Many people enjoy ham; in fact, this meat is often a holiday favorite! Not only that, but pet parents sometimes share ham with their dogs. But is it safe for dogs to eat ham?
Can Dogs Eat Ham?
The good news is that ham is not toxic to dogs. However, it doesn’t really provide your fur baby with much in the way of valuable nutrients. Plus, it’s usually high in sodium and fat.
High levels of sodium and fat are not good for dogs but feeding your dog a bite of ham once in a while should be OK.
Ham isn’t Healthy for Dogs
While dogs love meat, large amounts of ham really aren’t good for them. As noted above, ham is not healthy for dogs due to the high levels of fat and sodium in the meat. In addition, store-bought hams are usually full of preservatives and additives, which also are not good for our canine friends.
Some dogs may develop diarrhea and vomiting just from eating a little bit of ham. This is especially true if the dog has a very sensitive stomach.
Plus, feeding your dog ham on a regular basis can lead to weight gain in your dog, along with high sodium levels, which can lead to a wide range of health issues. For instance, too much fat can lead dogs to develop a painful condition called pancreatitis. And too much sodium can cause kidney damage.
Symptoms of Sodium Poisoning in Dogs
You may notice these symptoms if your dog has had too much sodium:
- Swelling (fluid retention)
- Excessive thirst/urination
What Should I Do—My Dog Ate Ham
First, if your fur baby’s only eaten a small bit of ham, chances are he will be OK. He may have a little vomiting and diarrhea, which should pass within 24 hours or less.
If your dog’s eaten a large amount of ham, then it’s probably a good idea to call the vet. They will have the best advice on the steps to take if your dog’s showing symptoms.
As you can see, it’s best not to let your canine companion have very much ham in his diet. As a treat once in a while, ham is OK, as long as your dog doesn’t have symptoms afterwards. If your dog really wants some of that ham, then try to have another safer, healthier snack on hand for him. You might consider some apples—while it’s not meat, your dog may love it and be healthier for it!