Some of us have a tendency to treat our dogs as garbage disposal units, they’re intrepid little omnivores after all and seem to be able to eat almost anything. It may be time to rethink that position a little bit, and the best way to do that is by answering your questions like “Is ham bad for dogs?”
Short Answer for the Question Can Dogs eat Ham?
Don’t do it. Seriously, DO NOT feed your dog Ham.
It’s terrible for them, and long-term complications aside it’s borderline toxic to your little furred friend. Even in the short term, it can cause issues if they eat a significant amount, including stomach aches.
In the long term, the outlook is even bleaker, so don’t feed your dog ham even if they do the cutest dance in the world while they’re begging. You’re the one in charge, so take an interest in their health.
But, They’re Begging…
I did not stutter. No ham for your dog, not even a slice.
You’ll have to learn to ignore those big, begging eyes over something eventually so steel yourself and don’t give it over.
Here Comes the Science why Ham bad for Dogs
The prohibition on ham isn’t a religious thing, it comes from some very well established science. Ham and any other kind of processed meat are simply terrible for your dog. Apart from the short-term complications like tummy aches you’ll find that it can eventually harm your dog’s health quite a bit.
We may have overstated the danger a bit above, a couple bites of it won’t harm your canine for the most part but it got your attention, didn’t it?
Pork in and of itself is generally considered an “unclean” meat, that’s because it quite often has parasites. Debate abounds about the nutritional quality of pork as well, but for the most part, unprocessed pork is generally regarded as safe and quite tasty. Provided it’s cooked well, you’reprobably okay with tossing your dog a chunk of pork chop.
Ham is rather processed, however, while it’s not as done up as lunch meats it’s definitely altered in a huge way from just being part of the pig. This is done through a brining process which adds a bunch of salt to the pork and renders it so delicious as an end product. To humans anyways.
Dogs don’t have the self-control we do, and they also generally aren’t as used to salty food as us. This can cause them to drink too much water to make up for the dry mouth the ham has caused them and lead to a bloated condition which can actually be rather dangerous in and of itself.
Even if they don’t overdrink water, excessive intake of salt is a much more precarious situation for dogs than for us. They need to maintain a certain balance of electrolytes in their system and the large amounts of sodium in ham just aren’t going to do anything good for them.
In addition to all of that, you’ll find that ham is quite high in fat. While it’s not overly harmful to humans, dogs simply don’t need as much of it as we do. You might find your dog gaining weight quite quickly if their fat intake goes up too much, and an obese dog certainly isn’t a healthy one.
Dogs are also prone to pancreatitis when their fat intake gets too high. This is a painful condition and expensive to treat at best, and it runs the risk of being fatal. Those begging eyes seem to be losing their allure, don’t they?
It’s also fairly hard for your animal to digest, which can cause stomach aches and other minor problems in the short term.
So… stick clear of feeding your dog ham.
What Else to Avoid?
For the same reasons we don’t feed our dogs ham, there’s a number of other processed foods which you’ll want to avoid feeding your dog.
Bacon is chief among them, another “natural” meat that is highly processed despite its ancient origins. This will include all the various older varieties of processed pork as well, including prosciutto and others.
You’ll also want to avoid feeding them any kind of lunch meat, even stuff that would normally be quite safe like chicken and turkey. They all have salt added to them and, as we’ve seen above, that’s really not a good thing for your dog.
It’s really safest to stick with a high-quality dog food, but you can occasionally feed your dog unprocessed meats of most types. Pork is still a bit chancy no matter what and opinions vary, but the consequences of choosing to do this will be far less than if you were to go with ham.
We hope that we’ve convinced you not to make this common error. If anyone asks you in the future “Can Dogs eat Ham" or "Is ham bad for dogs?” you’re now armed with the information to tell them the correct answer. Knowing is half the battle, and just by asking this question you may have saved your dog from some serious health issues in the future.
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