Although Fruit Roll-Ups were initially marketed as a fun way to make kids eat more fruit back in the 1980s, we all know that the most popular store-bought ones contain little or no real fruits. Instead, they are highly processed and have a lot of sugar, syrup, artificial flavors, colors, and a bunch of other unhealthy ingredients.
Even homemade fruit roll-ups need a sweetener of some sort.
Some recipes and brands offer roll-ups that contain the artificial sweetener Xylitol, which is highly toxic for dogs.
And excessive amounts of sugar are bad for humans and canines as well.
This means that the answer to the question – “can dogs eat fruit roll-ups?” is yes, they can, but they definitely shouldn’t.
Can I Give My Dog Fruit Roll-Ups?
Since these popular sweets contain primarily carbohydrates and sugar, and very little or no actual fruits, they are definitely not suitable for dogs.
Unless they contain Xylitol or another ingredient toxic to them, fruit roll-ups are not poisonous to canines. However, the dog may develop symptoms of diabetes, obesity, and lethargy due to the excessive amounts of sugar and carbs in the food.
These sweets carry no nutritional value to pups unless you make a dog-friendly recipe using real fruit puree and no sweeteners.
Some artificial flavors and colors used to make them can also harm dogs.
What Are The Ingredients In Store-Bought Fruit Roll-Ups?
According to its label, a Variety Pack of Fruit Roll-Ups offered by Betty Crocker, which is the best-known brand in the US, contains the following ingredients:
- Corn Syrup
- Pear Puree Concentrate
- Palm Oil
Contains 2 % or less of:
- Sodium Citrate
- Citric Acid
- Malic Acid
- Fruit Pectin
- Natural Flavor
- Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)
- Acetylated Monoglycerides
- Color (red – 40, yellows – 5 & 6, blue – 1)
Nutrition Facts Of The Betty Crocker Fruit Roll-Ups Variety Pack (per roll)
- Calories 50
- Total fat – 1g
- Saturated fat – 0.5g
- Cholesterol – 0mg
- Total carbohydrates – 12g
- Sugars – 7g, including 6g of added sugars
- Protein – 0g
- Vitamin C – 9mg
As you can see, there is not one single ingredient that is healthy or beneficial for your dog in these particular popular sweets.
The sugar, syrup, carbs, and fats can be pretty unhealthy for canines.
Your dog’s diet should be balanced, complete, and made up of mostly protein, with added healthy carbohydrates, fats, and essential micronutrients.
Roll-ups are loaded with sugar, carbs, and fat and can cause your dog to become lethargic and overweight.
Obesity shortens the lifespan of canines considerably. It can cause joint and mobility problems, increase the risk of heart disease and diabetes and cause tooth decay in pups.
Plus, the added preservatives, artificial colors, and flavors can be downright harmful to pups.
When consumed in sufficient quantities, citric acid can also be poisonous for dogs.
In other words, fruit roll-ups, especially store-bought ones, are not recommended for dogs.
Choosing a healthier treat option is much better if you want to reward your furry friend with something deliciously sweet yet safer. The best way to go is to choose a fresh fruit safe for dogs, such as apples, watermelon, strawberries, or others.
In general, it is not recommended to give young puppies under one-year-old any human food, let alone sugary and highly processed fruit roll-ups.
What Are Some Healthy Alternatives To Fruit Roll-Ups For Dogs
Instead of giving your four-legged companion fruit roll-ups, you can add some much healthier and delicious fresh fruits to its diet.
Keep in mind that not all fruits and vegs are safe for dogs. Grapes, currants, raisins, and others can be toxic for dogs.
Here are the best fruits which you can give to your furry friend occasionally and in moderation:
- Apples (without the cores or seeds)
- Peaches (without the pit)
- Watermelon (without the rind)
Make sure to consult with your veterinarian before adding any kind of fruit to your pet’s diet.
When introducing a new type of fruit, start with small quantities, and monitor your dog for any adverse reactions such as digestive upsets or allergies.
The rule of thumb is that the fruits or any other treats outside the pup’s main dog food should take up no more than 10% of its daily recommended calorie intake. So, if your furry friend needs 400 calories per day, the treats should be no more than 40 calories, while its regular food should provide the remaining 360 calories.
Also, remember that fruits contain sugar, so do not go overboard with these treats.