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Should Dogs Really Eat Marshmallows? And Other Funny Dog Questions

Should Dogs Really Eat Marshmallows? And Other Funny Dog Questions

Jun 16, 2021
AUTHOR Dr. Ross Bernstein

Reviewed by Dr. Ross Bernstein

Dr. Ross Bernstein is a seasoned veterinarian who we’re fortunate to have as the head of our Board of Pet Experts. Dr. Ross earned his doctoral degree in veterinary medicine at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, where he was trained under the guidance of some of the country's most renowned veterinary professionals.

There are so many funny questions that you may think of when it comes to your dog. Dogs are pretty ridiculous a lot of the time, and they do some things that we really don’t understand.

Also, we like to share as much of our lives with our dogs as possible, and this leads to some funny questions about what we can and cannot share with our favorite canine companions. Here are the answers to some questions that might have occurred to you, including, “Should dogs really eat marshmallows?” and other funny dog questions.

1. Should Dogs Really Eat Marshmallows?

Big marshmallows are fluffy treats that can be hard to resist, and your dog is bound to beg you for some. While you made tempted to give in and share a few marshmallows from the campfire with your dog, it is really better for dogs not to eat marshmallows regardless of the situation.

Marshmallows are not good for your dog under any conditions. The sugar, corn syrup, and coating do not contain much nutritional value. Additionally, they can be fattening. Most importantly, sweet foodstuffs like this can give your dog a sudden sugar rush, which can be dangerous for a dog that may have diabetes without you knowing it.

Some marshmallows may even be toxic to your dog. They may use Xylitol, which is an artificial sugar that you may not be able to taste but can be toxic to your dog even in small doses. Xylitol can result in extremely low blood sugar, which could cause your dog to have seizures or even die. This would be especially dangerous when you’re far from civilization on a camping trip.

What if your dog has gotten into some marshmallows?

If your dog eats many marshmallows that don’t contain Xylitol, they are very likely to vomit and show other signs of gastrointestinal upset like diarrhea and lack of appetite. A dog that continues to show these symptoms for more than a couple of days (or if the symptoms are very severe) needs to see a veterinarian immediately, as they may be at risk for pancreatitis.

If your dog ingested marshmallows with Xylitol, they will likely show the same symptoms as well as an uncoordinated gait, known as ataxia, or seizures.

What will the veterinarian do if your dog has eaten marshmallows?

Your veterinarian will probably induce vomiting in your dog if they have eaten marshmallows in the last few hours so that prolonged gastrointestinal upset won’t occur. Causing the dog to vomit can also prevent pancreatitis and obstruction of the gastrointestinal tract.

How to resist giving marshmallows to dogs

It can be very hard to resist giving marshmallows to your dog, especially when you are enjoying time together on a camping trip. It can be even harder for children to resist sharing just a little or letting the dog lick their fingers clean. Here are a few ideas for kids (and grown-up) to prevent you from succumbing to the temptation of feeding your dog marshmallows.

  • Keep an alternative treat on hand. Keep high-value treats nearby or in your pocket at all times so you can give your dog something yummy that is still good for them.
  • Make a messy treat for your dog and kids. Make a messy treat that your dog and kids can share, like a banana boat made of a banana slit partly open and smeared with peanut butter.  Your child can enjoy the snack as well as share it with the family dog.
  • Let your dog enjoy the campfire too. Roast something over the fire that your dog can eat, like unsalted chicken skewers or meatballs made especially for dogs.


2. Why do dogs take so long to pick a place to poop?

Have you ever followed your dog around waiting for them to poop and wondering how it could possibly take so long for them to decide on the perfect spot? If the weather is bad or you’re in a rush, it can be even more frustrating to wait for your dog to pick a spot. Here are some of the reasons why your dog may take a long time to pick a place to poop.

They know the walk will be over

Your dog may figure out that when they’re done doing their business, the walk is over. This is especially true if there are certain times when you are more likely to take your dog for a short walk, such as before work. Your dog may deliberately delay going to the bathroom in order to make their walk last a little longer.

They are looking for the smell of other dogs

Some dogs prefer to poop where other dogs have gone before. Your dog may be seeking out the smell of other dogs before they do their business. Depending on how recently other dogs have been near you, your dog may want to journey further in order to find somewhere other dogs have gone recently.

They don’t want to go in their own yard

Many dogs extend potty training not only to the house but to the yard where they play as well. They may even refuse to poop in the yards adjacent to their own. Therefore, you may be dragged at least a few houses down whenever your dog has to go.

They are aligning themselves with the earth’s magnetic fields

A new study finds that dogs align themselves with the earth’s magnetic axis when they poop. They prefer to go with their body aligned with the North-South axis rather than the East-West axis. We don’t know why they do this, but it has been determined that it is common among all kinds of dogs across the world.

While it may seem easy enough for your dog to align themselves in a small amount of space, if there is some other reason your dog doesn’t want to walk on the ground in a certain area, like wet grass, they may look for a while to find somewhere they can stand at the angle they prefer.

3. Why do dogs get “zoomies”?

We’ve all seen it, our dogs running in crazy circles or spinning. The behavior is especially common when dogs are first let out of an enclosure, let outside after being inside, set free from their leash, or otherwise given freedom. It is also brought out by wetness, such as after a bath or when dogs get their feet wet. But why do dogs get zoomies?

Sheer joy

The simplest explanation for why dogs get zoomies is because they are joyful animals. Zoomies seem to be an expression of pure joy and pleasure that is present in dogs of all ages and temperaments. It’s hard not to feel the infectious joy as you watch your dog zoom around your house or yard.

Not enough exercise

If your dog is constantly zooming around your house or small yard and never seems to get tired, they may not be getting enough exercise. Some dogs require much more exercise than others. They may try to wear out this energy themselves by going as fast as they can in the space that they have. If you notice your dog zooming throughout the day, consider giving them more active exercise.

Fun with friends

Having zoomies together is one way that friendly dogs can express their bond. Dogs may zoom together, zoom in intersecting circles, or come close to colliding in the midst of their play. It is also very common for dogs to steal something like a toy or a ball and then zoom around with it in order to get you or another dog to play with them.

4. Why do dogs turn in circles before they lie down?

Have you ever noticed that your dog can’t ever seem to just lie down? They may circle, scratch, and otherwise seem to take forever getting settled on their bed or your couch. It doesn’t matter whether their scratching and pawing have any effect on the surface they’re about to lie on or not. Some dogs may appear compulsive about this routine and circle many times before they lie down, regardless of what you do to make them comfortable.

Dog behaviorists believe that the desire to circle before lying down is an inherited instinct that has been retained from their wolf ancestors. Dogs may turn in circles before they lie down because they know they need to put themselves in a certain kind of position in order to ward off a possible attack.

Some wildlife observers believe that wolves sleep with their noses to the wind in order to pick up the first sense of any kind of threatening smell. Despite the fact that our dogs are not in danger of any kind of attack, they may still feel the desire to position themselves in a particular angle when they lie down.

Wolves also scratch and circle in order to make their bed more comfortable. They may scratch away hot sand to make a cooler bed down below or dig a tight hole to hide in and prevent cold wind from getting to them as much.

When circling is excessive

If your dog circles continuously, especially if they have a tendency of getting up and then circling before lying back down for only a brief period, it may be that your dog is in pain. Arthritis or hip or back problems can make it more difficult for your dog to lie down comfortably, so they may keep trying to get comfortable.

If your dog is circling too much, talk to your veterinarian with concerns about possible issues with pain.


You probably have a lot of interesting questions about your dog. Hopefully, this article answered a few of them. The next time you’re debating with a friend over a campfire, “Should dogs really eat marshmallows?” you can assure them that dogs should not eat marshmallows.

When you see your dog circling over and over before lying down, know that their wolfish ancestors are to blame. And the next time your dog is taking forever to poop, just think about the earth’s axis.

author image

Dr. Ross Bernstein

Member of Alpha Paw’s Board of Pet Experts

Dr. Ross Bernstein is a seasoned veterinarian who we’re fortunate to have as the head of our Board of Pet Experts. Dr. Ross completed his undergraduate studies at Duke University, earning his B.S. in Neuroscience with a minor in Economics and Psychology. He then went on to pursue his doctoral degree in veterinary medicine at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, where he was trained under the guidance of some of the country's most renowned veterinary professionals.

After UC Davis, Dr. Ross completed a one-year rotating internship in Medicine & Surgery at the University of Illinois, College of Veterinary Medicine, and recently completed an additional year of further training in small animal surgery at the Las Vegas Veterinary Specialty Center, where he gained extensive experience in complex soft tissue, orthopedic and neurological procedures.

Dr. Ross shares his home with a Golden Retriever named Duma. We’re lucky to have someone as experienced, knowledgeable, and passionate as Dr. Ross in our pack – not only as our trusted advisor, but also as our good friend. Thank you, Dr. Ross!

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