You’ve heard of jello, everyone has, and most have eaten it at one time or another, even if it was when they were kids; I’m betting you’ve eaten it yourself. But can dogs eat jello? If you’re still a fan and eating jello to this day, do you ever consider feeding a spoon or two of jello to your dog?
Well, my advice is to eat it yourself by all means, but don’t feed it to your dog. Your dog doesn’t need it, and it’s not suitable for dogs in general. Jello isn’t going to harm them in a toxic kind of way, but undoubtedly it’s not going to improve his diet, and it will certainly not add anything he’s missing from his diet.
So what’s the point in providing him a snack of jello. I know we all want to show kindness and love to our dogs; after all, they are part of our family, and we only want them to be happy.
But that sentiment doesn’t stretch to feeding dogs useless and pointless foods that have no health or nutritional benefits for them.
However, if you have decided that you want to feed your dog jello, dogs can eat jello without any severe impact on their health. Still, in all honesty, we would suggest there are much better and healthier organic, whole food desserts that are so much healthier to feed your dog than jello.
Let’s talk about the good and the bad about jello and why feeding him sugary snacks is damaging to your dog’s long-term health.
What Is Jello?
Jello is primarily four ingredients:
- Food coloring
- Sugar or artificial sweetener and artificial flavoring
Gelatin is the ingredient that gives jello that wobbly shape and squeezy feel; what is gelatin? Gelatin is a processed protein, collagen. This protein is found in humans and most animals and comprises one-third of all protein in the body.
Collagen is involved in strengthening the body’s connective tissue, which gives the tissues their elasticity. For example, as someone ages and you pinch the skin, it doesn’t snap back as quickly as it would in a younger person; the body’s joints feel stiff because tendons are less flexible. Gelatin can come from various cow and pig bones, hides, and connective tissues; jello gelatin tends to be from pigskin.
Collagen doesn’t dissolve in water, so it needs a special treatment for it to become gelatin. Collagen manufacturers treat the animal body parts to dissolve the collagen; then, they boil the mixture. What’s left is a gelatin solution, which is chilled, so it forms a jelly-type substance. That’s not the end of the procedure because now it needs to be air-dried. The dried gelatin is ground into a fine powder if it’s to be used to make jello.
Sugar And Artificial Sweeteners Are Bad For Dogs
There’s little to recommend jello as a desirable snack for dogs (or humans, for that matter). Since when has sugar, artificial sweeteners, and artificial flavors been suitable for dogs? Sugar is bad enough for dogs, but artificial sweeteners may well contain the ingredient xylitol, which is reportedly very bad for dogs to consume. If there are any positives to feeding jello to your dog, the negatives undoubtedly outweigh them.
Gelatin is as pure protein as you’re likely to find and by itself is suitable for your dog (although it lacks some essential amino acids). But as mentioned, providing gelatin in the form of jello is not doing anything to improve your dog’s diet, and long term, the sugar and artificial sweeteners and flavorings will only damage your dog’s health.
Is It OK For Dogs To Eat Different Flavor Jello?
Jello is available in several flavors, from strawberry, lime, lemon, orange, and other flavors in between. But the reality is it’s all the same because the ‘fruit’ flavors are artificial. Plus, you need to check what the particular brand of jello is adding to the ingredients. If it’s sugar-free, you might feel that’s good, but they are probably adding artificial sweeteners.
Many natural fruits are safe and healthy for dogs to eat, but there’s no actual fruit in jello. If you want to give your dog jello, then search for the unsweetened and no flavor variety.
Are Jello Shots Safe For Dogs?
Mix water flavored gelatin and alcohol, typically vodka, and let the mix set in a small paper cup, and you have a jello shot. Fantastic if you’re hosting a party and want to get everybody in the mood.
But feeding jello shots to your dog, of course not! It would be downright cruel. Never mind the artificial flavoring; alcohol should never under any circumstances be given to a dog.
Make Homemade Jello For Dogs Instead
If you’re convinced, your dog will love some jello and insist on giving some to your dog make some homemade jello. It’s by far the safest and healthiest way to let your dog enjoy some.
Dog-friendly jello is under your control, and you can include anything healthy in the jello you wish. Plus, because you’re making it yourself, you won’t be adding artificial sweeteners, flavorings, or sugar to the mix.
Purchase some powdered gelatin and add to water to make dog treats with the same texture as jello. Put the mix in small paper cups or even an old ice tray and pop them in the fridge. To make them more exciting, place some small pieces of your dog’s favorite treat in the mix as well. Plain gelatin might not hold any interest for your dog, but once your dog knows his favorite treat is in there, you can bet he’ll end up loving them.
Can Your Dog Eat Gelatin?
How about gelatin? Is it good for your dog, and should you bother feeding it to your dog, not as jello but pure gelatin?
Yes, you should; it’s excellent for dogs, and adding some to his food will do him good. In the wild, dogs would get gelatin from eating animals they have killed, and we mentioned where gelatin comes from earlier in the article. The gelatin in that form contains the amino acid glycine, which can help protect your dog against brain damage and seizures.
There is medical evidence to support the fact that gelatin has several health benefits for dogs. For example:
- Bone and skin health
- Gelatin fights inflammation
- Helps digestion
In 2000 R W Moskowitz performed a clinical trial into the role of collagen hydrolysate in bone and joint disease to establish how well it worked to treat osteoarthritis and osteoporosis.
A 2010 study set out to show that gelatin hydrolysate positively impacts osteoarthritis in dogs. Over eight weeks, test dogs were given 10 grams of gelatin hydrolysate each day; at the end of the study, the dog’s owners reported improvement in the dog’s activity levels and a significant reduction in stiffness and lameness.
A further study in 2012 found collagen as an effective treatment to manage osteoarthritis symptoms.
How Much Gelatin Should You Feed Your Dog?
To start with, feed small amounts by sprinkling a small amount of gelatin powder on his food; if there is no adverse reaction and your dog eats his food the same, then use this formula.
Add gelatin powder to food twice a day:
- 10 to 25 pounds give him 1/2 teaspoon
- 25 to 50 pounds give him one teaspoon
- 50 to 75 pounds give him two teaspoons
- 75 to 100+ pounds give him one tablespoon
Your Dog And Sugar The Bad News
Sugary sweets and snacks pose the same danger to dogs as it does to humans. The first place sugar will attack is the mouth. The residue of sugar from drinks and snacks is fed upon by mouth bacteria that create acids attacking tooth enamel. You’ve probably seen the havoc that can inflict on what was once healthy teeth, leaving them with cavities and eventually losing teeth.
Dental hygiene in dogs is essential in maintaining their health. Even if you never feed anything sugary to your dog, his regular food will still contain some sugar, so regularly brushing your dog’s teeth is the best way to prevent dental health issues.
Overindulging in sugar leads to excessive weight gain, and being obese puts extra strain on the dog’s muscles and joints; obesity often leads to heart disease. Are you aware that a survey conducted in 2018 found that 60% of pet dogs in the USA are overweight or obese?
Too much sugar eaten by dogs can undoubtedly lead to diabetes. Since 2011 there has been an increase of 32% in type 2 diabetes in dogs. Dogs are becoming more obese and susceptible to diabetes for several reasons; overeating, lack of serious exercise, and consuming too much sugar ( ironically, everything we humans currently suffers from).
So, Can Dogs Eat Jello?
To sum up and answer the question, can dogs eat jello? If you want a definitive answer, it would be no! Jello isn’t toxic to dogs, and eating a small amount will not cause severe complications.
But think about this question. Is there any point either for health benefits or dietary needs to feed your dog jello? I am confident if you have read the whole article, you’ll come to the same conclusion as myself and not feed jello to your dog, ever.