Karo Syrup for Dogs – Uses, Advantages, & Disadvantages

Whether you are looking for an effective flavor enhancer for your dog treats or a home remedy to treat constipation in your fur baby. In either case, Karo syrup is one of the best supplements for your dog that comes with lots of other benefits.

But wait! There may be some disadvantages too. So, to know more about the uses, advantages, and disadvantages of Karo Syrup for dogs, keep reading this informative article.

Quick fact: Corn Syrup is known as Golden Syrup in the UK and Gulucose Syrup in Australia.


  • High in Calories
  • Excessive use is not recommended
  • Not recommended as regular food

What is Karo Syrup?

Karo Syrup is one of the popular dog supplements and flavor enhancers for dogs. Commonly known as Corn Syrup, it contains varying amounts of sugars like glucose, maltose, and higher oligosaccharides. As the name corn syrup suggests, it is made from corn or maize starch. They are also used to enhance flavor and soften the textures of dog food products.

Karo Light Corn Syrup

karo syrup on amazon

Karo Dark Corn Syrup

dark corn syrup for dogs

When was it created?

On May 13, 1902, the chemist and expert syrup formulator of a corn products refining company created a couple of corn syrup products. These syrups were introduced as Karo Light and Dark Corn Syrups, which were later got famous as Karo syrup. It is believed that he named this “Karo” to honor his wife, Caroline. The Karo syrup would later have an impact on the lives of dogs, especially the Teacup dogs and Micro dogs.

How was it created?

Karo Syrup was first prepared by combining corn starch with diluted hydrochloric acid and then heating the mixture under pressure. These days it is prepared by a process called bioprocess.

Common uses of Karo Syrup

Karo Syrup is an alternative to sugar in the US and is cheaper than sugar. It has become one of the leading brands of corn syrups. It was promoted especially as an alternative to maple syrup for the preparation of waffles. This has become a regular part of dog treats such as dog cookies. However, it should be noted that grains or corn when stored for a long period have a possibility of growing fungi which releases mycotoxins. Whenever you have to buy corn syrup, make sure it is either Karo Syrup or some other reputable brand.

Another primary use of Karo syrup in dogs is during the treatment of Hypoglycemic shock. During this therapy, 50% dextrose which consists of Karo syrup or Pancake syrup is used. This syrup is applied to the mucous membranes of the animal (dog or cat) through a large syringe if it is not possible to feed the animal. During the Hypoglycemic shock, the dog may suffer from a seizure, muscle tremors, nervousness, or anxiety.

Karo syrup is also a good source of feeding weak puppies that have not been eating well. Puppies lower than the age of 4 months cannot sustain their blood sugar levels like adult dogs and cannot fast for longer periods. It is recommended to take the opinion of your vet before use of any brand of corn syrup.

Karo Syrup as a Flavor Enhancer:

As a flavor enhancer, it can make unappealing or bland foods more palatable for dogs. This can be beneficial for dogs that are picky eaters or have a reduced appetite. Sometimes you need to add various low-taste foods to your dog’s diet, in such a case, karo syrup could be a good addition if used within limits.

Uses of Karo Syrup for different dog diseases:

Note: It is always recommended to get an opinion from your vet before using any OTC medicine or home remedy on your dog.

For Constipation in Dogs:

It can also be used as a home remedy for mild constipation in dogs. The sticky nature of corn syrup can help lubricate the digestive tract, making it easier for dogs to pass stools. If you are unsure about the severity of your pup’s constipation, it’s good to talk to your vet.

For Parvovirus:

Parvovirus is a common disease that affects younger dogs that are not vaccinated. Puppies affected by parvovirus are more likely to suffer from nausea and refuse to eat or drink which results in decreased levels of energy. In such a case, rubbing a small amount of Karo syrup into your puppy’s gums would improve its glucose levels and boost energy.

For Seizures:

Lower blood sugar levels in diabetic dogs are younger puppies may also result in seizures. So, a small amount of glucose (Karo syrup) could be highly beneficial.

Disadvantages of Karo Syrup:

Karo syrup is not toxic but you should avoid adding too much syrup to your dog’s diet as it can increase the risk of diabetes and obesity in your dog. Some other problems that excessive Karo syrup can cause are tooth decay, gum disease, cataracts, and allergies.

It is also said that long-term excessive use of Karo syrup can impede the brain functioning of your dog. There is also a chance of diarrhea and vomiting if the dosage is not properly administered. Therefore the condition should be properly evaluated.

Karo Syrup Substitutes:

If you are looking for healthier substitutes for karo syrup, you have various options for that. The most popular and easily available substitutes for karo syrup are maple syrup, golden syrup, glucose syrup, molasses, stevia, and honey.


In conclusion, Karo syrup has both its advantages and disadvantages. It should not be a regular part of the diet since it is high in calories. The use of Karo syrup is highly dependent upon each dog case because every dog is different.

In certain cases, the use of Karo syrup can be as good as lifesaving. It is also easily available which means in an emergency, you can use it to help your pet. The uses will also vary by the size, age, and condition of the dog. It is advised to consult a vet before deciding to feed Karo syrup to your pet.