Whether you go out and buy a box to decorate the tree, or a few strays make their way into the house as part of a gift or cookie tray, it is inevitable that we all end up with candy canes during the holidays, right?

For those with dogs in the house, it is important to remember that the striped holiday treats can really be harmful, even fatal, to our canine companions.

According to an article on rover.com

Sugar-free candy canes sometimes contain xylitol, which can be deadly for your dog. Consuming this alternative sweetener can result in a drop in blood sugar and liver damage in dogs.  Some signs that your dog has consumed something containing xylitol include:

  • Loss of motor control
  • Tremors
  • Seizures

It is important to get your dog to the vet immediately if you think they may have consumed a candy cane, or other treat that may cause the symptoms above.

Further research on the impact of xylitol indicated that it is found in various other foods that are equally harmful to dogs.  You can read more here from a story on wideopenpets.com.  The article explains that

Since xylitol toxicity can cause both low blood glucose and low potassium levels, the vet will do blood work to rule out a number of things. Signs of hypoglycemia and even severe hypoglycemia are common. It is important to share with your vet or dvm how much Xylitol they potentially got into it and what the food was they ingested. Was it sugar-free chewing gum like Trident, chewable vitamins, or breath mints? All of these have the potential to have toxic effects

Play it safe, especially when it comes to candy canes this holiday season.