Can Dogs Eat Jelly Beans?

By John Martin - August 25, 2021

Jelly beans in a bowl

Who doesn’t love jelly beans? These colorful, glossy, crunchy and sweet bean-shaped candies with their jelly-like inners are hugely popular among both kids and adults alike. So, how can your furry pooch be far behind?

And, when you’re delving into a bag of these sweet goodies, your furry pooch stands up on his hind legs, seemingly drooling and begging for his share of the treats. But before you hand over some of the jelly beans for your pup to munch on, stop to think, can dogs eat jelly beans?

While jelly beans are fine as once-in-a-while treats for humans, they are quite unhealthy for your furry pooch. So, the answer to the question, “can dogs eat jelly beans?” is “no”; it is not safe for your dogs to consume jelly beans. In this article, we’ll discuss why dogs should not eat jelly beans and what to do if your pet has eaten some.

Is Eating Jelly Beans Safe for My Dog?

Jelly beans are generally loaded with sugar and several ingredients such as artificial flavorings, color, caffeine and pectin that can be unhealthy for your dog. In fact, the sugar-free version of jelly beans contains xylitol, which is toxic to dogs.

Why Are Jelly Beans Bad for Dogs?

Jelly beans are quite bad for dogs because of the sugar, artificial additives and other ingredients it contains which can be harmful to your pet’s health. According to the USDA, 100 grams of jelly beans has 366 calories of which, 90.24 grams of carbs and 80.49 grams of sugar, all of which have no nutritional value for your pet. Jelly beans contain ingredients such as:


Jelly beans have a very high sugar content, which is not toxic; however, it is not healthy for dogs. Consuming a lot of sugar not only disrupts your pet’s digestive system and causes an upset stomach, diarrhea or vomiting, but in the long run, it can cause several health problems like tooth decay, diabetes, heart disease, arthritis and obesity.


Mostly found in sugar-free candies, chewing gum, cakes, beverages, etc., often sugar-free jelly beans contain xylitol or sugar alcohol, which is highly toxic to your pooch, even in very small quantities. When consumed, xylitol is absorbed into the bloodstream and causes the pancreas to release large amounts of insulin.

When this happens, your dog can suffer from hypoglycemia or low blood sugar, which is accompanied by symptoms such as lethargy, vomiting, drowsiness, drooling excessively, unsteady movements, confusion, seizures and liver failure. It can cause your dog to go into a coma and even cause death.

You can see the impact of xylitol on your pet as quickly as in 30 minutes; however, it depends on how quickly your pet’s body digests the jelly beans. So, if your pooch has consumed any jelly beans containing xylitol, then consult your vet immediately and ensure that your dog gets immediate medical treatment.

Related: Can Dogs Eat Gummy Bears?


Often, some types of jelly beans contain caffeine, which provides an energy boost and usually, these varieties of jelly beans have higher sugar content. Caffeine is toxic to dogs, even in very small quantities.

The caffeine in the jelly beans can overstimulate your pooch’s nervous system, causing your pet’s heart rate to get increased, making your pet extremely hyper and restless.

Caffeine can also cause other serious side effects such as upset stomach, increased blood pressure, seizure and also cause your pet to collapse. If your pet is showing symptoms such as extra energy, fast heartbeats, hyperthermia and shaking, then take him to the vet immediately.

Pectin or Starch

Often used in jelly beans as a gelling agent, pectin is sometimes used in small doses to cure dogs suffering from diarrhea as the pectin helps to firm up the stools. However, consuming too much pectin can cause your pet to have an upset stomach and constipation.


Often, manufacturers of jelly beans use artificial flavorings, colors and other additives in the manufacturing process. While not all additives are bad; however, it may be difficult to identify which has been included in the jelly bean brand you have chosen and some additives can cause gastrointestinal issues for your pet. Some additives can also cause an allergic reaction in your pet.

Are Licorice Jelly Beans Safe for My Dog?

Black-colored jelly beans or licorice jelly beans available in the market contain licorice that is used as a flavoring along with other ingredients such as sugar, corn starch, corn syrup, beeswax, carnauba wax, maltodextrin and artificial flavors.

Many of the ingredients contained in the licorice jelly beans are harmful to your dog and even toxic, causing serious health problems.

Licorice is especially harmful to dogs because black licorice contains glycyrrhizin, which leads to an increase in the dog’s blood pressure considerably. And, if your pet has eaten a large amount of licorice jelly beans and exhibits some or all of the symptoms such as stomach upset, diarrhea, vomiting, increased blood pressure and muscle weakness, then take him to the vet so that he gets immediate medical attention.

Also Read: Can Dogs Eat Cupcakes?

Are Jelly Babies Okay for My Dog to Eat?

Often confused with each other, jelly babies are quite different compared to jelly beans. Jelly beans usually contain sugar and have a hard sugar coating, while jelly babies are soft and contain sugar and gelatin, which may be less harmful to your dog. Both jelly beans and jelly babies are quite different in terms of the texture, ingredients contained and taste.

While as such, there is nothing in jelly babies that is toxic to dogs, the amount of sugar contained in them is not good for your pooch and can cause serious health issues in the long run. So, jelly babies may not be a good thing for your furry pooch in large quantities.

What to Do If Your Dog Ate Jelly Beans?

If you have left a couple of jelly beans around, which your furry pooch has promptly gobbled up, it probably will not hurt your pet. At the most, your pooch will suffer from an upset stomach, vomiting or diarrhea.

And, if your pooch starts vomiting or has diarrhea, he can get dehydrated. So, give him plenty of water to drink. Also, jelly beans contain artificial colors, preservatives and flavorings that can cause an allergic reaction in your pet.

It is always a good idea to check the ingredients contained in the jelly beans to ensure that they don’t contain xylitol because xylitol is toxic to dogs.

Keep a close watch on your pooch for 48 hours and lookout for signs of toxicity, which include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, drooling and tremors. And, if you notice any of these symptoms or any changes in the way your dog is behaving after consuming the jelly beans, then you must speak with your vet immediately and seek medical treatment.

Also Read: Can Dogs Eat Turkey Bacon?

The Final Word

Some foods are unsuitable for dogs and it is best not to give them these foods, even as a one-off treat and jelly beans are one of them. While these colorful candies may be fun and tasty for humans, they are not recommended for your furry friend.

Jelly beans are not only high in sugar but also contain plenty of synthetic and other ingredients that may be harmful and even toxic to your pet.

However, if your furry pal has managed to lay his paws on a few jelly beans and has gobbled them up, don’t panic. A couple of them should not cause any serious problems. However, if your pet has eaten more than a few jelly beans, check the ingredients in the jelly beans.

If it contains xylitol or caffeine, then keep a watch on your pet and if he displays any worrying symptoms, then take him to the vet immediately. And, if you want to give your pooch a treat for being good, then opt for healthy treats such as fruits, veggies, peanut butter and cooked lean meat.