Can Dogs Eat Raw Bacon? Potential Risk Or Not?

Meat is an integral meal when it comes to the balanced diet of dogs.

It is unsurprising when they want one, seeing as they are carnivorous in nature.

But wait, are all meat safe for dogs consumption? What about bacon? Can dogs eat raw bacon?

It is likely for dog parents not to blink their eyes or think otherwise when it comes to feeding meat to their dogs.

On the contrary, they have a responsibility concerning the kind of meat they feed to their dogs, especially raw meat.

So, if you’re wondering if you can feed your dog raw bacon, read on to get the needed information before you feed your pup this popular breakfast.

Can Dogs Eat Raw Bacon?

Raw bacon isn’t toxic to dogs; nonetheless, it is not the best treat to feed to your furry friend.

As with uncooked ham, raw bacon has a high amount of salt and fat.

Generally, meals containing a high amount of salt are potentially harmful to dogs. 

Below is a breakdown of the nutritional value of 28 grams (serving size) of raw bacon.

Nutritional InfoAmount
Fat11 g
Cholesterol18 mg
Sodium185 mg
Potassium55 mg
Carbohydrates0.4 g
Sugars0.3 g
Protein3.5 g
Vitamin A0.2%

Feeding your dog a little quantity of raw bacon isn’t likely to cause a trip to the vet.

However, to be on the safer side and not imbue bad eating habits in your dog, it is best to stay off this treat, especially as it offers little nutritional benefit to dogs.

Raw Bacon on Table

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Health Risks of Feeding Raw Bacon Dogs

Raw bacon is notoriously high in salt content, making it a potential risk to feed your furry friend. But that isn’t the only downside of raw bacon.

Dogs have a sensitive stomach, and regularly gulping down on one will undoubtedly lead to health complications.

Listed below are health risks associated with feeding raw bacon to dogs.

1. High levels of bacteria

There’s the likelihood of your dog devouring stale raw bacon probably out of the trash.

Meat that is bad and has gone rancid contains very high levels of bacteria, which can result in illness or stomach upset in dogs.

2. Trichinella spiralis infection

Raw bacon sometimes contains a parasite known as trichinella spiralis, which is mostly caught by consuming raw or undercooked meat from pigs, resulting in a pork roundworm infection. [1]

Dogs with a weakened immune system are more likely to be infected.

Some subtle symptoms of trichinellosis in dogs include vomiting, stomach upset, lethargy, diarrhea, elevated fever, pain and stiffness, and muscle inflammation.

3. Fat and Grease

Bacon is filled with much unhealthy fat and grease that do not benefit a dog’s overall health.

When consumed in large quantities, the fat in raw bacon will clog the arteries, and the grease is sometimes the root cause of stomach aches and painful cramps.

A dog’s frequent consumption of high-fat diets like raw bacon will lead to serious health problems such as pancreatitis.

Some of the symptoms of a dog suffering from pancreatitis include abdominal pain, vomiting, fever, bloat, lethargy, inactiveness, diarrhea, increased heart rate, and loss of appetite.

Fats from raw bacon can also result in obesity and other heart-related diseases.

4. High Sodium Content

Compared to the amount of sodium dogs need in their diet, which is very small, the amount present in raw bacon is outrageously high.

Hence a dog’s regular consumption of raw bacon, which contains a lot of salt, will lead to salt poisoning in such dogs.

Salt poisoning can be life-threatening.

Some of the symptoms that may suggest your dog is suffering from salt poisoning include vomiting, incoordination, decreased appetite, seizures, lethargy, coma tremors, excessive thirst, or urination.

Another severe condition resulting from a dog’s regular consumption of high sodium content is bloating, which is equally life-threatening. [2]

Best Alternatives to Raw Bacon You Can Feed Your Dog

As responsible dog parents, it is uncaring to feed your dog meals that are a potential risk to their health, both in the short-term and long term.

Although dogs are omnivores, certain meat such as raw bacon is harmful to them. However, there are healthier alternatives to consider.

Below are some great alternatives to raw bacon to feed your dog:

1. Chicken

Chicken is a nutritious meal rich in proteins and has less fat compared to raw bacon.

However, the only risk with feeding chicken to your dog lies in the preparation.

Also, chicken is likely to be contaminated with salmonella bacteria.

Therefore, you must ensure it is properly cooked to kill off hazardous bacteria.

In cooking chicken, avoid seasonings and spices—plainly cooked chicken is the best to feed your dog.

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2. Turkey

As with chicken, turkey is also rich in protein which is beneficial to dogs and contains less fat.

Nonetheless, you have to prepare it in harmony with your dog’s needs, which is cooking it plainly to kill harmful bacteria and without the addition of seasonings and other spicy ingredients.

My Dog Ate Raw Bacon: What to Do

Dog Seating in Naughty Dog Corner

If your dog has eaten little quantity of raw bacon, there’s no cause for alarm; however, you’ll want to keep an eye on such a dog.

But if you suspect your dog to have eaten a significant amount of raw bacon, the following steps will be helpful in further protecting your dog.

1. Secure your dog & remove leftovers

Take your dog away from the eating scene to other secure places such as your bedroom to prevent it from further consuming any more raw bacon.

Next, clean up any leftovers and ensure there aren’t tiny bits lying around.

2. Assess the situation

Determine how much raw bacon your dog might have eaten and if it hasn’t eaten anything else other than that.

In some instances, dogs may consume raw bacon along with the packaging the bacon was in.

3. Observe for warning signs

Monitor your dog for any disturbing signs or symptoms.

Your dog is likely to experience abdominal pain, vomiting, regurgitation, restlessness, or strange Inactiveness.

If you notice any of these signs, it might be time to call the vet.

4. Contact your veterinarian

Upon noticing troublesome symptoms or strange behavior in your pet dog after consuming a large quantity of raw bacon, contact your vet immediately.

Most times, symptoms resulting from a dog consumption of raw bacon in large quantities at once will resolve on their own.

However, to be on the safer side, contact a vet immediately you notice any strangeness in your dog’s health or behavior.

Please take note:

If your dog consumes any form of plastic packaging or plastic wrapper while raiding down on raw bacon, contact your vet immediately.

Do not wait to observe for warning signs or any change in its behavior, because undigested packaging like plastic material can cause bowel obstruction in dogs, which is life-threatening.

Can dogs eat raw turkey bacon?

No. Although turkey bacon is a good option for dogs because of its low-sodium content, raw meat products may contain dangerous bacteria such as trichinosis.

Can raw meat kill a dog?

Generally, meat is not toxic to dogs, be it raw or cooked.

However, dogs should not eat certain meats as they cause stomach upsets and, on a severe scale, bacteria infection diseases, pancreatitis, and many other life-threatening diseases.

What raw meats can dogs eat?

Dogs can eat muscle meats such as hamburgers, turkey, chicken, and healthy organ meat such as liver, heart, kidneys. Also, dogs can eat raw meaty bones and whole fish.

Can dogs eat raw chicken?

Several dog food contains chicken as an ingredient, so it’s safe for dogs to eat chicken.

However, it is not best to feed raw chicken to your dog as there is the risk of salmonella bacteria infection.

Bottom Line: Can Dogs Have Raw Bacon

Dogs rely on their owners for safety and survival; thus, you should keep off bacon, be it raw or cooked from your furry friend’s diet, as a loving dog owner.

It is not a healthy treat suitable for your pup.

So, don’t feel guilty resisting your dog’s tempting eyes even when it’s pleading for a bite.

You’re not punishing it, but rather, keeping it safe from the long-term negative effect that could result from bacon consumption.

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[1] ScienceDirect: Trichinellosis (Trichinella spiralis)
[2] AKC: Bloat (or GDV) in Dogs — What It Is and How it’s Treated

Authored By

Ben Pierce

Ben Pierce is a canine behavioral and nutritional specialist, professional dog trainer, and the CEO of Puplore. A former military working dog handler, Ben founded Puplore to provide owners with breed-specific information and to act as a go-to guide to health, nutrition, care, and to help them find the confidence they need to step up to the plate and become the best pup parents they can possibly be. A firm believer in treating all animals with kindness and compassion, and that positive discipline is paramount in achieving a harmonious canine-human relationship, Ben’s former and present careers have enabled him to become a leading light in his chosen profession and business.

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