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Can Dogs Eat Molasses? Types & Facts

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By Nicole Cosgrove

The short answer is yes, but… When it comes to dogs and molasses, your safest bet would be moderation.  As a pet owner, you want to be sure that anything and everything your pooch consumes is appropriate for them. The case of molasses is complicated because it is a concentrated form of sugar. If you have been paying attention, you know that sugar is a major enemy when it comes to weight management.

With 34% of dogs in the United States being overweight and 20% being obese, it is extremely important to be cautious about what goes into your animal’s food bowl.

Nonetheless, there is a version of molasses that is not only safe for dogs to eat but also has nutritional value. In this article, we shall discuss everything you need to know about dogs and molasses.

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What is Molasses?

Light Molasses
Image Credit: iPreech Studio, Shutterstock

Molasses is the product you get after boiling sugarcane and collecting the sugar crystals. It is usually in the form of a syrup, with its color ranging from a light brown to dark brown. Interestingly, this syrup contains nutrients, while the primary product of the manufacturing process (sugar) does not.

The roots of the sugarcane plant go deep into the ground in search of nutrients that are in small supply on the topsoil layers. However, the high temperatures involved in crystallizing sugar effectively ensure that it does not contain those nutrients. Fortunately, they remain in molasses.

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Types of Molasses

Golden Retriever eating
Image Credit: Chendongshan, Shutterstock

As mentioned, there are various types of molasses. They include:

Light Molasses

Light molasses is the most common type of molasses. It is what you are likely to find on a store shelf. Most people know them as “Grandma’s” molasses. Light molasses is the first syrup you get after boiling sugarcane and collecting the first batch of sugar crystals. It is the sweetest type of molasses, which is why it is commonly used as a dessert.

Light molasses is not good for your dog due to its high sugar content.

Dark Molasses

As mentioned, light molasses still contains a lot of sugar. In a bid to extract even more sugar from the syrup, manufacturers often boil light molasses, resulting in dark molasses. This means that dark molasses is a lot less sweet than light molasses.

However, from a nutritional aspect, dark molasses is superior to light molasses. This is because it not only has a lower sugar content but also contains more nutrients. This makes it especially beneficial to humans, which is why it is commonly used for baking and cooking.

Nonetheless, the sugar content in dark molasses is still too high for your dog.

Blackstrap Molasses

In a bid to extract every sugar crystal from sugarcane syrup, manufacturers also boil dark molasses. The result is a dark syrup known as blackstrap molasses. It has a very low sugar content while being the most nutritious of molasses.

Therefore, this is the best type of molasses to feed your dog. Nonetheless, your pooch might not love it too much since it is not as sweet as other molasses types.

Despite that fact, you should consider offering your dog blackstrap molasses treats since it contains nutrients such as:
  • Chromium – This boosts the dog’s tolerance to glucose, thereby improving its ability to metabolize sugars
  • Iron – Helps prevent anemia
  • Calcium and magnesium – Enhance bone density in addition to strengthening the immune system
  • Vitamin B6 – Helps in the synthesis of haemoglobin, promoting fat digestion, and metabolizing amino acids
Blackstrap Molasses
Image Credit: ffolas, Shutterstock

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When it comes to dogs and molasses, stick to blackstrap molasses, as it has the least amount of sugar and is full of nutrients. Light and dark molasses are not good for your pooch due to their high sugar content.

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Authored by

Nicole is the proud mom of Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway, and Baby, a Burmese cat. Originally from Canada, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. Nicole has a strong love for all animals and has experience caring for all types of dogs, from Yorkies to Great Danes. Nicole even worked as a dog sitter during her travels through South America and cared for stray pups — something she ...Read more

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