Can dogs eat gelatin?
Gelatin is widely used in the food industry due to its gelling properties. On the market, we find a multitude of products that include gelatin in their list of ingredients, but is it a suitable food for dogs? If you want to find out, do not hesitate to join us in the following AnimalWised article, in which we will talk about whether can dogs eat jelly or not.
Is gelatin good for dogs?
Gelatin is a protein product obtained by partial hydrolysis of collagen (a protein that is extracted from the bones, skins, tendons and nerves of animals). Collagen itself is insoluble, however, when it undergoes a hydrolysis treatment, it becomes gelatin, a soluble product, gelling or not, which is used in the food industry due to its great functional versatility.
The gelatin understood as “neutral gelatin” (that which is usually marketed in sheets or powder) It is a product suitable for dogs, since it does not contain any substance that is toxic to your body. But are all jellies suitable for dogs? Is it true that dogs can eat human gelatin or that dogs can eat grape, lemon or flavored gelatin? Let’s find out.
Are all jellies suitable for dogs?
In supermarkets it is common to find flavored gelled desserts, which in addition to gelatin, contain other ingredients such as sugars, sweeteners, aromas, colorings and many other additives. Contrary to neutral gelatin, this type of flavored jellies are not suitable for animal consumptionsince they contain various ingredients that can be harmful to the health of pets.
And what about the flavored “sugar free” jellies? Can dogs eat sugar free gelatin? The truth is neither. These types of products usually replace sugar with sweeteners, which are not recommended for our dogs either. In fact, some, such as xylitol, are highly toxic to your body.
In short, we can conclude that dogs can eat neutral gelatin without flavor, but on the contrary, all gelled preparations, whether they contain sugar or not, are not suitable for them.
Benefits of gelatin for dogs
In this section we are going to talk about the benefits that gelatin offers for dogs, understanding neutral gelatin as such.
- the jelly It is a food with a high protein content.In fact, it is on the list of the most protein foods, since it has 84 grams of protein per 100 grams of product. However, it is important to note that the protein in the gelatin has a low biological value, since it does not contain a large proportion of essential amino acids (those amino acids that the body cannot synthesize on its own, and that have to be consumed through the diet). That is, the contribution of gelatin by itself cannot cover the protein needs of the animals, but to cover these requirements and guarantee the contribution of all the essential amino acids, it is necessary to combine this food with other proteins of greater biological value (such as meat, fish, egg, etc.).
- His high collagen content helps maintain skin elasticity, strengthens coat and nails, and keeps dogs’ joints in good condition. If you are interested in the latter, in this other post we talk about Food for dogs with joint problems.
- It does not contain fats or carbohydrates, which makes your caloric content is very low. This makes it possible to include gelatin in the diet of dogs without increasing the caloric value of their portion, which is especially interesting in obese dogs or those with a tendency to be overweight.
- When gelatin coagulates, a three-dimensional structure called gel is formed, which retains a large amount of liquid (water or any other liquid with which gelatin hydrates) inside. Therefore, the contribution of gelatin Helps maintain the body’s hydration level. This feature can be especially useful for keeping dogs that tend to drink little water properly hydrated, or to ensure hydration in hot weather.
- Also, the gelatin provides a small amount of mineral saltssuch as calcium, zinc, potassium and magnesium.
How to give gelatin to my dog?
As we have seen in this article, the only gelatin that dogs can consume is neutral gelatin. To provide this type of gelatin, the best option is to prepare your own dog jellies at home.
If you regularly feed your dog a homemade diet, occasionally you can choose to offer the ration in jelly form. To do this, cook the ingredients as you usually do and chop them up. Parallel, Mix the plain gelatin with meat, chicken or vegetable broth (always without salt). The amount of liquid that you must add will be specified in the gelatin container. Next, combine the ingredients with the broth and gelatin mixture, pour the mixture into a serving-size mold and place in the fridge until the mixture coagulates. In this way, you will be able to offer your dog his usual ration (with the same nutritional value and the same caloric value), but cold and with a different texture. This option can be especially useful in summer, since it allows us to refrigerate our dogs and provide extra hydration with the food itself.
Another option is prepare dog jelly in the form of treats. To do this, you must hydrate the gelatin with meat, chicken or vegetable broth (without salt), following the manufacturer’s instructions. Once hydrated, place the mixture in an ice tray or in small molds and let it coagulate in the fridge. If you prefer, you can add other ingredients that your dog likes to the mix (such as shredded chicken or bits of meat), to make the treats more attractive.
In this video we show the best fruits for dogs that you can use to make treats:
Dosage of gelatin for dogs
As we have seen, gelatin is a food that provides protein, some minerals, and helps maintain the body’s hydration level. However, by itself it does not have great nutritional value, since it hardly provides calories and the biological value of its proteins is low. Therefore, although gelatin is a suitable food for dogs, it should not necessarily be part of your regular diet.
can be used occasionally to offer the prizes or the daily ration with a different texture and temperature, but not with the aim of nutritionally enriching the ration. Remember that the use of gelatin can be especially useful on hot days, since providing food or treats in the form of gelatin helps to cool our dogs and also helps to maintain their hydration.
Side effects of gelatin for dogs
In principle, the contribution of neutral gelatin in the way that we have described in this article does not have to be harmful to the organism of dogs.
However, the consumption of flavored jellies and other types of gelled products, intended for human consumption, can be negative for our dogs. These products usually contain high levels of sugar, which in dogs favor the appearance of gastrointestinal disturbances, obesity, diabetes, etc. It is also common for these products to contain sweeteners, aromas, colorings and other additives that, in general, are not recommended for the diet of dogs. In fact, sweeteners such as xylitol are highly toxic for dogs, which can cause severe poisoning in them, with vomiting, hypoglycemia, loss of consciousness, convulsions, etc.
Contraindications of gelatin for dogs
Although gelatin is a suitable food for dogs, there are certain situations in which its administration can be counterproductive:
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