If you are a pet parent, chances are you are consistently on the lookout for foods that your dog can eat. Sure, there are some foods that every pet parent feeds their dog but there is always some confusion over food such as jello.
So, let us find out if your dog can eat jello or not. And if yes, is there a permissible quantity, any specific benefits or harms associated with that.
What Is Jello?
Jello is that bright-colored dessert that makes children (and adults) go weak in their knees. It is so enticing that one is naturally attracted to it. To top it all, it tastes heavenly. For the uninitiated, jello is basically a dessert comprised of gelatin.
Jello is available in a number of flavors that explain the bright shades it comes in. From green apple to cherry, mango to pina colada, there is no end to the number of flavors you can find jello in.
In addition to gelatin, which is its key ingredient, jello also consists of added sugars, artificial flavors and sometimes edible color.
Jello consumption is associated with several benefits for humans. These include boosting collagen and therefore, improving the skin texture. It is known to aid digestion and also eases inflammation and joint pain.
This is not it. There are several other benefits of jello for humans. But is this also good for dogs? Well, for one, humans and dogs have different anatomies so something that is great for humans may or may not be suited for dogs.
Let us find out if jello is good for dogs!
Also Read: Can Dogs Eat Sherbet?
Can Dogs Eat Jello?
While dogs can occasionally be given jello, it is not particularly beneficial or recommended. This is because of the presence of an artificial sweetener called xylitol in jello that is known to adversely impact their health.
Xylitol is an extremely toxic ingredient and can lead to several complications to your dog’s health. Some of the harms include:
- Obesity and Diabetes: Just like human beings are susceptible to high sugar content, dogs can also show side effects when fed unnecessary added sugar. The first signs may be weight gain and obesity that may slowly make way for severe problems such as damage to internal organs and stress on bones and joints.
- Hypertension: This is also commonly associated with high sugar content consumption. Dogs tend to show signs of hypertension which could progress to heart ailments.
Hypertension and high blood sugar can have an adverse impact on the dog’s heart health, leading to heart failure in extreme cases.
- Pancreatitis: Pancreas aids the body’s metabolism by creating enzymes and insulin which thereby aids digestion. The presence of xylitol can damage the pancreas and also lead to other digestion problems.
- Hypoglycemia: High quantity of xylitol can force the pancreas to release a high amount of insulin in the blood. This may lead to an alarming drop in blood sugar levels leading to a life-threatening condition called hypoglycemia.
This is not all. Regular and unrestrained consumption of jello can even lead to fevers, chills and seizures in dogs. This is why it is recommended to keep jello away from your dog.
Can Dogs Eat Jello Shots?
Contrary to popular opinion, jello shots are not any better than jello for dogs and should not be fed to them. Jello shots also contain xylitol which is supremely harmful to dogs and their health.
This, in fact, is true for all forms of jello including fruit jello such as strawberry jello, lime jello and raspberry jello.
What to Do If Your Dog Gets Sick after Eating Jello?
What if your dog consumes more jello than he/she is supposed to? What to do if you notice unusual behavior?
The first thing you should do in such situations, rare as they are, is to not panic and head to a vet. They are trained in dealing with such situations and may give instant treatment to your dog and improve the symptoms.
A word of caution is that in such situations, do not try to take things into your own hands because that could be counterproductive. Trust a professional.
Is Gelatin Any Good?
Gelatin is a colorless, flavorless ingredient that is derived from animal body parts. It is high in protein and is used for preparing several desserts.
It is somewhat sticky and comes in many forms. The most common forms in which gelatin is available include granules, powder and sheets. Some types of gelatin can be used in dishes instantly, while some need to be soaked overnight.
Interestingly, gelatin is not only used for culinary purposes but is also a key element in many cosmetics because of its unique ability to prevent aging and skin wrinkles.
Also Read: Can Dogs Eat Gummy Bears?
Jello vs Gelatin: What’s the Verdict?
Jello is not recommended for dogs but what about gelatin? Are all gelatin-based foods bad for dogs? In its pure form, gelatin is actually a great food source for your dog primarily because of the high content of protein.
Gelatin is mostly derived from animal cartilage and bones and therefore, consists of healthy quantities of protein. In fact, a lot of dog food already contains gelatin.
Some benefits of adding gelatin, in its raw form, to your pet’s diet include:
- Prevents Arthritis: Because gelatin is rich in protein, it is a great supplement for the bone health of your dog and can prevent arthritis by strengthening the joints.
- Healthy Skin and Shiny Fur: The presence of collagen in gelatin does wonders to the skin and can make your dog’s fur shinier and glossier, giving him/her an added charm.
- Appetite Booster: Gelatin sometimes can boost the appetite of your dog and help them gain healthy weight. This is particularly true for those dogs who are underweight or have a below optimum appetite.
Remember, the gelatin that you feed your dog should be devoid of all added sugar and artificial flavors for it to be beneficial to your dog.
Excess of Everything Is Bad: Monitoring Gelatin Levels in Dogs
Gelatin has several benefits for dogs but it doesn’t mean that you give this to your dog freely without monitoring the levels. As they say, excess of everything is bad, the same applies here.
It is also something you need to train your dog to eat. He or she is not going to naturally develop a liking towards it because of its texture.
There are several ways you can incorporate gelatin into your dog’s diet. Some of these include:
- Add It to Dry Food: You can drip some gelatin over your dog’s regular dry food to give him a taste for it.
- Add It to Wet Food: If you want to be a little more direct in feeding gelatin to your dog, you can mix a portion of gelatin to their wet food. This will make them more familiar with the rich source of protein that gelatin is.
- Remove Jello from Their Reach: You must make your dog understand that it is never okay to pick food lying around the house. Also, make sure you remove jello from their reach.
The gloss and shine of jello will instantly attract dogs towards it and they may end up eating it without you knowing which could be risky.
Besides, you should also train your dog in food habits that will ensure she/he warms up to new additions to their diet sooner and without much fuss.
Signs You Have Fed Too Much Gelatin to Your Dog
Despite exercising caution, sometimes you may go overboard and feed more than recommended quantity of gelatin to your dog. In such cases, you should be vigilant of any unlikely signs that your dog is showing.
Some signs that should raise an immediate alarm include:
- Unexpected Weight Loss: If your dog loses a good amount of weight unexpectedly and rapidly, chances are all is not well. It could be because of a lot of reasons that may also include sugar imbalance and prediabetes.
Some other symptoms that accompany this are loss of appetite, fatigue and drop in energy levels. Some dogs even turn reclusive.
- Skin Issues: If your otherwise healthy dog shows signs of skin issues such as dryness or allergies, you must see a good vet and find the underlying cause for the same. Sometimes, excess sugar and foods such as gelatins are the culprits.
- Gut Issues: Too much gelatin can interfere with the gut of your dog causing a number of problems that may need immediate attention.
Also Read: Can Dogs Eat Limes?
The Final Word
Dogs should not be fed jello at all costs because of the presence of toxic elements that can wreak havoc on their gut health and heart health in particular.
If you are very keen on feeding this to your pet, either go for homemade jello, sans any sweeteners and toxic substances, or experiment with gelatin which is a much helathier option.
Finally, monitor the quantities you feed your dog, it is best to consult a vet and give only recommended quantities to avoid any problems.