Can Dogs Eat Ham? Here Are the Benefits and Side Effects

can dogs eat ham

Ham is a part of most Western meat eater’s diets. But if you don’t eat it, your dog might. So, we have summed up a piece to help you find out can dogs eat ham and how to incorporate it into their diet.

The first question is whether you can share your ham with your pet buddy. Sharing food with your lovely fur buddies is a common paw parent trait. However, whether it’s healthy or not is quite tricky to feed ham to dogs.

When it comes to ham, you get a lot of options, be it roast or slices. Due to its salty flavor and fantastic taste, the ham will always make you crave more.

It is not just you; your dog will like it too! But can dogs eat Ham? Make sure you know all about it before indulging your dog.

Ham isn’t all toxic for your dog and can be fed in small quantities. It is always recommended to avoid feeding your fur buddy this meat because they will always ask for more.

However, if you plan to feed your dog an oddly small bite as a treat, it may not cause any harm. But only if it doesn’t have any underlying medical issue.

Your dog’s diet should always have a source of protein in all his meals, but can ham be a part of it?

Though small quantities won’t harm, you must keep track of their consumption to keep them safe and healthy.

Before deciding on his meals, it is better to consider a few points. Let’s explore in the below section what all you can get your doggo indulged into.

Can dogs eat ham bones

Can dogs eat ham bones raw? Well, the answer is a straight no.

Providing them with cooked or raw ham bones would be best.

But why?

These bones can split into tiny slivers when they are chewed, which can then cause obstructions or lacerations in the lower and upper gastrointestinal tract of your doggo. Also, raw bones carry many harmful bacteria, which may make your doggy sick.

Now coming to the fat percentage, it is very high. It can trigger long-term health issues for your pup.

The ham bones cause severe hazards to your dog’s canine health, with complications like organ damage or digestion issues.

However, there is nothing dangerous if your pup is gnawing or playing with a bone considering it is clean. But if your dog splinters it into sharp tiny pieces, it may invoke some severe issues. For example, choking, mouth ulcer, or even puncturing their organs.

Now that was about raw ham bones, if you are thinking can dogs eat cooked ham bones, well they are even more dangerous. The cooked ones are more easily breakable than the raw ones and can cause more harm.

Hence it is better to keep track of what your dog eats. Avoid giving any bone until the dog is under strict supervision.

It is better not to mix your food with your dog’s food to avoid future complications. Also, always consult a veterinarian if you want to incorporate human food into your dog’s diet.

The most hazardous results that ham bones may cause are as below:

  • Blocked intestines
  • Choking
  • Internal damage
  • Mouth damage
  • Upset stomach

What to do if dog consumes ham bones

As we have already discussed, it is not healthy for your dog to eat ham bones, but what to do when it does?

Well, there are a few steps that you can follow to avoid any severe health issues for your pup.

Call up a veterinarian

Calling your vet should be the immediate action if you think your pet has consumed a ham bone. Bone splinters are extremely dangerous. Hence, it is better to make a quick decision. Your vet is the best person to help you and your doggo here. If there’s any danger, your vet can escape it for your doggo.

Examine your dog

In most common cases, if your doggo has consumed ham bones, there are chances that it will come out on its own through stool. There will not be any help required. However, you must let the vet know if you see any changes or reactions in your dog. The symptoms are significant for professionals to proceed with any diagnosis.

If you see your dog experiencing vomiting, diarrhea, or even dark stool, you need to take medical assistance immediately.

Trying pumpkin and bread

Some food items can help to relieve side effects. Feeding them bread can help to pass sharp bone pieces through the digestive system. Pumpkin, or any other squash, can help soothe digestion and stomach pain.

can dogs eat ham

Can dogs eat cooked ham

All this while we discussed ham bones and how ham is not recommended for your dog. But what about cooked ones? Can dogs eat cooked ham?

It is difficult to answer as it depends on the dog’s health and size.

Cooked ham is a great occasional treat for your dog if it has no underlying health condition.

Ham has a very high sodium content, which is harmful to consume in large quantities. For your dogs, it is even worse.

The store-bought hams also possess preservatives that aren’t great for consumption, making them even more unhealthy.

All the sodium content can have severe effects on your dog. More seriously, the consequences can also lead to kidney damage and seizures.

If your pet has a sensitive tummy or any other underlying health condition, it may react badly. It doesn’t matter even when you give a thumbnail-size piece. But in case your dog manages to sneak some ham from the table during Christmas or Thanksgiving, it’s time for you to be alert.

Watch out for signs if it has any reaction on your little buddy. Below are the few signs which are primarily seen in dogs who are allergic to the ham:

Sluggishness or lethargy
Reduction on appetite
Abdominal pain
Excessive drooling

If the above signs do not resolve soon, do not wait. Call your vet immediately.

Can dogs eat ham hock bones

In the above explanation, you already know the effects of feeding your dog ham or ham bones. But what about ham hocks? Can dogs eat ham hock bones?

Ham hock bones are the joint that connects the foot of the pig to its leg. They are big enough to choke your dog if it wolfs it down. Ham hocks also lead to digestion problems, so they are best to avoid.

Any bone can splinter and damage the dog’s stomach, intestinal tract, and esophagus. But ham bones are more brittle than other bones, which splinter more easily.

Hence, it is recommended not to feed your dog ham hock bones to avoid choking.

Can dogs eat turkey ham

Now coming to turkey ham, is it better than pork ones? Would turkey ham be a good source of protein for your fur baby? Let’s find out in the below explanation.

Turkey has always been a better and healthier meat compared to pork. But it tends to become less beneficial for dogs when it’s made into bacon or ham.

The turkey bacon and ham are made of cured thigh meat with more fat than the breast. But it is 1.2 grams less than the pork hams, which makes it a healthier option. However, the sodium content is still the same as it is made in the same way as pork hams.

The only difference between the two is the fat content. Though it has less fat than pork hams, the sodium content is still the same, which should be consumed as an occasional treat.

Hence, be it turkey or pork hams, both should be fed the same way. Small quantities and infrequent times should be safe for your fur babies. Let them enjoy it during the holidays and appreciate it as a valuable treat. This will ensure that your precious fur baby is leading a healthy life.

can dogs eat ham

Can dogs eat ham within a safe range

You must be wondering what amount of ham is safe to use as a treat for your fur buddy. There is no specific amount that is known to be safe or toxic.

So, keep an eye on your dog’s digestion levels. But if you are sharing your food with your pet from the table, ensure it’s free from dangerous additives. For example, onions and garlic are not recommended for your canine buddies.

According to research, a dog’s nutrition is established to eat about 0.3% sodium and 5.5% fat in its daily diet and treats.

About 11% of ham’s calories comprise fats, double the dietary fat nutrition experts recommend. This amount of fat makes digestion difficult for your doggo, which can be as fatal as pancreatitis. It doesn’t end there; fat also leads to obesity and arthritis.

Can dogs eat sliced ham? Ham slices have sodium of about 15 grams, whereas the limit for your dog’s sodium consumption is 3.75 grams in total.

Do you know that a ham slice provides 1/3 of your dog’s daily sodium intake? Hence it is not healthy to feed your dog ham in large quantities.

Overall, ham can be given as occasional treats in small quantities. Keep the portions small and make them into small pieces.

You can use them on special occasions and hide medications when your pup becomes picky. Keeping ham for special events will ensure that it will be highly appreciated and loved by your fur baby.

can dogs eat ham

Health benefits of hams for dogs

We have discussed how unhealthy ham can be if not given in moderation to your fur babies, but what about its health benefits?

Yes, it does have some fantastic health benefits when given in moderation. Let’s find out what those are.

Amino acids that aid cellular and muscle health

Ham has all the ten important amino acids that make ham a great source of protein. Protein helps build muscle, improve endurance and strength, and balance cellular health with protecting genetic components. Pork meat also has excellent sources of selenium that aid immunity, DNA formation, and reproduction.

Healthy heart

Your dog’s health also stays healthy because of the potassium, phosphorous, and zinc that pork has. These minerals aid in energy production as well as fight infections.

Maintenance and weight loss:

You must be surprised to know that ham can also aid in maintaining and reducing the weight of your fur babies. Though it has a high-fat content, when the ham is made with lean cuts, it makes it a healthier option and has less fat.

In addition, if these are given in small quantities, which are loaded with protein can help keep the metabolism working efficiently, resulting in weight loss.

Antioxidant production:

The pork hams also contain antioxidants that help fight chronic inflammation that causes various health issues in your animals. Hence, you can help your fur babies keep skin disorders and allergies at par with pork hams. With the help of antioxidants, it also lowers oxygen radicals formed while fighting inflammation.

Final Thoughts

As you have concluded this article, you must now have the answers to all your queries. You can always feed your fur baby a little bit of ham occasionally, but only when they don’t have any underlying allergies or conditions. When given in moderation, this can have fantastic health benefits.


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