Can dogs eat Marshmallows?

Updated 19 March 2024
Read time: 4 mins
article author
Written by Corinne Homer
article author
Reviewed by Dr. Linda Simon
Team Vet

Short answer - no, your dog can’t eat marshmallows. Marshmallows are fluffy, sticky and super sweet - but as you may have guessed, they have no nutritional value for a dog, and some varieties could make them really unwell. Read on for all the answers on why marshmallows aren’t recommended for a dog’s diet…

Are marshmallows bad for dogs?

Marshmallows are a powdery sweet treat for humans, and they aren’t great for a dog’s health. They may feel light and airy, but with the main ingredients in a batch of marshmallows being sugar, gelatin, glucose syrup and water, they definitely contain no nutritional benefit. The high levels of sugar can cause stomach pains or gastrointestinal issues in dogs, or long-term can cause weight gain or illnesses like diabetes.

What to do if your dog eats marshmallows

If your dog has eaten a single marshmallow it’s unlikely to harm them - at worst, they might suffer from gas or a dodgy tummy. If they’ve eaten a lot of marshmallows, or gotten into a bag of them, this is more of a cause for concern. Keep a close eye on your pooch and if they show any signs of sickness, get in touch with a vet immediately.

How much is safe for dogs?

As above, one plain marshmallow isn’t a cause for emergency - though it’s not recommended you feed marshmallows to your dog at all. With so much sugar and glucose and no nutritional value, they are only likely to cause your pooch an unnecessary stomach ache. 

Can they make your dog sick?

Yes, eating a bunch of marshmallows is very likely to make your dog sick (one will probably be fine). A big risk, however, is if the marshmallows contain artificial sweeteners, such as Xylitol (common in sugar-free marshmallows, for example). This is highly toxic to dogs and can even prove lethal by causing a drop in sugar levels that can lead to liver failure.

When to visit the vet

If the marshmallows your dog has eaten contain Xylitol, get them to a vet straight away. If your pooch has eaten a few marshmallows and they appear to have a stomach ache, severe diarrhoea, are vomiting or otherwise displaying strange behaviour, definitely get some medical advice from a vet. 

How to stop your dog eating marshmallows?

The clearest way to stop your dog eating marshmallows is firstly, never give them to your dog in the first place. If they’ve never eaten a marshmallow, they won’t know what they’re missing! 

If you have a dog that eats anything they come across, just be sure to keep human treats such as marshmallows well out of reach of a dog, in a highly placed, secure cupboard. Training your dog not to beg for human sweets with commands such as “leave it” and “not for you” can also help. 

If you want to give your dog a treat, there are lots of alternative snacks that are healthy for them (read on for suggestions). 

Can dogs eat other types of marshmallows?

The overall answer is no, marshmallows are generally a no-go for a dog’s snack! Here are some more specifics surrounding various marshmallows:

Can dogs eat mini marshmallows?

Nope - it doesn’t matter the size, marshmallows aren’t recommended for dogs because they’re so high in sugar, with no nutritional value. Some dog owners use a mini marshmallow to hide a pill if their dog needs to take medication. If your dog struggles to swallow pills, try hiding it in a different treat, such as cheese. Marshmallows are also sticky and chewy, so can get stuck in a dog’s teeth. 

Can dogs eat vegan marshmallows?

Maybe. Dogs can eat vegan marshmallows so long as they don’t contain Xylitol. But even then, they’re still likely to contain high levels of sugar and glucose syrup and therefore won’t have much benefit to a dog, so an alternative snack (a piece of apple maybe) is probably best instead. 

Can dogs eat roasted marshmallows?

Definitely don’t give a roasted marshmallow to your dog. Marshmallows are high in sugar and empty of nutrients even when ‘raw’, but when roasted, they’re gooey and hot, and likely to get stuck in your pooch’s teeth. If they manage to snaffle a roasted marshmallow when you aren’t looking, it’s not a big deal - just be sure not to give them one intentionally. 


To summarise, you shouldn’t include marshmallows in your dog’s diet, even as an occasional treat. Marshmallows offer no nutritional value to a dog, and are high in sugar - though one is unlikely to do them any harm. ‘Sugar-free’ marshmallows could be an even worse option, as artificial sweeteners such as Xylitol can be lethal to a dog. Stick to more nutritious dog treats.

What other foods can dogs safely eat?

Here are some alternative ways to offer your dog a tasty, nutritious treat:

  • Beef jerky for dogs. If your dog likes snacks (don’t they all), this protein-rich jerky is satisfying and tasty.
  • Peanut butter dog dental sticks, delicious chewy treats that are healthy and good for a dog’s teeth, too. 
  • Sweet fruit such as banana, apple or strawberries.

If you’re looking for healthy treats for your dog packed with whole ingredients and nutrients to keep them happy, calm and care-free, check out our range of grain-free dog treats

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