Are Molasses Good for Dogs? The Potential Health Benefits of Molasses
Molasses may not be something that you eat on a regular basis, but you’ve probably seen it listed as an ingredient on many commercial dog treats. That must mean that molasses is safe for dogs to eat?
As a dog owner, you only want the best for your dog’s ultimate health and well-being. As more people learn how many of the whole foods they eat are just as beneficial for their dogs, they are witnessing the healthy benefits for ailing and aging dogs.
It is the same with blackstrap molasses.
What is Molasses?
Molasses is a byproduct of the process that turns sugar beets and sugarcane into pure sugar. It’s used mainly to add flavor and sweeten human foods.
When sugarcane is harvested, the leaves are removed and the juice is harvested. The juice is then boiled to crystallize the sugar in what’s called the first syrup. The first syrup is known as cane syrup, and it has the highest sugar content.
The syrup is boiled again to produce molasses. Molasses has a slightly bitter taste. Blackstrap molasses is the product of a third boiling. It has a rich, bitter flavor because most of the sugar has been crystallized and removed.
There are different kinds of molasses:
- Light molasses – sometimes known as Grandma’s Molasses (which is a brand commonly found in your local grocery store), this molasses has more sugar in it than blackstrap does.
- Dark molasses – This molasses is better for you and your dog than Grandma’s; however, it may be sulphured (processed with sulphur, a chemical) and it is not as pure as blackstrap.
- Unsulphured Blackstrap Molasses – This is the kind that you want to use in your dog’s homemade dog treats and food. It has not been treated with chemicals, and is in its most natural form. It is also the healthiest and most nutritious form of molasses.
Can Dogs Eat Molasses?
In moderation, yes, dogs can eat molasses. With that said, it’s important to check the ingredients on the label. Some brands of molasses contain unhealthy or toxic ingredients for dogs.
Molasses that contains xylitol or artificial sweeteners should be taken off the menu. But chemical-free molasses may actually be a healthy treat when fed in moderation and in small amounts. Dogs love the taste and smell.
This sweetener contains:
- Vitamin B6
Blackstrap molasses is also okay to feed to dogs in moderation. It’s not quite as sweet as regular molasses and contains lots of iron. It’s low in calories, cholesterol, and fat.
The Potential Health Benefits of Molasses
The vitamins and minerals in molasses offer many potential health benefits. For starters, this sweetener can help reduce the risk of anemia.
The calcium will help keep your dog’s bones healthy and strong. It will also reduce the risk of osteoporosis. The chromium can even help prevent diabetes by improving your dog’s glucose tolerance.
The vitamin B6 helps your dog digest fat, metabolize the amino acids in a protein, and even assist with hemoglobin synthesis.
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Light vs Dark Molasses
The darker the molasses, the better. Light molasses, also known as treacle, has more sugar than its dark counterpart.
While dark molasses or even blackstrap is preferred, it’s still important to check the ingredients on the label to make sure it doesn’t contain anything that’s harmful to dogs.
Also, be mindful of the portions you serve your dog. Molasses is still a sweetener, so only give it as an occasional treat and in small amounts.
Pure molasses is a healthy sweetener for hounds too. Go with a quality Blackstrap that doesn’t contain any additives. Just remember that molasses is pretty sweet so be sure to limit portions! Fed in moderation, you can let your dog enjoy.
What do you think about this article? Did you find this information helpful? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section.