“To bacon or not to bacon?” — this is not an opening phrase from a soliloquy given by Prince Hamlet of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
But this is how most dog owners reflect and ask whether or not bacon is suitable for a dog’s diet.
Bacon is our breakfast savior since it is easy to prepare, delectable, and paired with various dishes.
Moreso, portions of bacon can be served in different ways, such as raw, pan-frying, deep-frying, microwave cooking, and baking.
Since bacon satiates our morning cravings, can your dogs get an equal amount of appetite and taste? Or, in other words, can dogs eat raw bacon?
We want you to reserve your hints first. You have your educated guess, for sure.
This article will be your guide on understanding the goodness of bacon and its suitability for your dog’s diet.
Also, we prepared the best and safe ways on how to feed bacon to your dog!
What is Raw Bacon?
Bacon is a type of salt-cured pork from a pig made from various cuts, typically the belly. It is first cured using large quantities of salt, either in brine or in dry packing.
The result is bacon that improves with age if appropriately dried, often by cold smoking the meat over a fire made from hardwood sawdust.
Bacon is usually fried, grilled, or broiled. It can be eaten as is; cured bacon may be cooked before eating it raw (giving “raw feeding” a different meaning).
Bacon is typically made from one of two primal cuts: Pork side bacon comes primarily from the fatty portion of the side cut adjacent to the prime rib roast and is generally very lightly smoked.
Food family of Raw Bacon
Bacon is the family food of processed meat, including sausages, salami, ham, and other prepared meats.
By definition, processed meat has been transformed through salting, curing, fermentation, smoking, or other processes to enhance flavor or improve preservation.
Most products under processed meat have added chemical ingredients used to preserve, enhance or change the flavor of meats.
Additionally, processed meats can be categorized as red meat or white meat. Red meats are from animal species that contain higher concentrations of myoglobin than white meats and typically have a more robust flavor.
Bacon and other processed meats generally provide high protein, sodium nitrite and are carcinogenic to humans.
They are easy to prepare and have a long shelf life. So with that, can dog eat raw bacon?
Can dogs eat Raw Bacon?
Dogs can eat raw bacon. But is it safe when it’s raw? The answer is no. Dog owners have concerns that eating raw bacon may be unsafe for pets as it can cause infections such as salmonella and trichinosis, a parasitic disease caused by roundworms or hookworms in dogs.
That’s why it’s best to have it cooked first and foremost.
Raw Bacon contains Vitamin K — an essential nutrient necessary to promote blood clotting.
Consumption of Raw Bacon will not cause Vitamin K toxicity in dogs since their bodies can naturally produce this nutrient; however, the vitamin may be harmful to cats.
Most veterinarians warn dog owners against feeding raw bacon because these food products are generally high in fat and salt content which causes dehydration when consumed excessively.
They also contain nitrates, which are preservatives that may cause cancer in dogs.
Best Ways to Feed your Dogs with Raw Bacon
That’s why to minimize any possible hazards, the general rule in feeding dogs with raw bacon is by cooking it first.
We always emphasize this practice to avoid any occurrence of health issues. Here are the best ways:
Mixed with other foods
One of the best ways to feed dogs with bacon is by mixing it with other healthy food.
You can mix your dog’s favorite canned or dry kibble along with a bit of a piece of cooked, lean bacon in their meals for an extra flavor and health boost.
Perhaps, adding some mashed banana into their oatmeal breakfast will make a good treat for them.
Giving this food as a treat
Raw bacon can also be given as a treat to your dogs. It’s best to provide it with whole and uncooked, but you have the option of using raw cooked or smoked ones.
You need to make sure that they are free from nitrates to not cause any health issues on your pet.
Feed with allowance
You may also feed your pet with raw bacon, but make sure to do it in a limited quantity. For example, one slice of uncooked bacon shouldn’t be given more than three times a week while cooked or smoked.
One should not exceed two slices per day for healthy dogs. However, remember that there are many other ways to give variety to their dietary routine without compromising their healthy being.
Reasons Why Dogs Can Eat Raw Bacon
In this section, we list down some factors why your dogs can eat bacon. We made an effort to research. Here’s what we found:
Bacon can help maintain a healthy weight for your dog.
Some owners believe that feeding their pets with processed meats may cause obesity because of its salt content or fat.
However, bacon has high amounts of Omega-22 fatty acids, which can promote weight loss.
Bacon also contains L-carnitine that helps in increasing the levels of energy and movement for your dog.
Bacon is easy to eat and digest
Dogs can quickly eat and digest bacon.
It doesn’t cause any bloating or gas, typical for pets who consume food products with high fiber content like carrots, bananas, and peas because it’s rich in protein (50% of its total composition) and has negligible fat levels.
Bacon may help relieve dogs from medical conditions.
According to some veterinarians, bacon may relieve your dog from any medical condition.
It contains L-tryptophan, an essential nutrient that can enhance mood and calm the nervous system of dogs.
This amino acid also helps reduce stress levels in pets with separation anxiety when their owners are not around.
Bacon has high amounts of choline, promoting healthy brain activity and preventing the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
Bacon contains high amounts of calcium and phosphorus levels.
Calcium can promote strong teeth and bones, while phosphorus is a component that supports the health of your pet’s kidneys, skin, muscles, and organs, for it regulates metabolism on a cellular level.
Calcium also aids in blood clotting to avoid excessive bleeding from wounds or injuries caused by accidents.
Possible Concerns When Eating Raw Bacon
As a dog owner, you have to remember that not all dogs are suitable for this food.
There are lots of factors to consider, most notably on your dog’s health status.
The following health concerns could happen in this case:
Overweight or obesity
Some dogs quickly gain weight when they are fed high-fat foods like bacon.
It’s best to monitor your dog’s body condition regularly and check if it has excess fat or not through physical examination by a veterinarian once every six months.
Diarrhea in some cases
Dogs that have sensitive stomachs may experience vomiting and diarrhea after they eat bacon.
Thus, make sure to introduce this meaty treat to your dog’s diet slowly and gradually by mixing it with his usual food or treats for several weeks before you can completely give him raw bacon without any problem at all.
Some dogs are more prone to pancreatitis, which is a medical condition where the pancreas becomes inflamed.
Dogs with this problem may experience vomiting and loss of appetite when they eat bacon because it’s rich in fat content which is very dangerous for pets with pancreatic issues.
Some dogs are not suitable to eat processed meat like raw bacon because it may cause gastrointestinal issues for some dogs.
If your dog is prone to vomiting, diarrhea, and other similar problems after eating bacon, then you should stop feeding him with this food product immediately.
Like chicken, raw bacon may also contain salmonella, a disease-causing bacteria that can cause food poisoning in dogs.
Thus, make sure to cook the meaty treat before giving it to your dog for his safety and yours as well.
Signs your dog is sick from eating Raw Bacon
If your dog enjoys too much from eating raw bacon, you have to be aware that excessive feeding causes potential diseases to arise.
Below are some symptoms you better watch out for:
Lethargy and notable weight loss
Signs of lethargy such as sleeping more than usual, lack of energy, and not eating may be a sign that your dog is ill because he’s losing his appetite, which can lead to malnutrition if it goes untreated for some time.
To avoid health issues, constantly monitor how much food you give your dog and how much weight he has gained or lost.
Dark Stool during fever
If your dog has a fever and dark stools, this may indicate that the problem is caused by internal bleeding from his gastrointestinal tract, leading to diarrhea or vomiting.
Hemorrhagic gastroenteritis (HGE) is one of the potential diseases dogs could experience if they eat raw bacon because it contains an abundant amount of fat which can cause damage to their intestines when it gets in contact with digestive enzymes.
If your pet’s gums are pale in color, then it may indicate that his blood is not enough to supply oxygen throughout his body.
Thus, you have to watch out for any changes in the gum colors, mainly when he eats raw bacon, so that you can get him proper medical attention from a veterinarian right away.
What to do if your dog is sick from eating Raw Bacon?
It’s not too late yet — you have to bring your dog to the nearest vet right away if you see any of the signs above.
If the vet sees that your pet’s problem is caused by eating raw bacon, he will prescribe medications to cure him accordingly.
Your vet may also conduct further examinations to ensure that your dog has no internal bleeding, gastrointestinal issues, or pancreatitis.
Plus, your vet may provide you with a table diet plan to follow, and he may even ask you to change your dog’s lifestyle by keeping him on a strict feeding regime or exercise schedule.
Avoid similar foods from this family.
Avoid feeding your dog chicken that is not fully cooked because it may contain salmonella bacteria which can cause food poisoning in dogs.
Cook the meat properly before serving to avoid any health risks for you and your pet.
If you’ve bought a chorizo sausage and fed it to your dog, then make sure that this meaty treat is cooked entirely before serving because uncooked pork contains trichinella bacteria which can lead to serious health problems for dogs.
Suppose your pet enjoys eating raw fish more than anything else in the world.
You have to stop feeding him with this food immediately because raw fish can cause thiamine deficiency, one of the potential health problems dogs may experience.
Thiamine or Vitamin B-12 plays an essential role in your dog’s nerve and blood system, so it must be healthy for proper function.
How to Make Raw Bacon Safe To Eat
To apply everything we have learned, we prepared a life hack for you to make raw bacon safe to eat. Thankfully, this serves as your token before we end our discussion:
It’s better to cook it first before giving it to your dog.
In avoiding the occurrence of salmonella and other parasitic bacteria, you better cook the meat first before feeding it to your pet.
You can either apply the grilling or frying method to know that all harmful bacteria are killed during this process.
Feed cooked bacon in moderation
Constantly monitor the amount of bacon you feed your dog to avoid overfeeding.
This way, it will be easy for him to digest cooked slices of bacon without any health problems caused by too much fat in his system.
Ask your vet about feeding raw bacon
Consulting your vet regarding this circumstance of feeding raw bacon to your dogs to ascertain that it’s safe for their health.
Your vet may provide you with a list of other items that can be given to your pet as treats.
He will recommend bacon cooked at low temperatures, so the fat content is significantly reduced when this meaty treat is fried or grilled at high temperatures.
“To bacon or not to bacon?” — to answer our question: Yes, dogs can eat raw bacon. However, it’s best to have it cooked first and foremost to avoid acquiring parasites present in raw meat.
Once cooked, you may mix bacon with other foods, offer it as a treat, or feed raw bacon with allowance, preferably, two slices per day.
Bacon also has health factors your dog may benefit from. For example, this food has high amounts of Omega-22 fatty acids for weight loss promotion, L-tryptophan for your better concentration, and protein levels for muscle building.
However, the following health concerns may arise when bacon triggers your dog’s health, such as being overweight, diarrhea, salmonella, and gastrointestinal issues.
When left overlooked, your dog may experience lethargy, fever, or pale gums.
So, for a safer feeding, it’s better to cook it first, feed in moderation, and ask your vet about feeding raw bacon.
We hope this article helps you!