jam or jelly in a pot next to a croissant

Can Dogs Eat Jelly?

Dogs eat all sorts of strange things.

As owners, we need to know what’s suitable for our pets to eat.  We want to keep our dogs away from harm, rewarding them with safe suitable snacks. It’s surprising how many human foods are toxic to dogs and responsible owners will want to know what’s safe and what’s not.  Which is why you’re asking – can dogs eat jelly? Rather than just spooning it into their bowl.

Jelly means different things depending on where you are in the world. 

For example: in the US, jelly is a sugary fruit preserve spread on bread but in the UK, the same thing is called jam. 

Equally, the brightly colored gelatinous dessert enjoyed at children’s birthday parties is known as jelly in the UK, but it’s jello in the US.

You may have questions about both sorts and fortunately, the advice is pretty consistent both for jelly and jello.

Can Dogs Eat Jelly / Can Dogs Eat Jam?

Jelly or jam isn’t toxic to dogs in itself. 

It’s essentially just pureed cooked fruit with added sugar but much like strawberry yoghurt, it’s what’s put into the jelly and jam afterwards that can make it dangerous for dogs.

Xylitol is a sweetener used in some brands of jelly and jam. 

It’s toxic to dogs. 

If your dog has eaten something containing xylitol, contact your veterinarian immediately as even a small amount can be fatal. Xylitol causes a dramatic drop in a dog’s blood pressure leading to vomiting, weakness, tremors, seizures and can put them into a coma.  Speed is key.  Getting a dog to the veterinarian as quickly as you can make all the difference. Dogs have died from eating it.

Always check the ingredients before you give your dog anything meant for humans.  Xylitol is sometimes found in low-sugar or sugar-free products. It’s in chewing gum and toothpaste, too.   

Jelly and jams have a high sugar content so you’ll often see sugar-free options.  They’ll all use artificial or naturally occurring sweeteners to make them taste more palatable to humans.  Ideally, you shouldn’t feed your dog anything with sweeteners in.  Whilst others aren’t as dangerous as xylitol, ones such as stevia or aspartame may still cause an upset stomach.

Of course, sometimes pets help themselves to things when we’re not around.  It’s important to make sure dangerous or unsuitable products are secured in safe places.  If you’re worried about something your dog has eaten, check the ingredients and call a veterinarian.

Be careful about pectin, too.  You’ll sometimes see it listed in the ingredients for jam or jelly.  It’s used by vets to treat diarrhoea in dogs so if your dog eats too much of it, they could become constipated which could turn into something that needs treating urgently.

We wouldn’t advise giving your dog jam, jelly or jello for several reasons:

There’s a chance they may contain xylitol.

They contain lots of sugar.  High sugar diets put your dog at risk of all kinds of health problems including diabetes, tooth decay and obesity.  With so many tasty dog treats on the market, there’s plenty of safe foods to buy for your dog. Some manage to be both tasty and healthy, too.

Beware of sugar-free versions as they’ll contain sweeteners and other ingredients that could make your dog ill.

Jelly has no nutritional benefit for dogs.

If you’d like to give your dog a treat, you can buy plain Greek yoghurt (after checking the ingredients very carefully, of course).  We sometimes chop strawberries up and throw those in, too. It’s a tasty treat for them and can help build gut health – providing your dog isn’t lactose intolerant.

If you’re set on giving your dog jello, then why not buy plain gelatine and make some of the snacks listed here. We haven’t made them so we can’t vouch for what they’re like.  Just remember to buy plain and not flavored gelatine.

Can Dogs Eat Hartley’s Jelly?

Hartley’s Jelly is a brand sold in the UK. 

We’ve had a look at some of their products and they don’t appear to contain either Xylitol or pectin.  Always double check before giving any to your dog as production methods can change quickly and our information may be out of date.  We did notice, however, that sugar and fructose are the two top ingredients in many of their jelly products so we wouldn’t advise giving this to your dog.

Can Dogs Eat Jelly Beans?

Again, check the ingredients for xylitol and pectin.

Too many jelly beans could lead to an upset stomach.  We don’t think it’s worth the stress of having to clean it up so we’d recommend buying dog treats that your pet can enjoy safely.

It’s xylitol that makes jelly, jello, and jam a potentially fatal ingredient.  Always read the label before giving your dog anything to eat especially it’s meant for humans.

Dogs may love the sweetness but we don’t think jelly is a suitable treat for pets. We’d rather give them their own tasty treat to enjoy without the risk of a trip to the vets. 

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