Have you ever imagined traveling to Italy without getting too many costs of buying a plane ticket and booking a hotel?
And of course, bringing your dogs with you? Well, you’re in a great spot! The secret of getting to Italy is by letting yourself immerse first with the country’s art and culture.
You may travel virtually via Google Maps or witness community events on YouTube. Yet, one of the quickest ways to experience the Italian vibes is through their dishes.
Aside from pizza, you have to taste Prosciutto.
Prosciutto is an Italian variant for ham, which can be included in various platters like salads, or served just by itself.
It is pretty popular because of its salty and rich taste that every foodie would love to try out. However, can your dog experience an Italian getaway by consuming this food?
Perhaps, this question is our first step before we fly virtually to Italy. In this article, we will guide you on Italian Prosciutto — its family food, benefits, and hazards to your dog’s health.
Plus, we prepared the best, safe ways to feed this to your dog!
What is Prosciutto?
Prosciutto is a dry-cured Italian ham. It’s very thinly sliced and can be served as an appetizer or a main course.
It is made of pork, but some types are also made with turkey legs instead of pork legs.
Prosciutto comes from the Latin word “pro” and “excoquere,” which means “to cook thoroughly” or “to ripen well.”
Moreover, this food has been around for centuries, and it’s a staple food in Italian cuisine.
Prosciutto is famous and considered the King of Hams because of its unique taste and texture that cannot be compared to other types of ham.
Prosciutto is defined by the process of curing and its specific Italian taste, but it’s also recognized as an IGP (“Indicazione Geografica Protetta,” meaning “Protected Geographical Indication”) product.
Prosciutto can only be produced in specific regions near Parma or San Daniele and must follow a strict production process.
Food family of Prosciutto
Prosciutto belongs to the food family of Parma Ham — a product from the Parma region in Italy.
Still, it’s also related to other types of ham, such as Jamon Serrano and Bayonne ham.
Prosciutto belongs to cured meats, making Prosciutto considered as one of the oldest forms of meat preservation.
This food has been used for centuries to preserve meat, and it’s a versatile food that can be eaten in many different ways.
Prosciutto is usually produced from pork legs salted with sea salt and then sealed for curing overnight.
The following day the product goes through washing-drying before hanging up on wooden racks in cellars or drying rooms.
Prosciutto is not just a food staple in Italy, but it can also be found worldwide and consumed by many cultures.
Prosciutto ham has been recognized as one of the most popular high-quality foods globally because of its Italian taste that cannot be compared to other types of ham.
Can dogs eat Prosciutto?
Dogs can eat Prosciutto, but it depends on the dog’s size and how much Prosciutto is being consumed.
Anything in excess can be dangerous, even if there are health benefits associated with a particular food.
This means dogs can eat Prosciutto, but it shouldn’t be consumed in large amounts and should only be given as a treat.
Prosciutto should only be given to dogs as an occasional treat because it has a high salt content and the fat levels are too high for daily consumption — making Prosciutto not appropriate for regular feeding schedules.
This means that people should limit their dog’s exposure to this food because of its sodium level so it won’t cause health problems such as hypertension and bloating.
On the contrary, the real problem is that dogs tend to overeat this food, and they may become obese as a result — which can cause more problems than just an upset stomach.
Canines should only be given small amounts of Prosciutto ham because it’s very high in fat and salt content — two things that are not good for dogs.
If you’re interested in having this food fed to your dogs, let’s consider first the best ways in providing Prosciutto:
Best Ways to Feed your Dogs with Prosciutto
Avoid giving raw Prosciutto.
Raw foods are not recommended for feeding pets because of the risk of bacterial contamination and food poisoning.
Instead, you should cook this food first before letting your dog eat Prosciutto so that it can be safe for consumption — especially if you have a pet with a history of medical problems.
Through this, you’ll eliminate the risk of bacterial contamination, and you’ll make this food safer for Canine consumption.
Bake or cook Prosciutto first.
Since the salt and fat content is very high in Prosciutto, you should cook or bake this food first before giving it to your dog.
This helps reduce Prosciutto’s sodium level while ensuring that there’s no excess of grease, which can cause digestive problems for dogs.
Combine with other foods to make it healthier
You should always combine meat products such as Prosciutto ham to avoid digestive problems and nutritional deficiencies — especially when you’re feeding your dogs the same food every day.
This means that you should combine Prosciutto ham with other healthy foods so that your dogs can have a well-balanced diet.
Reasons Why Dogs Can Eat Prosciutto
A healthy dog eats healthy food. And here is where Prosciutto adds to the list. To quite an extent, we researched for reasons why dogs can eat Prosciutto.
Thankfully, we found some health benefits:
Prosciutto is high in protein and low in fat.
Although Prosciutto is not as healthy as fruits or vegetables, dogs can benefit from the presence of this food.
We should know about Prosciutto ham because it’s a good source of proteins that are very important for canine health — especially if your dog is having difficulty maintaining its weight.
Prosciutto ham has good fatty acids.
Since Prosciutto contains high levels of oleic acid, it can help prevent heart disease in dogs because this helps lower the cholesterol level.
This also helps reduce inflammation and swelling to maintain your pet’s health at all times.
Prosciutto has reduced sodium levels.
Sodium is one of the most common causes of diseases in dogs. Fortunately, Prosciutto ham only contains low levels of this substance — making it safe to feed your pet with.
This can also help reduce hypertension and bloating associated with high-sodium foods.
It has high levels of minerals and vitamins.
Prosciutto ham is also a good source of various minerals and vitamins, especially essential for canine health.
For instance, our research shows that Prosciutto contains meager amounts of magnesium which helps prevent muscle cramps and maintain normal blood pressure levels.
It’s also a good source of calcium and phosphorus to support canine bone health.
Possible Concerns When Eating Prosciutto
We recognized the value of feeding prosciuttos to your dogs earlier. In this section, let’s also see the other side of the coin.
Yes, we’re referring to possible health concerns that may arise when your dog’s health react to Prosciutto:
It has high levels of salt.
If you’re feeding your dogs Prosciutto as a part of their daily meals, make sure to monitor the sodium level.
We all know that too much salt can lead to hypertension and bloating, which affects our dog’s health in many ways.
It may contain parasites or bacteria.
Since Prosciutto has been known to contain parasites or bacteria, it’s safer if you cook this food before letting your dog eat Prosciutto.
This is especially true for dogs with a weak immune system to prevent the risk of bacterial contamination, which may lead to health problems such as fever and food poisoning.
It contains high levels of fat.
Since Prosciutto is a salty and fatty food, make sure to monitor your dog’s daily intake of this product.
We suggest that you feed your dogs with Prosciutto only in small amounts — significantly when they’re still growing or if their weight has been reduced due to illness.
This will help avoid obesity which can be a severe health concern for canines.
It has a high level of purine.
While Prosciutto contains low levels of carbohydrates, it’s also known to have a higher amount of purine which is usually found in animal organs and seafood.
Although dogs can digest this substance without any side effects, those who already suffer from kidney problems should avoid feeding their pets with Prosciutto.
It can cause pancreatitis.
Since Prosciutto contains high levels of purine, it may lead to the formation of uric acid crystals in your dog’s joints which often results in arthritis and gout.
This also increases the risk of developing pancreatitis because this substance is not easily digestible by the pancreas.
Signs your dog is sick from eating Prosciutto
Does your dog’s health gradually decline after you feed Prosciutto? Have you observed any changes in your dog’s eating pattern and behavior?
That could be more crucial to solving when your answers are yes. So, here are indicators that your dog is suffering from sickness:
They throw up undigested food.
If you notice that your dog throws up on Prosciutto, it could be a sign of pancreatitis. Another possible reason for throwing up is if they are allergic to the ingredients present in this product which may cause them stress and fatigue.
This can also lead to diarrhea or vomiting after eating Prosciutto.
They develop a high fever.
When your dog suddenly develops a high fever, this may indicate that they are experiencing an allergic reaction to Prosciutto.
This can also be a sign of food poisoning, triggered by the toxins in foods such as prosciutto ham. Again, it would help if you took them immediately to your veterinarian to ease their symptoms.
They have difficulty breathing.
A dog’s respiratory system is susceptible to foreign substances that enter its body. Some of these can cause an asthma attack or bronchitis.
If your pet has difficulty inhaling and exhaling, you should bring them immediately to the vet for further diagnosis, which Prosciutto could trigger.
They experience swelling in the abdomen.
Sometimes, eating Prosciutto can cause gastrointestinal tract inflammation and intestinal bleeding.
This condition is also called hemoperitoneum, which leads to bloating of your dog’s stomach. Therefore, you should closely monitor their appetite and bowel movements if they have been fed with prosciutto ham for a while.
What to do if your dog is sick from eating Prosciutto?
Your actions matter in times of emergency. You may overlook the signs, but it results in a more extensive, critical problem.
So, what should you do if your dog is sick from Prosciutto?
Bring them to the vet immediately.
When it comes to veterinary care, any action can be too late, especially in emergency cases. This could lead to further complications that are more difficult for vets and doctors to resolve. Hence, you should bring them right away to a veterinarian if you have observed any changes in their behavior or appetite.
Ease the symptoms
After being diagnosed, vets usually recommend drugs and treatment options for your pet’s condition.
Although some may prescribe medicines orally on dogs, there are cases that they suggest an intravenous route due to the severity of their illness.
However, this depends on the type and cause of your dog’s sickness.
Avoid similar foods from this family.
Salami contains similar ingredients as Prosciutto and can lead to the same symptoms. Hence, it is best to avoid feeding your dog with this type of sausage next time around since they may be intolerant to such food products.
Jamon is another type of ham that has the same ingredients as Prosciutto. It contains sodium and nitrite, which can aggravate your dog’s symptoms when they are sick.
Hence, it is best to avoid feeding them this treat to prevent further complications on their health.
Pancetta is a type of cured meat that contains many ingredients. For example, it has Prosciutto, but also bacon and saltpeter.
If your dog is sick from eating Prosciutto for some reason, it would be best to avoid feeding them Pancetta since they can develop the same symptoms.
This may pose a more significant threat to your pet’s health.
How to Make Prosciutto Safe To Eat
The path to sustain your dog’s health starts with a diet. The food your dog receives is at par crucial for your dog’s regular sustenance.
Yes, dogs may eat the food you feed, but ultimately, you have to consider your dog’s health.
Remember that prevention is better than cure. So, here are some proven means in making prosciutto safety for feeding:
Opt for Prosciutto-less treat
There are other pros and cons to every product. Hence, you can always choose a safe alternative that is less harmful than Prosciutti, such as bacon, beef jerky, or turkey.
These options may be slightly lower in protein content, but the safety they provide your pet’s health is worth it.
Dilute or cut it up
Some Prosciutto products contain sodium nitrate, which can cause health issues when fed in large amounts to dogs.
Hence, you should avoid feeding them with these treats for a prolonged period since they may develop health problems due to the high salt content found in this meaty product.
If your puppy has eaten Prosciutto in large amounts, you can dilute it with water and give them small bites to ease the symptoms.
Do not use Prosciutto as a meal substitute.
Dogs may develop health complications when they eat Prosciutto in excess, but this does not mean that Prosciutto is not safe to eat.
If you want to feed them this treat, it should be an addition and not a substitute for their main meals.
This way, they will receive proper nutrients needed in their system without giving them too much salt or protein level, leading to further complications such as cancerous diseases.
Cut the Prosciutto into small pieces.
Smaller chunks of Prosciutto ham are easier to digest. Hence, it is best if you cut them into smaller bites for your pup’s consumption.
This way, they can ingest food with less effort, making it easier for their digestive tract to break down the ingredients.
Do not feed it to your dog without taking into consideration their size
You have to consider the type of Prosciutto you give them, and also its amount. If they are small breeds, a little chunk would be enough.
However, suppose they belong to larger breed dogs such as an Alaskan Malamute or Siberian Husky.
In that case, you have to be careful with the amount of Prosciutto you feed them. If they are big, it is best to cut up a more significant chunk into smaller bites for their consumption.
You can also serve small chunks alongside other treats or meals that your pup loves so much.
Indeed, food is your getaway to a country’s heart. Having importance equally to music and arts, a food comes straight, giving a lasting impression through taste and delicacy.
For instance, if you want to travel to Italy, it’s best to eat Prosciutto. And what’s best? Your dog can experience eating it too!
To recap, dogs can eat Prosciutto since this food is easy to prepare and consume. This food comes with health benefits that your dog needs.
To briefly elaborate, Prosciutto is high in protein and low in fat. Also, it has good fatty acids, which can prevent heart diseases and lower your dog’s cholesterol level.
It has high levels of minerals and vitamins, which help your dog’s immunity system.
It is recommended that dogs not consume Prosciutto in large amounts and should only be treated.
Otherwise, your dog may experience hypertension, suffer from bacterial contamination, kidney problems, obesity, and pancreatitis.
As a result, your dog may throw up undigested food, develop a high fever, experience difficulty breathing, and swelling in the abdomen.
So you have to bring your dog to your vet immediately when symptoms of sickness occur.
Again, the preparation of Prosciutto matters the most. To achieve safe feeding of this food, it’s best to dilute or cut it up, opt for a prosciutto-less treat, or use Prosciutto only as a treat by feeding it into small pieces.