Is Ham Bad for Dogs? Can Dogs Eat Ham?

As you serve yourself that delicious meal including a few slices of baked ham, you might be asking yourself this big question; can dogs eat ham, or is ham bad for dogs? Well, the answer to the question is not a straightforward YES or NO. Below we highlight scenarios when feeding ham to your dog is okay and why you should not do so regularly.

Is ham bad for dogs? What happens if my dog eats ham?

Although ham contains proteins, which dogs need, store-bought ham contains a lot of sodium which is harmful to dogs. Sodium can be toxic to dogs and can cause vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, abnormal fluid accumulation, and excessive thirst and urination. Sodium can also cause kidney damage, coma, seizures, and even death.

Store-bought ham, which we often use, contains sodium-based preservatives notably nitrates and nitrites. These preservatives can pose serious health complications to dogs as well as humans. Another reason why ham is bad for dogs is its higher fat content compared to other types of meat. 

The fat content of ham makes it hard for dogs to digest, with some sources indicating ham is not easily digestible by dogs and humans. Excessive fat can lead to obesity in dogs, pancreatitis, and other digestive complications.

Can dogs eat ham bones?

Raw ham bones can contain harmful, disease-causing bacteria such as salmonella. Cooked ham bones, on the other hand, become soft and splinter easily when dogs chew on them. The splinters can cause severe injuries including choking and tearing of their mouth, throat, or intestines. They can also create an intestinal blockage that might require surgery to correct.

Can ham kill a dog?

YES. Excessive consumption of ham can cause serious health complications to your dog, including pancreatitis, kidney damage, seizures, obesity, and even death. Cooked ham bones can cause internal injuries and in severe cases death. However, feeding your dog ham once in a while is okay but you should be careful.

Recap: So, can dogs eat ham?

A small portion of ham once in a while is safe. However, feeding your dog ham regularly can cause serious health complications such as pancreatitis, kidney damage, seizures, obesity, and even death. Raw ham can contain harmful, disease-causing bacteria such as salmonella while cooked ham is not entirely safe for dogs either. Cooked ham bones soften and can splinter causing internal injuries to dogs after they chew. In a nutshell, you should limit feeding ham to your dog and when you do then you should avoid cooked ham bones.

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