Yes, your dog can eat bacon but it’s not a good idea to make bacon apart of your dog’s regular diet.
While incredibly delicious, there is nothing in bacon that is beneficial for your dog. What is concerning is bacon’s composition of fat, salt, preservatives, and additional spices.
If you are looking for other foods your dog can eat check out this article.
Fat Content of Bacon
Frequently allowing your dog to consume fatty foods could lead to pancreatitis. Pancreatitis is a painful illness with many awful symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, fever, and lethargy.
Moreover, without a properly functioning pancreas, dogs could develop a wide variety of illnesses including diabetes. In the worst cases, they could suffer from organ failure and, consequently, death.
A high-fat diet also puts dogs at risk of gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV). GDV is a condition that causes dogs to suffer from severe, life-threatening bloating.
In 2006, researchers from Purdue University’s School of Veterinary Medicine conducted a study on the effect of canine diet to GDV. They found that dry dog foods with some variety of fat listed among the first four ingredients made dogs that consumed it almost 2.5 times more likely to suffer from GDV.
Consequently, it’s definitely safer to avoid excess fat.
Salt Content of Bacon
The high salt content of bacon could potentially lead to a life-threatening condition called Hypernatremia.
Hypernatremia is a serious electrolyte imbalance that, at worst, can lead to brain swelling, coma, and death. Symptoms include excessive thirst, vomiting, diarrhea, disorientation, and seizures.
Preservatives in Bacon
Bacon is typically high in sodium nitrite, a common meat preservative. While sodium nitrite is an ingredient in many commercial dog foods, it is considered toxic in high doses.
Spices in Bacon
Depending on the brand or manufacturer, bacon can contain spices that dogs should not ingest. These include garlic and onion powder, which are considered toxic to dogs.
So can your dog eat bacon? When you just can’t help but give in, it should be fine to give your dog a small serving of bacon. I’m guilty of it myself, sometimes you just can’t resist.
For larger breeds like German Shepherds and Labrador Retrievers, half a strip of bacon should be fine.
For smaller breeds like Beagles and French Bulldogs, try not to exceed a quarter strip.
Even at these limited amounts, give your dog bacon as infrequently as possible. It might be best to just head to the pet store and stock up on bacon-flavored treats, just to be on the safe side.
Check out these alternatives below: