We’ve all enjoy a sweet treat every once in a while, like candy or ice cream; as your dog looks longingly up at you with those big, begging eyes, you know how difficult it can be to resist sharing. And, while it may be OK to share some human foods with your pup, sugary treats should be given in moderation because the dangers far outweigh the benefits.
But dogs do need some sugars in their diet for energy. A little smart decision about giving your dog sugary snacks should be considered once in a while before pumping them full of any syrup.
Sometimes our favorite bud like a touch of sweetness to their treats in the same way that most humans do. Unfortunately, sugar is as bad for our dogs as it is for us, and can contribute to weight gain (and obesity), diabetes, dental problems, and more. Obviously, none of that is healthy.
Maple Syrup A Health Food for Your Dog
Maple syrup is considered safe for your furry buddy and contains an excellent source of manganese and zinc that supports the immune system. Manganese, Riboflavin, Zinc, Calcium, and Potassium in maple syrup can provide a health benefit to dogs.
Recent studies have shown that maple syrup can provide several helpful nutrients that aid your favorite pet’s overall health. It contains manganese, which will help your dog utilize proteins and carbohydrates.
Zinc helps build the immune system and vitamin B2 aids in the production of red blood cells. Some studies also suggest maple syrup can help cats and dogs with cancer. Since it contains fewer calories than many other sweeteners, including honey, and provides anti-microbial properties.
However, some ingredients can be harmful to your pet’s health. Maple syrup contains a high content of sugar. Dogs that consume too much sugar can become obese or develop diabetes.
While maple syrup is not toxic to dogs, it can make them sick and cause other health-related issues.
Obesity is common in most dogs; it can easily factor in other health concerns like diabetes and dental decay. Symptoms of diabetes easily noticed excessive thirst, increased urination, weight loss, and increased appetite. If you notice these symptoms in your pet after they have eaten a lot of sugar, it may be time to visit a vet.
So, If the Question Still Lingers in Your Mind…
The simple answer is yes. Dogs can eat maple syrup. We’re not talking about maple-flavored syrup made from corn syrup and artificial flavoring. Real maple syrup made from the sap of the maple tree is safe but in moderation.
Maple syrup is not toxic to dogs but is high in natural sugars, so it should be given to your dog in moderation. A couple of mini pancakes topped with maple syrup once in a while is okay. Just don’t overdo it.
We all love to treat our canine friends to human food once in a while, even though we know it’s not the best thing to do. Giving your puppy real maple syrup as a topping to pancakes or swirled into plain Greek yogurt is ok but always in moderation.
Just remember that any food that is considered sugar-free may contain toxic alternatives for your dog.
Do Maple Syrup Pose Any threat to Dogs
So, avoid any artificially flavored maple syrups that contain xylitol. This additive is toxic to dogs and can lead to liver failure and hypoglycemia. People often turn to sugar-free sweeteners, but xylitol, the most common sweetener, is toxic to pets.
Xylitol stimulates insulin production, which causes hypoglycemia or a severe drop in blood sugar. If your dog has snacked on your sugar-free gum, she may exhibit these signs of xylitol toxicity:
- Lack of coordination
Xylitol can also cause acute liver failure, which is often fatal. So, keep watch if your dog exhibits any of these. Typically, artificially flavored maple syrup made from corn sugar can easily lead to diabetes in your dog.
Some good choices to replace sugar in dog treat recipes include Carob, Coconut Syrup, Honey, Maple Syrup, Stevia, Coconut Sugar, Blackstrap Molasses, Marley Malt Syrup.
Some not-so-good choices include: Brown Rice Sugar, Cane Sugar, Corn Syrup, Aspartame (NutraSweet), Saccharin, Sucralose, Agave Nectar.
Some of the Suggested Alternatives
These alternative are safe for your dog and provide other nutritional benefits:
- Honey: Honey contains very high antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties. If your pet suffers from allergies, you may opt for raw, local honey.
- Blackstrap molasses: This natural sweetener remains after the sugar’s sucrose crystallizes following the third boiling of sugar syrup. Blackstrap molasses contains key nutrients, including manganese, vitamin B6, selenium, iron, calcium, and potassium.
- Fruits: Fruits have high fructose content, natural sugar, and many other important nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
- Maple Syrup: Surprised I listed it here, Yes! This sweetener comes from tree sap and contains a higher concentration of minerals, such as zinc and manganese, but fewer calories than honey. Maple syrup reduces inflammation and supports the immune system.
There are lots of sugar substitutes that can be used in dog treats. Like the ones listed above, some have nutritional value and are better than pure sugar (sucrose). Others might be high in sucrose content and have very little nutritional value. Still, others are sugar-free but still have no nutritional value. Neither of these options is likely to be your first choice for adding to homemade dog treat recipes.
Dogs who have no weight gain or obesity issues and are otherwise healthy and active aren’t likely to have any negative effects from eating treats with a little sugar or sugar-free sweetener. But still, MODERATION is key.
If you’re thinking of jumping on board another syrup, a safety concern regarding the content of such syrup should be noted. Some may contain a measurable arsenic level, which can be found in rice syrups and other products.
The full health impact of these arsenic levels is unknown yet, but arsenic can cause a host of health problems in people and pets; it’s a poison, after all.
So, other syrup might add sweetness to your recipes, but nothing else. There are several good, natural, nutritious sugar alternatives for pet dogs if you want to add a touch of sweetness to your dog’s treats.
Natural maple syrup is not only safe to occasionally feed your pets; it’s good for them and provides several health benefits. We highly recommend making a treat like the one we provided to give your pet so they can reap the benefits it offers.
It provides essential nutrients and has fewer calories than most other sweeteners. Always consider what you feed your dog as the popular saying goes, “Health is wealth.”
If you purchase a maple syrup created by chemicals and artificial ingredients, you run the risk that it will contain something harmful to your pet. They contain preservatives, dyes, and other ingredients that can cause your pet to have an allergic reaction.