My Dog Ate Skittles and Seems Fine – What Should I Do?

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Key Takeaways:

  • Skittles don’t contain toxic ingredients, but they can upset your dog’s tummy.
  • If you suspect your dog consumed any packaging, contact your veterinarian and follow his instructions.
  • If your dog doesn’t return to normal in 1-2 days or he develops concerning symptoms, contact your veterinarian.

You recently opened a package of Skittles candies to enjoy a sweet treat. After consuming part of the package, you head to the kitchen to grab a glass of water. While you’re out of the room, your dog snatches the open package and begins to munch down the colorful candies. Should you be concerned?

Skittles are a popular treat that provides a variety of flavored candies. No matter whether you choose the traditional fruit flavors, sour Skittles, or another variety, they’re packed with sugars and other ingredients that can give your puppy a tummy ache.

Fortunately, the candies don’t include toxic ingredients. However, if your dog snacks on a lot of Skittles or also ingests the packaging, there can be trouble with bloating, choking, or obstructions. 

If your dog eats Skittles without the packaging, it’s usually ok to monitor him at home. However, if you notice signs of severe illness, your dog doesn’t improve in 1-2 days, or you think he swallowed some packaging, you should call your vet.

How many Skittles does it take to make my dog sick?

A few Skittles here and there are probably safe for your pooch. However, we don’t recommend that you use these or other candies as a regular treat for your dog. Over time, sugary snacks can predispose your furbaby to diabetes.

If your dog snarfs a handful or package of Skittles, he’s likely to experience gastric upset. The candy’s ingredients include:

  • Sugar
  • Corn syrup
  • Palm kernel oil
  • Artificial and natural colors/flavors

Of course, if your dog also swallows the packaging, it can stick in the throat or intestines causing choking or a blockage, which are both life-threatening emergencies. Contact your veterinarian immediately if you suspect that your dog ate some packaging.

Usually, a few Skittles are safe for dogs if they eat them, but you shouldn’t use them as a treat. A handful or package of candies can cause gastric upset and make your dog sick. If your pup swallows any packaging, call your vet immediately.

What should I do if my dog ate Skittles?

If you walk into the room and find your dog snarfing Skittles

  • Stop the behavior immediately and remove any remaining candies from his reach
  • Determine how many Skittles your dog ate and assess whether he ate any packaging
  • Monitor your pooch
  • If your pup has minor vomiting and diarrhea, consider a 1-2 meal fast and bland food for a few days
  • Provide fresh drinking water to prevent dehydration

You should expect some gastric upset that may include diarrhea and vomiting. As long as the symptoms are mild, you should be able to monitor your pup at home. If you notice severe symptoms or your dog also ingested packaging, contact your veterinarian and follow his instructions.

When you catch your dog eating Skittles, stop him and remove the candies. Determine how many he ate and whether he swallowed any packaging. Monitor your dog. You can probably treat minor gastric upsets at home, but if the symptoms are severe or your dog ate packaging, you should contact your veterinarian.

When should I take my dog to the vet?

As long as your dog’s symptoms are mild, you should be able to monitor him at home and provide nursing care. On the other hand, take your dog to the vet if

  • Mild diarrhea/vomiting persists for more than 1-2 days
  • Your dog has severe vomiting/diarrhea 
  • Your dog stops eating
  • Your dog is lethargic
  • Your dog looks bloated
  • Your dog is pawing at his mouth/face
  • Your dog is gagging or attempting to cough

You can probably monitor your dog at home if he has mild symptoms for a day or two. However, if you see signs of choking, bloating, or obstruction take your furbaby to your veterinarian. It’s also best to visit the vet if symptoms of illness last more than a few days.

What if my dog ate plenty of Skittles but seems fine?

Unless your dog swallows the wrapper and starts choking, you probably won’t see signs of illness immediately after he eats a pile of Skittles. It takes time for the stomach to digest the candy and release the ingredients, It can take a few hours for signs of digestive upset to surface.

When wrappers make it down the esophagus, they can lodge in the stomach or intestine and block the food from passing through the digestive system. It may take several hours for the packaging to reach the intestines and cause an obstruction. That’s why you need to observe your dog for the next several days.

Unless your dog starts choking, you probably won’t see immediate signs of illness. It may take a few hours for the stomach do digest the Skittles and release the irritating ingredients. If your pup swallows packaging that safely reaches the stomach, it could be several hours before it blocks the digestive system.

What are signs of an emergency after my dog eats Skittles?

Dogs can suffer from choking, bloat, or an obstruction if they eat Skittles. The symptoms vary depending on the condition.


Signs of choking include

  • Excessive drooling
  • Pawing at the face/mouth
  • Gagging
  • Coughing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Restlessness


The sugar and palm oil in Skittles can generate gas in the stomach. If enough gas forms, you dog may develop a painful condition known as bloat. Signs of bloat include

  • Retching or heaving 
  • Spitting up white foam but no food
  • Restlessness and anxiety/pacing
  • Distended abdomen
  • Looking back at the abdomen/stomach
  • Panting and drooling
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Standing in a praying/downward dog position to relieve pressure on the abdomen
  • Pale gums
  • Collapse


When the packaging makes its way to the intestines or blocks the exit from the stomach to the intestines, you may see signs like

  • Early diarrhea followed by constipation and straining to defecate later on
  • Abdominal pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Hunched appearance
  • Restlessness/reluctance to lie down
  • Flatulence
  • Dehydration
  • Depression

Anytime you see symptoms of any of the above conditions, you should take your dog to the vet immediately.

If your dog eats Skittles, the candies or packaging can cause choking, bloat, or obstruction, each of which is an emergency. The symptoms vary somewhat but may include digestive upset, difficulty breathing, gagging, signs of abdominal pain, and restlessness. If you notice symptoms of any of these conditions, head to the vet.

What happens to dogs that eat Skittles?

When dogs east Skittles, the ingredients can irritate the stomach and cause nausea and vomiting. Additionally, the palm oil and sugars serve as natural laxatives causing cramping, bloating, and diarrhea. 

The greater concern occurs if your pooch also ingests the packaging. Dogs cannot digest the materials, so the wrapper will either get stuck in the throat on the way down or linger in the stomach until it reaches the pylorus or junction between the stomach and small intestines. The packaging may lodge in the narrow opening or in the tubular small intestines. 

When packaging causes an obstruction, the materials press against lining of the gut which leads to tissue damage and cell death. The dying or damaged cells release toxins into the bloodstream. Additionally, food cannot pass through the system and exit the body. The backup of digestive materials distends the stomach causing discomfort. 

The ingredients found in Skittles can irritate the stomach or act as laxatives thus causing digestive issues. Wrappers are a more severe threat because they can stick in the throat causing choking or lodge in the gastrointestinal tract causing an obstruction.

How will my vet treat my dog if he ate Skittles?

In some cases, your veterinarian mayallow you to monitor your dog at home. But if the symptoms continue or are severe, he’ll likley recommend you bring your pooch in for an examination and treatment.

During the exam, your veterinarian will ask you how many Skittles your dog ate, whether he swallowed any packaging, and if you have noticed any concerning symptoms. Depending on his initial findings, the doctor may also

  • Take an x-ray or ultrasound
  • Perform endoscopy 
  • Palpate the abdomen 
  • Run bloodwork

Treatment will depend on the condition caused by the Skittles or packaging but may include:

  • IV fluids to correct dehydration
  • Passing a stomach tube down the throat to relieve bloating
  • Fasting and bland diet for a few days 
  • Sedating your dog to remove packaging that’s stuck in the throat
  • Endoscopy to remove packaging from the stomach
  • Surgical correction of gastrointestinal obstructions
  •  Anitdiarrheal or antiemetic medications

Your veterinarian will examine your dog and ask you details to determine how many Skittles he ate and whether he swallowed any packaging. He may also use diagnostic tests to identify any conditions requiring attention. Treatment will depend on the doctor’s findings but may include supportive care, medical, or surgical options.

How long is the recovery?

The recovery period for your dog will vary depending on his condition and the type of treatment he receives. 

Dogs usually recover and resume normal activities in 1-2 days when they develop the following conditions. 

  • Mild to moderate digestive upset
  • Choking. Dogs
  • Simple bloat and gastric decompression
  • Endoscopic removal of Skittles packaging

On the other hand, your furbaby will require 10 days to a few weeks or more to recover fully from surgical correction of an obstruction.

How long it takes for your dog to recover will depend on the condition he develops. In many instances, your furbaby may be back to normal in 1-2 days. However, when he needs surgery, the recovery period is longer.

The Final Woof

Fortunately, Skittles are not toxic to dogs, but they can still make your furbaby sick if he eats some. The candies contain sugars, palm oil, and some artificial flavors/colors that may stimulate digestive upset. If your pooch swallows the packaging, the material can get stuck in the throat or the gastrointestinal tract so that your dog chokes or has an obstruction. It may take several hours to see signs of trouble.

If your dog eats Skittles without the packaging, you can probably monitor him at home. If any concerning signs surface, or he doesn’t return to normal in 1-2 days, contact your vet. Choking, bloat, and obstructions are life-threatening conditions that require veterinary attention. When dogs require veterinary care, the doctor will take a history, perform a physical exam, and run tests to diagnose the underlying condition. Treatment and recovery vary depending on the affects of the Skittles or packaging.

Photo of author
Dr. Libby Guise earned her DVM from the University of Minnesota in 1994. After working in private practice in Wisconsin for two years, she joined the USDA as a Veterinary Medical Officer. In 2011, Libby came home to focus on raising and teaching her adoptive daughter. She lives in Wisconsin with her daughter, husband, and two furbabies: Charis, a lab-mix rescue pup, and Chesed, a Springer Spaniel.

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