Can Dogs Eat Jam: It Depends

Everyone knows that dogs love peanut butter. For humans, the natural companion for that treat; the yin to our creamy peanut paste is the jam. However, we don’t often see a picture of dogs eating fruit. Is this a snack we should share with our canine companions, or is jam a recipe for doggy disaster? The truth lies somewhere between. I sniffed out all the facts about jam, so you’ll know what’s safe for your favorite Fido.

Can dogs eat jam? The answer depends on the Jam. No sugar is ‘good’ for your dog, but a little bit won’t kill them. Common jam ingredients like currants, grapes, raisins, and xylitol sweetener can sicken or kill your furry best friend. Don’t feed your dog any jam until you have all the facts straight. 

Why You Shouldn’t Feed Your Dog Jam

Feeding your dog jam can be dicey. I always suggest that you stick to the simple rule; When in doubt, throw it out. Of course, when we’re talking about human food, you can keep it to consume yourself, but toss it out of your pup’s diet and keep it away from them. Here are some of the reasons why your dog shouldn’t have jam:

  1. Sugar in a processed jam can make your dog sick to their stomachs.
  2. Too much sugar over time can cause doggy obesity and diabetes.
  3. Fake sweeteners like xylitol can kill tour pup.
  4. Some fruits will also make your dog sick, or worse.
  5. Sugar in jam can rot your pets’ teeth, leading to infections and other issues.

You may be thinking, “What’s the big deal about a little jam?” It’s a fair question, and some jams or more okay than others. The trouble comes in with certain ingredients. Some fruits and sweeteners aren’t so bad for you that are nevertheless extremely dangerous for your pet.

Jam is typically made from sugar, fruit pectin, and fruit. Unfortunately, it’s a terrible idea to feed your dog sugar. Canines don’t eat processed sugar in nature. When we give jams to them at home, the sugar can cause some pretty nasty health problems. Among the issues are dental deterioration, obesity, and doggy diabetes.

Instead of giving your favorite pooch potentially dangerous jam, opt for a sensible, sweet treat that’s good for your canine companion. I suggest you choose a healthy alternative treat like Blue Buffalo Wilderness Wild Bones Grain-Free Dental Chews Dog Treats. The natural ingredients taste great to your dog and make a great surprise. Plus they help keep your pets’ teeth in good condition. You can pick up a bag of this dog-safe, healthy sweet by clicking here

Pectin & Xylitol in Jam: Are They Safe for Your Dog

There are a couple of common jam ingredients you need to know more about before your dog eats even the tiniest amount of jam. I’m talking about xylitol and fruit pectin. The first is an artificial sweetener that occurs naturally in smaller amounts. Berries, mushrooms, and lettuce all contain a little xylitol, which is a sugar alcohol. Fruit pectin, on the other hand, is what gives the jam it’s gel-like consistency. In dogs, just as in humans, pectin can be used to help control diarrhea.

Xylitol in Jam is Bad News for Your Dog

Can your dog eat low or no-sugar jams? Perhaps you’re working on a low sugar diet. Lots of folks are trying to cut back on the processed sweetness, and that’s a great idea. Unfortunately, the same stuff that makes our sweets so delightful is also addictive and really bad for your health.

When it comes to non-sugar sweeteners, xylitol is one of the common substitutes. Though its FDA approved for people, this sweet can be doggy deadly. From low liver failure to seizures and more, it’s not suitable for your pet.

For humans, xylitol is low on the glycemic index. We eat it, and it tastes sweet, but your body releases no insulin. That’s good news for sweet lovers. However, your dog’s body treats it differently. The sugar-substitute goes right into their bloodstream, releasing a massive amount of insulin, which triggers a severe drop in blood sugar (hypoglycemia) that can cause comas and even death if left untreated.

Pectin for Dogs

Of all the things we can put in a jam, pectin is the one you usually don’t have to worry about feeding your dog. Pectin helps decrease the pH level in the intestinal lumen. That’s a lot of scientific words for ‘promotes healing.’ Of course, you shouldn’t give pectin to pups who have constipation issues because it could make things worse.

Kaopectate, the variety that has only kaolin and pectin, is still sometimes used to treat pups with stomach issues. However, commercial anti-diarrhea medicines tend to include other ingredients that can be dangerous to your dog. For example, aspirin can cause severe problems and should never be something your pooch ingests.

Pectin is considered safe in dogs who are over sixteen weeks old. However, you should always consult a vet, not an internet article when making health decisions for your furry friends. Self-diagnosing and treating pets can cause more problems than it solves.

Which Flavors of Jam are Dangerous to Your Dog

Sadly, it’s not only the xylitol or sugar in the jam that can be bad for your dog to eat. There are several fruits that your favorite Fido shouldn’t be eating. While a lot of the treats humans love are fine to share in your dog’s bowl, there are things we eat, like xylitol and certain fruits and veggies, that can do your dog a lot of damage.

Consider other ways to include your dog that don’t have fruits and sugar. They’ll be just as happy with a Backyard Barbecue flavored Blue Buffalo Family Favorite Recipes Natural Adult Wet Dog Food, and there’s no risk of accidentally including a bad ingredient. Click here for more details. 

Fruits Your Dog Should Never Eat

While this list is by no means comprehensive, you can use this compilation as a quick and easy reference of common fruits your dog should avoid. Some of these you may already know about, but others might surprise you. Details vary. For example, in some cases, the flesh is edible for your pooch, but the pits are dangerous.

Always talk to your vet right away if your favorite pooch swallows a dangerous food.

  • Apple

The seeds from apples contain trace amounts of cyanide, which can be dangerous for your dog. Commercially processed jams may, or may not include cooked down and pureed seed pieces.

  • Avocado

Yes, avocado is a fruit. It may not be sweet, but this creamy fruit has a seed inside and is technically a fruit. It’s not a common ingredient in jam, but avocado is used frequently for making foods smoother.

  • Apricot

Apricot pits can block your pooches bowels. This is another case where it’s unlikely to be a problem for your pup. Most jams don’t include large pits.

  • Dates

Dogs shouldn’t eat dates because they’re known to cause doggy diarrhea. No one needs to clean up that mess, so skip any jams or foods with dates inside for your dog.

  • Cherries

Cherry pits are a choking hazard for dogs. It’s not typical for commercial processing plants to miss something as large as a pit, but it could happen. Never feed your dog whole cherries.

  • Currants

A relative of grapes, currants make lovely jams for humans. However, they can cause acute renal failure in your dog.

  • Coconut

While a little coconut is okay for most dogs, you should not feed any of this fruit to an overweight pooch. Because this fruit is high in fat and sugar, it’s not great for your canine’s health, even though the oil is great for their coat and skin.

  • Figs

Unfortunately, these lovely sweet fruits contain ficin. As a result, your dog may experience drooling and diarrhea issues if they eat a fig. Skip the mess and don’t hurt your dog by feeding them figs.

  • Grapes & Raisins

Like their currant cousins, grapes and their dried form the raisin are not suitable for dog health. A simple grape can give your doggy kidney failure. Save yourself the vet bills and potential heartbreak of losing your beloved best friend.

  •  Peaches & Plums

Similar to the apricot, the real risk in these fruits isn’t the flesh but the pits. Bowel blockages can cause all manner of painful and problematic issues.

DIY Jam for You & Your Dog

You can make a healthier jam for your dog and you to eat at home. It’s not difficult to create your own delicious homemade treat, but make sure to skip the dangerous fruits and use a low sugar recipe.

Making jam requires a few simple supplies. You need a wide stainless steel pan with low sides, a metal whisk, and a skimmer to cook your jam. You’ll want a good jelly jar to put it in as well. 

Other than that, all you need is fruit, sugar, and pectin. You don’t need jam sugar. It contains extra pectin, which will make a firmer jam, but it’s not essential to the process. If you’re not sure where to find pectin, most grocery stores carry it in the baking section.

Though you should follow a good recipe, the general process is always the same. Heat your sugar until it’s liquid, but not caramelizing (turning brown) and add fruit, pectin, and water if your recipe calls for it.

Once your jam has cooked thoroughly, you skim the surface. Don’t do this throughout the process because you’ll waste good jam with extra skimming. Next, cool it off a bit before putting it in a jar. Finally, leave the jar to cool completely and tighten a lid on your new jam. Keep it in the fridge, and enjoy it.

Final Thoughts

Whether it’s jam, jelly or preserves, be careful what you feed your dog. Pets don’t need sugar and there are potentially harmful ingredients in a lot of commercial jams. If the label has any ingredients you can’t identify, don’t feed them to your pet.

Similarly, watch out for nonspecific ingredients on labels like “spices” and “other natural flavors.” While these probably won’t harm you, your dog could be at risk for some nasty surprises. After all, grapes and currants are both ‘natural’ and full of ‘flavor.’

It may seem nice to feed your dog a little of your snack, but it’s a bad plan. Feed your pup dog food in their bowl to avoid the pitfalls of a human diet.

Recent Posts