Can Dogs Eat Jam? Bad or Good For Dogs? (The Research)

can dogs eat jam

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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 and ingredients found in jams can be harmful to dogs. Do you know what those are? Are there any safe jams for dogs? Are some jam flavors more harmful than others?

In this article, we analyze the factors that make jams unsuitable for dogs, such as risks, ingredients and everything in between. Let’s dive right in!

Are Jams Good For Your Dog’s Health?

Jams are made from fruits, so you would think they are a healthy treat option for your dog. Think again!

A preserve must be high in sugar to meet official labeling requirements of jam. In fact, jams are about t 48–54% sugar. Or 9.7 grams of sugar per tablespoon. This is equivalent to 56 calories. [1]

Most store-bought jams are based on fruits like strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries (fruits high in vitamin C and other nutrients). However, these fruits are heated to high temperatures, which diminishes their nutritional properties making jam’s nutritional value negligible compared to the adverse effect it could cause in dogs.

While dogs can safely eat numerous fruits that contain naturally occurring sugar, jams are unhealthy in larger amounts due to their large sugar composition and preservatives. Jams are also high in calories. Feeding jam to your dog is not recommended.

Are Jam Ingredients Safe or Toxic to Dogs?

How are jams made? Are their ingredients safe for dogs?

Making jams involves crushing fruits and cutting them into small mushy pieces, followed by adding citric acid. They are then cooked in plain sugar or sugar syrup. 

These are the five most common ingredients that make up jams and why they may be dangerous to dogs.

  • Fruit: Nearly any fruit can be used to make Jams. Jams made from fruits toxic to dogs should be avoided.
  • Sugar: Sugar in jams can come from fruit, corn syrup and high fructose. Sugar gives jams their sweet taste and plays a role in flavor and texture. While sugar is essential to your furry friend’s diet, the type of sugar found in your typical jam is not what dogs need. 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. 
  • Citric Acid (lemon or lime): While adding citric acid as fresh lemon or lime juice is essential 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: 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. In humans, pectin has been 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.[2] 
  • Preservatives, colorants and flavors. Store-bought jams may also contain other chemically induced unhealthy ingredients for dogs.

Can Dogs Have Jam?

Jam is generally not recommended for feeding to dogs because it contains sugar and sweeteners that are harmful to their health. Jams are unlikely to be harmful in small amounts, but it is still best to avoid giving them to your dog. Instead, mash up some fresh fruit like bananas are pretty sweet to give your dog healthier treats.

Sugars are an essential part of your furry friend’s diet. However, the type of sugar found in your typical jam is not what dogs need. 

Remember, never feed jams made from fruits that are toxic to dogs. Also, beware of sugar-free jams. This type of jam typically contains xylitol, a sweetener that is toxic to dogs.

Is Homemade Jam Good For Dogs?

Dogs may have a silver or two of your homemade jam if there are no added preservatives, sugar, or pectin.

Simply boil whatever fruit you are using and mash it up. Use the fruit’s natural sugar instead, and don’t add anything else. Be sure the fruit is safe for dogs, and always consult your vet before giving your dog new food.

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

Popular Jam Flavors Your Dog Should Avoid

Jams made from the fruits listed below are toxic and should be avoided.

  • Cherries
  • Grapes
  • Tomatoes
  • Grapefruit
  • Lemons
  • Lmes
  • Plums
  • Raisins
  • Avocado

Can Dogs Eat Strawberry Jams?

Dogs can safely enjoy strawberries in moderation. Strawberries are a good source of vitamin C, fiber, and an enzyme called malic acid, which is great for keeping dogs’ teeth clean and white.

However, they should not be fed Strawberry jam. The preservatives and sugars in a jam can be detrimental to your dog’s health.

Strawberries are already a sweet fruit, but when you add sugar, corn syrup, and high fructose corn syrup to make strawberry jam, the sugar concentration in strawberry jam is beyond appropriate for dogs. Strawberry jam has one of the highest jam sugar levels and should not be fed to dogs.

For instance, a Smucker’s strawberry jam jar contains 12 grams of sugar per tablespoon versus the standard (9.7 grams). Accidentally ingesting a lot of strawberry jam can be a problem. 

best at home dog allergy test

Can Dogs Have Raspberry Jam?

While raspberries are safe for dogs to eat, they should be given in moderation as this fruit contains one of the highest levels of natural xylitol, which is harmful to dogs in large quantities. Raspberry jam, however, 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 ingredients unsuitable for dogs.

Is Jam Bad For Dogs? 

Yes, jams are bad for dogs. It’s not toxic to canines, but it is very unhealthy when eaten in larger amounts or if they contain harmful ingredients. On top of the dangerously high levels of sugar, some jams contain ingredients that can be toxic to dogs, such as raisins or grapes, which can cause kidney failure in dogs, which can contribute to obesity and dental problems in dogs if consumed in excess.

Diabetic or overweight dogs should never be fed jam. Dogs with sensitive stomachs may also react badly to the sugary taste or citric acid.

Possible Side Effects & Risks of Jam In Dogs

The following symptoms may indicate a bad reaction to jam. Keep an eye out for them and contact your vet if necessary.

  • Discomfort and bloating
  • Gas
  • Upset stomach
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy

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

  • 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 inflames the pancreas over time, causing Pancreatitis in dogs. According to the Whole Dog Journal, the enzymes can begin to digest the pancreas itself, which causes extreme pain to your dog.
  • Cavities: Sweets accelerate cavities’ appearance and damage the gums’ delicate tissues. 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. Obesity can decrease the quality of life in dogs. Obese dogs tend to have less energy and less interest in playing when he is overweight.

What Should I Do If My Dog Ate Jam?

If your dog accidentally had one or two bites of jam, it should be fine — prevent it from eating again.

However, if your dog overate jam or is showing adverse symptoms, contact your vet immediately.

Can’t reach your vet? Contact the Pet Poison Helpline at 1-855-764-7661 or chat with a veterinary professional via our live online vet chat service (24 hours a day, 7 days a week).

Are Dogs Allergic To Jams?

There’s also a chance your dog could be allergic or sensitive to some fruits in jams.

We do not recommend feeding jam to your dog, but we suggest you do an at-home dog allergy test if you consider giving jam to your dog jam to find out if your pup is sensitive or intolerant to this food or any other foods for that matter.

best at home dog allergy test

Can Dogs Eat Jam On Toast?

Giving dogs jam or any other sweet spreads on toast is not advised. These foods can be harmful to dogs because they contain high levels of sugar or toxic ingredients, which can cause digestive problems. Similarly, dogs can be intolerant or allergic to wheat or gluten in toast.

Can Dogs Eat Currant Jam?

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

Can Dogs Eat Apricot Jam?

While apricot jam does not typically contain toxic ingredients for dogs, it has a high sugar content that can harm your dog. Consuming too much sugar can cause health problems in dogs.

Jam vs. Jelly In Dogs

Jams and jellies are fruit spreads made with the same ingredients. They differ in texture, appearance, and how fruit is utilized to produce them. Fruit in a jam is in the form of crushed fruit and fruit pulp. The fruit in the jelly is in the form of strawberry juice, so the jelly has a more clear, more consistent, and smooth texture. But is jelly safe for dogs? Read our can dogs can eat jelly article to learn more.

Frequently Asked Questions About Dogs & Jams

Here are other popular questions about jam and dogs.

Are Dogs Allowed Jam? — Conclusion

So, can dogs eat jam? No. Adding jam to your dog’s diet or even as a one-time treat is not advised. Most store-bought jams contain high amounts of sugar and preservatives, which can harm your dog’s overall health.

You may offer your dog a silver of your homemade jam if there are no added preservatives, sugar, or pectin. However, always consult with your veterinarian first. The amount of sugar in jams can jeopardize your dog’s health. Jams do not provide any nutritional benefits to dogs, and it’s best to avoid feeding them to your pup. There are better and healthier treat options out there.

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).

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Canine Bible uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

[1] Healthline [2] PetMD

Editorial Team at Canine Bible | + posts

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