Can Dogs Eat Licorice? Is It Safe for My Dog?

Licorice is polarizing, attracting hate and love in equal measures. Yet, this is something you will likely have in your home. Most people rely on this herb to treat various ailments, including respiratory issues, digestive distress, and gastrointestinal complications. It eases the symptoms of heartburn, ulcers, and indigestion.

You’ll often choose between black and red licorice confectionery. Black licorice offers a unique candy signature flavor. It is colored black and is made from the extract of the roots of the licorice plant.

On the other hand, red licorice is not made from the licorice plant. Instead, it is regular candy with multiple flavorings, including raspberry, cherry, cinnamon, and cherry. At the same time, we must note that licorice is related to neither fennel nor anise despite the similarity in flavor.

However, the biggest question is whether licorice is safe for your dog.

Suppose your pet is curious and will likely munch on this confectionery. The following insights will help you decide when to give it to your dog.

Can My Dog Eat Black Licorice?

No. Canines should not consume black licorice, as it is toxic when taken in large quantities. The excessive consumption of black licorice causes significant health complications in dogs. Besides, its ingredients do not add nutritional value to your pet.

Black licorice is an excellent choice when taken in significantly small quantities. It helps relieve digestion issues, stomach upsets, and sore throats. However, this product contains a compound called glycyrrhizin, which increases blood pressure in high amounts.

In addition, black licorice contains lots of sugar, which can cause obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay in dogs. In addition, this candy contains corn starch and wheat gluten, which do not add any nutritional value to your pet.

Reach out for medical help as soon as our dog eats black licorice. You will also check for glycyrrhizin toxicity, whose signs include the following.

  • Muscle weakness
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Vomiting

Is Red Licorice Suitable for  My Dog?

No. Red licorice is not safe for your pet. Since this candy contains no licorice extract, it offers no health benefits. Instead, its multiple artificial additives, preservatives, and sweeteners can adversely affect your pet. This product contains a significant amount of sugar that triggers obesity, diabetes, and tooth decay.

Why your Dog Should Not Eat Licorice?


Various reasons explain why licorice is unsuitable for your dog. Here are a few risks that you must be aware of.

Sugar Content

Licorice has a high sugar content and sweeteners that contribute to dental issues, obesity, and diabetes. In some cases, licorice could contain xylitol, which causes sudden hypoglycemia, vomiting, and seizures.


Glycyrrhizin is a critical component of licorice. It is beneficial in small amounts, but excessive consumption of this element causes high blood pressure in dogs. You’ll need to watch out for its symptoms, including disorientation, seizures, nosebleeds, weakness, and heart murmurs.

Bowel Obstruction

Accidentally ingesting the candy wrappers can cause gastrointestinal injuries and bowel obstruction as they are not digestible.

What Happens if My Dog Eats Licorice?

Your steps will often depend on how much licorice your dog has consumed. Here are a few details you’ll consider.

Seek Medical Help

Suppose you catch your dog eating licorice, or you suspect it did. Then, the best thing would be to reach out to a vet for further medical advice. This professional will help determine whether your pet has a toxic reaction and recommend the best solution.

Check the Ingredients

Different ingredients harm your pet differently. Check whether the licorice consumed contains xylitol, sweeteners, and sugar. Most sugar-free products contain xylitol, which is toxic to your pet. In such cases, instant medical attention will be vital.

Observe Your dog

Licorice poisoning happens once the dog consumes this candy. Your dog will show various symptoms, depending on the amount of licorice consumed. This pet will exhibit symptoms like vomiting, excessive drooling, lethargy, and muscle weakness.

Health Benefits of Liquorice

While licorice candy is dangerous for your dog, the licorice herb has proven beneficial to your dog’s health.

Vets recommend licorice for pain and inflammation management. Its glycyrrhizin compound acts like a cortical steroid that helps treat ulcers, asthma, and arthritis. While it might not act fast, it poses no side effects to your pet.

Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, you can rely on this herb to treat liver conditions. It also helps reduce the discomfort of allergic reactions.

How to Serve your Dog the Licorice Herb?

You can only give your dog licorice after talking to a vet. Once your vet confirms it, you can consider the following options.

  • Use licorice tincture: A tincture is a concentrated oil that comes with an eyedropper. You’ll need to add a drop to a water bowl and feed it to your pet.
  • Make a powder: A powdered licorice supplement is ideal for your pet. You’ll use a quarter of a teaspoon of this powder per pound of your dog’s weight.
  • Steep it into a tea: You can grate the herb and add it to hot water before giving it to your dog. One drop of licorice tea per pound of your dog’s weight will be enough.
  • Topical application: This option suffices if your dog has an allergic reaction to its skin. In this case, you can use tea or a poultice.

Final Thoughts

Licorice candy is unsuitable for your dog, thanks to its high sugar and glycyrrhizin content. You’ll need to consult a vet before giving it to your pet to avoid health complications in the long run.

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