Can dogs eat bacon? – Or other pork food?

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Can dogs eat bacon? Can dogs eat sausage?

And can dogs eat pork? What about ham? Or a bacon and egg sandwich???Bacon rashers

If you want a short and simple answer, ot’s No! Although not necessarily to all types of pork and not to the whole of the sandwich!

If you want to know why, or if it’s okay to give your dog just a teensy weensy bit now and again, read on.

Bacon is tempting

When you’re cooking yummy food and the smell wafts through the house and your dog comes to investigate, are you tempted to give them a little as a treat?

It’s easy to forget that your furry pal isn’t human. Heck! Most of the time they’re better than humans 🙂

But in whatever ways they may appear human, they are definitely NOT hum in one way – the food they eat. Or rather the food they SHOULD eat.

Dog food vs human food

The dog’s digestive system is quite different to ours and much of the food that we eat is not suitable for dogs for a variety of reasons.

Those puppy dog eyes get you every timeStick to approved dog food (which is a story for another day) and treats and you avoid the potential hazards of feeding your dog unsuitable human food.

But we don’t, do we? Those big puppy eyes, the paw we taught them to give when asking for something…

Yes, it’s our fault, but giving in to them can damage THEIR health, not ours

The trouble with bacon

The three main problems with bacon are that it’s high in salt, high in fat, and it’s carcinogenic. Yes, bacon and red meat can give you cancer, according to the WHO (World Health organisation).

Really? Did that come as a shock? It was in all the papers back in 2015 but most of us have forgotten about it now.

However, the findings are true. The problem is caused by nitrates and nitrites use used in bacon and processed foods.

There’s a long but absolutely superb article about this in the Guardian called Yes, bacon really is killing us which is an essential read if you’re at all health-conscious.

Anyway, that’s one reason why you may not want to feed your dog bacon.

Bacon is high in salt

Salt - not good for dogsThe high salt content in bacon is another, perhaps more immediate, reason why it’s not healthy for dogs. Sure, they need salt, just as we do, but their system doesn’t tolerate it as well as we do and they get what they need from a good dog food diet.

Too much salt will make them thirsty (as it does us), and a build up can cause health problems including bloat.

It’s important that your dog always has access to lots of fresh drinking water.

Bacon is high in fat

The fat content in bacon is also problematic. Just as excess fat makes us overweight, in dogs it can lead to obesity and pancreatitis. The signs are difficult to spot as they’re similar to many other problems and by the time it’s diagnosed (which usually requires a blood test) it may be too late.

Greasy bacon

Those stalwarts of American and British Diners,  Greasy Spoons, were not named because of their haut cuisine.

Bacon grease has even more salt and fat than bacon so just don’t add it to your dog’s food for ‘taste’. It’s even worse for them than bacon.

Can I give my dog bacon occasionally?

We eat and drink and do things that we know are bad for our health. I put both my hands up ’cause I’m as guilty as sin here. We’re able to make that decision.

Your dog can’t make that choice so you have to make it for them.

Scientists cannot say that if you smoke you WILL get cancer (although smoking plays a part in 86% of lung cancer cases) or if you eat processed meat you will, either (although it has been estimated that it contributes to around nine-thousand deaths in the UK each year).

I don’t want to play those odds.

Make up your own mind about bacon

This is not a diatribe, I’m just laying out a few facts that you can check for yourself. As an adult, please do make your own decisions but make the right one for your best friend.

Bacon and small dogs

Just in case you are tempted to slip your dog a slice, please also be aware that smaller dogs won’t be able to process the contents as well as larger dogs and may be more prone to the problems caused by salt and fat.

Can my dog eat sausage?

Sausage - but not for Fido!When I was little, my Dad used to say sausages were made from the sawdust on the butcher’s floor. But we both still loved ’em!

And I continued to eat them for many years until the mad cow disease outbreak when, not liking the odds here either, I stopped eating meat. Whether or not it was too late to save me from infection, is not for me to say 🙂

We’ll leave aside the question of What sausage is made of but suffice to say it, too, is a processed red meat.

It contains salt, fat and also spices which might be almost unnoticeable to us. Garlic and onions are just two spices you might find in sausage that are not good for your dog.

Alas, even hot dogs and frankfurters come under the WHO’s watchful eye.

And sausage grease is as bad as bacon grease so please don’t give that to your dog, either.

But trainers give their dogs sausage

And if you fetch it, you can have a sausage, mustard, sauce and high cholesterolYes, some dog trainers reward their dogs with small pieces of sausage and they may poo-poo the idea that it’s bad for them.

A small amount now and again may not do them any immediate harm but why would you want to give your dog something that is not healthy for them when there are so many healthy alternatives such as Bixbi’s Pocket Trainer Treats and Treats by Fruitables?

Your dog will enjoy alternative treat just as much.

Can my dog eat ham

Again, ham is highly processed with salt, fat and preservatives.

So, No.

Can my dog eat pork

If you’re expecting another No, you’d be erring on the side of caution. The WHO still classifies pork as a carcinded meat but of all the pork-type meats, unprocessed pork is the safest.

Roast porkPlain pork, if fully cooked and without any spices or seasoning or sauces, at least lacks the harmful substances found in processed meat. I still can’t be ‘recommended’ but if you must, be aware that it’s still a fatty food so make it a treat.

Don’t feed your dog uncooked pork as it carries the risk of parasitic infection.

Don’t give your dog the cooked pork scraps from the table.

Of all the meats, pork and its variants is one of the worst for your dog. Chicken is the best.

Can my dog eat egg?

Now you’re talking!

Having weaned you – and your dog – off your pork fixation 🙂 we can look at the bacon and egg sandwich. Without the bacon or bread, please!

Okay, plain white and wheat bread is fine as long as your dog doesn’t have a wheat allergy but, as with most human foods, give it as a treat and not as part of their diet.

A good egg

Good eggsEggs are full of protein and other goodies and are fine to give your dog.

Hey – result at last!

However, as ever, moderation is the key and you wouldn’t want to give your dog an egg every day, especially the smaller breeds.

Give them as a treat.

A doggy stomach-settler

Murphy would eat all sort of stuff outside my field of vision and he would occasionally get an upset tummy. At such times I’d give him a scrambled egg in place of his normal meal.

This helps settle his stomach and provides protein, amino acids and other goodies. Plus, it works!

Cooking eggs for dogs

Eggs - Murphy's favouriteNormally when you cook an egg you use oil, milk or butter. These all add unwanted fat; plus milk is not good if your dog is lactose-intolerant.

I scrambled Murphy‘s eggs without any of these, simply cooking them in a non-stick flying pan.

You can also boil eggs or poach them.

Which leads us to the question…

Can a dog eat raw eggs?

Contrary to what you might believe from watching Rocky movies, raw eggs do not build muscle, but they are a good source of protein as, indeed, are correctly-cooked eggs.

There is a minute risk of salmonella (this is reduced further with free-range eggs) if you get a bad egg (this also depends on the food safety regime at work in your country).

Raw eggs also contain avitin which can inhibit the production of biotin (vitamin B7).

So, taking all that into account, raw eggs are probably okay but cooked eggs may be a little safer.

How can I STOP my dog eating bacon?

This is the question, isn’t it?I can smell it! I can smell it!

The answer is, of course – don’t give it to him!

When you’re cooking bacon or sausage in the kitchen and the distinctive smell wafts through the house and your dog comes in to see what’s going on and sniffs and sits and begs and you so much want to give him a treat…

Stop right there!

First of all, if you never feed your dog while cooking or in the kitchen they won’t associate it with food.

Yeah, I know, it’s a toughie.

You only have to do it once – yes, once! – for them to make the association and then it can be a very difficult habit to break.

The easiest habit to break is one that hasn’t started yet.

If it’s too late  when they come greeding, give them a safe treat or a toy or a Kong. They will then associate the smell with a teat but not expect one that tastes like the smell. Hopefully.

Can dogs eat bacon? – Summary

As we’ve seen the safest answer is just to say No.

However, if they eat some ‘by accident’ it probably won’t do them any harm although it’s really not something you want to encourage, not even as a treat.

But eggs, preferably cooked without fats or milk, can be eaten as a treat or to settle an upset stomach.

There are so many wonderful alternative treats that your dog can enjoy, they really won’t miss the unhealthy delights of a bacon or sausage snack.

II hope you found this articles interesting and useful. f you have any thoughts about it, please leave them in the Comments below and I will reply as soon as possible.

You may also be interested in these features:

Why my dog eats grass – The real reason revealed!

Should dogs eat ice cream? – What are the alternatives

How to stop a dog from chewing his bed

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