Can Dogs Eat Spam? Is Spam Bad For Dogs?

It is common knowledge to many dog owners that dogs, in general, need to be fed a richly yet balanced protein and fat diet.

It is, for this reason, several varieties of dogs food contain a lot of meat products.

Based on this knowledge, several dog owners make the assumption that it is alright to feed spam to their dogs due to the fact that it is primarily made up of meat.

But can dogs eat spam? Is spam bad for dogs?

This article deliberates on everything you need to know.

What Is Spam?

Spam is a canned meat product made up of pork, ham, salt, potato starch, and sugar.

This canned food product gained worldwide recognition during World War II and today is made in varieties of flavors and sold worldwide.

Despite this stunning fact, you can’t help but wonder if spam is ok for dogs, especially considering it is made up of ingredients that seem safe for canines to eat?

Can Dogs Eat Spam?

Although the essential ingredients spam is made of are not harmful or detrimental to a dog’s health in itself, it is still not safe to feed spam to your dog.

The cons outweigh the benefits. 

There is the risk of it causing dehydration, diarrhea, fever, and vomiting to your dog, not to mention also salt poisoning.

Spam, however, when fed to your dog at a very low amount, may not be toxic to your pooch; notwithstanding, it would be safe to stay clear of feeding it to them.

Nutritional facts of two-serving size (56g) of Spam.

Nutritional FactsAmount

Related: Can Dogs Eat Salami?

Slices of uncooked spam on the table

Is Spam Bad for Dogs?

Below are more details on why spam is considered unhealthy for your canine.

1. High Amount of Fat

Every two-ounce serving of spam contains at the very least 15 grams of fat. Thus, a single can of spam contains 96 grams of fat and 36 grams of saturated fat.

Dogs undoubtedly need to eat diets containing fat; however, consuming too much fat can result in health issues such as obesity or pancreatitis.

2. Stay Away from Nitrates and Preservatives

Not just spam, but for anything you intend to feed your dog, you should stay away from it if it contains nitrates and preservatives.

When consumed in excessive amount, nitrates and preservatives are harmful to a dog’s system as it weakens their immune system and causes diarrhea and vomiting. 

3. Too Much Sodium

It is unsurprising to know that spam contains a high amount of sodium, seeing as it is a canned meat product that can remain edible even fives year from the point of purchase if stored in a safe condition.

As you can see from the nutritional facts above, two ounces of spam serving hold up to 790 milligrams of sodium.

A can of spam makes up for six servings meaning there are about 4,740 milligrams of sodium in a can. 

While sodium is one of the many necessary nutrients beneficial to a dog’s health, it can result in dehydration or even sodium poisoning when excessively consumed.

4. The Flavors

Spam comes in 15 different flavors. Although they are slightly different from the regular spam, that doesn’t make it any safer for a dog’s consumption.

They’ve been filled with many toxic substances. For example, garlic-flavored spam has high garlic content, and garlic is toxic to dogs.

What Will Happen if my Dog Eats Spam?

Several health complications are likely to occur when you feed your canine buddy too much spam.

Below are some of these health complications and their implications on a dog’s health.

1. Pancreatitis

This is a disease that affects the pancreas in which the pancreatic tissue ends up being damaged, resulting in inflammation of the pancreas.

High fats are one of the common causes of pancreatitis, and spam contains lots of them.

Dogs can either suffer from acute or chronic pancreatitis, which is even worse.

Some telltale signs of pancreatitis include repeated vomiting, diarrhea, fever, dehydration, loss of appetite, difficulty in walking, and odd body postures such as hunched back.

2. Salt Poisoning

Salt is harmful to dogs, especially when consumed in large quantities. For this reason, dogs can’t eat spicy meals, and spam is one of those foods containing too much salt.

Salt poisoning is the result of excessive sodium intake. 

Often dehydration is the first symptom of salt poisoning in a dog, and if it’s not too serious, drinking plenty of water should make your dog feel better.

However, in some cases, you might need to contact your vet for immediate medical attention.

Although different dogs have different salt tolerance, and weight, breed, age, and certain health conditions should be a factor, dogs should not have more than a hundred milligrams of salt content a day.

Early symptoms of salt poisoning include dehydration, tiredness, strangeness in behavior and urination pattern, swollen stomach, and watery stool.

Occasionally, a dog might experience seizures, convulsions, tremors and if proper medical attention isn’t given to such a dog, could result in death.

4. Obesity

An adult dog should consume about 3.3 g/MJ of metabolizable energy. This makes up for 5% of the fat for your dog.

Spam offers more fat than a dog needs, and this can lead to obesity.

While obesity may not be a life-threatening disease, it still affects a dog’s well-being and may shorten a dog’s life span.

Overweight dogs find it difficult to exercise or perform active physical activity.

This extra unnecessary weight can cause other health issues such as liver disease, pancreatitis, diabetes.

What Should I do if my Dog Eats Too Much Spam?

A Dog Lying on the Floor

Give your dog plenty of water to drink. As much as you think your dog can drink, it should.

Your pooch would feel better, however, if you don’t notice any improvement, you should get your dog to a vet without further delay.

Alternatives to Spam for Dogs

If you must share a protein, meaty rich but healthy diet with your dog pet, there are several alternatives to spam.

Cooked boneless turkey cuts in small bits are something you could consider. They are highly nutritious protein free from the detrimental effect of spam.

Also, True Chews Premium Jerky Cuts is another healthy meat treats you can opt for.

You should stay away from canned meat products for your dogs.

Related: Can Dogs Eat Corned Beef? Is It Toxic to Dogs?

Related Questions

Can dogs eat cooked spam or spam ham?

It is not advisable to feed your dogs cooked, uncooked, or any other form of spam. For a fact, the cons outweigh the benefits.

How do I know if my dog has eaten too much spam?

If your dog has had a little bit of spam, it should be no big deal. However, some signs you should be on the lookout for are restlessness, odd body postures, loss of appetite in the least, at the very most, vomiting, fever, diarrhea.

So, Can Dogs Have Spam?

It is safe to conclude that spam is bad for dogs even though dogs can eat them. It would be best for dog parents to avoid feeding spam to their four-legged furry friend.

Logically, it may not seem harmful to feed spam to dogs seeing as it is made up largely of meat. However, feeding your pooch spam can be detrimental to their health.

You May Also Like: Can Dogs Eat Pork Rib Bones (Raw or Cooked)?

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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