Bacon is a favorite food for most humans and a staple of mouthwatering breakfasts. Quality meat is an essential part of your pooch’s diet, and lean meats and organ meats contain essential amino acids, vitamins, and fats that are important for the health of your dog. But what about bacon? Your dog is bound to love bacon just as much as you do, but is bacon safe for dogs?
The short answer is yes, bacon in small amounts is fine for your pooch. But the real question is whether you should give your canine friend bacon. In this article, we’ll take a look at the potential health issues and whether giving your dog bacon is a good idea overall.
What exactly is bacon?
Bacon is a salt-cured cut of pork usually made from pork belly or the less-fatty back cuts. Most bacon is from side cuts — which is very fatty — but back or loin bacon is also fairly popular and less fatty, with a more ham-like texture and taste.
Bacon is made by curing the cuts of meat in salt, seasonings, and sometimes sugar and then lightly smoking them. The smoking happens at low heat, low enough that the bacon doesn’t cook but enough to add the distinctive flavor. Commercial bacon may also have various preservatives and large amounts of salt and is typically around one-third fat.
Health risks of eating bacon
Your pooch will love the irresistible smell of cooking bacon just as much as you do, and it’s easy to be tempted to give them a taste. It’s meat after all, right? Healthy, lean meat is an important part of your dog’s diet, but bacon is full of fat and grease, both of which are not good for your dog and in large amounts, can cause digestive issues. Here are the potential risks associated with feeding your dog bacon.
What about raw pork and bacon?
Raw food diets have become a popular yet controversial diet among dog owners in the last few years, and the diet often includes raw meat. However, raw meat has potential dangers, especially pork. Bacterial contamination is a real risk with raw pork, namely salmonella and E. coli bacteria and parasites such as trichinella spiralis. Trichinosis is caused by this roundworm parasite and can cause a multitude of harmful symptoms, including inflammation, diarrhea, and vomiting.
Are there any benefits?
There are no nutrients in bacon that your dog cannot get from healthier alternatives. The protein and fat in bacon are easily found in other healthier meat products, as well as in most good-quality commercial foods.
While your dog will love the smell and taste of bacon, and small amounts occasionally are probably fine, we recommend avoiding giving your pooch any bacon at all. The high fat and sodium content are just too much for most dog’s digestive systems to handle, and if bacon is given regularly, it can cause serious health complications for your pooch.
It is difficult to resist those pleading eyes while you are cooking up a bacon breakfast, but there is a multitude of healthier alternatives to give your pooch.