Ham is quite popular and it’s only a matter of time before your pet dog will want some. Is this an appropriate meat for canines or are there drawbacks to sharing a few slices with Fido?
It’s well known that ham typically contains high levels of fat and salt. If your dog is overweight, for example, then routinely feeding this meat is surely a bad idea. The added sodium also isn’t great and such salty foods should only be fed in moderation.
Another important consideration is that ham is a form of pork, which tends to come with more risks due to the potential for harmful bacteria or parasites compared to other meats. After weighing the pros and cons, our answer is clear.
Can I Give My Dog Ham? Answer: Not Recommended
Canines certainly require meat, but this particular kind is likely too rich.
Ham could easily add too much sodium in your dog’s diet. Perhaps a wild beast would hunt down and kill a pig in the wild, but domesticated dogs don’t need to be eating cured, lean and salted hams. That said, feeding your dog a small amount of your ham is probably harmless. That’s true at least in the short term. Just understand that you definitely shouldn’t depend on ham for your dog’s protein nourishment. Feeding this meat could also be the beginning of a bad habit!
Ham Not a Replacement
Pigs bred for slaughter are pumped with antibiotics and all kinds of growth hormones. This is all the more reason not to give ham to your dog. Many vets recommend against giving dogs this meat citing the high salt factor and the potential for diarrhea.
Sure, owners give their dogs small portions of ham all the time. But this begs the question: why risk it? Ham may not be well-tolerated and it’s definitely no health food. It should be avoided or, at the very least, fed only occasionally.
All Meats Aren’t Equal
The industry promotes ham by calling pork “the other white meat”, but it’s really not as good as beef or chicken. Dogs require meat-based protein, but ham is inferior to most other types of meats. Pork is actually a low quality protein. Ham, all pork really, also tends to be harder to digest compared to others. This, in itself, is reason enough not to toss your dog a piece of the holiday ham.
Forget Ham & Upgrade
You can put most table scrap questioning to bed, including ham, by simply getting a high quality dog food brand. Many owners wince at the thought of paying more for canine chow. They end up giving Fido people foods which costs even more in the long run. Get the premium stuff and this way you won’t have to make up for nutritional gaps. Ham just won’t cut it for your dog!
Some Ham & Pork Truths
Maybe you’ve heard about cooked pork being put under a microscope. Sometimes it has worms or parasites. The fact is, pork or ham isn’t kosher or entirely clean. It also contains toxins and many rightly consider it to be unhealthy. We don’t think this should be any less true as it apples to pet dogs.
As an example, bacon is viewed a sinful food because it tastes delicious yet everyone knows it’s not good for you. Ham, bologna or even hotdogs may not be the worst pork products, but they are still no nutritional champions. Giving these meats to your dog is your prerogative, but please consider the information we’ve provided.
Conclusion on Ham
Ham, a form of pork, is not a desirable meat for dogs. If your buddy begs for this table scrap meat, keep healthy dog treats on hand to satisfy their canine cravings. You can pull the ‘old switcheroo’ and avoid serving up inappropriate meats like salty ham. Of course, sharing a little bit with your dog isn’t a total disaster but think about the long term consequences and bad begging behavior. All this means more ham for you!