Can Dogs Eat Licorice?

Can Dogs Eat Licorice?

Just like any other dog owner, I have a soft spot for my dogs. Whenever they stare at me with those big puppy eyes while I’m eating, I often give them a little piece of whatever I’m eating.

But, I refrain from giving them any kind of sweets because I know that sweets, in general, are bad for dogs.

But what about licorice? Can dogs eat licorice and is it safe for them to do so? No, dogs should not eat licorice because it is toxic to their health. Licorice contains sugar which can cause diabetes, tooth decay and obesity in dogs. It also contains Glycyrrhizin which is known for raising a dog’s blood pressure to dangerously high levels. Sugar-free licorice contains Xylitol which is extremely dangerous for dogs to consume because it causes low blood sugar, seizures, liver failure, or even death in dogs.

So, as you can see, licorice is very bad for your furry friend. Apart from being very toxic to their health, it also contains no nutritional value so it is best to avoid giving this to your pup.

Why Is Licorice Bad For Dogs?

I’m not going to talk much about sugar here, because most of us are aware of the dangers of consuming large amounts of sugar. Both for humans and dogs alike.

So, let’s have a look at Glycyrrhizin and Xylitol, two ingredients commonly found in licorice.


Licorice is made from the Glycyrrhiza Glabra plant. More specifically, it is made by extracting the molecule of the glycyrrhetinic acid and the glucuronic acid. This contains Glycyrrhizin, and as mentioned above, it raises a dog’s blood pressure very high when consumed in large amounts.


Xylitol is an artificial sweetener found in many sugar-free foods, including sugar-free licorice. While it solves the problems normally associated with high sugar consumption, this substance is harmful to dogs. Ingestion of this sweetener triggers a release of insulin in the body, which causes blood sugar levels to drop quickly. This can result in liver failure even in small amounts.

What To Do If Your Dog Has Eaten Licorice

Look, we all try our best to keep these harmful treats away from our furry friends, but sometimes they manage to get hold of them somehow. Let’s have a look at what you can do, and what to look for when your dog has eaten licorice.

First things first, if your dog has eaten licorice then you need to contact your vet immediately. Time is of the essence here, so make it a priority to speak to your vet if you notice any of the following symptoms:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Difficulty passing stool
  • Diarrhea
  • Hyper activeness
  • Lethargy
  • Muscle weakness
  • Raised blood pressure
  • Vomiting

Can Dogs Eat Red Licorice?

No, dogs should not eat red licorice. Despite the absence of the toxic ingredients found in normal black licorice, red licorice still contains sugar, and this can lead to diabetes, tooth decay, and obesity in dogs if consumed in large amounts.

Can Dogs Eat Twizzlers?

No, dogs should not eat Twizzlers because, just as with red licorice, it contains a lot of sugar. Twizzlers are not flavored with the licorice plant, but the high sugar content can cause diabetes, tooth decay, and obesity in dogs.


Hopefully, you are now aware of the dangers of feeding your furry friend licorice.

You should avoid giving this treat to your dog at all costs because it contains sugar, Glycyrrhizin, and in some cases, Xylitol. These are all bad for your dog’s health, and it also contains no nutritional value.

If, somehow, your dog has managed to eat licorice, get in touch with your vet immediately.


  • Jan Pretorius

    Meet Jan Pretorius, the passionate dog lover and proud owner of the popular canine haven, Born and raised in a small town known for its love of animals, Jan’s journey into the world of dogs began at a young age, fueled by an innate connection with our four-legged companions.