Can Dogs Eat Strawberry Jam? The Not So Sweet Truth!

can dogs eat strawberry jam
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Last weekend, I decided to make strawberry shortcake and wanted to add some Strawberry jam on top. My Labrador hates citric fruits but will watch me as I make this cake. When I saw her licking her chops, I wondered if the Strawberry jam was safe for her. 

Can dogs eat Strawberry jam? No, dogs should not eat Strawberry jam. Many store-bought Strawberry jam contains high amounts of sugar and preservatives which can harm your dog’s overall health. Dogs can only have a taste or two of your homemade Strawberry jam if there’s no added preservatives, sugar, or pectin in it. Strawberry jam also does not provide any nutritional benefits to dogs so it’s best to avoid feeding it to your pooch. 

While many people love the Strawberry jam in their Vanilla wafers, banana pudding, or cheesecakes, the sweet citric taste is made for human consumption only.

Is Strawberry jam bad for dogs? 

Strawberry jam is bad for dogs. As a responsible dog owner, it’s best to avoid feeding Strawberry jam to your dog. To fully understand why Strawberry jam is harmful to your dog’s health, let’s explore what Strawberry jam is and the ingredients in Strawberry jam. 

What is Strawberry jam?

strawberry jam

You’ll most likely be holding a Strawberry jam in your hand before you reach this article, but here’s a short description of what it is. As the name suggests, strawberry fruit is the main ingredient. 

Strawberry jam is usually spread on bread. However, there are other creative uses for it such as: 

  • Spread in between cake layers.
  • Blend Strawberry jam with yogurt or milk to make a Strawberry jam smoothie.
  • Add on top of cheesecake.
  • Waffle topping.
  • Pancake topping.
  • Mixed with cottage cheese. 
  • Add into rice pudding. 
  • Add into plain yogurt.
  • Fill doughnuts with Strawberry jam. 
  • Add on top of muffins. 

How is Strawberry jam made?

The strawberries are crushed and cut into small mushy pieces. The citric acid is then added to the small strawberry pieces. They are then cooked or heated up in plain sugar or sugar syrup. 

In most cases, the small strawberry pieces are cooked in corn syrup as a sugar substitute. The reason for using sugar is that it helps to help release the water from the berries and helps speed the cooking process. 

Separately, the pectin is added to a pot of boiling water. The purpose of the pectin is to help thicken the liquid to give that jam-like thick texture later when it’s cooled down. This pot of pectin liquid is then poured into the pot of strawberry pieces that are heated in corn syrup.  

Next, they are mixed together and pour into a glass jar. A cap is used to conceal this Strawberry jam jar so that it can be put into the refrigerator right away to cool down. The cooling process helps to harden the liquid and give that jam-like texture. 

Please note that this is usually how Strawberry jams are made when you buy them from the store. 

Fun Fact: Reese’s Pieces is a sweet peanut butter candy that also contains corn syrup as one of its primary ingredients.

Strawberry jam ingredients 

Many store-bought Strawberry jam share similar ingredients. We’ve researched some of the popular Strawberry jams that you can find in your grocery store or supermarket below. 

Smuckers Strawberry jam ingredients

  • Strawberries.
  • High fructose corn syrup.
  • Corn syrup.
  • Sugar.
  • Fruit Pectin.
  • Citric Acid.

Kirkland Strawberry spread ingredients

  • Fresh organic strawberries.
  • Organic cane sugar.
  • Fruit pectin.
  • Citric Acid.

Strawberries (Safe in moderation)

can dogs have strawberry jam

Strawberries are safe for dogs if consumed in moderation. They contain vitamin C and fiber, which are great for dogs. 

Strawberries also help to whiten your puppy’s teeth because they contain an enzyme called malic acid. The tiny seeds within the skin of the strawberry can help to rub away tartar and plaque from your furry friend’s teeth. 

Since strawberry is loaded with sugar, be careful with how much you’re feeding your pooch. 

Do keep in mind that many health sites label strawberries as pesticide-laden fruit because they are one of the fruits that are likely contaminated with pesticide residues. After you wash them, the pesticide residues may still be there on the strawberries. In fact, many tests found that about 90% of all strawberries had one or more pesticides. 

Due to this, it’s best to feed your canine friends strawberries in moderation and as an occasional treat.

Sugar (Harmful in high amount)

Strawberry jam is packed full of sugar. Ingesting too much sugar is dangerous for dogs’ health as it will cause the following: 

  • Diabetes.
  • Weight gain.
  • Obesity
  • Inflammation throughout the canine’s body.

Please note that sugar is an essential part of your furry friend’s diet. However, the type of sugar found in your typical Strawberry jam is not what your pup needs. 

Cane sugar, Corn syrup, and high fructose corn syrup

Keep in mind that strawberries are already sweet fruit. With the addition of plain sugar, cane sugar, corn syrup, and high fructose corn syrup in the Strawberry jam, the sugar level is off the roof. This is why Strawberry jam is so dangerous for your dog’s diet and health. 

Corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup are used to keep the sweet taste consistent throughout the Strawberry jam. However, both of them have high sugar content. So while it is not toxic to dogs, the high sugar level is.

Hint: Avoid food or (drinks like Sprite) that have high sugar content. When dogs consume too much sugar, they are at risk of gain weight and diabetes.

Pectin (Harmful in high amount)

While pectin is fine since fruit pectin is highly soluble fiber, a lot of it can cause pectin toxicity. The symptoms of pectin toxicity includes: 

  • Difficult breathing. 
  • Upset stomach.
  • Fluid build-up in the chest.

Citric Acid (Harmful in large quantity)

Naturally, many canines stay away from citrus fruits because they do not like the taste of citric acid. The citric acid taste does not sit well with their carnivore taste buds. 

If your pooch likes citrus fruits, make sure to give them in moderation as an occasional treat. A moderate amount for dogs in this case would be just one strawberry. 

Dogs that ingest food with too much citric acid can having the following: 

  • Upset stomach.
  • Weakness.
  • Central nervous system depression.
  • Vomiting. 
  • Diarrhea.

If your pooch ingests too much citric acid and is experiencing any symptoms, be sure to take him to the vet right away. Remove the citric fruits from easy to reach areas like your tables or kitchen counters and place them on the top shelf or hard to reach areas.

How many calories in Strawberry jam?

Let’s not forget about the high calories in the Strawberry jam.

Nutrition Profile of Smucker’s Strawberry jam (1 Tablespoon or 20g)

Name, Unit Amount
Calories, cal50
Total Carbohydrate, g13
Total Sugars, g12

Nutrition Profile of Kirkland organic Strawberry spread (1 Tablespoon or 18g)

Name, Unit Amount
Calories, cal35
Total Carbohydrate, g9
Total Sugars, g9

It’s important to note that a dog should only consume 25 calories for every pound they weigh per day. 

This means that: 

  • A 10 pound small dog should only consume a total of 250 calories every day
  • A 70 pound large dog should only consume a total of 1,750 calories every day

If your Chihuahua licks just 1 tablespoon of the Smucker’s Strawberry jam, that’s already 50 calories of his or her daily calorie intake. That’s 50 calories without any nutritional benefits. 

For a larger dog, 1 tablespoon of the Strawberry jam may not be bad, but again, there’s no nutritional benefits and just tons of sugar or corn syrup, pectin, and citric acid.

Both Smucker’s Strawberry jam and the Kirkland organic Strawberry spread contain additional grams of added sugar. 

Fun Facts: Chicken skin is another human food that is high in calories and does not provide any nutrient benefits to dogs.

When shouldn’t you feed Strawberry jam to your dog?

strawberry jam with scones

 You shouldn’t feed Strawberry jam to your canine friends if they have diabetes, are overweight and trying to maintain a healthy weight, or do not like the taste of citric acid.

Does Strawberry jam provide any nutritional benefit for your dog?

No, Strawberry jam does not provide any nutritional benefit for your dog. Instead, it is packed full of sugar and contains pectin and citric acid.

What if my dog accidentally eats a lot of Strawberry jam?

If your canine friends accidentally lick a little bit of Strawberry jam off of your finger, they should be fine. 

However, accidentally ingesting a lot of Strawberry jam can be a problem. They may show these following symptoms and should be taken to the vet immediately: 

  • Upset stomach. 
  • Inflammation throughout the body.
  • Difficulty breathing.  

Some canines may not react right away. Be sure to monitor them closely over the next 24-hour period. If you notice any symptoms, consult with your vet. 

Regularly feeding your pup can result in: 

  • Canine obesity.
  • Dental issues: tooth decay and cavities.
  • Diabetes. 
  • Pancreatitis.

Dog-friendly alternatives to Strawberry jam

There are many dog-friendly fruits for your canine companions. They include: 

  • Pumpkins.
  • Apples.
  • Bananas.
  • Blueberries.
  • Peaches.
  • Pears.

If you don’t have time to make your furry friends a fruity snack or treat, here are some great fruit snack options we highly recommend that will keep them healthy and satisfy their daily dose of fruits. 

How do I make Strawberry jam for my dog at home?

If you want to make canine-friendly Strawberry jam at home, be sure not to add any pectin, preservatives, or sugar in your homemade Strawberry jam. 

So, can dogs eat Strawberry jam?

From the information above, it’s best to not feed your pooch Strawberry jam, but if you must, a little sliver of the Strawberry jam should be fine. Regularly feeding your four-legged friends Strawberry jam is dangerous to their health so it’s best to avoid doing so. 

There are plenty of fruit options and fruity dog snacks that are canine-friendly and healthy. These healthier alternatives will keep your pooch happy, healthy, and active.

Related Questions

Can jam harm dogs?

A little bit of jam should be fine for dogs, however, most jams are loaded with sugar. Consuming too much sugar can be dangerous for dogs.

In the case of Strawberry jam, it’s loaded with sugar, pectin, citric acid, and corn syrup. All of these ingredients are harmful if your pooch ingests a lot of Strawberry jam.

Is jam bad for dogs?

Yes, most jam are packed with sugar. Sugar is bad for dogs. Since jam contains lots of sugar, it can cause canine obesity, diabetes, and dental problems in dogs, especially if your pooch is having jam on a regular basis.

Can a strawberry harm a dog?

No, a strawberry won’t harm a dog. In fact, strawberries contain vitamin C and fiber which can help your pooch. It also contains malic acid and tiny seeds that can keep your pup’s teeth clean and white! 

However, it’s important that your furry friends don’t eat too many strawberries because doing so can be a problem. It’s best for dogs to eat strawberries in moderation.

Can Strawberry jam cause diarrhoea in dogs?

Yes, Strawberry jam can cause diarrhoea in dogs. If your pooch ingest a lot of Strawberry jam, it can cause him to have diarrhea because of the citric acid in this fruit. Too much citric acid in a dog’s stomach can cause diarrhea. 

What is the difference between Strawberry jam and jelly?

The difference between Strawberry jam and jelly is that:

Strawberry in the jam is in the form of crushed fruit and fruit pulp
Strawberry in the jelly is in the form of strawberry juice so the jelly has a more clear, consistent, and smooth texture.

Does Strawberry jam hurt dogs?

It depends. A sliver of Strawberry jam will not hurt dogs, however ingesting too much of it can hurt them. Moderation is key. 

The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. No material on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional veterinary advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding dietary needs.