Can Dogs Eat Bacon?
Can dogs eat bacon? It’s a question Googled by many dog parents when cooking up some bacon for themselves. It’s tempting to cook an additional piece for your dog, since they seem to be drooling over the smell. We all want to make our dogs happy!
However, before giving your dog anything, it’s important to make sure it’s actually safe for them. Dogs don’t know what’s good for them, so it’s up to us to find out.
So, can dogs eat bacon?
Can Dogs Eat Bacon?
Although a dog might be able to eat a small piece of bacon without any trouble, it’s better to avoid it altogether.
Can Dogs Eat Bacon – Is It Safe?
Although not quite toxic to dogs, it’s not really safe either. While you might be fine, it’s better not to take the risk.
Is It Healthy?
No, bacon is not remotely healthy for dogs.
Can Dogs Eat Bacon – The Risks
The main risk when it comes to feeding your dog bacon is that it’s very high in fat and sodium. This means your dog can have trouble digesting it, and it’s very bad for their system. You might be lucky enough not to notice any adverse effects if you give your dog some, but giving them a lot at once or bacon over a period of time could still cause serious problems. Dogs with more sensitive stomachs won’t be able to handle even a little.
Over time, giving them bacon could cause pancreatitis, especially if it’s not cooked. Feeding them foods so high in fat and salt can also cause obesity. This can cause a whole myriad of diseases and open a lot of problems, such as strain on their joints and bones.
Feeding undercooked bacon also puts them at risk of bacterial infections and viruses.
Are There Any Benefits?
The only real benefit to feeding your dog bacon is that it makes them happy for a second, because it’s tasty. There are, however, many alternative snacks you can give to your dog that are just as tasty and much less dangerous for them.
Help — My Dog Ate Bacon
If your dog ate some bacon because you didn’t know better yet or they counter-surfed, don’t panic! A small amount of bacon shouldn’t immediately harm your dog, so just make sure they don’t have it again.
If you notice gastrointestinal upset such as diarrhea, feed them a bland diet of cooked chicken and rice for a day or two to settle their stomach.
If they ate a lot of bacon, or you see vomiting, drooling, lethargy, or clear pain and discomfort, contact your veterinarian. Some dogs handle foods better than others, just as humans do, so your dog might be struggling with bacon.
If your dog is prone to begging for snacks and stealing them, the best thing you can do is to prevent them from getting the chance. Bacon smells great to dogs, so it’s very tempting!
Inform Friends And Family
Make sure your friends and family know that your dog shouldn’t have it. Some people cave very easily to dogs begging, so be firm in the rules and make sure they know what’s dangerous for your dog.
Teaching the verbal cue “place” gives your dog somewhere to go when people are eating to prevent begging. Pick a spot in your house, lure them there with a treat, and say “place”. Eventually, they should pick up the cue on their own and you can gradually increase the amount of time they stay there.
Teach “Leave It”
“Leave it” is an invaluable cue, because when it’s reliable, it can save a dog’s life. Make sure you work on this. Start with a low-value treat to make it easy on your dog, work up to things like bacon, and always reward them heavily for deciding to listen.
There are definitely safer alternative snacks you can give to your dog, including:
- Plain cooked turkey or chicken
- Salmon or other safe fish
- Broccoli and other vegetables
- Strawberries and other fruits
- Peanut butter, as long as you make sure it’s free of toxic ingredients
- Popcorn, for something different!
If your dog really loves the smell and taste of bacon, you can also find bacon-flavored safe treats. Search online or look around at your local pet store, and you’re sure to find something they love for the occasional treat.
So, can dogs eat bacon? While they might be fine with the occasional tiny piece, it’s actually best to avoid bacon altogether. Bacon can really upset their stomachs and, in large amounts, can cause pancreatitis. Search for bacon-flavored safe treats instead, or find another dog-safe human food they’ll love.
It’s important to remember that dogs don’t know what’s best for them. It’s up to you to decide that and steer them on the right path, no matter how much they love the smell of what you’re cooking.