality dog food that nourishes and supports a healthy immune system will give your dog that chance. Your dog doesn’t need any added sugar because:
It can contribute to diseases
Foods that contain added sugar are bad for your dog because just like humans they can contribute towards, obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Sugar can be listed in the ingredients as sugar, caramel, sugar beet pulp, syrup and sucrose. The Kennel Club estimates that around 45% of dogs in the UK are overweight and believe it or not, dogs do like the taste of sugar and are more likely to eat more when eating foods containing sugar. Your dog has more in common with a wolf than a human – his diet should be mainly meat.
It is being used as a taste enhancer
Some commercially produced dog foods add sugar as a taste enhancer. It can mask an otherwise boring food and dogs do like the taste, so by adding sugar, your dog loves it and it quickly becomes their favourite brand. Owners who have fed this kind of food may find that their dog turns their nose up at healthier options. Be careful with treats too. Dogs that are fed treats containing sugar (and this included the odd human biscuit) may stop eating their usual food because the treat is so much more interesting!
No surprises here. If you have ever seen a dog with a toothache you would think twice about allowing your best friend to have sugar in their diet. Cleaning a dog’s teeth can be challenging and even the best owners can still miss areas. Decay is caused when the bacteria in your dog’s mouth use the sugar from their food to produce acid that rots the teeth. A carnivore that has had teeth removed (and let's face it who needs that expense) has suffered from something that could have been avoided.
Sugar causes glucose levels to rise and crash. Having a hyperactive dog is no fun. What you want is a dog who has plenty of energy to sustain a good walk, then have a sleep later in the day. Not a dog that is bouncing off the walls half an hour after eating their lunch.
What can you do?
- Check the back of your bag for ingredients like sugar, caramel, sugar beet pulp, syrup and sucrose.
- Check for xylitol, a sugar substitute, this can be toxic and lead to death in dogs, avoid any product containing it.
- Do not feed treats with added sugar.
- Do not feed human treats to your dog.
- Feed a high-quality food where the first ingredient is meat.
- If your dog is already eating a diet which includes sugar, consider changing and if you are worried about fussiness read our blog on fussy dogs here
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