Can Dogs Eat Sausage?
Can dogs eat sausage? When you’re cooking some up and your pup is positively drooling at the very smell of it, it’s tempting to give them a piece or cook them one up.
Before giving your dog any human food, however, you should always do your research. Dogs aren’t built the same as humans, and there are many things that are perfectly fine for humans to eat but very unhealthy or even dangerous for dogs.
So what about sausage? Is it safe, or is it a no-go?
Can Dogs Eat Sausage?
The answer is technically yes, but perhaps they shouldn’t. Sausage in small amounts likely isn’t dangerous, but it’s still not the best choice.
Is It Safe?
Sausage, when fully cooked and unseasoned, isn’t immediately dangerous to your dog. However, lots of sausages given over long periods of time can definitely have some health risks.
Is It Healthy?
No, pork sausage is definitely not good for your dog, no matter how much they love it.
The Benefits vs. The Risks
There is only one benefit of giving your dog sausage, and it’s that they love it. Dogs, however, don’t always know what’s best for them, so that doesn’t mean they should have it despite finding it tasty.
There are many risks to giving your dog sausage.
High In Fat
Sausages are very high in fat, so they can be a risk factor for your dog’s weight. Obesity in dogs can cause a whole host of problems, including:
- Deterioration of joints and bones
- Urinary bladder stones
- Less tolerance of anesthesia
Obesity is generally very dangerous and should be avoided, and feeding dogs food like sausage can be a huge contributor.
When slipping dogs a piece of sausage, chances are, it’s been seasoned for humans. Salt and black pepper are both extremely bad for dogs, and garlic powder and onion powder can be downright toxic. They should never be given to your dog under any circumstances, so if you are going to feed your dog a small piece of sausage, be very aware of what was used in the cooking process.
If unsure, don’t give them a piece.
Some dogs can have allergies to certain foods, especially meats and proteins. If your dog has irritated skin, a rash, or seems unwell after eating a certain kind of food, you should contact your veterinarian, as they might have an allergy.
How Much Can They Eat?
It’s generally recommended that treats make up no more than 10% of a dog’s daily diet. When it comes to sausage, however, it shouldn’t even be getting that high due to how fatty it is.
If you’re going to give your dog any sausage at all, it’s best for it to be a very small piece.
How To Prepare It
If you’re cooking sausage with the intention to give your dog a piece, avoid all seasonings and spices. For dogs, seasonings and spices range from unhealthy to downright toxic, with garlic and onion powder being at the toxic end of the scale.
Undercooked sausage also poses a huge risk to dogs, as it can give them a parasite infection called Trichinosis. It should be unseasoned and cooked completely through.
The Best Use
If you’re going to feed your dog sausage despite the risks, it’s better to reserve tiny pieces for a high-value training treat rather than give them out for nothing. Since your dog will undoubtedly love sausage, it will at least then have a use!
Some people recommend cutting up a hot dog and using it for potty training or recall, which are the important basics your dog really needs to know.
The keywords here, however, are high-value. It should never be used every day for trick training or anything that isn’t vitally important.
What To Do If Your Dog Ate Too Much Sausage
If your dog has counter-surfed and swiped more sausage than you’d ever give them, or you dropped some on the floor and it was scooped up, don’t panic. For a one-off, they should be fine, but you should monitor them and call your veterinarian if there are signs of them being unwell.
If it was a huge amount, or your dog is small, you should call your veterinarian to be safe.
So you’ve decided there are too many risks when it comes to feeding your dog sausage — what’s the alternative?
Fruits and vegetables are the best human snacks to give your dogs. From bananas to zucchini, there are many healthy snacks you can give your dog that pose none of the risks sausage does. Just be sure to research the specific fruit or vegetable, as they aren’t all healthy, and some — like cherries or grapes — can be downright toxic.
If you want a meat alternative, chicken is the best one to go with. You have to be careful in some of the same ways you do with sausage (like ensuring there’s no seasoning and it’s cooked through), but plain, boiled chicken can make a good meat snack for your dog.
So, can dogs eat sausage? The answer is technically yes, but that doesn’t mean they should.