Can Dogs Eat Starburst Candy? What will Happen?

You can use different criteria to determine what your dog eats, whether nutritious food or treats. Yet, the ultimate goal is to ensure that your pet is healthy, happy, and leading a high-quality life. The only way to achieve this would be to focus on safe and healthy treats and nutritious meals.

Starburst candy is among the most popular treats you’d want to offer your dog. Its sweet and sugary nature makes it a popular choice among many people. While it is perfect for a sweet tooth, you must confirm its suitability before giving it to your pet.

At the end of this article, you will understand whether or not to give your dog Starburst candy. Let’s get informed together!

What Is Starburst Candy, And Can Dogs Eat It?

Starburst is a brand name for a fruit-flavored, soft, taffy candy. This box-shaped candy comes in multiple varieties, including FaveReds, Sour, Tropical, Original, Very Berry, and SuperFruit flavors.

Dogs can eat Starburst candy in small quantities. The amount consumed will often determine the step you need to take. Its ingredients could be unsafe and unhealthy for your pet when consumed in large quantities. It gets worse if the dog ingests the candy’s wrapper too.

Starburst Candy Ingredients And Their Effects On Dogs

Starburst candy contains multiple ingredients that can affect your dog’s health. Here is a breakdown of the primary elements in this candy.


A serving of Starburst candy contains approximately 18 grams of sugar, which is significantly high for a dog. Sugar can give your pet bursts of energy when provided in the proper form and correct amount. Unfortunately, this is not the case with Starburst candy.

Too much sugar causes obesity and diabetes in dogs. An overweight dog will likely develop joint and bone density problems, thanks to pressure placed on the joints and bones. In addition, it strains the cardiovascular system, making the dog susceptible to heart conditions.


Sugar-free Starburst candy contains xylitol, a natural sugar alcohol found in plants. This sugar substitute sweetens the candy yet causes xylitol poisoning in dogs.

Various symptoms indicate xylitol poisoning, including lethargy, vomiting, weakness, incoordination, staggering, and seizures. In extreme cases, your dog will sustain liver failure and hypoglycemia.

Xylitol toxicity triggers these symptoms eight to 12 hours after consumption. However, some dogs will exhibit a few signs within 30 minutes of ingestion.

There is no antidote for xylitol poisoning. However, vets will consider intravenous dextrose supplementation to address the problem. Drugs protecting the liver could also suffice.

Corn Syrup

While corn syrup is not unsafe or toxic for your dog, it contains a high amount of sugar. An increase in this element in the dog’s body could trigger obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular complications. However, it could be ideal for dogs experiencing hypoglycemia.

If your dog takes excess corn syrup, it will exhibit excessive thirst, increased urination, dehydration, weight loss, and lethargy. You’ll need instant medical attention to help avert extreme cases once the dog takes too much corn syrup.

Citric Acid

Citric is a primary component of Starburst candy. This component has antimicrobial properties and the ability to improve digestibility.

Yet, citric acid is unsafe and toxic for your pets, including dogs and cats. While moderate consumption might not cause significant health complications, avoiding it altogether will be more rewarding.

This element causes gastrointestinal irritation and stomach upsets. It could also depress the central nervous system in extreme cases.


Gelatin is a critical component of Starburst candy. While it is in small amounts, it helps improve bone and skin health. Your dog will have stronger bones, shinier skin, and a lustrous coat.

Symptoms That Your Dog Has Eaten Starburst Candy

You will notice multiple physiological changes in your dog after it consumes Starburst candy. Closely monitoring your pet will help tell the extent of the damage caused by this candy.

Your pet will exhibit visible distress and discomfort. You could also witness incessant choking and coughing, which the candy wrapper could cause. Various signs show that your pet is choking or in despair, including the following.

  • Breathing difficulties
  • Incessant coughing
  • Pawing at its mouth
  • Unresponsiveness
  • Inactivity and unusual slowness

Coughing could be fatal if not handled on time. In this case, you’ll inspect the dog’s mouth and throat to establish whether there is a choking element. You will then conduct the Heimlich maneuver, which requires you to hold the dog’s paws back and position your hands over its stomach. This will allow you to thrust the dog’s chest comfortably and safely, removing foreign materials in its GI tract. Once the dog regains stability, take it to a vet immediately.

Gastrointestinal tract irritation could also trigger vomiting, diarrhea, and bloating. The dog could also experience gastrointestinal obstruction, which limits food and drinks ingestion, minimizes appetite, and causes constipation.

Bottom Line

Starburst candy is an excellent treat for human beings. Yet, it is an unsafe and unhealthy choice for your dog, thanks to its toxic ingredients, including sugar, corn syrup, citric acid, and xylitol. This candy causes various digestive complications, including constipation, diarrhea, vomiting, and GI tract irritation.

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