Can dogs eat jelly or jam? Can they have the same peanut butter and jelly sandwiches we humans love so much? What happens if a dog either eats too much jelly, or the wrong kind? We take a look at the pros and cons of feeding your dog this sweet treat.
Dogs can eat some types of jelly, but this doesn’t mean they should. Jelly is often high in sugar content. Some jellies even contain the artificial sweetener, Xylitol which is harmful to your dog. Jelly also contains excess sodium your dog doesn’t need. And grape jelly is a big no-go for your canine friend.
Can Dogs Eat Jelly?
They can, but it’s advised not to feed jelly to dogs. Jelly is mostly sugar, and most dogs tend to be sensitive to high sugar intake.
You also run the risk of feeding your pup a jelly product with toxic ingredients such as xylitol or toxic fruits. It’s recommended you keep any jelly in a place that’s not accessible to dogs – and avoid sharing any jelly treats or sandwiches with them, no matter how hard they beg!
Is Jelly Poisonous to Dogs?
Most jellies aren’t exactly poisonous to dogs, but simply very unhealthy due to the excessive sugar that’s needed to create it. Millions of dogs suffer from excess weight and obesity, which is often due to a diet high in sugars.
Though dogs can have many fruits we make our jellies out of, they probably shouldn’t eat the jelly itself.
You might think ‘sugar-free’ jelly is okay. No sugars or carbohydrates to cause weight gain must mean it is better, right?
But “sugar-free” means those jellies include man-made setting agents and artificial sweeteners, or substances like xylitol. You already know that xylitol can be very dangerous for dogs.
Why Can’t Dogs Have Xylitol?
The Xylitol that’s contained in a lot of commercial jellies is rapidly released into your dog’s bloodstream when they eat it. In order to compensate for this unusual increase in ‘blood sugar’ (xylitol isn’t exactly sugar, but a sugar alcohol), the dog’s pancreas releases huge amounts of insulin.
Insulin is a hormone that basically allows the body’s cells to use sugar for energy.
This huge surge of insulin leads to an enormous drop in blood sugar in the dog’s body. The dog is now hypoglycemic. It’s a bit similar to a dog suffering from diabetes.
Hypoglycemia can be fatal if untreated. Biologists believe that higher doses of the artificial sweetener can lead to liver failure in dogs.
So why can humans have xylitol while dogs can’t? Xylitol doesn’t cause the human pancreas to release insulin, so people don’t suffer from the same hypoglycemic state dogs will.
Out of all the human foods/substances dogs can’t have, xylitol is one of the more dangerous ones and even a small amount can sometimes lead to death. So before you offer your dog a lick of jelly – check the label to see that it doesn’t contain xylitol!
Can Dogs Eat Strawberry Jelly?
Strawberries aren’t poisonous to dogs. In fact, they’re a healthy treat in moderation! But strawberry jelly is mostly made up of sugar, which turns an otherwise healthy berry treat into a bad option for your dog.
Can Dogs Eat Grape Jelly?
If you’re wondering – is grape jelly bad for dogs – the answer is YES!
The way grapes affect the canine body isn’t as well understood. We do know grapes can cause severe damage to a dog’s kidneys, and ultimately lead to kidney failure.
Some dogs can get away with ingesting a few small grapes, while even a few can be extremely harmful to others. The fact that grape poisoning in dogs isn’t well understood almost makes them more dangerous.
Grape jelly is the worst type of jam you can give your dog. Grapes and grape jelly are harmful to your dog in any quantity. So to avoid an emergency vet visit, avoid feeding your dog anything that contains grapes!
Can Dogs Eat Raspberry Jelly?
Raspberries are a safe berry for dogs to eat, but only in moderation. Once you turn raspberries into jelly however, they’re not so good for your dog due to the very high sugar content.
Can Dogs Eat Cranberry Jelly?
Fresh, tart cranberries and dry cranberries are both safe to feed to your dog in tiny amounts. As with other jams and jellies though, cranberry jelly is too high in sugar to have any benefit to your dog.
Many dried cranberries are also loaded with sugar or artificial sweeteners (like the toxic Xylitol), so ensure you’re careful about feeding these to your pet.
Can Dogs Eat Peanut Butter And Jelly?
Feeding your dog peanut butter, jelly, and bread in a sandwich is basically giving them a whole pile of unhealthy sugar and carbs.
Peanut butter for dogs is safe in small amounts, but you need always ensure you use dog-friendly peanut butter. Some brands contain xylitol, which is toxic to dogs.
Jelly, as we know, isn’t the best thing for dogs to eat either, and when you add in the high carb bread, it all adds up to a not-so-safe and not-so-nutritious treat. Your pup might enjoy it, but it’s best to avoid this type of snack and opt for something that’s nutritious and healthy for your dog.
If your dog has a sweet tooth – check out these dog friendly peanut butter treats:
Jelly Health Risks To Dogs
If you feed jelly regularly to your dog (or maybe he got into a full jar of jelly by himself!) here are the common health problems he might face:
The excessive sugar in jelly causes the pancreas to produce extra enzymes to metabolize all the glucose. This excess of digestive enzymes can inflame your dog’s pancreas, which is extremely painful for your pup.
This happens when sugar levels in your dog’s bloodstream increase, which is why giving your dog sweet treats like jelly is a bad idea. Excess sugars over time can lead to diabetes which causes ongoing health complications for your dog.
Sugar is a prime cause of cavities and gum disease in your dog. Feeding them sugary snacks like jelly can cause bacteria buildup, bad breath, and teeth loss in your dog.
We all know sugar contributes to weight gain – and it’s the same for your dog. Obesity in dogs can lead to a bunch of other health problems, including joint pain and inflammation, and the extra weight can cause your dog to become lethargic and lose interest in playing and walking.
What Should You Do if Your Dog Eats Something Dangerous?
Let’s say your dog eats something harmful, like lots of grape jelly, or peanut butter with xylitol, a bunch of grapes, or even that leftover dark chocolate that you forgot to put out of reach. What should you do?
Your first step should be a phone call to your veterinarian. They will advise you as to the next steps. They might tell you to contact animal poison control, bring your dog in to be seen, watch your dog closely for any symptoms, or they might even tell you need to induce vomiting.
As the author of this article, I had encountered this exact issue! A friend fed her tiny Shih Tzu about three grapes. I was especially worried because the dog was such a small breed.
I told her she might have to force her Shih Tzu to vomit out the contents (the things we have to do as dog owners!) but advised she call her veterinarian first. The point here is to rid the stomach of these toxic substances before they are digested.
The emergency veterinarian (it was late at night) advised she contact animal poison control. She ended up waiting on hold for about 20 minutes, only for them to give her the exact same advice I had: induce vomiting.
Poison control is a fantastic resource, but often you can’t afford to wait when your dog’s health is in danger – especially if this had been something much more toxic than grapes.
How to Induce Vomiting In Your Dog
Be sure to contact your veterinarian prior to doing this! If your normal vet isn’t open, contact an emergency 24-hour vet. Ask them first if you should go ahead and induce vomiting, or if you should instead bring your dog in to be seen.
NEVER medically treat your dog without first speaking to a medical professional.
Spoon feed your dog a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution. You may need to use a turkey baster, as no dog will gladly swallow this after tasting it!
You’ll want to give your pup one teaspoon (one milliliter) per pound of body weight, up to an absolute maximum of 45 ml. A standard teaspoon is around 5ml, so even if your dog is a large breed, make sure you never give them more than 7-8 teaspoons.
This solution will induce your dog’s vomiting reflexes, which will help them expel any toxic food that they’ve eaten.
In summary – Can Dogs Eat Jelly?
Yes dogs can technically eat most types of jelly – but they shouldn’t!
Even if the jam ingredients aren’t directly toxic to your dog, it isn’t healthy for them to have that much sugar, as it can cause dangerous insulin spikes which can lead to pancreatitis, and dental issues caused by sugar decay.