Starburst is a snack basically made for human consumption. It is a small-sized, chewy candy that comes in different fruity flavors, packed with tons of sugar.
They contain ingredients that make them unhealthy for your dog so if you were thinking of sharing a starburst snack with your dog, you should hold that though, get rid of it and decide on some healthier snack options for your dog.
In this article, we would be discussing the ingredients contained in starbursts, the side effects of starbursts in dogs and healthy alternative to starbursts for dogs. Come along!
Can Dogs Have Starburst?
Starbursts are of two varieties: the regular starburst and the sugar-free starburst. You might think that the sugar-free starburst would be safe for dogs, based on its name but on the contrary, it is very dangerous. This is because Xylitol sweetener is used in place of natural sugar in this starburst variety.
Xylitol is a very toxic ingredient for dogs and you should not feed your dog any food containing xylitol. The regular starburst variety, even though it does not contain Xylitol, is not very much healthier for your dog as it contains very high amounts of sugar; a very unhealthy amount for dogs, if you ask me.
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Ingredients Contained In Starburst
Starbursts are made of the following ingredients: corn syrup, sugar, palm oil, gelatin, fruit extracts, artificial colorings and flavors, and Xylitol in the sugar-free starburst variety. These are very unhealthy ingredients for dogs to consume. Let’s take a detailed look at these ingredients.
- Sugar And Corn Syrup
Dogs get enough sugar from their regular diets and so, they do not need these extra sugary content that starburst provides. Worse still, the sugar contained in starbursts are the unhealthy kind (refined, processed and granulated sugars).
Corn syrup is also a sweetening agent like sugar but unfortunately, it is more additive and even more fattening than regular sugar. Your dog may experience the following symptoms from consuming the excessive sugar and corn syrup in starburst:
Stomach upset and inflammation, diabetes, dehydration, loss of appetite, obesity and tooth decay.
- Hydrogenated Palm oil
This is one of the most unhealthy oil types there are. It contains lots of fat, which is very unhealthy for dogs and can result in the following symptoms:
Stomach upset, heightened cholesterol level, obesity diabetes, pancreatitis and heart issues.
- Artificial Coloring And Flavors
Artificial coloring and flavors might be safe for human consumption but certainly not for dogs. Unfortunately, starburst contains several artificial colors and flavors.
Side Effects Of Starburst In Dogs
Starbursts have a number of side effects on your dog, especially when consumed in large quantities. Here are some of the side effects:
Consuming starbursts could give rise to several health complications in your dog as this snack is packed with ingredients like excessive sugar, hydrogenated oil, artificial colorings, citric acid and other preservatives, which are toxic to dogs.
Starbursts could also be a choking hazard for your dog as they are wrapped in papers that should not be eaten. If your dog happens to eat the starburst wrapper, it could clog his airways and result to choking, or cause a blockage in his intestine.
Due to the high sugary content in starbursts, you would need to brush your dog’s teeth thoroughly. Unlike humans who have amylase enzymes in their saliva, responsible for breaking down sugar, dogs do not have this enzyme and so any sugary food that gets stuck to your dog’s teeth will likely remain there.
If you feed your dog these sugary foods, ensure to brush his teeth as often as possible to get rid of the food debris stuck in his teeth and prevent tooth decay, cavities and gum diseases.
Symptoms Of Poisoning From Starburst
Although regular starbursts so not contain Xylitol, the sugar-free starbursts contain very high Xylitol content.
If your dog consumes a large amount of sugar-free Starburst candies, they can get xylitol poisoning and you must immediately call your vet doctor for medical help so that the appropriate treatment needed to douse the effects of the Xylitol on your dog’s liver and sugar level can be administered.
A dog suffering Xylitol poisoning will begin to show the following symptoms: Vomiting, muscle tremors, seizures, weakness and collapse.
Starbursts without Xylitol will only make your dog fall ill with symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, and loss of appetite.
You will agree with me that these symptoms are not as severe as the ones your dog will show if he consumes sugar-free starburst containing Xylitol. For this reason, you must avoid feeding your dog any sugar-free starburst completely.
In the event that your dog gets a hold of a starburst and consumes it with its wrapper, without your knowledge, you must immediately seek medical help as the starburst wrapper can clog your dog’s airways and intestine.
In less severe cases, your vet doctor may only need to administer some Metamucil to aid easier passage of the wrapper.
In more severe cases however, a surgery might be required to free up the blockage. Here are some signs that your dog is being affected by the wrappers: Rapid heartbeat and labored breathing, vomiting, diarrhea, bloody stool, choking and constipation.
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Healthy Alternative To Starburst For Dogs
Starbursts contain very high sugary content and except your dog accidentally eats this candy without your knowledge, there should be no reason why your dog eats starburst at all. Instead of feeding your dog and starburst, you can opt for some healthy, dog-friendly alternatives to starbursts such as:
Fresh Fruits: There is really no point feeding your dog fruit candies when you can just feed him natural, fresh fruits, packed with lots of nutrients and health benefits for your dog.
Some fruits you can give your dog are watermelon, apple, blueberries, mango, banana, blackberries, pear and oranges. Remove the seeds before feeding any of these fruits to your dog and totally avoiding feeding your grapes or raisins.
Peanut butter: Natural, unsweetened peanut butter is creamy, delicious and safe for your dog. Most dogs love to have a taste of peanut butter.
Pumpkins: Pumpkins are great for your dog’s gut health due to their high fiber content. They are also a very sweet, succulent and healthy treat for your dog.
Roasted Chestnuts: Roasted chestnuts are a healthy occasional snack for your dog. They are packed with essential vitamins and minerals like copper, iron, potassium and others. Remember to only feed your dog unseasoned roasted chestnuts.
Carrots: These are packed with vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that are essential for your dog. They also satisfy your dog’s need to much on something crunchy.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Are Starburst Jelly Beans Safe For Dogs?
The simple answer to this question is NO! Starburst jelly beans are not safe for dogs. They might have great tastes as a result of the added apple juice used to sweeten them but that’s not all they contain.
They are packed with sugar artificial coloring and flavors, including other toxic ingredients like caffeine and Xylitol. All these ingredients mentioned here are not at all healthy for your dog and you should keep them far away from your dog.
What If My Dog Eats A Starburst?
If your dog consumes only a small quantity of starburst, he should not be at a risk of any health issues but if consumed in excess, it can dangerous to your dog’s health.
Not that starburst is toxic in itself but it is packed with corn syrup, sugar and other ingredients that are not healthy for your dog in large quantities. Consuming food items that contain high amounts of sugar and corn syrup can result in stomach upset and abdominal cramps in your dog.
Starburst is only packed with carbohydrates and sugar. It does not provide your dog with any health benefits whatsoever and so your dog is actually better off without this sugary snack.
Starbursts containing natural sugar may not harm your dog if consumed in small amounts but if your dog happens to consume sugar-free starbursts containing Xylitol, it is advised that you immediately work on inducing vomiting in your dog before the Xylitol begins to take effect.
More so, if your dog has a health history of diabetes, obesity, poor oral health or your dog is already old, you should not feed them with any starburst at all as the high amount of sugar contained in starburst can trigger various severe health issues that your dog might not be able to withstand.