Can Dogs Eat Bacon? And What Amount Is Safe?
Bacon is tasty, but is it healthy for dogs?
For many of us, breakfast wouldn’t be the same if bacon wasn’t on the menu. But can dogs eat bacon, too? Or is it a delicacy you’re going to have to enjoy on your own?
We reached out to two vets who shared their expert opinion on whether or not bacon is good for dogs. And sadly, all signs point to the breakfast staple being a not-so-healthy snack for your pup.
Is bacon safe for dogs?
Bacon — both raw and cooked — isn’t necessarily toxic to dogs, but it’s definitely a food you should avoid feeding to your pup.
“While a small amount of bacon is not likely to cause much harm, I tend to recommend against feeding bacon to your dog,” Dr. Brian Evans, medical director at Dutch, told The Dodo. “Bacon is very high in sodium and fat and can lead to digestive upset (diarrhea).”
So if your dog grabs a piece of bacon that falls on the floor, he’ll probably be OK. But it’s really important to make sure he’s not eating a full plate of bacon left unattended on the counter. Otherwise, he’s not going to be feeling so great later in the day.
And, as you’ll read, bacon fed to dogs on a regular basis can cause a lot more harm than just an afternoon of stomach pains.
Can dogs eat turkey bacon?
Though turkey bacon doesn’t contain as much fat as regular pork bacon, it still has a high fat content and it’s most likely packed with sodium.
“Turkey bacon is a leaner alternative to [pork] bacon,” Dr. Travis Arndt, director of Humane Society of Missouri’s Animal Medical Center of Mid-America, told The Dodo. “But [it] still [poses] risks to GI upset.”
Dr. Arndt also explained that “highly palatable” foods, including all types of bacon, “can lead to undesirable behaviors such as begging or, worse, food stealing,” which is yet another reason to avoid feeding your dog table scraps.
Can dogs eat bacon every day?
Because bacon is so high in fat and sodium, dogs should not be eating it on a daily basis.
“I have seen dogs develop pancreatitis from eating high-fat foods like bacon,” Dr. Evans said. “Pancreatitis is a potentially life-threatening disease that can require intensive hospitalization at significant expense, so the risk of harm far outweighs the potential benefit of feeding this tasty snack.”
Furthermore, fatty foods like bacon can also cause weight gain and clogged arteries if eaten on a regular basis.
It’s best to keep bacon away from your dog at all costs so as not to risk damaging his health or inciting bad behavior. Instead, try giving him bacon-flavored dog treats so he doesn’t feel left out when you’re enjoying your breakfast.