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Did your dog steal a piece of raw bacon? Heck, it happens to the best of us. But as a responsible pet parent, you might be concerned for your dog’s tummy. Will it be able to digest the bacon without a problem or will the raw meat make your pet seriously ill?
The short answer is that raw bacon is more dangerous to your furry friends than you may think. This pork product has high fat and high salt content that may prove highly problematic to a dog’s digestive system and lead to problems like pancreatitis and trichinosis.
While a small piece or just a lick may not be life-threatening for dogs, it is certainly recommended to avoid sharing this snack with your playmates.
Read on to learn more about the dangers of feeding raw bacon to dogs.
Health Risks of Raw Bacon
Here are the most significant ones:
High in Sodium and Fat
Bacon contains a high amount of sodium and fat. Bacon is a form of pork that is preserved using smoking and salting. This makes it unhealthy for humans to eat raw but even more so for dogs.
Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas. This organ helps with the dog’s digestive processes. Pancreatitis is a life-threatening condition that requires urgent veterinary intervention and it cannot be cured at home.
Raw Bacon also puts your pooches at risk of Trichinella, a parasitic disease caused by an organism called trichinella spiralis. This roundworm causes discomfort, inflammation, and pain in the dog’s body.
Bacon is high in fat, so it can easily add a few extra pounds to your four-legged friend when fed on a regular basis. Obesity can lead to long term problems like hypothyroidism and cardiovascular diseases. Obesity may also make your dog more lethargic and less interested in healthy physical activities.
Due to bacon’s high nitrate concentration, it may also lead to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Dog Ate Raw Bacon By Mistake?
Now that you’ve seen all that can go wrong, it makes sense not to feed raw bacon to your best friend. But what can you do if your dog steals bacon off the counter or a piece falls on the ground and your pet snatches it away before you can prevent it?
Some people train their dogs not to eat food without permission but even the most well-trained dog can struggle to ignore a wonderful piece of meat on the floor. Especially if the owner is nowhere in sight!
The best course of action is to make sure that raw bacon stays well out of reach of your pets. But if your dog accidentally consumed some of this meat, stay calm, and check for signs of trouble.
Here are the symptoms to look out for:
Vomiting is the most obvious symptom of discomfort. Vomiting is the body’s natural way of getting rid of bacon and other things a dog struggles to digest. Call your vet immediately as this can be a sign that your dog has developed pancreatitis.
Abdominal pain is always as obvious as vomiting. However, if your dog is walking in a strange way or reacts negatively when you touch its belly, then it may be suffering from abdominal pain.
Other signs of abdominal pain are abnormal posture, whimpering, curling up to protect the belly, and a swollen abdomen. These are all signs that your dog has inflammation in the intestines.
This is another way for the body to get rid of bacon. This may help the dog to some extent, but it is still advisable to call your vet because it’s another symptom of deadly pancreatitis and constant diarrhea can also lead to dehydration.
A tired dog could very well be a sick dog. If your dog is showing a clear reduction in its normal activity levels, it means that there is something troubling him. It might be due to a fever. Thus, don’t delay a visit to the vet.
Why give something to your dog that causes them health issues, right? Rather, offer your meat-loving pet snacks that are tasty and healthy including chicken, fish, turkey, and beef.
These foods are lower in sodium and less fatty. However, they are no good to you or the dog raw. Be sure to cook them properly to get rid of bacteria.
Safe Ways to Feed Bacon
If you are unable to resist the puppy eyes of your pet, then you may feed only a small amount of cooked bacon that is drained of excess grease. When it has been cooked properly, then the risk of Trichinella is low.
However, only feed bacon only as an occasional treat and only in small amounts. Even if your dog is not showing any discomfort after eating cooked or even raw bacon, remember that just because the dog can eat it doesn’t mean that it is safe for them to do so.
While raw bacon may cause parasitic diseases in dogs, even cooked bacon is not safe for dogs to eat. Bacon is preserved through chemical processes like curing and salting, which is definitely not safe for pets. The grease of cooking bacon is also unhealthy as it contains high fat, which may clog arteries and affect the heart.
As a dog parent, you must say no to feeding bacon no matter how convincing those pleading eyes are. The best alternative to bacon is cooked chicken, which is tasty and healthy. Bacon-flavored treats may also keep the pooches satisfied. It can be served occasionally to treat them for good behavior.