Can Dogs Eat Jam? Bad or Good, The Surprising Facts!

can dogs eat jam

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So, can dogs eat jam? You can feed your dog a tiny sliver of jam, but it is not recommended. This is because jam is mostly sugar, and its high sugar content contains no nutritional value for dogs. Excessive amounts of (sugar) jams can cause inflammation throughout the body. Too much sugar can lead to diabetes in dogs.

Although sugar it’s a necessary component of a dog’s diet, certain sugars, like those found in jams, can be harmful to dogs.

In this article, we look at the most popular types of jams, along with several factors that make jams not suitable for dogs.

Are Jams Good For Your Dog’s Health?

Jams are made from fruits, so they are a healthy treat option for your dog, right? Think again!

A preserve must be high in sugar to meet official labeling requirements of jam. In fact, Jams are about 65% sugar; in other words, each tablespoon contains about two teaspoons of sugar. That would be a lot of sugar if you were planning on giving just a tablespoon of jam to your dog.

Although jams have some nutrients, the amounts are negligible compared to the quantity of sugar it requires to make it. Most jams are based on fruits like strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries (fruits high in vitamin C and nutrients) but have to be heated to high temperatures, which diminishes the nutritional properties in the fruit.

If you are stuck on giving your pup some fruit or sweets, why not mash up some fresh fruit then? Some fruits like bananas are pretty sweet in taste.

There is just no way around justifying jam as a “healthy” item for your furry friend.

Jam Ingredients: Toxic to Dogs?

Let’s dig a little bit deeper to learn if dogs can eat jams. 

For starters, what is jam? Jam can be either two things:

  1. A bunch of garden-grown fruit, heated up with sugar and pectin. 
  2. Pesticide-laden fruit, heated up with sugar, pectin, some preservatives, and maybe even a few artificial flavors and colors.

Note: Pectin is a naturally occurring soluble polysaccharide found in fruits that determines how gelled or firm the jam is. It also comes as a powder that can be added during the cooking process for additional viscosity.  

Let’s discuss the four most common ingredients that make up jams and why they may be dangerous to your pup.

The fruit: Nearly any fruit can be used to make Jams. However, if you are giving your best friend jams, make sure you avoid some jam flavors such as grape, cherries, tomatoes, grapefruit, lemons, limes, plums, etc.

The sugar: The sugar helps determine the deliciousness of them jam, and it plays a role in both flavor and texture. As much we enjoy eating sugary treats like ice cream and candy, sugar can be harmful to dogs just like it is to people.

John Faught, DVM, and medical director of the Firehouse Animal Health Center in Austin, Texas, say we “just don’t need to be giving them [sugar] since there’s no real added value.”

From tummy troubles to obesity, your dog shouldn’t have sugar, and as we discussed, previously jams are mostly sugar. 

The Acid (lemon or lime): While adding acid in the form of fresh lemon or lime juice is important in making jams, these two particular ingredients don’t get along with dogs. Their acidity can cause upset stomach, vomiting, weakness, and diarrhea if large quantities are ingested.

Pectin: In humans, pectin has seen to cause stomach cramps, diarrhea, gas, and loose stools when taken by mouth alone. People who are exposed to pectin dust at work, such as in manufacturing, may develop asthma according to WebMD.

Possible Consequences

Know the top reasons why dogs should not eat jams (sugars). The accumulation of sugars in your dog’s body could cause the following conditions:

Diabetes: It happens when the sugar levels in the blood of your canine friend increases. Even small amounts of continuous consumption of sweets can contribute to dog diabetes.

Pancreatitis: Sugar consumption prompts the pancreas to produce extra digestive enzymes to metabolize glucose. This production ends up inflaming the pancreas over time, causing Pancreatitis in dogs. According to the Whole Dog Journal, the enzymes can actually begin to digest the pancreas itself, which causes extreme pain to your dog.

Cavities: Sweets accelerate the appearance of cavities and damages the delicate tissues of the gums. All this can cause bad dog breath, teeth loss, and bacterial accumulation in the mouth.

Obesity: If you’re always giving your dog sugar, they can gain weight, which can stress joints and lead to other problems down the road. Obesity can decrease the quality of life in dogs. Obese dogs tend to have less energy, less interest in playing when he is overweight.

If your dog has a sweet tooth, you can treat him with dog-friendly treats such as peanut butter made for dogs. Our pup loves Buddy Budder Peanut Butter (no sugars added).

What about jelly, can dogs have jelly? Read all about it here.

Can Dogs Eat Strawberry Jams?

Dogs can safely enjoy strawberries but should not be fed Strawberry jam. The preservatives and sugars in a jam can be detrimental to your dog’s health. However, if you want to make jam at home, then don’t add any sugar, preservatives, pectin to your homemade jam.

Simply boil whatever fruit you are using and mash it up. Don’t add anything else. Be sure the fruit is safe for dogs and always consult with your vet before giving your dog new food.

If you don’t have time to make a fruity treat Fido, Wild Earth’s Good Protein Dog Snacks and Fruitables are two great options to give your furry best friend their daily dose of fruits while keeping them healthy.

Can Dogs Have Raspberry Jam?

While raspberries are safe for dogs to eat, they should be given in moderation as this fruit has contained trace amounts of the sweetener xylitol, which is harmful to dogs in large quantities. Raspberry jam on the other hand should be avoided due to the sugary and other additives found in jams.

Can Dogs Have Blackberry Jam?

Blackberries are okay to feed dogs. However, blackberry jam is best to be avoided. Jam often comes with lots of added sugar and other ingredient not suitable for dogs.

Can Dogs Eat Currant Jam?

No, currants are toxic to dogs. Whether the current is black, red, or white, they a seedless variety of grape (raisin). In jams, they can become even more dangerous to dogs.

Jam & Dogs

So, can dogs eat jam? We think it’s safe to say that adding jam to your dog’s diet or even as a one-time treat should be avoided. The amount of sugar jams have is not worth jeopardizing your dog’s well being.

There are better and healthier options out there for your pooch.

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