Ham is a type of meat that makes almost all dogs salivate! Since many food formulas are based on pork, it can be tempting to believe that giving ham to your doggie is a safe practice. Unfortunately, as you will see, this is a bad idea.
Can dogs eat ham? The answer to this question is not a simple yes or no. There are many things to consider before giving this meat to your dog and, as always, you should ask your veterinarian before sharing human food with your canine friend.
Can dogs eat ham?
When it comes to feeding dogs with food for humans, ham is a bit of a gray area. Yes, technically, it’s a protein that dogs need. However, store-bought ham often contains a lot of sodium.
Sodium in large amounts is bad enough for people, but it is also bad for dogs. Sodium isn’t the only danger this meat poses to pets. Preservatives are loaded with nitrates and nitrites, which are also sodium-based.
All of this sodium can cause serious side effects in dogs. It can also be toxic. Too much sodium can cause symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy. Even more serious, it can cause seizures and kidney damage.
If it is not serious enough, the ham also has a higher fat content than other meats. Since your dog’s diet probably already contains the appropriate amount of healthy fat your puppy needs, ham would be just an unnecessary addition and would instead cause possible digestive problems for your pet.
My dog has swallowed a piece of ham: is it dangerous ?
Not at all. Unlike chocolate or grapes, it is not toxic: long-term build-up is the problem. For this reason, some dog owners will donate ham for a while before realizing that they are making it sick.
In conclusion, there are much more interesting human foods to offer!
The potential risks of ham for my dog:
It is not recommended for dogs, due to its high sodium content and its saturated fat concentration. He will tend to gain weight with regular consumption, but he may also develop diarrhea or even vomiting. This applies to pork which is much too fatty. Depending on the animal’s sensitivity, you may notice fever, muscle inflammation, but also abdominal pain and pronounced lethargy.
In addition, ham is sometimes the cause of allergies, so it causes inflammation of the pancreas. It is better to keep it away from your dog and this is valid for all cold cuts. Bacon, sausages and other products in this category can be dangerous to canine health. In fact, the salt content accelerates dehydration which is harmful especially during periods of high heat.
How can I replace ham if I want to give my dog another meat to eat?
Pork is not recommended for your pet, but not all meats are problematic. Lamb, rabbit, duck, bison and deer can be included in their diet. If your four-legged friend is overweight, the rabbit is ideal since it is not caloric or fat. It is even much more beneficial than chicken. It is perfect for dogs with allergies or heart problems, but be careful, never give the bones. These are small and very pointed, so they are dangerous whether raw or cooked in broth. Your pet may suffocate.
Rich in vitamins and amino acids, lamb is recommended to give an appetizing side to kibble, but it is fatty. Limit the amount to once a week to keep only the health benefits. It contains cantina and thus improves canine health.
Nutritional qualities for bison are plentiful with copper, zinc, omega-3 and iron. It contributes to a beautiful coat especially between seasons since the change is harmful for the coat.
The final result:
In conclusion, small pieces of ham from time to time would probably not be fatal for your dog, unless they suffer from medical problems that would justify the contrary.
If you are unsure, it would be wiser to consult a veterinarian before giving your dog food for humans. That said, overall, this is meat that is probably best left for human consumption.