Can Dogs Eat Licorice?

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can dogs eat licorice

You may have decided to treat yourself with some good old licorice. As you sit on your sofa and munch on Twizzlers, your pooch joins you and begs for some.

One small bite is innocent enough, right? Well, let’s see.

Can a dog eat licorice? Is all licorice good for dogs?

Read on to find out.

Can Dogs Eat Licorice?

No, dogs should not eat licorice.

Licorice contains an ingredient called glycyrrhizin. It can cause high blood sugar, hypokalemia (reduced potassium levels), and edema (swelling). So although it may taste nice, too much could be very harmful.

Additionally, many types of licorice have sugar in them. If dogs consume sugar regularly, they could develop tooth problems, obesity, and other health issues.

Can Dogs Eat Licorice Root?

As a general rule, dogs should not eat licorice root. But the licorice root usage itself is debated.

Some believe that licorice root is beneficial to dogs when used safely. Others think it should not be given to dogs at all. There are pros and cons of feeding licorice root to your dog.

Is licorice root safe for dogs that are generally healthy? In this case, licorice root could: 

  • Soothe upset stomachs
  • Help with leaky gut
  • Relieve itching from skin allergies and bruises
  • Fight liver disease 
  • Boost the immune system
  • Relieve arthritis
  • Ease respiratory problems

Licorice root is an excellent alternative to synthetic steroids. It contains naturally occurring corticosteroids. Licorice roots do not cause addiction or compromise the immune system. But, they act slower and must be taken under your vet’s supervision.

Licorice root can be harmful to dogs with sugar problems, high blood pressure, heart conditions, or kidney disorders. Potential side effects include sodium retention, dangerously low potassium levels, and licorice poisoning.

black licorice

Can Dogs Eat Licorice Candy?

No, dogs should not eat licorice candy.

Licorice candy contains a substance called glycyrrhizin. This substance can increase dog’s blood pressure and cause potassium levels to drop.

It also has a high amount of sugar, contributing to tooth decay, obesity, diabetes, and other health issues.

Can Dogs Eat Black Licorice?

No, dogs should not eat black licorice for several reasons.

Both black licorice candy and black licorice plant are not safe. They can cause seizures, heart issues, gastrointestinal problems, and increased blood pressure.

Some types of black licorice contain no actual licorice root at all but still aren’t safe for dogs.

Is Black Licorice Bad for Dogs?

Yes, black licorice is bad for dogs because it can cause gastrointestinal upset and cardiovascular problems.

American black licorice uses anise instead of a real licorice root, but it’s still not healthy for dogs. Anise is dangerous for canines in high quantities.

European black licorice is made from licorice extract. It is also potentially more dangerous.

A few bites of black licorice won’t hurt your dog. But monitor your dog for reaction. Eating too much can cause stomach upset or licorice poisoning.

Did your dog eat black licorice? It might be best to contact a veterinarian if your four-legged friend ingested too much of it.

Can Dogs Eat Black Licorice Candy?

A few nibbles on black licorice candy will usually have little to no health effects on dogs.

You should still avoid giving your dog the candy because it contains harmful substances.

Most licorice candy contains sugar. If your dog eats licorice candies regularly, they could contribute to weight gain, obesity, and other issues.

What to Do if Your Dog Ate Black Licorice

If your dog ate black licorice, watch them closely for signs of toxicity.

Symptoms of glycyrrhizin toxicity include high blood pressure, muscle weakness, and vomiting.

If your dog consumes black licorice or a large quantity of candy that contains licorice, contact a veterinarian.

red licorice

Can Dogs Eat Red Licorice?

Dogs shouldn’t eat red licorice.

Red licorice usually contains no glycyrrhizin or anise oil at all, only sugar and flour.

It’s not good for dogs to eat a lot of it because it’s too much sugar. Still, one or two pieces won’t harm your canine. However, long-term sugar intake leads to weight gain, obesity, diabetes, and contributed to pancreatitis.

Is Red Licorice Bad for Dogs?

Interestingly enough, red licorice does not contain any licorice extract. So no, red licorice is not harmful to dogs the same way as black licorice.

But, it’s also not healthy to eat in large quantities — it contains sugar and could contribute to tooth decay or weight gain.

Licorice wrappers are a problem because the dog will probably eat them. In some cases, they are more dangerous than the food itself because they can cause bowel obstruction.

Symptoms of a bowel obstruction include:

  • Vomiting 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Lethargy
  • Abdominal pain 
  • Constipation
  • Difficulties with passing stool

Contact a veterinarian immediately if your dog ingested a wrapper from red licorice or large quantities of candy. In case the dog won’t stop vomiting, it might indicate total intestinal obstruction and the dog will require surgery.

If Your Dog Ate Red Licorice

It’s safe for your dog to eat a few pieces of red licorice, but watch them closely. Make sure to limit other sugary foods, and your dog should always have access to fresh water.

If you notice signs of obstruction like vomiting or difficulty passing stool, contact a veterinarian right away.


Can Dogs Eat Twizzlers?

Twizzlers are delicious to eat, but they aren’t healthy for dogs.

Twizzlers can cause upset stomach, increased blood pressure, and heart issues in dogs. They could also contain toxic ingredients like xylitol. Xylitol is extremely harmful to dogs and even small amounts can be fatal.

It’s best not to feed dog Twizzlers at all.

Are Twizzlers Bad for Dogs?

Yes, Twizzlers are bad for dogs because they are very high in sugar and could contain xylitol.

Dogs don’t process xylitol the same way as humans do. It can cause life-threatening health issues in dogs, including liver failure, seizures, drop in blood sugar, and even death.

Twizzlers also have a lot of sugar and little to no nutritional value. Only four pieces of Twizzlers contain 19 grams of sugar!

If Your Dog Ate Twizzlers

Find the packaging and make sure the dog didn’t eat any wrappers. If they ate a wrapper, contact your veterinarian immediately because that could cause a bowel obstruction.

Check Twizzlers’ ingredients and try to figure if the dog ate licorice in high quantities. If they ate any Twizzlers, and they contain xylitol, contact a veterinarian right away. Time is particularly important in this case, and you should take your dog to a vet clinic as soon as possible.

Pay special attention if the dog becomes lethargic or displays odd behavior after eating the candy.

How Can I Give My Dog Licorice?

Licorice is safe for dogs in small amounts. If you think of feeding dog licorice for health benefits, consult with your veterinarian first.

You can apply licorice extract either orally or topically.

The oral application includes: 

  • Steeping the root into a tea. 
  • Making a licorice tincture.
  • Sprinkling powdered licorice root over a dog’s food.

Topical application can be done by soaking a cloth in licorice tea and applying it to painful joints or sores on your dog for pain relief. Or, you can make a poultice.

Still, bear in mind that all these methods are only safe if you do them under a vet’s supervision. Prolonged use of licorice and its extract can cause gastric ulcers and high blood pressure.

It’s essential to check with a vet first. The veterinarian will examine the dog first and determine the best course of action.

Licorice: Trick or Treat?

Licorice can cause serious health issues when taken in copious amounts. Furthermore, it’s not the best treat for your dog because most licorice is high in sugar.

There are undoubtedly health benefits related to ingesting licorice. Licorice could have medical applications in some cases of dog treatment. It is still necessary to take precautions when you are feeding it to your dog. Never use licorice without talking to your vet.

It might be best to leave licorice aside and enjoy it as strictly human food and not a dog treat.


Can dogs eat Licorice Jelly Bean?

Licorice root can be toxic to dogs, but only in high amounts. One or two jelly beans are unlikely to harm your pet because of licorice. However, they might contain xylitol, which is highly toxic to dogs in small quantities. Check the ingredients and if the dog ate lots of jelly beans, call the vet.

Can dogs have Licorice Allsorts?

Licorice extract can be toxic to dogs and cause many health issues. Luckily, Licorice Allsorts contains a small amount of licorice extract. It doesn’t make it safe for dogs, though.

Can dogs eat strawberry licorice?

Strawberry licorice is another name for red licorice, so no, dogs should not eat them. Red licorice does not contain real licorice root, but it is very high in sugar. Sugary foods may have sweet flavor, but they will lead to weight gain, obesity, diabetes and other health issues in dogs. 

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As a dog breeder's daughter, I've always been surrounded by many dogs of many breeds. I've made it my job to learn about our furry best friends and share my findings with other conscious dog owners. My Bichon is called Piper by the way :)

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