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Can Dogs Eat Raw Bacon? Everything You Need to Know

No, dogs should not eat raw bacon as it comes from pork. It is full of fats and processed with a lot of salt that leads to pancreatitis. Raw pork also puts your dog at risk for trichinosis, a parasite infection.

What Is Raw Bacon?

Bacon is pork that is preserved using curing, smoking, or salting.  It is salt-cured pork made from various cuts, mainly from the pork belly or less fatty back cuts.  Bacon is consumed on its own, as a side dish or used as a minor ingredient to flavor dishes. In 2015, the WHO found that processed meats like bacon and sausage can be linked to cancer. 

Vegetarian bacon such as “soy bacon” is also available.

Is Raw Bacon Safe for Dogs?

No, raw bacon is not safe for dogs as they are toxic and salty. It may lead to difficulties in your dog’s gastrointestinal tract. In addition, when dogs consume raw bacon, it contains harmful parasites like Trichinella spiralis larvae that cause diarrhea.  

Why Is Raw Bacon Bad For Your Dog?

The following are the main reasons why raw bacon is bad for your dog:

Pancreatitis: Bacon is rich in fat content, which is the primary reason for pancreatitis in dogs. Symptoms of Pancreatitis are:

  • Tiredness
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Stomach ache
  • Prayer stance 

Some dogs can have acute pancreatitis, a severe condition whereby the pancreas becomes badly inflamed. This can occur with any food items that are high in sodium, including bacon grease or cooked bacon.

Pancreatitis is a severe condition causing abdominal discomfort and can also lead to other symptoms such as pacing, panting, drooling, and lethargy. Usually, animals with pancreatitis never show interest in their food, start vomiting, and become very ill and dehydrated.

Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is caused by the very high levels of sodium nitrate in bacon. Following symptoms are detected as it affects the dog’s respiratory system:

  • Chronic cough- dry or harsh
  • Gag
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Decreased exercise tolerance
  • Noisy breathing
  • Wheezing
  • Bluish gums in later stages

Sodium: Bacon is known to have very high salt levels, leading to terrible health problems in dogs, such as high blood pressure levels, kidney problems, dehydration, and sodium poisoning. Symptoms of sodium poisoning include:

  • vomiting 
  • diarrhea  
  • tremors
  • seizures 
  • Depression

Calories: With very high calories, your dog can easily put on weight by eating raw bacon, leading to several health conditions including obesity, hypothyroidism, and cardiovascular disease.

Trichinosis: Consuming raw bacon puts your dog at risk of contracting trichinosis. This parasitic infection can affect dogs and humans alike when they eat raw or undercooked meat, mainly muscles. This infection gets its name from the Trichinella spiralis worm, which, once ingested, stays inside the animal and produces larvae that start multiplying throughout the body and can remain hidden for years. Closely watch out if your dog suffers from fever as a result of parasitic infections. Consult a vet immediately if his health condition deteriorates. Symptoms of Trichinosis in your dog include:

  • Stomach Upset
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Elevated fever
  • Lethargy
  • Muscle inflammation
  • Pain and stiffness

Raw pork products include the cysts of a parasite that creates trichinosis in dogs. These infections are hard to diagnose. Sometimes they show no symptoms or very non-specific signs such as changes in appetite, stomach upsets, muscle weakness, and fever. So keep your dog away from eating raw pork products.

Cancer: Processed meats like bacon, sausages, and salami have been distinguished as carcinogens linked to causing bowel cancer and a higher chance of gastric cancer.

Contaminated Bacon

If your dog has consumed contaminated bacon, look for these indications:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Muscle inflammation

What If My Dog Ate Raw Bacon?

If your dog consumes a large amount of uncooked bacon, then the result will be an upset stomach. The high salt content and fat can be very irritating to your dog’s gastrointestinal tract. Symptoms to look out for if your dog has consumed raw bacon are,

  • Upset stomach
  • Bloating
  • Abdominal pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Elevated fever
  • Lethargy
  • Muscle inflammation
  • Ocular inflammation
  • Pain and stiffness

Some of these symptoms can also be caused by other reasons, and all dogs won’t have similar symptoms. Sometimes, it might take up to a week for these symptoms to manifest if your dog is healthy or the parasites in raw bacon weren’t in the active state when consumed.

If your dog ate uncooked bacon, any plastic packaging, or plastic wrap, contact your vet immediately to stop the possibility of a bowel obstruction.

How Much Raw Bacon To Feed Your Dog?

It is recommended not to feed raw bacon to your dog.

Alternatives To Raw Bacon For Your Dogs

Chicken: Chicken is a healthy and affordable alternative that has more protein and less fat than pork.

Turkey: Turkey is similar to chicken, although it contains less fat.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can Raw Meat Kill A Dog?

If dogs eat a large amount of raw meat, they could develop severe pancreatitis and an upset stomach or more. Left untreated, this could be critical, and some dogs may die of pancreatitis.

Can Bacon Cause Diarrhea in Dogs? 

A small quantity may cause no ill effect, but a stomach upset could occur in larger quantities. For example, a large dog eating one slice of bacon usually is not an issue. Still, when a small dog eats raw bacon, the high levels of salt and fat could be very irritating.

Can A Dog Get Worms From Eating Raw Bacon? 

The only type of worm dogs could possibly get is Trichinella spiralis, found in raw pork products. Raw meat, especially the muscle, can contain cysts. Once consumed, these can produce larvae and cause health issues in dogs.

Can Dogs Eat Raw Bacon Fat?

Excess fat in a dog’s diet is not recommended, as it could upset your dog’s tummy or leads to pancreatitis. It will also add extra calories and lead to weight gain in dogs. Instead, stick to healthier treats such as white fish or cooked chicken breast.

Can Dogs Eat Raw Smoked Bacon?

No, Smoked bacon is preserved and flavored, typically by holding the raw bacon over wood smoke. This does not make the meat more poisonous at all. Still, it is better to avoid giving raw bacon of any variety due to the concerns that have been reviewed previously.

Conclusion

Raw bacon is never safe for dogs due to the presence of parasitic larvae. Pork is a fatty meat that shouldn’t be eaten by dogs in large portions, leading to pancreatitis. In addition, raw bacon is high in salt, which is toxic for your dog.

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