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Can Dogs Have Grape Jelly?

by Lucy

Grape jelly is a product found in most homes, and most of us love it spread on toast or on a sandwich with some peanut butter!

When you are enjoying a delicious helping of grape jelly, you might be tempted to share some with your dog. Or, if you have a sneaky furry friend, you may turn around only to find your pet is snout deep in the jelly jar!

But as with any human food, you can’t assume your dog’s snack will do them any good. So is your PBJ ingredient a problem?

Can dogs have grape jelly? Dogs cannot have grape jelly, so you should avoid feeding them any. Dogs should not eat treats or any foods that contain sugar, as they cannot digest it properly. Grape jelly can also be toxic to dogs.

As grape jelly can be toxic, it is best to stay away from it and avoiding letting your dog get into any at home. Here is everything you need to know if your pooch gets into the grape jelly, and why it should be avoided completely. 

Can Dogs Eat Grape Jelly?

No, dogs cannot eat and should not have grape jelly. Sugar is very bad for dogs and grapes are actually toxic to them, so don’t give in to whining or begging when it comes to grape jelly!

It is always great to provide your dog with some treats during training, or just for a special occasion. However, treats need to be made specifically for dogs. Human treats and foods should be avoided, as they do not cater to the nutritional and dietary needs that dogs have. We have different stomachs from our canine friends.

Grape jelly is one such treat that you should not give to your dog. Not only does it have no nutritional value for your dog, but it could cause them to become seriously ill.

Let’s look at the main ingredients in jelly and how dogs fare with them:


While the exact culprit has not been fully identified, grapes contain a component that is toxic to dogs. Most fruits are fine for dogs to have as a treat now and then, and are a good source of natural sugar, but grapes are one that should never be included in your dog’s diet.

The same substance which is found in grapes that is toxic to dogs is also found in raisins. This toxic substance could cause kidney failure, which could be fatal.

Any natural grape jelly could contain this substance, and the risk of it causing a toxic reaction, or worse yet, kidney failure, for your dog is real.

Raw grapes, grape sweets, and grape jelly are all high-risk for your dog and should be kept well out of their reach.


Xylitol is used to sweeten jelly. It is a naturally occurring sugar, but it is quite different from normal fructose. Xylitol is extracted from corn cobs and birch and is used to sweeten jelly, candies, and other household items.

But dogs should not consume xylitol. Their systems are not able to digest it, and too much xylitol could lead to liver failure.

Even in a small amount, xylitol could make your dog sick. They could suffer from diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea. You should go ahead and keep all processed sugar out of your dog’s diet. Sugar can also have the same effect on dogs as it does on humans, with it leading to hyperactivity, diabetes, obesity, and more.

Excessive exposure to xylitol could also cause cavities in your dog’s teeth, which could cause pain and sensitivity and could hinder them from eating later on.

Any weight gain caused by xylitol and other sugars can have a life-long effect on your dog as well. It could cause arthritis and pressure on their joints and limbs. Obesity is a serious condition for dogs, and can require extra veterinary care.


Gelatin is the substance in jelly that gives it shape and texture. Gelatin can come from quite a variety of sources, but most commonly, it comes from animals, including pigs, cows, and fish.

Gelatin is actually quite healthy for dogs and is beneficial for puppers who suffer from arthritis. As dogs grow older, their joints start to wear thin, which could cause arthritis. Gelatin supplements help to slow down the effects of this, and also help with other health conditions.

In the wild, carnivorous animals get gelatin naturally when they eat skin, cartilage, and bones. Most dogs are not fed these items, and therefore lack the gelatin they need. 

There are many reasons why gelatin on its own – but not in jelly form! – is good for dogs. It contains an amino acid, called glycine, which has anti-inflammatory properties, and gelatin can also help dogs process grains and oats, helping with stomach functions.

However, grape jelly is not a healthy source of gelatin for dogs, as the toxicity risk is too high. You can however give your dog unflavored gelatin with their meals, to ensure they have enough in their diet. As always though, we recommend checking with your vet first before you make a change to your dog’s diet!

Signs of Concern In Dogs After Eating Grape Jelly

If your dog does happen to get into some grape jelly, look out for any of the below symptoms. It is best to call your veterinarian right away, even if you do not notice any of these symptoms:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of energy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weakness
  • Severe dehydration
  • Tremors

Your dog will most likely become lethargic and act weak first, and then experience vomiting and diarrhea. Your dog could also suffer from abdominal pain; this is often shown through whining, or pulling away from you when you try to touch their stomach.

They may become dehydrated, which you can tell by their drooping eyes. They will start to pant and their nose and mouth will also become dry if this happens. When dehydrated, your dog will also stop urinating, or urinate much less than usual.

But again, it’s best to just call your veterinarian before any extreme signs of trouble can occur.

Xylitol Ingestion Warning Signs

If your dog has grape jelly or another food that contains xylitol, you need to look out for signs of distress. Your dog might start vomiting or battling with diarrhea within half an hour of eating grape jelly or something similar.

The xylitol might also cause your dog’s blood sugar to drop quickly, and you would be able to notice this by your dog not being able to maintain balance and coordination well.

Untreated xylitol poisoning could cause collapse or seizures in dogs and in severe cases, it could cause liver failure.

You might also notice that your dog becomes hyperactive, and then has a crash where they become lethargic. Their heart rate will be erratic and they will feel anxious.

What Should I Do If My Dog Has Grape Jelly?

Your first reaction should always be to phone the veterinarian to ask what to do, as grapes and xylitol are both dangerous for dogs.

There are a few things to do which help to counteract the toxicity of these ingredients before seeing a veterinarian, but remember these are not a replacement for professional help.

If you notice that your dog is weak and lethargic after ingesting foods with xylitol, you can try giving them a natural sugar source to increase their blood sugar. But getting this right without a veterinarian may be difficult to do safely.

For the ingestion of grapes, you should seek help immediately. Your veterinarian might recommend that you try to induce vomiting, but wait for this instruction first. Pack them in the car and take them to your closest animal clinic.

Keeping Treats Out Of Reach

The best way to keep your pooch safe is to keep harmful foods away from your dog. The best place to keep these is in high cupboards that are completely out of even your mastiff’s reach. If this isn’t possible, buy child-proof locks to keep them out of lower cupboards.

For extra protection, secure these food items in lockable plastic containers that are next to impossible for your dog to get into.

Try to avoid eating these food items around your dog when you can. They might be sneaky enough to steal a piece of grape jelly toast from your plate as you look away, or sniff around in the bin for some scraps. Dispose of harmful foods properly, so there is no chance of your furry loved ones getting into them.

If you can, spend money on good, nutritional dog treats for your pooch to enjoy when they have done well in their training, or when you feel like giving them something special to enjoy.

These dog treats are made to suit a dog’s diet and should cause no harmful side effects for your beloved pooch. You can show them a good time without hurting their stomachs or putting them at risk.

Related Questions

Can a Single Grape Be Deadly to My Dog?

You might think one grape is too small to cause anything, but it is so toxic that even just one or two grapes can be seriously dangerous for your dog.

The exact amount of grapes that is most dangerous to dogs is not known and our canine friends seem to react differently, but it’s clear that even a small grape or single raisin can do a lot of harm, and it’s not worth the risk.

No matter the size of your dog, it is best to keep grapes and raisins well out of reach.

Can My Dog Eat Grape-Flavored Items?

Most grape flavored items are made with a synthetic grape flavoring, which is not necessarily dangerous. However, if the food is made with real grapes, there is a risk of harm. Even if it is grape-free, it is likely a sweet treat full of sugar, which is also a bad idea to give your dog.

You can check the label to see how the food is flavored, but it is best to just avoid any grape-flavored foods as well as most human treats. Stick to veterinarian-approved foods to keep your pooch healthy and happy.

What Fruits Can My Dog Eat?

Dogs can eat certain fruits, but only as occasional treats. They should not be eaten as a daily meal.

Safe fruits for dogs include apples, bananas, blueberries, cantaloupe. For that matter, vegetables such as broccoli, Brussel sprouts, carrots, and celery are also generally fine.

But again, these should be offered as treats once or twice a week at most, and should not replace any of your dog’s usual diet.

Up Next: Can Dogs Drink Oat Milk?

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