Can I give my dog one marshmallow? Dogs love sweet treats just as much as people do—maybe even more! And, if your dog knows that he’ll get a tasty treat every time you sit down to enjoy a bowl of ice cream, he’ll be sure to find his way over to you. But how good are these so-called doggie deserts? Are they good or bad for your dog? A nutritionist weighs in on whether you should give your dog a marshmallow.
Marshmallows are generally made with corn syrup, gelatin, vanilla, sugar, cornstarch, and on occasion custard. Whether you purchase prepackaged Kraft Jet-Puffed or make them with no preparation, these decorations will be available and your canine shouldn’t eat them.
In particular, high extents of sugar and corn syrup can induce diabetes and openings in canines. Canines with diabetes (or people who are in danger of developing affliction) ought to stay away from sweet treats. New normal things like apples and blueberries are fine to manage your canine with some limitations. Without a doubt, they contain standard sugars, yet they also give your pup fiber and different upgrades.
Second, sweet treats can impel strength in canines, which causes an entire host of extra sicknesses. As per Krista Williams, DVM, and Robin Downing, DVM, at VCA Ark Animal Hospitals, portliness in canines is related to higher rates of undermining advancement, joint torture, and urinary pack issues. Furthermore a more confined future.
The marshmallow test
If you’re not familiar with it, check out Walter Mischel’s seminal marshmallow test. The gist: Mischel, then at Stanford University, set up a series of experiments in which children were offered one marshmallow now or two if they could hold off eating it for 15 minutes. Some children held on for dear life, others gobbled up that first sweet right away. The study found that those who were able to delay gratification had higher SAT scores, fewer behavioral problems, and better social skills later in life than their impulsive peers.
What we don’t know about sugar
It’s no secret that sugar has become demonized in recent years. But if you ask most people how much sugar is too much, they can’t give you an answer. It all comes down to percentages: Sugar accounts for 16% of total calories and 31% of added sugars in American diets—more than what any other nutrient provides. If you swap out your snacks for healthier options like nuts, fruits, or veggies (all with 15 grams of sugar or less), it can help control your intake. Cutting back on added sugars is also important because many experts believe high-fructose corn syrup (and its variants) may be one of the main drivers behind heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and even some cancers.
Carbohydrates, sugar, and your dog
Of course, there are many other foods that provide energy for your dog as well—carbs and sugar! While some dogs don’t have any issues with carbs or sugar (hey, some people do okay with sweets!), others can’t handle them at all. If you know that your pup is sensitive to carbs or sugars (check with your vet if you aren’t sure), pass on the marshmallows and go for a bone instead. And just like humans, dogs can experience spikes in blood sugar levels when consuming too much sweet stuff; monitor how your dog responds to sweets as you feed them different foods.
Other sources of sugar in your dog’s diet
As much as we like to think our dogs are just furry humans, they’re not. They don’t eat as much or have appetites that are anywhere near similar to ours. While adding a little bit of sugar can be beneficial for your dog—and even for his health—you should definitely avoid feeding your dog foods that contain high levels of sugar. When you do feed your dog sugar—as in treats and desserts—make sure it’s not empty calories and doesn’t take away from her overall nutrition. Look for sugars from natural sources, such as fruit or dairy products. Your dog will reap some of these sugar benefits, including stronger teeth and healthier skin.