Can Dogs Eat Jello? (Pros and Cons)

can dogs eat jello

As one of the most popular sugar treats for humankind, jellos are produced in a huge selection of flavors with varying sizes. Due to the high demand for this treat, you can see huge store sections that are dedicated just to hold jello-related products.

Partial Benefit of Jello for Dogs

Before going all-in on the drawbacks/benefits of jellos for dogs, I’m going to cover each main ingredient of jello and see how each component contributes to your dog’s overall health. Using a reliable online source called healthline, one serving of jello contains the following nutritional value:

  • 86% Sugar
  • 8% Protein
  • 6% Additives

For reference, the above serving of jello is for dry-mix that can be bought in small containers, and by looking at the nutritional values of jello, you can see that there are going to be more drawbacks than benefits if you include jello into your dog’s diet.

1. Gelatin (Great Source of Protein)

If you saw our post can dog eat brown rice, I mentioned that protein and fats make up 50% of a dog’s diet, and gelatin is a great source of protein that is used to thicken and solidify liquid. As one of the primary ingredients of jello, gelatin is the reason why one serving of jello contains 8% protein. 

This is the only benefit that jello brings to your dog’s health, but this small benefit is far outweighed by many drawbacks that this sugary treat brings. If you really want a healthy snack that you can rely on, just make your homemade version of jello by using gelatin and removing all that excess sugar.

  • Benefit – Gelatin is Great Protein Source
  • Possible Drawback – Gelatin Could Be From Factory-Farmed Animals Due to Mass Processing

Due to its popularity, one sometimes forgets to check where the gelatin is coming from, and this is an important factor since the gelatin from your jello might come from factory-farmed animals. 

If it does, then you need to know that those animals are often subjected to artificial hormones, antibiotics, and growth-enhancing feed, which are not good for your dog’s health. 

Drawbacks of Feeding Gelatin to Your Dog

After covering one and only benefit, we will be going over several drawbacks that are posed by our sugar-coated friend. As expected, excess sugar will be one of our drawbacks, and the additives used when making jello will be the second harmful effect on our list. 

1. High Amounts of Sugar

By taking a quick look at the nutritional values listed at the top, you can see that this snack is nearly 90% sugar, which is a lot for just one serving of jello. If eaten on a regular basis, your dog will be consuming high amounts of sugar, which can lead to high blood pressure and even heart-related diseases.

  • Sugar-Free Jellos = Sugar Removed, Toxic Additives Still Used

In addition, high sugar intake will lead to weight gain, and obesity can cause permanent damage to your dog’s internal organs and joints due to increased weight and mass. Last but not least, obesity can also cause diabetes and further lead to pancreatitis, which can be fatal for dogs. 

2. Artificial Sweeteners

Sometimes used as a substitute for sugar, sweeteners are used to enhance the sweet taste in drinks, snacks, and even food. There are some natural sweeteners out there such as honey, but in most cases, artificial sweeteners are used to make jello. 

  • Artificial Sweeteners Are Also Added in Sugar-Free Jellos, Which Contribute to Sugar Cravings

Similar to sugar, artificial sweeteners are not a good addition to your dog’s diet since they may cause inflammation, cell damage, weight gain, and even cancer in the worst scenario.

3. Artificial Food Coloring

If you look at any type of jellos at the nearby store, trying to find colorless jello might be hard since each flavor is represented with its corresponding color. Food coloring is one of the additives used to make jello, and several types of coloring contain low amounts of carcinogens, which cause cancer.

  • Food Dyes – Harmful For Your Dog and Its Owner

Since a small amount is included in food coloring, it is recommended to avoid any type of food coloring when possible. The Food and Health Department only allowed a small amount to be present in foods, which made food coloring possible in jellos as well. 

4. Preservatives 

Last but not least, the fourth drawback of jellos for dogs and humans alike is the artificial preservatives. Added during the processing stage, BHA is one of the additives used to preserve the shelf life of jellos; however, studies have shown that BHA can cause cancer.

  • Preservative – Extends Shelf Life of Jello, Not Yours

Due to this reason, countries all over the globe have banned BHA to be used as a preservative, but the USA has allowed major food companies to still used BHA as a preserving ingredient even though recent studies prove otherwise. 

Can I Feed My Dog Some Jellos?

Yes, you can feed your dog that sweet snack, but only in small amounts if you are using store-bought jellos. For your dog’s long-term health, I personally recommend that you buy gelatin separately, and make your own homemade snack by buying a sack of grass-fed, organic gelatin. 

If you do that, you will have no worries about the drawbacks listed above since those drawbacks only apply to jellos that were processed by food companies who don’t care about the consumer’s health but the money that you bring into the table. 

Is Gelatin a Bad Ingredient for a Dog’s Diet?

Actually, gelatin is a great ingredient for your dog since it is a great source of protein. Unfortunately, you need to check the source of the gelatin if you are going to buy from a store since it may be from factory-farmed animals. Overloaded with antibiotics and hormones, the animals from factory farms should be avoided since you are eating what they ate!

What Are Some Harmful Ingredients in Processed Jellos?

To sum it all up, sugar is the primary ingredient in jello, which is bad for your dog’s tooth and your dog’s health when consumed in large amounts. Also, artificial sweeteners such as xylitol can be fatal for dogs when consumed in small doses, and food coloring/preservatives of jello are also harmful when consumed by your dog.

Can I Make My Own Homemade Jello?

Absolutely! Remove the sugar and the additives by buying organic, grass-fed gelatin from a nearby store or online. It is way cheaper if you consider the amount that you are getting, and you can add your own delicious ingredients that are good for you and for your dog.

I hope that this post can dogs eat jello was helpful, and if you want more information regarding the food that dogs can eat, please visit the Dogfood Category! If you have really enjoyed this post, please feel free to share this post with the people around you as well. 

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