Jello may seem edible; say you are throwing a birthday party for your kid, and everyone is eating fruit jello except your dogs. And you are thinking, “what about my dogs?” wait, can dogs have jello? Don’t worry; you are about to find out in this article.
It’s a technical yes or no answer.
The critical ingredient in jello is gelatin. Gelatin is safe for dogs, although the other ingredients, such as artificial color and flavoring, and sugar, are not. In short, I wouldn’t feed jello to my dogs.
There are numerous types of jello, and it’s probably best not to feed any to your dogs.
If your dogs have stolen some jello or your kid has tried to feed a spoonful to their pet, you should identify the type of jello it is. You can do this by taking a look at the ingredients and the packaging. If the jello contains xylitol, you should contact your veterinarian right away because xylitol is poisonous to your dogs.
What Is Jello?
Jello is a delicious wobbling summer candy that comes in a rainbow of unnaturally bright colors. It is usually a staple at most children’s birthday parties.
You can make it with fresh fruits to add a touch of class and artistry. Doing this ensures that it looks good on the buffet or menu at parties and special occasions.
Stores often sell jello in small individual containers as a sweet treat. It provides easy single-serving snacks for children in their packed lunches or patients as a delicious alternative to custard.
What are the Ingredients in Jello?
You may be stunned to discover what goes into making jello. Jello’s main component is gelatin—produced from animal collagen. Collagen is a type of protein found in connective tissues such as the skin, ligaments, bones, and tendons.
Perhaps, that isn’t something that comes to mind when nibbling that bright red wobbly jello or serving it to your kids. However, it might sound like something you’d be more comfortable giving to your dogs. But there you are asking, can dogs have jello?
To get gelatin, you have to boil the skins and bones of animals like cows and pigs to start with. Then, you dry them and treat them with relatively concentrated acid/base. After that, you filter the content in order to separate the collagen from it. Lastly, dry the residue and grind it into a powdered form before sifting to form the gelatin.
You can always purchase jello in powdered form and make it yourself at home. It is very simple. Just pour the powdered jello into hot water to dissolve and break the bond holding the collagen together.
Pour the mixture into containers (fun-shaped containers) of your choice and leave it to cool down. While cooling down, the mixture, under normal circumstances, will partially solidify and take the shape of the container it is poured into—due to water molecules trapped between the collagen strands as they reform.
You can also purchase ready-made Jello, typically packaged in a small, sealed serving container. Typically, powdered and ready-made varieties of jello contain sweeteners, flavoring agents, and coloring.
The makers of jello commonly use aspartame, a calorie-free artificial sweetener that is a common sugar substitute as a sweetener.
Food colorings are mostly artificial. But more individuals are becoming conscious of their health, particularly when it comes to what they feed their children. Natural food colorings such as beet and carrot juice are now being used.
Is it Safe to Feed my Dogs Jello?
You may still be unsure if it is safe to feed jello to your dogs even now that you know the ingredients used in making it.
There is the animal-derived component, and on the flip side, there are chemicals and sugars. What happens if your dog consumes jello?
Jello is not a recommended food for your dogs—which is an easy and probably obvious response.
While the gelatin is dog-friendly, the other ingredients are unfortunately not. For your dogs, this food has a very small or no nutritional value.
Because jello contains sugar and artificial additives potentially harmful to your dogs, it is generally a bad idea to consider jello as food or treat for them. Fresh fruits, instead of jello, would be a much healthier option for your dogs.
Health Benefits of Jello to Your Dogs
Jello provides some health benefits to your dogs obviously. But the unfortunate thing is that due to some unhealthy ingredients in this food, it is not always advisable to consider it.
However, in itself, gelatin can be helpful to your dogs health-wise. The major composition of gelatin is protein. But it lacks certain basic amino acids so, we cannot consider it as 100% protein. It does, however, provide several health benefits for humans, and therefore may be beneficial to your dogs as well.
Benefits of Gelatin to Your Dogs
Glycine, an amino acid found in gelatin, can protect dogs from brain damages and seizures.
Dogs suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), arthritis, degenerative joint diseases, and even hip dysplasia can benefit from gelatin’s anti-inflammatory properties.
The good news for dogs on diets higher in carbs or grains than it should be (as in the case of many of the low-cost brands of kibble) is that gelatin facilitates quick digestion of carbohydrates as well as grains.
Gelatin may also help with gastrointestinal issues, which is good, especially if your dogs have an upset stomach or experiencing diarrhea.
Supposing you want your dogs to reap the benefits of gelatin, I would advise you to make your own jello at home by yourself. This way, you can leave out the ingredients that are harmful to your dogs and maybe add some new ingredients to improve the nutritional value of your homemade jello dog treats.
Risks of Giving My Dogs Jello
Can dogs have jello seeing that it at least has some health benefits?
Still confused? Then keep reading to learn about some of the consequences and adverse side effects, including xylitol, obesity, pancreatitis, etc.
Xylitol Is Fatal To Dogs
Xylitol is a form of artificial sweetener that is extremely harmful to dogs, although it is harmless to humans. This ingredient could be present in jello, and if it is, it is best not to feed it to your dogs.
When xylitol enters the dog’s system, it is rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream, causing the pancreas to generate and release a large amount of insulin.
In dogs, this can cause a life-threatening drop in blood sugar (hypoglycemia) in just 10 to 60 minutes after ingestion.
Inflammation of the pancreas leading to a painful condition is known as Pancreatitis. It is a condition that may occur due to the progression of sugar diabetes.
The functions of the pancreas include the production of insulin, digestive enzymes, and aiding sugar metabolism. Sugar from jello can overload the pancreas, causing it to become irritated.
Pancreatitis not only causes severe pains and discomforts in dogs, but it may also cause fever, dehydration, and heart arrhythmias.
Sugars and artificial sweeteners can cause substantial weight gain in your dogs if you are not cautious of the kind of human delicacies you feed them.
You may believe that “this little dose can’t possibly be harmful to my dogs’ health;” after all, what harm could a few naughty treats cause? Obesity, on the other hand, can grow right in front of your eyes.
The bodies of your dogs are way smaller compared to yours, and mother nature did not build them to digest much of the grainy, sugary, and high-carb foods we humans consume. Just look at yourself and then look at your dogs.
Even as humans, eating high-sugar foods often will cause you to gain weight. Now, imagine what this would translate to for your dogs.
When your dogs are overweight, they are at risk for various health issues, including diabetes and heart diseases.
It’s also bad for dogs that have joint diseases. The additional weight puts more pressure on the affected areas, exacerbating symptoms and, in the long run, causing discomfort and more pain for your dogs.
The most important thing to note, however, is that, while it is possible for your dogs to lose weight by dieting and exercising, it is tough for your dogs to recover from most of the other health issues that may have developed as a result of obesity because they are usually lifelong.
Additives and sugar in jello should not be fed to dogs because they have little nutritional value. Sugar-free jello should never be given to your dogs because it contains an element called xylitol, which can kill dogs even if they consume even just a tiny amount.
However, dogs can eat gelatin-based treats made at home, so far they are unflavored and simple. It can be gotten through the processing of the skins and bones of cows, pigs, etc.
Gelatin is high in minerals and vitamins, which can help relieve joint and bone pain in older dogs.
Having gone through this post, you should now have a clearer understanding of what jello is and what it can do to your dog, and also answer the question, “can dogs have jello?”