Can I give syrup to my dog?

Quick Answer

Giving syrup to dogs should generally be avoided, as most syrups contain too much sugar which can be harmful to a dog’s health. An occasional small amount of syrup may be ok, but it’s best to avoid making it a regular treat. Consult your veterinarian before giving your dog any human foods like syrup.

Can Dogs Have Syrup?

Syrup is not recommended for dogs, as the high sugar content can cause digestive upset, weight gain, and even diabetes. However, small amounts of plain syrups may be ok for a treat. It’s important to consider the type of syrup and your dog’s size and health condition before offering any.

Some syrups are more dangerous than others. Chocolate syrup should always be avoided, as chocolate is toxic to dogs. Artificial sweeteners found in sugar-free syrups like xylitol are also extremely toxic. Stick to small amounts of plain maple or corn syrup.

Maple Syrup

Pure maple syrup contains nutrients like manganese and zinc that can benefit dogs. However, it is still very high in sugar, so only give small amounts infrequently. Around 1 tsp per 10 lbs of body weight is an appropriate serving size.

Corn Syrup

Corn syrup is made from corn starch and contains no toxic ingredients. Plain corn syrup with no added sugars or flavors is safer for dogs than other syrups. Again, no more than 1 tsp per 10 lbs of body weight is recommended.

Pancake Syrup

Pancake syrup often contains artificial flavors and extra sugars that can upset a dog’s stomach. It’s best to avoid giving pancake syrup, but a tiny taste won’t harm most healthy dogs. Never give sugar-free pancake syrup, as it contains xylitol.

Golden Syrup

This syrup from the UK contains cane sugar, glucose syrup, and water. It does not usually have artificial ingredients added. Small amounts are ok for dogs, but it is still quite sugary. Monitor your dog for signs of an upset tummy.

Fruit Syrups

Fruit syrups are usually made with refined sugar and artificial flavors and colors. The added citric acid can also cause dental erosion. It’s safest to avoid giving these syrups to dogs.

Risks of Giving Syrup to Dogs

While the occasional small treat of plain syrup is unlikely to harm a healthy dog, there are some risks to be aware of:

Weight Gain

Table syrup is very high in sugar and calories without much nutritional value. Giving too much or too often can quickly lead to obesity in dogs. Obesity puts dogs at risk for joint problems, heart disease, and diabetes.


The large sugar spikes from syrup can tax your dog’s pancreas over time, potentially leading to diabetes. Dogs fed high sugar diets are more likely to develop diabetes requiring lifelong insulin therapy.


The high fat content in some syrups combined with large amounts of sugar can lead to a dangerous inflammation of the pancreas known as pancreatitis. This is a very painful condition requiring emergency vet treatment.


Too much syrup may give your dog diarrhea from the sudden sugar overload. This can lead to dehydration and other problems if severe.

Dental Issues

Syrup is very sticky and can get caught between teeth and gums. The sugar feeds bacteria leading to cavities, gum disease, and tooth decay.

Benefits of Syrup for Dogs

When given in strict moderation, certain syrups can provide some benefits for dogs:

Maple Syrup

Pure maple syrup contains beneficial antioxidants and minerals like zinc and manganese that support immune function. It may also help soothe minor coughs or sore throats.

Energy Boost

The sugars in syrup can provide a quick energy boost. This may help puppies or senior dogs struggling with low blood sugar. It can also provide fuel for active dogs.

Blood Sugar Support

Corn syrup may help stabilize blood sugar in diabetic dogs when prescribed by a vet. It provides glucose without spiking blood sugar as drastically as table sugar.

Medication Delivery

The thick, sticky consistency of some syrups makes it easy to hide a dog’s medications in it. Just be sure to account for the extra calories.


Some picky eaters may find their food more appealing when topped with a bit of syrup. Only use small amounts, and monitor for any signs of an upset stomach.

What Type of Syrup is Safe for Dogs?

The safest syrups for dogs are plain, with no added sugars or artificial ingredients. Good options include:

Pure Maple Syrup

Make sure it is 100% pure maple syrup with no added flavors, colors, or preservatives. Grade B maple syrup has more minerals than grade A.

Plain Corn Syrup

Corn syrup without any added sweeteners is safer than pancake syrup. Look for light or dark corn syrup with no artificial flavors.

Golden Syrup

This natural cane sugar syrup from the UK contains no additives. Blackstrap molasses is also safe but higher in minerals that could cause digestive upset.


Raw, unprocessed honey makes a less sugary alternative to syrup with extra health benefits. Make sure your dog doesn’t have a bee allergy first.

Syrup Type Safety for Dogs
Maple syrup Safe in small amounts
Corn syrup Safe in small amounts
Pancake syrup Avoid
Honey Safe alternative
Golden syrup Safe in small amounts
Fruit syrups Avoid

How Much Syrup Can I Give My Dog?

The amount of syrup that is safe for a dog depends on their weight and health status. As a general guideline:

Maple & Corn Syrup

– Small dogs under 10 lbs can have 1/2 teaspoon
– Medium dogs 10-50 lbs can have 1 teaspoon
– Large dogs over 50 lbs can have 1-2 teaspoons

This should only be given 1-2 times per week at most.

Golden Syrup

– Small dogs 1/4 teaspoon
– Medium dogs 1/2 teaspoon
– Large dogs 1 teaspoon


– Small dogs 1/4 teaspoon
– Medium dogs 1/2 teaspoon
– Large dogs 1 teaspoon

Diabetic dogs should not be given syrup without veterinary guidance. Overweight dogs or those prone to pancreatitis should avoid syrup.

Signs of Syrup Overdose in Dogs

Consuming too much syrup can make dogs very sick. Here are some signs of syrup toxicity:


Dogs may vomit repeatedly after too much syrup due to stomach irritation.


Syrup overload can cause loose, watery stools that may contain blood or mucus.


Affected dogs become very weak and tired due to dehydration and low blood sugar. They may collapse.


Extremely high blood sugar from syrup can cause seizures in susceptible dogs.

Muscle Trembling

Shaking or tremors point to a dangerous drop in glucose levels.

Rapid Heart Rate

The heart may beat faster than normal to compensate for dehydration and circulatory changes.

Difficulty Breathing

The lungs and brain may swell due to plummeting electrolyte levels.

If your dog shows any of these signs after eating syrup, bring them to the vet or emergency animal hospital right away. Prompt treatment is needed to prevent serious complications or death.

What to do if Your Dog Eats Syrup

Stay calm but act quickly if your dog eats more than a small taste of syrup:

Determine the Amount

Check to see how much and what type of syrup they ate. Knowing details will help the vet.

Call Your Vet

Contact your vet for advice, especially if it was a large amount. They may induce vomiting or give activated charcoal to limit absorption.

Monitor Carefully

Watch for any signs of vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, seizure, or collapse. These require emergency care.

Avoid Food

Don’t give any food for several hours to allow their stomach to rest. Slowly reintroduce bland food after symptoms improve.

Give Water

Provide access to fresh water to prevent dangerous dehydration from fluid loss in vomit or diarrhea. Use an oral syringe if needed.

Go to the Vet

If any concerning symptoms develop, get them to a vet immediately. Prompt treatment can help avoid lasting complications.

Precautions for Giving Dogs Syrup

If you choose to share syrup, follow these precautions to keep your dog safe:

Stick to Recommended Amounts

Never let your dog eat directly from the syrup bottle. Carefully measure out the proper dosage based on their size.

Avoid Xylitol Sweetener

Make sure any syrup contains no xylitol, as this sweetener is highly toxic to dogs. Check ingredients lists carefully.

Store Syrup Securely

Keep syrup high up and tightly sealed so dogs can’t get into it when you aren’t looking. Dogs are tempted by sweet smells.

Consider Health Conditions

Dogs with diabetes, allergies, pancreatitis, and other health issues should avoid syrup. Check with your vet first.

Brush Teeth After

Clean your dog’s teeth or give them a dental chew after syrup to remove sugar from their teeth and reduce cavities and gum disease.

Avoid Other Sugary Foods

Too much sugar from multiple sources puts dogs at greater risk. Avoid lots of sugary treats if you give syrup occasionally.


Can puppies have syrup?

No. Syrup should not be given to puppies under 6 months old, as their digestive and immune systems are still developing. Too much sugar can disrupt this important growth period.

What syrup is made for dogs?

Some brands make syrups formulated for dogs, with reduced sugar content and added vitamins. These are safer choices than regular pancake syrups. Always follow package instructions.

Is chocolate syrup bad for dogs?

Yes, chocolate syrup could kill your dog! Chocolate contains toxic substances called methylxanthines that can cause vomiting, seizures, and death. Never let your dog eat chocolate syrup.

Can diabetic dogs have syrup?

In very small amounts, corn syrup may be ok for diabetic dogs, but check with your vet first. Table syrups with large sugar spikes are risky and should be avoided. Monitor blood sugar closely if syrup is given.

Does syrup help dog’s cough?

Some vets recommend small amounts of honey or maple syrup to coat and soothe dog’s irritated throats. Talk to your vet before treating your dog’s cough with syrup. Don’t give it if coughing up phlegm.


While syrup may seem like a tasty treat, it generally should be avoided for dogs. The high sugar content poses risks of obesity, diabetes, dental disease, and stomach upset. Small occasional nibbles of plain maple or corn syrup are unlikely to harm most healthy dogs, but consult your vet before offering syrup to your dog. Monitor carefully for any signs of a negative reaction. With proper precautions and moderation, syrup can be shared safely with dogs in limited amounts.

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