All the dog owners love to offer a small amount of food, whatever they are eating, to their dogs, especially when you’re slicing meat and your four-legged friend sits at your side salivating and gazing longingly at your dinner. Everyone knows lean meats (like chicken and Turkey) are good for dogs. But how about ham? Can Dogs Eat Ham?
Ham is certainly delicious and an excellent source of protein, but there are a few points you need to be aware of before feeding this meat to your pet. In this article, we’ll look at whether it is appropriate to feed this meat to your pet. We’ll also examine the amount you can feed safely. Let’s go!
What Is Ham?
Ham is a well-known food item that is made from the hind leg of a pig and can be cooked on or off the bones. It is often prepared as a large joint of meat for celebrations or roast dinners, or it is cut into slices to make for sandwiches.
Ham is also cured or prepared before cooking. For this purpose, it is treated with brine, salt, or sugar. Some preservatives or chemicals (Like sodium nitrate) are also added before cooking. Ham can be prepared or cooked in many different ways, and this can impact the suitability of ham as a food item for your canine friend.
Is Ham Save for Dogs to Eat?
Every time you make ham at home, you may think it is ok to offer a little to your dog. However, before offering any new snack always make sure that it is safe. Although ham is a good protein source, it is rich in salt, fat, and other chemicals that can cause serious complications. So it is recommended to offer a small amount occasionally as a treat, but not on a regular basis. Many better protein sources are available that don’t have such complications.
Why Ham Is Not Good for Dogs?
Remember most dogs are sensitive to fatty foods. It’s ok to eat ham in a small amount occasionally but eating in large quantities can cause serious health issues. Here are some of the aspects that make ham an unfit food for dogs.
1. High Salt Content
Ham is typically preserved, commonly with salt or other sodium-containing compounds and salt is not good for your dog, and if ingested in large amounts can result in salt toxicity. Increased thirst and urination are the most prominent initial signs.
2. High-Fat Content
Ham is rich in fat, and that’s what makes it so alluring both to humans and their canine friends. It may not cause any problem when eaten in a small amount. However many dogs are sensitive to fat and can develop digestive disturbance after eating ham. High fat intake can also lead to pancreatitis (another painful condition). Additionally, high fat intake means more calories that can lead to obesity and other related medical complications like arthritis, diabetes, etc. According to one survey, more than 50% of dogs in the USA and UK weigh more than normal; therefore it is better to avoid offering ham to your dog.
When Ham is cooked on the bone, bones become soft, and feeding soft bones can be dangerous. It is because when chewed, the cooked bones are significantly more inclined to break and splinter, and can cause choking and damage to the gums, mouth, and gut. Also keep in mind that raw ham bones are not advised by vets either, since they may contain bacteria and harm the teeth.
What if A Dog Eats Ham?
Eating small amount doesn’t cause any adverse side effects. However, every dog is different and some dogs may not tolerate eating ham at all.
Below is the list of typical signs that can be seen in dogs that eat Ham in large quantities and are unable to tolerate it.
- Excessive drooling
- Lack of Appetite
- Increased thirst
- More frequent urination
These signs can be mild to moderate in most cases depending on the health status of the dog. However, Pancreatitis is a painful condition. If your dog is suffering from pancreatitis, he will lay and stretch clumsily because of the pain he is feeling.
What To Do
If your dog exhibits any of the signs listed above, you should consult with your vet immediately to find relief for your friend. In case of pancreatitis, your dog may have to stay at the hospital for regular intravenous treatment.
Which Ham is Safe for Dogs?
If you are planning to serve Ham to your dog, always be safe. First, try to remove all extra fat, and then soak it in water for half an hour to extract the salt and other chemicals out of it. And the most important thing is to allow only a very small amount and treat occasionally. Don’t offer ham very often. And if you observe even a minor disturbance, don’t offer it again.
Can Dogs Eat Ham? Ham is very tasty and equally popular among humans and canines. Most dogs will enjoy eating it. However, don’t feed it regularly, to your dog. To fully fill the protein requirements of your dog, there are many other protein sources available (that are healthier, safer, and delicious). Take advice from your vet to choose the one that suits best for your companion.
My other articles here: