Rachel is a stay-at-home pet mom, caring for her dog, cat, turtle, tortoise, and fish. She's a content writer in various niches but most notably in the pet field, educating pet parents on the health and wellbeing of their furry friends. When she's not writing, she's reading, playing video games, or organizing something.
Food Meat And Seafood

Can Dogs Eat Ham?

Rachel Poli Author
Jun 25 ·
can dogs eat ham?

You may be wondering, can dogs eat ham? The short answer is yes and no. While ham is technically safe for dogs to eat, it’s not the best option. A bite or two of ham may be okay, but you shouldn’t give your pooch this treat often.

Always check in with your dog’s veterinarian before trying new foods with them. For example, the ham may be a safe choice for your dog, while it might not be a good choice for other dogs.

Unfortunately, the cons of ham may outweigh the pros, so let’s talk about it.

can dogs eat ham?

The risks of feeding ham to dogs

First, ham is high in sodium. Too much sodium can make your dog sick. It will increase their thirst and cause your pooch to urinate a lot. Which, in most cases, it will flush the sodium out of your dog’s system, and they’ll be okay.

However, dogs can’t regulate sodium in their system, so too much will cause them to get sick and possibly get sodium ion poisoning. If you’re cooking a ham for a holiday dinner and your dog happens to jump up and grab a large piece, there are a few symptoms to look out for if they’ve had too much sodium. If you notice any of these symptoms, then call your vet right away.

  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Seizures
  • Swelling
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness

In addition, this meat is high in fat. Too much fat isn’t good for your dog, either. Your pooch gets all the nutrients they need from their commercial dog food, which should make up about 90% of their diet. So, giving them ham on top of that will cause them to get sick. Too much fat can also increase weight gain and possibly give your doggo digestive issues.

What about ham bones?

If you don’t share any of your ham with your pup and they’re still begging for a bite, should you share a ham bone with them? Unfortunately, the answer is absolutely not. Ham bones are dangerous for your pooch. While it may seem like a tasty chew bone, it can have some consequences.

Poultry bones, like chicken bones, turkey bones, and ham bones, are brittle, especially when they’re cooked. This makes it a choking hazard. In addition, if your dog accidentally swallows some bone, it won’t be able to digest it properly, causing an intestinal blockage or obstruction. The bones pieces can get caught in their throat and, if it’s a sharp piece, it can tear the inside of their mouth, tongue, or stomach.

If you want to give your doggo something to chew, then buying a rubber chew bone will be your best bet.

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Types of ham dogs shouldn’t eat

Earlier, we said that the answer to whether or not dogs can eat ham wasn’t a simple yes or no. However, the answer seems to lean more towards no than yes. This is because of the different types of hams.

Honey baked ham

Honestly, this is probably the safest ham to feed your pooch. Baked ham is loaded with fat sodium, so it won’t be a good idea to give your dog a full slice with their meal. If you happen to drop a piece on the floor and your pooch nabs it before you can pick it up, that’s okay. A small piece won’t hurt them. You don’t want to make giving them small pieces of ham a habit. 

Ham is also cooked with added ingredients. For example, when cooking a meal for your family, you may add butter, salt, pepper, oils, and other seasonings or spices. Unfortunately, these are not safe for your pooch to consume either because they also contain a lot of sodium and fat. In addition, seasonings typically contain garlic and onions, which can be toxic to your furry friend. 

Deli meat ham

This is certainly one to stay away from. Also rich in fat and sodium, deli meat also has added preservatives and is processed to keep it fresh. So again, a small piece here and there may be okay for your pooch to eat if you accidentally drop a piece, but a whole slice or two won’t be good for them.

How is ham good for dogs?

There are a lot of reasons as to why dogs shouldn’t have ham. First, it’s not easy for them to digest due to the fat content and sodium. Second, you don’t want your pooch to get sick when they should be eating their own commercial dog food.

On the other hand, ham is meat. Therefore, it’s high in protein. Dogs need protein, but they already get what they need from their dog food. Plus, if you want to share some human food with your pooch, then there are plenty of other options to give your doggo that’s high in protein. So ham is certainly not the best option.

If your vet does say it’s okay for your to feed your dog a little bit of ham, then there are other ways to share this delicious meat with them. For example, you can make some homemade treat recipes.

can dogs eat ham?

Can dogs eat ham?

While ham is technically safe for your doggo to consume, it’s best to stay away from this meat. There are plenty of other human foods, including meat, that is safer for your dog to enjoy.

Similar reading: protein alternatives to feed dogs

Rachel Poli Author
Rachel is a stay-at-home pet mom, caring for her dog, cat, turtle, tortoise, and fish. She's a content writer in various niches but most notably in the pet field, educating pet parents on the health and wellbeing of their furry friends. When she's not writing, she's reading, playing video games, or organizing something.
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