Photo by Casey DeViese

Can Dogs Eat Bacon? Bacon Your Heart

There’s nothing quite like the smell of bacon in the morning. Whether your parent used to spoiled you with it on a lazy Saturday or your significant other surprises your with an early-morning treat, bacon is sure to get you out of bed. Previously I discussed that eggs are healthy for dogs to eat when served properly. So now let’s answer the question that we’re all dying to know: can dogs eat bacon, too? After all, what are eggs without bacon?


Can Dogs Eat Bacon?

It’s no secret that a majority of your dog’s daily calories need to come from meat. But it’s also no surprise that all meat isn’t created equal. Let’s see where bacon falls on the dog health spectrum.

Can dogs eat bacon? While bacon isn’t “toxic” for dogs, such as grapes or onions, bacon also isn’t a safe snacking choice for dogs. That’s because, no matter how hard you try to tell yourself otherwise, bacon is not a healthy food to eat.


Beware of Bacon

While you’re perfectly free to enjoy bacon in all forms (from sandwich to cupcake!), there are reasons why your dog shouldn’t be eating bacon. For one, the World Health Organization linked processed meats, such as sausage and bacon, to dangerous carcinogens. These carcinogens are linked to cancer, making it a wise choice to skip out on these sides.

There are other reasons why bacon is dangerous for dogs. Dogs do not need to be eating extra salts, oils, fats, or seasonings. For this reason, it is always recommended to serve safe human food as plainly as possible. Consider the difficulty of serving “plain” bacon. Without any extra seasoning or oil, bacon is already an incredibly salty and fatty food.

The USDA estimates that each cooked slice of bacon (8 g) contains about 3.3 grams of fat, as well as 137 milligrams of sodium. This averages out to 42 grams of fat per 100 grams of cooked bacon. To put this in perspective, 100 grams of turkey contains only 7 grams of fat. Additionally, a 1 oz serving of turkey only contains 29 mg of sodium.

Consuming large amounts of fat can lead to dogs developing pancreatitis. This disease can be fatal. Excessive salt consumption is also harmful to dogs. It can lead to stomach issues such as “bloat” and pressure the organs.


Better Than Bacon

Okay, these meats might not taste better than bacon, but they will be better for your dog to eat. At the end of the day, that is what matters most. And besides, have you ever known a dog to say no to meat?

Dogs should be getting the highest amount of their daily calories from animal proteins. But which proteins should they be turning to? I hate to go bacon your heart, but pork products are not the number one answer.

Poultry really is a pup powerhouse. Chicken is a great protein source to incorporate into your dog’s diet. Chicken earns points for being easy to digest. It also contains essentials vitamins, fats, minerals, and amino acids.

Dogs are also free to enjoy protein-packed red meat such as beef. Just be sure to serve your dog the leanest cut and keep the meat as plain as possible. Other safe meats for dogs include venison, lamb, mutton, and rabbit. There are also safe fish for dogs to eat.


Bacon in Brief

Can dogs eat bacon? If you’re trying to keep your dog safe, it’s best to just stick to the eggs. While bacon is certainly a delicious treat, the fatty food is not worth the risk to your dog. However, if your furry friend manages to steal one bite, she should be just fine.

Read more about the benefits of poultry for dogs.

Emma Polini