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The side effects of feeding jam to your dog

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As a dog owner there is every chance that, at some point, you have spoiled your dog with a human type treat and, maybe this is a frequent event.

It’s tempting to give our dogs a variety of foods that might just not be the best for them, simply because we want to treat them and one thing that many people wonder is that of jam.

It probably comes as no surprise to learn that feeding jam to your dog is probably not a good idea.  Most dogs have a sweet tooth and will happily eat jam if given the chance but the reality is that jam is not good for dogs.  It is high in sugar which can lead to weight gain and, in some jams, full of sweeteners and other additives that could lead to problems if too much is consumed. 

My dog likes jam can he have a little?

You should only ever give organic jam to a dog, one that contains no additives, preservatives or artificial sweeteners and then only in very small amounts on rare occasions.

If you are determined to give jam to your dog then you might have to resort to making your own or enlisting the help of the local Womens’ Institute to magic up some jam for you.

Seriously, it’s best not to give jam to your dog.

What should I do if my dog has eaten jam?

First, you have to check your dog for any allergic signs such as hypersalivation/excessive drooling, watery eyes, difficult breathing or inflammation at any part of the body.

If your dog has not shown any of these symptoms, your dog is fine, and you do not have to worry much.

Next, you check the ingredients of jam. If the product contains Xylitol or grapes, contact a veterinarian or poison helpline immediately whether your dog shows any sign or not.

If it’s just sugar, gelatin, and berries (not grapes), chances are your dog will recover, but they may face some vomiting and diarrhoea.

can dogs eat jam
Keep the jam for the humans – it contains things that are toxic to dogs

Can dogs eat strawberry or raspberry jam?

If it contains no xylitol, it should not be fatal, but both of these jams have high sugar levels, which can still be bad for dogs.

If your dog is interested in strawberry or raspberry jam, try any alternative or offer some fresh fruit.

Fresh fruits such as strawberries are safe for dogs if given in moderation and have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Can dogs eat grape jam?

No, grapes can be fatal to dogs because they contain substances that dogs cannot metabolize and any type of grape based product including jams, juice, raisins etc can be fatal to a dog if eaten.

Grapes can cause kidney damage and, in severe cases, cause sudden death.

Typical ingredients of jam along with their benefits and side effects

Dogs don’t need any sweeteners or sweet treats because they are carnivores, i.e., eat meat.

However, they need some form of sugar for their normal metabolism. They get their sugar from carbohydrates such as vegetables, sweet potatoes, grains, etc.

But they should never really eat human desserts, cakes, chocolates, or raw sugar.

Side effects of sugar:
Obesity: Foods with high sugar content are usually high in calories. These are empty calories that don’t fulfil your canine’s hunger, meaning your dog will keep eating. It can easily lead to weight gain. Excess weight can significantly affect your dog health, including heart conditions, joint problems, and lethargy.

Vomiting and diarrhoea: Any new food or abrupt diet change can cause stomach upset in dogs. It is not uncommon for canines to experience vomiting and diarrhoea after eating sweet food or treats.

Hyperactivity: Dogs are generally less tolerant of sugar than humans. This means that only a small amount can cause a behaviour change, often in the worst-case scenario.

Dental health: Sugar reacts with bacteria to produce acid, which destroys teeth. A high sugar diet can cause tartar, cavities and dental work for your canine companion.

Fruit: Jams contain many fruit flavours. Some raw fruits are healthy for dogs ( low-calorie treat) if given in moderation, while other high-calorie fruits can be deadly for them.

Any artificial fruit flavour should be avoided at any cost

Below are the most popular and standard varieties of fruits which are toxic or compatible with canines.

Grapes: Toxic for dogs. Even single grape may be toxic
Raspberry: Suitable for dogs. In moderation, raspberries are good for canines, especially for senior dogs, as they can help with joint problems.
BlackBerry: Suitable for dogs. Blackberries are full of vitamin E and antioxidants and can rarely be given to your dogs.
Strawberry: Suitable for dogs. Strawberries are low in calories and act as an excellent option for a low-calorie dog treat.
Apricot: Suitable for dogs. As long as they are deseeded, small amounts of apricot treats are healthy for dogs.

But be careful apricots contain small cyanide amounts, which can be fatal if eaten in large quantities.

Many fruits are suitable for dogs. However, they should be fed raw instead of via jam.


Xylitol is an artificial sweetener.

Xylitol is used as an alternative to sugar and commercial jam companies commonly use this product in jams and jellies because it contains 40% less sugar but has the same sweet taste.

Xylitol decreases blood sugar level and causes hypoglycemia which can be life-threatening.

Those dogs who eat Xylitol accidentally, usually show signs of xylitol poisoning within 15-50 minutes.

Symptoms of xylitol poisoning:
Liver failure
Being unsteady with any posture

If you think that your dog has eaten something that contains Xylitol, you should call your vet as soon as possible.


Don’t give jam to your dog. It is meant for humans and offers no benefits to dogs at all.

If you want to give your dog a nice treat then chose something that is produced for dogs and that is safe for them to eat.

There are lots of dog treats available for you to choose from and you will be able to easily find something suitable for your dog.

Jam is not good for dogs.

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Last update on 2022-12-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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