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Can Dogs Eat Raw Bacon? What You Need To Know!

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

can dogs eat raw bacon

Dogs are omnivores with a distinct bent toward the desire for meat and animal products. However, that doesn’t make everything safe for them to eat. What about various kinds of meat, like bacon?

Can Dogs Eat Raw Bacon?

The short answer is no. Dogs should not eat raw bacon. It isn’t likely that it will do any deeply serious or long-lasting harm if your pup gets a small nibble. However, the health risks heavily outweigh the benefits and can put your dog’s overall health in a compromised position.

If you are cooking bacon in the kitchen, your pup is bound to smell it and want a lick. No matter how big and pleading their puppy dog eyes become, avoid tossing them this tasty treat. If you just can’t help but want to give them something, then read on for healthier alternatives to this porky treat.

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The Health Risks of Raw Bacon

There are many treats out there for dogs to enjoy, and quite a few of them note that they are bacon-flavored. While this might insinuate that dogs could also enjoy bacon as a primary treat, it is better to give them the treats than to provide them with a piece of raw bacon. Why is that?

bacon strips
Image Credit: CarlottaSilvestrini, Pixabay

Fat and Grease

Bacon is loaded with fat and grease. The fats that come from bacon are mostly unhelpful for your dog’s overall health. The fat can clog arteries if fed in large amounts. Even in small portions, the grease can cause an upset stomach and painful cramps.

Giving a dog a piece of bacon not only affects their digestive system, but it can also lead to severe health issues like pancreatitis. It is so difficult for your dog to digest this food that the body doesn’t know how to absorb it.

If your dog has eaten an unhealthy diet of fats from foods such as raw bacon, watch out for the symptoms of pancreatitis. These can include:

  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fever
  • Bloat
  • Loss of appetite
  • Depression
  • Lethargy
  • Increased heart rate
  • Diarrhea

Although the heath results from bacon are generally not immediate, they can add up quickly. Smaller dogs are more likely to suffer from pancreatitis than large breed dogs. Keep in mind that your pup’s overall nutrition significantly impacts their longevity and quality of life in the long term.

Bacon fat can also lead to severe conditions like obesity and heart diseases.

Vet specialist examination sick dog_didesign021_shutterstock
Image credit: Ruth Black, Shutterstock

High Sodium Content

The fat and grease in bacon aren’t the only things that present a danger to your dog’s health. The high sodium levels in any kind of preserved pork are outrageous compared to the amount of sodium that a dog typically requires in their diet, which is minimal.

Dogs that consistently eat foods with too much salt can end up getting salt poisoning. It is also called sodium ion poisoning and can become a life-threatening condition.

Symptoms of sodium ion poisoning include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Decreased appetite
  • Incoordination
  • Lethargy
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Excessive thirst or urination

If they continue to eat more foods with high sodium levels, they can begin to suffer from other conditions that are even more dangerous. These include bloating, which usually requires an emergency trip to the vet for surgery because it is a dramatic stomach and intestine issue.

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Healthier Alternatives to Raw Bacon

Here are safe foods that you could give your dogs instead of raw bacon.

  • Peanut butter
  • Plain boiled chicken
  • Bacon-flavored dog treats
  • Lettuce

Always remember that treats should only make up a maximum of 10% of your dog’s diet, to avoid excessive weight gain and eventual obesity.

dachshund and bacon
Image Credit: Masarik, Shutterstock

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In conclusion, raw bacon is simply not a treat that is worth risking your pup’s health for, even if they beg you for it. They are relying on you to keep them healthy. You control their diet and exercise. Restricting them isn’t a punishment. It is a long-term blessing that will keep you both happy for many years.

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Featured Image: StockSnap, Pixabay

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

Authored by

Nicole is the proud mom of Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway, and Baby, a Burmese cat. Originally from Canada, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. Nicole has a strong love for all animals and has experience caring for all types of dogs, from Yorkies to Great Danes. Nicole even worked as a dog sitter during her travels through South America and cared for stray pups — something she ...Read more

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