If you are a dog owner, you know how treats always come in handy when dealing with your favorite pet.
Going with the traditional method, you can use dog treats while training and teaching tricks.
Giving your dog a treat will promote positive reinforcement.
Additionally, treats can add nutritional benefits to your dog’s diet when used as a supplement.
So, can dogs eat airheads? Yes.
Dogs have a taste for sweets because they are omnivores.
You can use airheads as a motivational tool or reward for good behavior.
However, the sugar you use at home and modern sweeteners are not natural to dogs.
When your dog ingests excess granulated sugar, it can lead to an upset stomach and imbalanced gut bacteria.
So, while you can feed your dog airheads, ensure it is in small quantities of less than 10 grams.
Consider the dog’s size and weight also. Airheads should be a rare occasional treat.
This article will take a deep dive into whether dogs can eat airheads.
It will also discuss the risks that can occur when you feed your dog in excess amounts of airheads and the alternatives you can use as dog treats.
What Ingredients Are Found in Airheads?
Airheads are a favorite candy because they are tangy, chewy, and taffy-like.
With the various types available, you can choose your favorite based on the unique ingredients that are distinct from the others.
Commonly, you can choose between airhead candy and bubble gum.
These air-filled and chewy candies have one thing in common- they contain sugar as their base component. Some of the ingredients in airheads include:
- Corn syrup
- Citric acid
- Artificial flavors and colors e.g., FD&C Red #40, FD&C Yellow #5
Airhead Candy Vs Airhead Gum
Like humans, dogs use sugar and other carbohydrates as a source of energy.
Airhead candies have a lot of sugar and when giving them to your dog they should be in small quantities.
Granulated sugar can lead to weight gain which will increase your dog’s risk for serious health problems such as congestive heart failure, osteoarthritis, and skin problems.
High sugar levels in your dog’s diet can also lead to:
- Upset stomach with symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite.
- Dental problems
Diabetic dogs should not be fed airheads or any other type of candy.
If you have to choose between giving your dog an airhead candy and an airhead gum, lean towards the candy.
The xylitol ingredient is mainly found in the gum and it is more dangerous to your dog than the granulated sugar in the candies.
Xylitol in Airhead Gums
Xylitol is a naturally occurring sugar alcohol found in many fruits and vegetables.
Because of its sweet taste, it is often used as a sugar substitute and it reduces the level of decay-causing bacteria in saliva.
Airhead chewing gums have xylitol as an ingredient.
Each airhead gum has 30% xylitol which is equivalent to 0.72 grams per 2.4-gram piece.
Avoid giving your dog treats containing xylitol because the substance is so toxic to dogs.
When your dog has xylitol in its system, it will be quickly absorbed into the bloodstream leading to a fast release of insulin from the pancreas.
This will lead to hypoglycemia (drop in blood sugar) that can occur within an hour of consumption.
Hypoglycemia can be life-threatening to your dog.
Different products have different amounts of xylitol, hence the amount that your dog can ingest leading to toxicity varies.
Generally, lower doses of xylitol will lead to hypoglycemia while high doses will cause liver failure.
Signs of Xylitol Poisoning
When your dog has hypoglycemia, the initial signs that will manifest may include:
- Lack of coordination
- Seizures in severe cases
If you suspect your dog has xylitol poisoning, contact the Pet Poison Helpline or your vet.
Ensure you get help for your dog as soon as you can.
Don’t try to induce vomiting or do anything to your dog unless given specific instructions by an expert to do so.
Airheads contain wheat ingredients such as wheat flour, maize starch, and food starch from potatoes. So, if your dog has a wheat allergy, this will not be the best treat.
Luckily, airheads don’t contain allergens like peanuts.
Other toxic dog treats can include:
Chocolate- Dark chocolate will be toxic to your pet. Chocolate contains theobromine which can cause seizures, arrhythmias, and stomach upset in your dog.
Raisin and grapes- These fruits cause kidney failure in dogs
Caffeine- When ingested, it poses the same dangers as chocolates do to your dog.
How Can You Prevent Excess Airhead Consumption by Your Dog?
Dogs are curious animals and they will eat anything they find exciting.
With their sensitive noses, dogs can sniff out airheads.
Upon purchasing airheads lock them away or store them high enough that the dog finds it impossible to reach.
You may also want to update everyone around you about the dangers of giving your dog too many airheads.
Are There Alternative Safe Treats for My Dog?
Yes. If you want to steer clear of airheads as treats, you can give your dog treats such as:
- Veal chops
- Strawberries and blueberries
- Fruits such as bananas and watermelons
- Cooked sweet potatoes
- Green peas and carrots
- Bones (great for chewing)
- Chicken Tummy
- Pork Snouts
- Vanilla ice cream
While airhead candies can be used as a dog treat, it isn’t highly recommended because of the granulated sugar.
If you must give your dog airheads, ensure it is less than 10 grams and it shouldn’t be frequent.
Avoid any airhead containing xylitol as this ingredient is deadly to your dog.
Remember, your dog’s health and happiness are what matters, and moderation should be key when it comes to airheads.