Can dogs eat Jello? Well, the answer depends on who you ask, but it also depends on what you mean by Jello. So let’s start there.
What is Jello?
Can dogs eat jello? Jello is a brand of fruit-flavored gelatin, typically served as a sweet, fruity dessert. It comes in a variety of flavors and colors. It’s somewhat rubbery or wiggly when prepared, although brittle when dry.
Jello and other gelatin dessert mixes can be purchased in any grocery store. They come with a small packet of colored powder mixed with hot water until the powder dissolves. Then cold water is added, left to chill, and firm up in the fridge for a few hours.
Jello is available in both regular and sugar-free flavors. Some people like to serve Jello with whipped topping. Some like to mix it with fresh or canned fruit.
Gelatin, the stuff Jello is made from, is mostly of protein and the collagen of animal parts. By itself, it’s translucent, colorless, and flavorless. Unflavored, unsweetened gelatin can be purchased in most grocery stores alongside flavored gelatin desserts or in the baking aisle.
According to healthline, gelatin contains several amino acids and has numerous health benefits. It’s good for joint health and brain function. That sounds good for dogs, right?
So Can Dogs Eat Jello?
Can dogs eat jello? Dogs can eat gelatin, the plain, unflavored, unsweetened variety. Some commercial dog foods even contain some gelatin.
However, dogs should not eat sweetened, flavored gelatin desserts like Jello. Those products are usually high in sugar, which is not good for dogs.
According to PetMD, some dogs get an upset stomach, vomiting, and diarrhea from eating sugar. It causes widespread inflammation. It can cause dental problems, like cavities.
Too much sugar also causes obesity in dogs, just like humans. Obesity in dogs leads to joint problems, trouble breathing, and heart disease. Dogs may even develop diabetes.
Jello and other flavored gelatin desserts may contain other ingredients harmful to dogs, such as artificial colors, artificial flavors, and preservatives. These may cause digestive upset or other symptoms.
Did you Know?
We have written many articles about what dogs can eat. But did you know about this one? Can Dogs Eat Jalapenos?
Can Dogs Eat Jello If It’s Sugar-Free?
No, they cannot. Sugar-free Jello and similar products still are not safe for dogs. These products typically include artificial sweeteners and other ingredients that can be highly toxic for dogs.
Xylitol is one such ingredient, though it’s not the only one. Xylitol, sometimes called birch sugar, comes from the bark of birch trees. It is often an artificial sweetener and may be found in many sugar-free desserts, including sugar-free Jello.
According to the Food and Drug Administration, in dogs, xylitol can cause a life-threatening drop in blood sugar, called hypoglycemia. Symptoms of severe hypoglycemia in dogs include vomiting, weakness, staggering around, seizures, and even death. Xylitol may also cause rapid liver failure.
In addition to artificial sweeteners, sugar-free Jello contains artificial colors, artificial flavors, and preservatives that can upset your dog’s tummy, just like regular Jello does. All in all, it’s not a safe or healthy treat for a dog.
What If Your Dog Eats Some Jello?
If your dog does manage to eat some Jello, start by reading the ingredients. If it contains xylitol, call your vet right away. If it doesn’t contain xylitol, keep a close eye on your dog and call your vet if it develops worrisome symptoms.
Symptoms to watch for include vomiting or diarrhea lasting more than 24 hours, lack of appetite for more than 24 hours, lethargy, and behavioral changes. Don’t hesitate to call your vet if you have questions or concerns.
Make a Safe Gelatin Treat for Your Dog
Don’t feed your dog some of your Jello, but if you want to, you can make safe and tasty gelatin treat for your dog.
Buy a package of unflavored, unsweetened gelatin and prepare it according to the directions on the package, except use low sodium beef broth or low sodium chicken broth in places of water.
Don’t add any whipped topping to your dog’s gelatin, but you can garnish it with some fresh berries or cooked carrot slices if you like.
You might not appreciate the flavor, but feel free to share your dog’s gelatin. It’s perfectly safe for humans, too!