Can dogs eat liquorice?

Avoid giving liquorice to any dogs, and please be warned that its especially harmful to pregnant dogs, nursing dogs, dogs with liver or kidney disease, cardiovascular disease and dogs that have diabetes.
Several pieces of Black liquorice
Black Liquorice

We all want to treat our dogs to something new; however, the choices you make can genuinely impact your dog’s health and not to mention your bank balance. After all, our beloved dogs are trusting us to make the right decisions for them. If you love your dog then researching it first is the best thing you can do as a dog owner, there is no manual in brining up dogs, it’s generally what you can learn along the way and advice you can get from other dog owners that helps.

Can dogs eat liquorice? No, dogs can not eat liquorice there are no health benefits for dogs to eat liquorice, it is toxic to dogs and therefore must be avoided. Not only is it poisonous, but liquorice can also cause tooth decay, diabetes, and obesity in dogs.

Why can’t dogs eat liquorice?

Dog’s can not eat liquorice (black) it’s high in sugar that can cause tooth decay, diabetes, and obesity due to the high levels of sugar that it contains. However, it’s not just the amount of sugar that is extremely unhealthy for your dog but also the main ingredient called glycyrrhizin, and this will raise your dog’s blood pressure to dangerous levels resulting in death if eaten enough over long periods. Can also cause water retention, sodium retention and reduced potassium in your dog.

What’s in liquorice that is toxic to dogs?

  • Sugar
  • Glycyrrhizin
  • Xylitol (found in sugar-free liquorice)

Xylitol an alternative to sugar

Sugar-free back liquorice means that the sugar is replaced with another ingredient. It is commonly replaced with a much worse component called Xylitol. Xylitol is very harmful to dogs, and just a small amount can kill your dog. It would be best if you never gave your dog anything sugar-free because all it means is that it’s been replaced with an artificial ingredient.

Toxicity symptoms in dogs that have eaten liquorice

If your dog has eaten a large amount of liquorice, then dont wait for the symptoms to show, take your dog to a vet as soon as you can. If your dog has just had just a few pieces and depending on the size of your dog, watch out for the below symptoms, and if they gradually get worse, then a call/visit to the vets would be a good idea.

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Lethargic
  • Hyper activeness
  • Raised blood pressure
  • Muscle weakness
  • Change in character

Avoid giving liquorice to any dogs, and please be warned that its especially harmful to pregnant dogs, nursing dogs, dogs with liver or kidney disease, cardiovascular disease and dogs that have diabetes.

Where does liquorice come from?

Liquorice is from a plant called Glycyrrhiza glabra. It’s a flowering plant of the bean type plant called Fabaceae. It’s native to Western Asia and Southern Europe. Liquorice is made from extracting the molecule of the glycyrrhetinic acid and the glucuronic acid, also known as GZA.

Glycyrrhiza Glabra Plant
This is where liquorice is from – Glycyrrhiza Glabra Plant

Conclusion

I hope by your reading this has put you off giving liquorice to your beloved dog, or if your googling for a friend let them know now. Enjoy your liquorice yourself and do not share with your dog. The complications that can happen when you give your dog liquorice is undoubtedly not worth it. I hope that I have helped with your decision and answered your question.

Related article about food and dogs

Sharing your food with a dog and the risks involved

About the Author

Teresa loves animals and travelling around the UK! She currently has two dogs and two cats. She loves caring for and sharing her knowledge of pets. Qualified Dog Groomer and currently studying Canine Behaviour. She has been part of the Dog Friendly Team since 2016

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This site does not constitute pet medical advice, please consult a licensed veterinarian in your area for pet medical advice.