can dogs eat licorice?

Can Dogs Eat Licorice?

Licorice is not just that candy that you know as Twizzlers or Red Vines or some similar alternative. Licorice is actually a plant. Of course, candy is made using that plant or the leaves and roots but there are also other things added. These are super sweet but they can have some health benefits too.

Can dogs eat licorice? Well, the truth is that it depends. Things like a licorice plan, including licorice root, licorice extract, or leaves, is safe for consumption. The challenge comes with licorice candy, particularly black licorice candy but we will get to that in a moment!

What Is Licorice Root

What Is Licorice Root
Images from Unsplash

It is important to understand that there is a definitive difference between red licorice candy and black licorice candy as opposed to the actual plant like licorice roots. The leaves of the licorice plant are usable but licorice roots are where the valuable properties and health advantages are.

In fact, did you know that licorice root is common for herbal medicine remedies? It’s also been popular as a tobacco flavor addition in some cases. That red licorice comes not directly from the plant but rather from melting down and evaporating the licorice root. It’s a very sweet flavor to enjoy when you do this.

The root is ultimately an extract and it can be great to let dogs eat when you love dogs and just want healthy dogs in your home. You just need to know the details.

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Benefits of Licorice Plant Use

Benefits of Licorice Plant Use

Let’s talk about some of the benefits of using the root of licorice for a dog.

  • Relieves joint pain
  • Used to treat sore throats
  • Excellent anti inflammatory properties
  • Supports a healthy immune system
  • Contains naturally occurring corticosteroids
  • Prevents high blood pressure
  • Prevents abdominal pain difficulty and liver disease
  • Might treat an upset stomach

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Glycyrrhiza Glabra

One thing that you have to be mindful of is the potential for glycyrrhizin toxicity. However, glycyrrhiza is a natural anti inflammatory that treats a variety of health problems and symptoms. You just don’t want to use it in large quantities to avoid dangerous levels that lead to other health issues.

It’s all about finding the proper balance to treat those following symptoms without overdoing it or prolonged use that builds up high levels in their system.

How to Properly Use Licorice for Most Dogs

How to Properly Use Licorice for Most Dogs
Images from Pixabay

If you understand the value of the root as being safe for dogs and know where to draw the line for toxic ingredients or too much sugar, you can appreciate licorice in plant form for pet care.

It is recommended that you use a root extract, an oil infusion or tincture, or even a brewed herbal tea with licorice root as the main ingredient.

When used properly, you can appreciate the benefits that we described earlier.

Can Dogs Eat Licorice Candy

Can Dogs Eat Licorice Candy
Image by Annillart from Pixabay

Here is where it gets really dicey. We don’t recommend letting your dog eat candy. All licorice candy is loaded with things like starch, artificial colors, carnauba wax, corn syrup, and lots of sugar. That means that licorice and other candy can lead to tooth decay and poor dental health for your canine friend.

It could cause obesity, high blood pressure, tooth decay, water retention, and plenty of things that don’t support optimal health.

If you insist on letting your dogs eat Twizzlers with you, be very mindful as you let them consume sugar. It will be hard on your dog’s teeth and again the overall health of your dog too. Only allow red licorice ever if you do that. Red licorice isn’t good for them but won’t be toxic.

When dogs eat black licorice, it could potentially be toxic. Black licorice contains anise. This ingredient alone makes black licorice toxic to dogs. We don’t recommend candy or candy flavored items but black licorice is a definite no-no.

Your dogs don’t really need candy or sugar but the toxicity will make black licorice bad all around as opposed to just unhealthy like its counterparts.

Wrapping Up

Your dogs deserve the best. We understand the sentiment of wanting to give them sweet treats but sugar can be very bad for dogs. It’s better to avoid sugar when you can.

As an alternative, you can definitely use licorice root and it has substantial benefits without using sugar. It’s even sweeter than sugar, to be honest. You just have to be mindful not to overdo it. It’s a good idea to discuss this with your vet first.

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