Can a Dog Eat Lunch Meat

If you are considering giving your dog lunch meat, you are probably wondering if it is OK since you are reading this article.  In general, is not advisable for our pets to eat the same food as we do because of the number of additives.

Can a dog eat lunch meat? A dog should not eat lunch meat.  Lunchmeat is full of additives, fillers, sodium, nitrates, and spices that are not appropriate for dogs. Even humans should not be digesting lunch meat, so giving it to a dog is wrong.  It is better to feed your dog food that is specifically for dogs. 

What ingredients in lunch meat are dangerous to dogs?

Many ingredients contained in deli meat are dangerous to humans and also to dogs.  Certain ones can cause cancer, heart disease and even diabetes in dogs. Even though dogs are carnivores, they can be negatively affected by the additives that are found in lunch meats. For instance, the chances of developing cancer due to lunch meat increases eighteen percent if 50 or more grams are consumed per day.

Some dogs, if the owners are not aware of the dangers of lunch meat, will consume a lot more than 50 grams in one sitting.  Dogs sometimes do not know when to stop eating, they will overeat if given the chance.  I recommend Natural Balance Fat Dogs dog food if your dog is currently overweight. Click here to see the pricing on Amazon.

Dogs tend to overeat because Genetics dictate to dogs to eat while the supply is high so that they will be able to survive during times of famine.

Which ingredients are dangerous to dogs in common lunch meat?

  1. Spices are added to lunch meat so that the taste will be amazing and addictive.  If you were to give your dog regular servings of lunch meat, they are going to develop a craving for the spicy meat.  Dogs do not need or really truly want to enhance the taste of the meat items that they consume.  But, given the chance to taste spices, they will, unfortunately, up enjoying spiced foods. Spices are ok for most of us because we have been exposed to them over hundreds of years, but they will cause digestive problems for dogs and possibly damage their intestinal tract.
  2. All lunch meats can a large amount of salt.  Salt is something that is very tasty to us and the main goal is to cause us to want to consume more of a product even if it is the best health choice.  Dogs do not fair well when consuming even moderate amounts of salt.  It can easily cause them to become thirsty and they drink so much that they will bloat.  Salt can even cause diarrhea, depression. Some dogs even will have to deal with deadly tremors due to salt. I recommend that you give your dog Native Pet Yak Chews, they do not have a high content in salt. Click to see the current pricing on Amazon.
  3. Another ingredient in deli cuts is corn syrup.  It is there to enhance the taste.  Dogs do not need glucose and sugar.  These ingredients can lead to diabetes and even heart disease for dogs. If you wish to feed your dog, dog treats that have zero sugar, I suggest Hunter Dog Treats, available on Amazon.
  4. If you feed your dog deli meats that are shiny on the surface, there is a chance that it contains mayonnaise.  The oil and fat content in mayonnaise is going to add pounds to your dog, which is dangerous to their blood circulation.
  5. Something that most people are not aware of is the fact that some lunchmeat contains listeria, which could cause listeriosis in your dog.  These bacteria cause diarrhea. vomiting, and fever.  In rare cases, a dog will develop neurological problems.

Why is sliced ham especially dangerous to dogs?

I think that I already explained well that feeding your dog deli meat is a big no-no. Nevertheless, I will indicate why ham is especially toxic to a dog.

  1. Ham meats are high in protein which is one great aspect, but there are better sources that you can feed your dog.  Ham slices contain tons of salt. Salt, if consumed in large quantities by a dog, could lead to a coma or even death.
  2. The fat content in ham is high, around 11 percent. Dogs are usually getting enough fat in their diet throw dog food, adding in a few slices of ham is not going to be beneficial for your dog.  Your dog will gain weigh in most cases. Ham can also upset your dog’s stomach and it can cause pancreatitis in some species of dogs.

If your dog has consumed deli meat, should you be concerned?

If your dog has on its own, consumed a lot of deli meat, there is no need to rush to the vet to have its stomach pumped.  The side effect that is common is diarrhea.  Diarrhea can be dangerous since it will cause your dog to lose electrolytes and it can lead to dehydration.

You can actually give your dog Pepto Bismol in small doses. One site recommends 1 teaspoon per 10 pounds. Nevertheless, I would suggest that you check with your vet on the correct dosage for your dog.

Along with Pepto Bismol for your dog, you could also change its diet for a couple of days so that it will not develop digestive problems and pain.

Besides medicating your dog, you could try to alter its diet slightly for a short time.  Here are some items to feed your dog if it has consumed luncheon meat:

  1. Hamburger meat and boiled rice.
  2. A couple of tablespoons of canned pumpkin (make sure that it is free of spices)
  3. Bone broth will work wonders on a dog’s upset stomach. To make it, simmer some meat with the bone, along with apple cider.  After the meat has fallen off, continue to simmer the bone which will draw out the minerals from the marrow.
  4. Another food source that is good for dogs with problems due to the diarrhea is a banana.  They will replace the potassium that is lost and they also will increase the fiber level.
  5. Also, when feeding your dog, add in a tablespoon of yogourt that is plain and fat-free. This will aid in coating the lining of the stomach which will help your dog to feel less upset. It also will help to add healthy bacteria back into the digestion tract.
  6. Oatmeal is also good for digestive problems in dogs,  but just plain oatmeal. Do not give your dog oatmeal that has sugar added to it.
  7. Your dog will become very thirsty if they had consumed luncheon meat. Do not let your dog gulp down its water.  This will upset their stomach even further and it can cause bloating.
  8. Another over the counter item that helps with indigestion in dogs is tums.  Of course, only give your dog one tum, not the whole package.  It is powerful because it reduces excessive acid that might be in the stomach after a meal of lunchmeat.  Acid is injected into the stomach to digest the high sugar level that is found in most deli slices.

Which Lunch Meat is Safe for Dogs?

Lunch meats, in general, should only be given in small amounts to dogs and never on a regular basis.  The sodium content is always higher in cut meats no matter what the meat source.

Nevertheless, if you want to give your dog a small treat of a few slices per week, your dog should fair fine.  Personally, I would avoid ham because of its relatively high salt content and the fact that it also has sugar incorporated into the slices to enhance the taste.

A sliced meat that tends to have fewer calories than ham is turkey.  It also has 10 times less salt than ham. It takes less processing to make it into sliceable meat also.  Here are some other reasons why turkey slices are relatively better for your dog:

  1. Turkey has high amounts of iron, zinc, phosphorous, niacin and even selenium
  2. Turkey slices contain vitamins B12 and B6.
  3. Dogs need protein to keep their muscles healthy.  Turkey meat contains about 25g of protein in each 100g worth of slices.
  4. Deli slices of turkey are also low in fat. Around .35 grams of fat is contained per ounce of turkey. Compare that fat content to ham, and turkey is considered as being very lean and quite healthy.
  5. The salt content is low in turkey when compared to the salt content in salami.  Turkey has around 213 milligrams of sodium for each ounce of slices. Salami can have as much as 519 milligrams in just one ounce of sliced salami.

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