We all know bologna ranks right up there with hot dogs as far as not really knowing what goes into it. Sure, you can buy all beef bologna, but still you just can’t be sure where it comes from the way you can with say, a chicken wing, or a pork rib. So is it alright to give your dog this mystery meat, or should you just stick with their ordinary dog food?
Dogs are pretty simple beasts. They’re easy to please. Sure they go nuts for the occasional treat, and as their owner you just can’t help wanting to see them get so excited and happy.
It’s easy enough to reach in the fridge, peel off a piece of bologna and break off pieces to toss to them. Or throw the whole slice at them and see what they do with it. Although bologna might be convenient, this is not reason enough to give it to your dog on a regular basis, or as a suitable substitute for their regular kibble.
Can I Give My Dog Bologna? Answer: Occasionally
Dogs are meat eaters, so they’ll have no trouble wolfing down just as much bologna, or hotdogs, as you toss their way. But you want to go easy on it, because it is heavily processed, contains a lot of sodium, and usually also contains nitrates. It’s not the healthiest thing you can give your dog, and basically it’s not healthy at all. You aren’t doing them any favors by giving it to them, other than giving them a meaty treat. Wieners in moderation!
If you’re looking for something to give your dog as a treat, you can’t go wrong with a store bought treat made for dogs, either from a local supermarket, or from a pet food store. Treats these days are getting pretty advanced. You can get ones that have extra vitamins and minerals, ones that are designed to freshen your dog’s breath, and others that are made with organic or all natural ingredients. This means you can turn snack time into a healthy experience, rather than a guilt ridden one.
Why Nitrates are Bad for Dogs
More and more people are learning about nitrates and why they’re bad for humans, but how about for dogs? Dogs have a digestive system that’s much different than ours, even though much of the same framework is in place like a stomach, liver, kidneys, etc.
But their digestive process is shorter, and their metabolism is much faster, especially for active dogs. What this usually does is speeds up the processing of foods, and effects how they store and release the different substances they ingest. It’s unclear how dogs process nitrates, but suffice it to say, if it’s bad for us it’s doubly bad for dogs.
Bologna is also a fatty substance, made mostly with low grade meat. It is pretty much similar to a hotdog. The combination of the fats, the salts, and the nitrates makes this something that you don’t want to get into the habit of giving your dog, or yourself really. So if you’re used to keeping a pack of bologna in the fridge, just remember to also keep a bag of doggy snacks handy so you’re not tempted to give Fido a slice whenever you have a bologna sandwich.
Give a Dog a Bone
The reason dogs naturally gnaw on bones is to keep their teeth clean. By giving them bologna you’re giving them a meat infusion but they’re not getting the full effect by chomping on a bone afterward. Contrary to what most people think, you shouldn’t give your dogs bones left over from your cooked meals, like T-bone steaks, or chicken. They should be given raw bones, so you can give them this treat during the preparation and cooking time, rather than after the meal.
If you think about dogs in the wild you will see that they naturally kill other animals and gnaw on their bones. They don’t stop to barbecue them first. Domesticated dogs have only been domesticated for a relatively short time, and they still share many traits with their still-wild relatives. They won’t need a lesson in how to chew on a bone, and this is really a much better choice than anything processed like bologna.