We all love gummies–but the gummy treats that we enjoy are not good for dogs. It’s simple, fast and easy to make homemade gummies for dogs, though–it literally takes only a few minutes of cooking time! We’ve got an easy recipe for you–and one that you can customize with some of your dog’s favorite flavors.
Gelatin is the base of gummies, dissolved in water or your choice of liquids. I used liver broth to add lots of flavor. You can use many liquid bases–and even blend or drop in additional treats for more flavor, creating a sweet or savory gummy treat for your dog’s tastes. These also make great pill pockets for dogs.
What You’ll Need to Make Gummies for Dogs
This is one of the simplest dog treat recipes! All you’ll need is:
- plain, unflavored gelatin
- ice trays or silicone trays
- a little olive oil
- a measuring cup
Before you get started, prepare your trays for the gelatin mixture. You can use ice cube trays or silicone trays (my preference since they’re so cute!) If you’re going to use the gummies as pill pockets, though, I’d recommend the trays with small cubes to give you a deeper gummy.
To make it easy to pop the gummies out of the trays, you’ll want to give the trays a spray with olive oil. I used an olive oil mister; you just pump up the mixer to create a spray:
Spray the olive oil in the silicone molds; if you don’t have a mister, just lightly grease each mold with the olive oil.
Don’t have a silicone tray or extra ice cube tray handy? Just use a small jelly roll pan or even a disposable foil pan. Spray it with olive oil; when the gummies are set, use a knife to cut the gummies into squares. Your dog will love them regardless of the shape!
How to Make Gelatin for Your Dog
Now it’s time to make the gelatin!
I use original UNFLAVORED Knox Gelatin; it contains nothing but gelatin and has just 5 calories per serving.
I thawed the broth in the refrigerator overnight so the broth was chilled.
Step one is to sprinkle two packets of gelatin (2 tablespoons) over a 1/4 cup of cold broth. Give the gelatin one minute to “bloom” in the cold broth.
While you’re waiting, warm a half cup of broth on the stove or in the microwave. Don’t worry that there are bits of meat in the broth; your dog will love it!
Once the broth comes to a boil, pour the hot broth into the cold broth and gelatin mixture:
Stir the mix completely then pour it into the trays.
TIP: If you’re using floppy silicone trays rather than a rigid ice cube tray, your life will be easier if you place the silicone trays on a cookie sheet BEFORE you fill the trays. It will make moving the trays into the refrigerator much, much easier!
Let the gummies refrigerate for four or five hours, then pop them out of the trays:
Store the gummies for up to four days in your refrigerator. They make cool treats after a summer dog walk!
And, as I mentioned, gummies also make a great homemade pill pocket; just insert the pill into the gelatin and call it a treat!
More Gummies Ideas for Dogs!
Want to mix it up a bit? Try using any of these liquids as the base for your gelatin dog treat:
- chicken broth
- beef broth (make your own; store versions have onion powder, a no-no for dogs)
- bone broth (again make your own due to onion powder and seasonings in some store versions)
- pumpkin puree and water (see how to make your own pumpkin puree). If you use store-bought puree, be sure to buy pure pumpkin, NOT pie filling which contains spices and sugar.
- canned dog food and water
- dehydrated dog food and water
Or use plain gelatin and water and add some sprinkles! Pulverize these in a food processor or blender…or just drop them into the gummies once you pour the mix in the tray:
- green beans
- turmeric (about 1/8 teaspoon) with a dash of black pepper
- small bits of chicken or liver
- small pieces of banana
- training-size dog treats
TIP: Be sure to check our A-Z list of Foods Never to Feed Your Dog!
Can dogs eat gelatin?
Gelatin is a protein derived from the collagen found in animal bones, skin, and connective tissues. In general, gelatin can be considered safe for dogs in moderate amounts (and remember: we’re just talking about a small treat here). Gelatin even offers some potential benefits:
- Joint Health: Some believe gelatin can support joint health due to its collagen content. Collagen is a primary component of joint cartilage. As dogs age, supplementing with collagen or gelatin might help maintain joint flexibility and health.
- Protein Source: Gelatin is a source of protein, though not a complete one. It contains amino acids that can be beneficial for your dog’s health.
- Hair and Nail Health: The amino acids in gelatin can also support hair and nail growth.
- Digestion: Gelatin can be soothing for the gut and might support digestive health.
As with any food or supplement, there’s a potential for your dog to have an allergic reaction or sensitivity. Always monitor for any adverse reactions when introducing something new to your dog’s diet.
Can dogs eat Jello?
Dogs can technically eat plain, unflavored gelatin, which is the primary ingredient in Jell-O. However, there are some significant concerns and nuances when considering giving Jell-O to dogs:
- Artificial Sweeteners: Many Jell-O products or similar gelatin desserts contain artificial sweeteners. One in particular, xylitol, is highly toxic to dogs. Even small amounts of xylitol can cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), seizures, liver failure, or even death in dogs.
- Sugar: Regular Jell-O products that don’t use artificial sweeteners are high in sugar, which isn’t ideal for dogs. Consuming sugary foods can lead to obesity, dental problems, and potentially diabetes.
- Artificial Colors and Flavors: These might not be harmful in small amounts, but they aren’t beneficial for dogs and can cause gastrointestinal upset in some.
- Additives: Some Jell-O products might contain additional additives or ingredients that could be harmful or unnecessary for dogs.
If you want to give your dog a gelatin treat, it’s safer to make one at home using plain, unflavored gelatin as in the recipe below and dog-friendly ingredients. Always be sure to consult with your veterinarian if you’re unsure about feeding any human food or treats to your dog.
Printable Gummies Recipe
- 2 packets (2 Tablespoons) unflavored, unsweetened gelatin
- 3/4 cup liver, chicken, beef or turkey broth, divided
- olive oil
- Spray silicone trays with olive oil. Set trays onto cookie sheet and set aside.
- Pour 1/4 cup of homemade broth in bowl and chill. Do not use commercial broths which often contain onion powder.
- Pour 3/4 cup homemade broth in sauce pan and bring to boil (or boil in microwave).
- Open 2 packets of gelatin and sprinkle in chilled broth. All gelatin to bloom for a minute or two.
- When heated broth boils, remove from heat and cool for one minute.
- Pour heated broth into chilled broth-gelatin mixture and stir completely.
- Gently pour mixture into trays.
- Move trays to refrigerator and refrigerate for 4-5 hours.
- Remove gummies from trays. Serve cold.
- Store gummies in refrigerator for 4 days.