Can Dogs Eat Black Licorice

Written by Wen Duan

 can my dog eat black licorice? 

No, it is not a healthy food choice and should therefore be avoided. 

Black licorice contains "licorice (root) extract". Licorice root has glycyrrhizin which is toxic to dogs. It can raise a dog's blood pressure. When glycyrrhizin is consumed on a regular basis the blood pressure can climb to dangerous levels. With that said, the majority of black licorice candy has a very small amount of glycyrrhizin. Black licorice is also an unhealthy treat for your dog because it is high in sugar which contributes to risk of tooth decay, diabetes, and obesity. 

Watch out for sugar free black licorice. Xylitol is becoming a common ingredient in sugar free candies. Xylitol is extremely harmful to dogs. It does not take much Xylitol to kill a dog. Just three grams of Xylitol can kill a 65 pound dog. So make sure to keep these candies out of reach of your dog.  

Brush their teeth! If your dog does get into licorice, make sure to brush their teeth. Licorice sticks are sticky and can stick on your dog's teeth. If your dog does get into licorice candy, you can reduce the negative effects on his teeth by brushing his teeth.  

What are possible symptoms of eating black licorice?

If your dog has eaten black licorice candy, keep an eye out for some mild gastrointestinal distress such as vomiting, and/or diarrhea. As always, it's always good idea to contact your vet if your dog has eaten a large amount black licorice. 

Can dogs have licorice root?

No, they should not have licorice root or extract.

Licorice root is a controversial ingredient for homeopathic vets who like to use natural ingredients but licorice root should still be avoided. Never give your dog licorice extract, licorice in any form (root, dried, chopped), unless approved by your vet.

Even with a prescription, keep in mind that glycyrrhizin is more concentrated in roots and extract. It can lead to high blood pressure, water retention, sodium retention, reduced potassium, and for some even a heart attack. 

Do not feed licorice root or extract to dogs who may be pregnant or nursing as it can affect the function of the dog's uterus. Also do not give it to dogs with kidney or liver disease, cardio vascular conditions, or dogs who suffer from diabetes. 

So maybe licorice is a bad idea, that's ok because we have lots of good ideas for you!

Other Great Treat Ideas for Your Golden Retriever

If you're looking for other great treat ideas for your golden retriever, check out our new book! It's filled with easy homemade treats that are good for you dog and your dog will love them.

About the author

Wen Duan

Wen is a proud dog mom and a frequent contributor to our blog.