jello on a plate

Is Jello Good or Bad For Dogs?

Who doesn’t like some soft and tasty Jello next to their favorite dish? We know we do and we are sure that most of the people who are reading this agree with us. They are low in calories, and even now there are some sugar-free versions of it.

So, it should be ok for you to eat and you can even share it with your dog, right? Not so fast.

Although it is true that its recipe has changed a lot for the better in recent years, jello is not ideal for your pup and even for you. In this article, we will explain why jello is not good for dogs, and it can cause some issues for them.

We believe the end of the article, even you might reconsider if you want to have it as a snack.

But first, let’s start by explaining what jello is actually made of?

What is Jello Made of?

Jello is the name of the gelatin-based desserts made by the company Kraft, but people just prefer to refer gelatin-based deserts jello.

Jello is mostly made of gelatin, sugar, sodium, artificial flavors, artificial sweeteners, and some preservatives and additives like BHA, which caused some controversy in recent years. Don’t worry, we’ll touch upon every single ingredient and their effects for dogs and even you.

Why is Jello Bad For Dogs?

To better answer the question of whether the jello is bad for dogs, first, we should understand what a dog’s diet should consist of. Dogs are evolved from wild wolves, and that is why their diet should include a lot of protein.

Dogs do not need any carbohydrates to sustain their lives. Yes, dogs don’t even need to have healthy carbs like vegetables in their diet. But some vegetables still can be beneficial for them.

Now since we got that part out of the way, let’s get to the case of jello.

First, jello has more than average sugar content in it. Yes, we know that it is considerably lower than all the sugar bomb deserts, it still has high sugar content in its recipe because, at the end of the day, it is a dessert.

You already probably know why sugar is bad for dogs, but we’ll still explain the reasons.

Dogs just love sugar as much as we do because their taste buds react to sweets in the way that ours respond to them. That is the reason why they just want to get a piece of every sweet treat you have in your hand.

However, sugar is harmful to them as much as it is for us. Because, obviously, when your pup consumes sugar, it will raise its blood sugar to very high levels and that has some negative consequences.

First, one side effect of consuming too much sugar can be dental cavities. Other than that, sugar is one of the most common causes of diabetes, both in humans and dogs. Also, too much sugar can cause excessive fat in your pup’s body and, thus, make her gain some extra pounds.

cube jello with red color

There is one other ingredient that is in dog foods can potentially cause some problems for dogs, which is sodium. Sodium is one of the two minerals in the salt.

Sodium is a mineral that is necessary for both humans and for dogs to sustain their lives. It is beneficial for regulating the blood pressure, and it is good for balancing the fluids in the body by retaining water.

However, it can cause some problems when it is consumed too much. Because the kidneys will have a hard time keeping up with the excess sodium that is in the bloodstream, and this will lead to issues such as high blood pressure and hypernatremia.

We should mention that even though the sodium amount in the jello is not high enough to cause problems for your dogs and the main thing you should be concerned is sugar, it can still be an issue for the dogs that have certain conditions like kidney disease or heart disease.

Another ingredient that is found in some jellos that we believe can be worrying is corn starch. Corn starch is used as a thickening agent in jello and has a very high glycemic index, which means that it will raise your pup’s blood sugar and we already mentioned the reasons why having a high blood sugar can be dangerous for your dog.

Maltodextrin is another ingredient commonly used in jello. It is a white powder made from grains such as corn, rice, potato starch or wheat.

Considering that even whole grains are bad for dogs because most of them contain gluten, and have a high glycemic index, we can say that maltodextrin is an ingredient that is not healthy for your pup and should be avoided as much as possible.

So, even when we only consider the sugar content in it, it is obvious that jello is bad for dogs. However, if it is just in small amounts, dogs can eat jello, right? Sadly, no.

Because sugar might be one of the most-friendly ingredients in it since there are some ingredients that not only is bad for your pup, but we believe can be even dangerous when they are consumed.

dogs lyiing down on sofa

Why Is Jello Not Safe For Dogs?

We already listed the reasons why jello is not the ideal snack for your pup but can some of the ingredients in it cause more serious problems? We believe there are some ingredients used in jello that will make you seriously concerned for both your pup’s and your health.

Regular jello is filled with artificial flavors and sweeteners that usually require warning labels in Europe, which has stricter food regulations than the U.S.A.

Even in our dog food recommendations, we advise owners to stay away from the products that have artificial color because of their carcinogenic dangers.

However, we believe the ingredient that is more concerning is BHA, which is a preservative that is used in not only the food industry but also in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals to prolong the shelf life of products. BHA is also used in low-quality dog foods, and we always advise our visitors to avoid those products in our food recommendations.

Because BHA is also carcinogenic, and if dogs eat the products filled with BHA in them, it can be dangerous for them. The same thing applies to the BHA in the jello. You should avoid this preservative at all costs.

We should mention that after the pressures, Kraft, the manufacturer of the jello, made some changes in its recipe and BHA has been taken out of some of the recipes. However, there are still a lot of jellos with BHA used as a preservative so we can confidently say that things have not changed drastically in that aspect.

Based on all the reason we mentioned above, we can clearly say that jello can cause all kinds of issues for dogs, and that is why they should not eat it even in small portions.

is jello good for dogs? this one doesn't seem like it!

 Is Jello Good For Dogs In Any Ways?

We should mention that gelatin is used in jello to give its shape, and it also makes the product stay together. Gelatin is mainly made of animal skin, tendons, and cartilage.

It is an excellent protein source and has anti-inflammatory functions and also has a huge role in your pup’s brain protection. However, when we look at the other harmful ingredients, saying that dogs can eat jello is impossible because of the only one ingredients that is good for dogs.

Can Dogs Eat Sugar-Free Jello?

Just like every sugar-free version of the sugary products, sugar-free jello is very common among people, and it does seem very benign. So, both dogs and humans can eat jello freely, right? Sadly, that is not the case either.

We already mentioned that sugar is not the only problem with jello, and some ingredients are more concerning. Also, manufacturers just replace sugar with other artificial sweeteners to give it the sweet taste, which can even be more harmful compared to the sugar.


Because of the successful marketing carried out by its manufacturer, jello is considered as a benign treat compared to the other options in the market.

However, when we carefully look at the ingredients, it is very easy to say both dogs and humans should avoid this product even in small amounts because some of its ingredients are very worrying, and some of them can also be carcinogenic.

Alaaddin Sarac

I've been an avid dog enthusiast since childhood. I started this blog in hopes of helping owners find answers to questions I had after owning my first dog. This website was created as a way to share our love for all things canine with the world. From choosing the best food for your older dog to get the best beds for your tail-wagger, I aim to give you the information you need to give your dog the best care throughout his entire life.