Can Dogs Eat Salami? How Much Can They Eat?

Animal meat is an excellent source of protein for dogs and is a good meal to include in your pet buddy’s diet.

Research has shown that a growing body of veterinary experts clamors for a dog’s diet to contain majorly raw meat.

While the majority disagrees, none can deny the importance of meat to dogs. 

What about salami? Can dogs eat salami? Is this sausage meat good for dogs?

You ought to be cautious with salami, not because of the meat (which is good), but every other ingredient that contributes to making up this sausage.

Salami is a delicious meal for both dogs and humans and can make a good sandwich, but might not be the best option for a regular diet for your pooch.

This isn’t to say dogs can’t eat salami, nor should we consider it as dangerous as chocolate. However, it shouldn’t be labeled completely safe, not until you know the pros and cons of feeding this meat to a dog.

So, can dogs have salami? Read on to find out if the benefits outweigh the challenges.

Can Dogs Eat Salami? 

The most accurate answer to this question is a ‘maybe’. If that wasn’t part of your options, include it. Dogs can eat salami and will enjoy it, but a decision not to feed them this meat is equally valid.

The major ingredients and nutritional value of salami will shed more light on this question.

A typical salami is made up of meat, fat, salt, garlic, different spices, some herbs, and vinegar.

Slices of Salami placed on a cutting board

The ingredients hint at many difficulties which we’ll explore later, but keep in mind that some of these are unsuitable for dogs.

Related: Can Dogs Eat Corned Beef?

The nutritional value of a 100-gram salami is as follows:

Nutritional InfoAmount
Sodium1,740 mg
Vitamin B625%
Vitamin D10%

Notice the high numbers on the list? They are both good and bad.

Protein and potassium are advantageous while sodium, cholesterol, fat, and high calories give reasons for concern.

Your dog’s system can tolerate a slice of salami, but it mustn’t be more than that. It also shouldn’t be a regular treat.

Is Salami Bad for Dogs?

Let’s start with the biggest number on the list above: Sodium. Being more than 1,000mg for a 100g salami, the salt level is too high for humans.

For dogs, it is extreme, as dogs need less salt than humans. Too much salt can lead to kidney damage, high blood pressure, and salt poisoning in your pooch.

All these ailments are critical and may leave lasting damages on a dog, if not death. 

Furthermore, there’s a high level of fat, calories, and cholesterol. If you’re into fitness, you know these nutrients become dangerous when high.

The same applies to dogs. Besides the obvious risk of obesity, too much fat can cause pancreatitis and joint problems.

The calories and cholesterol weaken the heart, increasing the chances of heart failure. 

We mentioned that some ingredients in salami are unsuitable for dogs. The most dangerous is garlic, which your dog must not eat. Garlic destroys the red blood cells of a dog, leading to hemolytic anemia. 

The spices used in salami make it tastier to humans, but deadlier for canines.

The dog’s stomach can’t tolerate these spices, and it may leave him whining in pain. Onions are one of these spice, and it is as problematic as garlic. 

Lastly, some bacteria can get into the salami sausage, and may not be removed by curing. Cooking can get rid of these germs, but what if your dog snatches an uncooked one?

Some of these bacteria are salmonella, listeria, fungi, and E. coli. Some parasites like toxoplasma can make a dog lose appetite, get diarrhea, get a high temperature, and even have a seizure.

It isn’t all bad news, though, as salami can play positive roles for your pet.

Is Salami Good for Dogs?

A pug being fed a slice of salami

There are moments you may need to offer salami to a dog, as long as you keep it at a low level.

Salami contains enough proteins and vitamins to nourish a dog. Only the additional ingredients make it a disqualified animal meat for dogs. 

Salami can be useful in many ways:

  • A training tool: Because dogs like the delicious taste, salami can be used as a form of positive reinforcement during training. Dogs love rewards, and a tasty treat can do the trick.

    However, it shouldn’t be your go-to motivational snack as constant use can make a dog sick.

    In its place, you can opt for healthier treats like chicken and some healthy fruits as a long-term reward plan. 
  • Appetite recovery: Many things can make a dog lose appetite, and it can be a disturbing experience for pet parents.

    Loss of appetite doesn’t mean your pet isn’t hungry, he just wouldn’t be willing to eat.

    This can make him lose weight. Salami can be used to tempt them. It also clears any bitter aftertaste a convalescent dog may experience. 
  • A form of distraction: Maybe you are enjoying a weekend with a salami sandwich and TV, but there’s your dog who seems to be frantic or bored.

    You can toss him a slice of salami to keep himself busy. Ensure the salami has no garlic or spices before you try this. 
  • A change in diet: This shouldn’t be an everyday thing, but if you want your dog to get a rare treat, you can make use of plain, unsalted salami. This could help break a dietary routine. 

By now, you should realize that when it comes to salami, less is more, and some ingredients make salami toxic.

Not all forms of salami have these ingredients, so you should know which kind of salami a dog can manage. 

Can Dogs Have Salami in Other Forms?

Listed here are the popular kinds of salami. Under each, you’ll know the risks you may face. You’ll also know those that can be considered safe, and those you must avoid.

1. Dry Salami

In small quantities, dogs can tolerate dry salami because its fat level isn’t as high as other forms.

Keep an eye out for harmful spices, however. Remember what we said about spices and stomach upset in dogs.

2. Genoa Salami

The grease and sodium may be challenging, so you should watch out for any unusual sign of sodium hike.

Genoa salami is less safe than dry salami but can be fed to a dog. 

3. Hard Salami

There are a few differences between hard and dry salami. Like its brother, hard salami will not disturb a dog if fed in a small quantity.

4. Spicy Salami

Generally, spicy foods are unfit for dogs. They lead to stomach problems and more issues like diarrhea and depression. 

5. Uncured Salami

Not all salami go through the curing process. The uncured version is lower in salt, which automatically makes it better than cured salami.

However, it has a high level of fat, so dogs should eat it moderately. 

6. Turkey Salami

The advantage of turkey salami is the low amount of fat in it. It reduces the chances of obesity, unlike other forms of salami.

That said, its salt level is high. Pet parent discretion is advised.

How Much Salami can a Dog Eat?

A dog trying to reach for salami hanging with garlic

This depends a lot on a dog’s weight. A slice of salami may not disturb a large breed but can make a toy pup react.

There is no clear-cut rule, other than to feed dogs with salami only on rare occasions and in small quantities. The latter is relative, so you should be careful. 

If you’re in doubt, you can consult a veterinarian, or choose to not risk it. Your dog won’t lose if you have better alternatives, some of which we’ll suggest later in this article.

For now, let’s consider what would happen if your pooch consumes a lot of salami.

What Will Happen if My Dog Eats Salami?

Hopefully, we’re not talking about a full salami dish. Your dog should be fine if he eats only a little unless he has a sensitive stomach or is a small-sized breed.

If your dogs eat a lot of salami, be prepared to battle with the following symptoms:

  • Stomach upset
  • Dehydration
  • Diarrhea
  • Flatulence
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Depression
  • Pain and discomfort

Some are mild, others point at a bigger problem. The effect largely depends on your dog’s size, overall health, previous allergies, and the amount they ate.

What Should I Do If My Dog Eats Too Much Salami?

A Dog Lying on the Floor

When your dog takes in more salami than he should, resist the urge to scream, get harsh or punish him. Your dog can’t read this article and others like it.

Your pooch doesn’t know the dangers of salami to his health and life span. He only judges by his nose and thirst buds.

In his defense, salami has a sweet aroma and an enticing taste.

Keep track of the time you discovered the act, as well as the quantity he ate, and the moment any symptoms show.

Sometimes the symptoms may take time, so you should call the vet once you realize your dog overate. 

Your vet will diagnose the exact problem and ask you some questions, before getting into treatments.

Healthier Alternatives to Salami

If you want to abstain from salami but need a tasty treat, here are some animal meats that are healthier than salami:

  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Beef
  • Pork
  • Lamb

Related: Can Dogs Eat Chicken Nuggets? Is It Safe For Them?

Related Questions

Can salami kill a dog?

There is nothing toxic in a plain salami that would poison or kill a dog. That’s why it can be eaten in small quantities.

However, some ingredients like garlic, onions, and salt are toxic to dogs. Too much of it can be harmful and deadly.

Is ham and salami okay for dogs?

Ham is a meat filled with fat. The fatty level in ham is dangerous for dogs and can lead to pancreatitis. It also has a lot of salt. Just like salami, ham is not recommended for dogs. 

Can dogs eat salami and pepperoni?

Some meat like salami and pepperoni are considered unhealthy for dogs, so you should go for healthier meats.

Bottom Line

If meats were to be divided into categories, salami would go under ‘possible but not recommended’. We suggest you go for healthier options, even for rare treats.

That little, safe salami can make your dog hungry for more, leading him to eat more than he can handle when you are not around.

Fortunately, there are so many options—your pooch will not miss salami.

You May Also Like: Can Dogs Eat Tortillas? (Flour, Corn Or Tortilla Chips)


  • Opinions on raw meat pet food diets in US – Statista
  • Can my dog eat salami? – Rover

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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