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People are divided on licorice and licorice taste – some love it, others don’t like it at all. It is similar to dogs. Some wrinkle their noses contemptuously, others rob everything they can get hold of. But is licorice healthy or toxic for dogs?
Can dogs eat licorice?
No, dogs are never allowed to eat licorice. Licorice is a snack that people don’t tolerate in large quantities. Dogs can experience indigestion, blood pressure fluctuations, and kidney problems from this. If your dog accidentally eats a few chunks of licorice, not much will happen, but you really shouldn’t be giving him licorice on purpose.
Why is licorice not healthy for dogs?
The main ingredient in licorice candy is an extract from the licorice root. The sweet taste has a side effect: the substance glycyrrhizin contained in licorice root causes various reactions in the body, including in the dog’s body, which has not yet been fully researched.
What is certain is that it can lead to a disruption of the water balance and increased potassium excretion. As an electrolyte, potassium is important for the nervous system and the water balance. It also has a dehydrating effect.
As a result, high blood pressure and water retention can develop, which does not have to be dramatic if your dog eats it once. Regular consumption of large quantities of licorice also leads to muscle weakness or wasting.
This can even affect the heart muscle and is therefore actually dangerous. In the worst case, an overdose of glycyrrhizin can also cause kidney failure.
What if the dog secretly ate licorice?
Licorice sweets should always be well-secured and not open on the coffee table. Dogs who like the taste can eat whole packs without hesitation, once they have caught them.
Depending on the size of the secretly consumed portion, slight digestive problems such as diarrhea or constipation can occur as a result.
Dog owners will usually hardly notice more serious disorders such as high blood pressure with headaches or water retention. If you do notice something after your darling has licorice, the safest option is to consult a veterinarian. If necessary, elevated blood pressure can also be determined and treated there.
Does every type of licorice contain glycyrrhizin?
There are no licorice products made without licorice root extract. The glycyrrhizin content of a certain variety cannot be determined for the consumer. On the one hand, this is because the proportion of licorice root varies depending on the recipe and, on the other hand, the glycyrrhizin content of the licorice root used is not always the same. After all, it is a changeable natural product.
In this context, the labeling of foods containing licorice root may be misleading. Instructions for preparations with a high and very high licorice content are required by law.
Above a certain limit value, the package must have the note “contains licorice”. If the proportion is very high, the addition “Avoid excessive consumption if you have high blood pressure” must also be printed.
Conversely, this could lead to the assumption that products without appropriate information do not contain licorice root. But that is incorrect. Shares below the limit just do not have to be declared. You should rather not feed any of the variants.
You should be particularly careful to secure your licorice supply if you prefer strong licorice – i.e. those with a particularly high celiac content. The ammonium chloride it contains can lead to over-acidification of the organism.
Highly salted strains are also not healthy for your dog. If he’s nibbled on it, he’ll get very thirsty in addition to the side effects. In combination with increased blood pressure, this would be a considerable burden on the circulatory system, in which older dogs or puppies should be spared.
How harmful are other sweets or mixes like Haribo’s Color-Rado?
Mixtures with other sweets are not quite as harmful as pure licorice because of the lower proportion of licorice root. So if your dog stole a pack of Color-Rado, you don’t have to worry as much as if he had devoured the same amount of pure licorice.
Other sweets such as the foaming sugar in Color-Rado or gummy bears are harmless except for their sugar content. However, many sweets contain lactose, which is extremely difficult for dogs to digest. It can lead to diarrhea and gas.
Can licorice or licorice root be found in dog food?
Although licorice root has some health-promoting aspects in a correspondingly low dosage, no manufacturer has yet enriched its finished feed or delicacies with it.
A clear “no” to all types of licorice
Licorice doesn’t belong in a dog food bowl. The possible side effects are just too serious for you as a dog owner to take any risks.
The licorice root can be beneficial to health, but its dosage in various licorice products is completely incalculable. Their medical use should therefore only take place under the direction of a suitable therapist. Licorice as a treat is only suitable for people.