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Can Dogs Eat Bologna? Is Bologna Safe for Dogs?

Kristin Hitchcock

By Kristin Hitchcock

can dogs eat bologna

Dogs like meat. While they are not obligate carnivores, they have evolved to live off of mostly meat. Their diet needs to consist of mostly protein and fats, which is precisely what meat contains.

Bologna is a type of meat. This may make it seem like a suitable option for canines. However, it is a very processed form of meat. It usually contains many additives and is high in sodium. For this reason, it isn’t a fantastic food for either people or canines.

But, it isn’t dangerous for dogs, either. Bologna in moderation can be a yummy snack, but you should not feed it to your canine as a large part of their diet. Instead, you should provide bologna only rarely.

We’ll take a look at everything you might need to know about feeding your dog bologna.

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Can bologna kill a dog?

sliced bologna on wooden board
Image Credit: MicrostockStudio, Shutterstock

Your dog getting their paws on a piece of bologna is not going to cause significant problems. One piece is not going to harm your dog. However, problems can arise when your canine eats a lot of bologna over a long period.

Bologna contains a lot of sodium. This can be a problem for many dogs. Over time, this can cause severe health problems, like pancreatitis. This can be life-threatening and can potentially kill your canines. However, this problem usually arises due to many different factors, including genetics and overall diet. Furthermore, one piece of bologna is not going to cause this problem – it would need to be multiple pieces a day for years.

Smaller dogs are going to be more susceptible to problems. They are smaller, so the high sodium content will affect them faster than a giant dog. Again, though, one piece isn’t going to do anything. Just don’t feed them one piece a day for years. Bologna is okay as the occasional treat, but not as a regular part of a dog’s diet.

Why is bologna terrible for dogs?

While bologna isn’t going to kill your canine outright, it is not considered a great option. This is mainly because it is very high in omega-6 fatty acids and salt. While every animal needs some salt to live (it helps you move the water around inside your body), bologna contains way too much sodium to be helpful.

Too much sodium can cause kidney problems and other diseases. While bologna by itself probably isn’t going to cause your dog health problems, it can if your dog eats substantial amounts of bologna for an extended period. We’re talking years and years.

Smaller dogs need to eat less bologna before they develop a problem. This is because they are smaller.

sad eyed dog
Image credit: Good Free Photos

At the same time, bologna also contains a lot of omega-6 fatty acids. These omega fatty acids are not a problem in small amounts. Omega fatty acids can be helpful in some situations – like for dogs with dry skin. However, they need to be balanced out by omega-3 fatty acids. If they aren’t, your dog could be at risk of developing specific health problems.

Furthermore, there are very few essential nutrients in bologna. It is mostly just unhealthy fats and sodium. It is also very high in calories, which means your canine likely won’t eat as much as usual. As you might imagine, this can cause nutritional deficiencies over time. It is not a healthy treat for overweight dogs at all.

Most bologna contains additives like corn syrup. While these aren’t necessarily awful for our canines, they aren’t suitable for our canines either. Just like they shouldn’t be eaten by people at high levels, our dogs don’t need to eat them at high levels either.

Bologna and Dogs with Allergies

Bologna is often referred to as “mystery meat” because you don’t know what is in it. Bologna can be made out of just about everything. If your dog has allergies, this can be a problem. For example, bologna can contain chicken. If your dog is allergic to chicken, you may unknowingly be giving them chicken without even realizing it.

For this reason, bologna is best avoided by dogs with allergies. These canines may accidentally eat the meat their allergic to by eating bologna.

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Look for Healthier Alternatives

A little bit of bologna isn’t going to hurt your canine. However, giving your dog too much bologna can cause some problems. The sodium levels in most bologna are incredibly high. It also contains unhealthy fats and plenty of additives. We recommend avoiding giving these to your puppy for this reason.

Instead, look for a healthy alternative to bologna. There are many types of meat that are much better options for your dog.

With that said, if your dog does snatch a piece of bologna off the counter, you don’t have a reason to be worried. One piece isn’t going to hurt your canine.

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Featured Image Credit: CC0 Public Domain, Pixy

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