Can a Dog Eat Marshmallows?

Can a dog eat marshmallows? Not really.

Marshmallows have no real beneficial nutrients for your dog and are therefore best avoided.

On top of that, if they are a type that contains xylitol, you need to be extra careful – as they could be deadly!

More on this below.

Typical ingredients

Typical ingredients for standard marshmallows include:

  • Glucose syrup
  • Sugar
  • Dextrose
  • Water
  • Maize starch
  • Beef gelatine
  • Flavourings
  • Beetroot juice (for the pink ones)

None of the above should cause your dog any short term harm (unless they have a current health issue) but they are not a nutritious food and can contribute to weight gain, diabetes, etc – especially if your dog is regularly eating foods like these.

It’s best to avoid them.

Do marshmallows contain xylitol?

If marshmallows are sugar-free or labelled as fat-free, they may contain xylitol.

Xylitol is a naturally occurring sweetener and widely used as a sugar replacement due to it being lower on the glycemic scale than standard sugar and its ability to aid oral health in humans.

It can be found in a number of foods and products, including chewing gum, toothpaste and foods that are termed as ‘sugar-free’.

Can dogs eat xylitol?

No. Xylitol can cause your dog some serious health issues.

The problem is that although it is not considered harmful to humans xylitol can be very harmful to dogs indeed.

Xylitol can lower your dog’s blood sugar to dangerously low levels causing hypoglycemia. This can be fatal.

It is therefore very important that you do not give your dog foods that contain xylitol.

If you suspect your dog has eaten foods containing xylitol, contact your vet immediately.

If you are in the US, you can also call the Pet Poison Helpline on (855-764-7661) for further advice.

What happens if a dog eats marshmallows?

Not much. They won’t disappear or explode!

Being serious though, any effects are going to be long term, with the risk of obesity and other nasties like diabetes increasing if they are regularly eating foods like these.

If they have had one or two, they should be fine, just make sure you check the ingredients.

Can dogs choke on marshmallows?

They can, but this can be the case for most foods.

Dogs tend to wolf down food rather than chew it properly, so you need to be careful with foods like these, but the risk is not especially high when you consider everything else that you feed your dog.

A large marshmallow could potentially get stuck in your dog’s throat, especially in smaller dogs.

This is just another reason not to give marshmallows to them though.


So, can a dog eat marshmallows?

Well, the short answer is that they can – but they probably shouldn’t.

There are far healthier treats that you can feed your dog, so play it safe and get them something that’s actually good for them.

For a list of foods that dogs can and can’t eat, we have put together a number of informative articles for you.

See Can My Dog Eat? for more details.

Catch you there…

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Related FAQ’s

Can dogs eat Lucky Charms marshmallows?

Although lucky charms marshmallows don’t contain xylitol to date (do check this though), they are still not recommended for dogs.

There are far healthier things you can give them.

If your dog has had a few, they will likely be fine, but it’s best not to feed them foods like this in the future.

Breakfast cereals in general are best avoided. Stick to your regular dog food.

Are marshmallows harmful to dogs?

It depends on how you define harmful.

They are not considered a healthy food for your dog and in that respect, you could argue that they are therefore harmful to them, especially over the long term.

If your dog has had one or two though, it’s unlikely to do them any harm.

As above, if they contain xylitol, then that’s another matter and you should seek immediate advice on your next steps.