The Truth About Giving Your Dog Bacon!

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Does your pet perk up from the smell of cooked bacon? That isn’t surprising. Many dogs recognize the aroma even before the frying begins!

Can I Give My Dog Bacon?Unfortunately it’s a bad idea to share this type of meat.

That’s right. You should consider skipping these juicy meat strips when it comes to your dog.

The reason is pretty simple.

Rich, greasy and fatty pork is harmful for animals too.

And consider that canine consumption of bacon could eventually cause pancreatitis.

Do Not Feed Your Dog Bacon

A small taste can easily turn into sharing more regularly.

Be smart. Do not give any fried bacon. You want your dog to be around for many years. It can be hard to say no, but be strong.

There is no way around it:

Greasy bacon is detrimental for dogs. Feeding it is, without a doubt, unhealthy over the long term.

Just because this meat has protein doesn’t make it okay.

Bacon And Pet Pancreatitis

Rich and very fatty foods (bacon strips included) can harm your dog’s pancreas.

Inflaming this gland will affect its function and cause terrible health problems.

Such a poor diet will make your dog more prone to pancreatitis. Also consider that this pork is carcinogenic.

Quite scary!

Another factor is the high salt. This may contribute to other problems — like bloating and twisting of the intestines.

Make no mistake about it:

Too much bacon will harm to your dog.

Terrible Telltale Signs

Early indications of pancreatitis include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain

Symptoms are similar to those associated with food poisoning or a drug overdose.

It is difficult to trace some of these signs to pancreas problems. Blood work may be needed to accurately diagnose such a condition.

Put your mind at ease. Simply have a policy of never feeding your dog bacon or any type of pork.

About That Bacon Grease

Bacon grease is even worse!

All the unhealthy fats are in the grease and in a more concentrated form.

This can clog your dog’s arteries. Greasy oil, in any food, is bad for the heart.

Your dog may really love the taste of bacon grease, but a good pet parent will withhold bacon — especially the nasty grease. Yuck!

Never Nourish With Nitrites

Whether raw or cooked, hopefully you agree that bacon isn’t good for dogs.

Did we mention that it can easily cause diarrhea?

There may also be parasites, worms and bacteria in the meat.

Bacon’s curing process involves the use of chemical compounds (nitrites) and other preservatives. This can contribute to cancer as well as kidney, liver, and heart damage.

Still not convinced?

Watch this quick video which nicely sums up the dangers of bacon.

The Bottom Line

Do not share bacon with your dog.

There can be some serious health consequences with pancreatitis of particular concern.

Bacon strips are tasty, but they can really wreak havoc.

Get a supply of dog treats with a bit of low-fat bacon and cheese instead.

What Do You Think? Have Your Say Below…

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36 thoughts on “The Truth About Giving Your Dog Bacon!”

  1. I have used bacon as a training treat for all my dogs over 60 years. Never any health problems related to diet. Still this supposed revelation about bacon is concerning.

    I would like to see the science and numbers behind this sudden mania about well cooked, lean, crispy bacon.

    1. I agree. I’ve also witnessed long living Labradors having their little bacon treats at the table. I use it sparingly — only once in awhile. I give a bit to my dog on top of his pellets.

  2. An occasional bacon reward is not going to put Sparky in the grave. Sounds as if this article is suggesting adults, once embarking (pun intended) on the piglet trail, will not be able to stop themselves. Of course with vet prices as they are today, maybe nothing is proper for our canine friends!

  3. Sometimes I wonder if we’ve taken the dog out of our dogs. Bacon is not really what I’m talking about or advocating here. It just seems like the overestimation of what things may be harmful for our dogs can sometimes make them weaker in the long run. Especially when most are living on little hardened pellets of something. I don’t think a smidgen of bacon is going to kill your dog.

  4. I gave my dog a small piece of fat on some bacon I was eating. Will this harm him badly?

  5. My friends give their dogs little bits of diced beacon with less than a teaspoon of beacon grease. They have been doing this for years and swear it makes their dogs coat shinny and have never had an issue. So the question is in very small amounts is it still a danger?

    1. I have given a 1/4 cup of yummy bacon grease every single day to the many dogs I’ve had over my life. They have all lived long, healthy, shiny lives. All disease free and no health issues. I myself am now 85 years old and eat at least a half a strip of bacon with breakfast nearly every morning. Bacon Rules!

      Historically the official recommendations for good human and pet health has changed nearly annually, if not at least by the decade since civilized medicine began its long fumbling journey to this date. “If it ain’t broke….don’t fix it,” somehow seems to apply in this case. Even today.

  6. Our dog is 15 years old and started refusing to eat regular dog food of any kind at 11 years old. Now we give her Turkey bacon which our vet says is okay in moderation. The thing is, she doesn’t really like it until it’s burnt to a crisp. Go figure!

  7. I had a dog that was half Poodle and half Lhasa Apso. I had her for 16 years and she weighed 16 pounds. She never ate dog food and instead ate what we ate. I made her plate just like I did for my kids. We went to the vet 2 times a year. The vet could not believe how healthy she was considering she only ate people food.

    I now have an Australian Shepherd and she snacks on kibble but eats what we do. Healthy again! I really just don’t know what to think about all of these articles. It’s enough to drive you insane!

  8. Is turkey bacon just as bad?

    1. Richard, it’s probably not as bad. Turkey is generally more healthy than pork.

  9. I know what they say all things in moderation but I can’t imagine that giving your dog a strip of bacon once a month could really have any negative effect. Honestly I’m more concerned with the junk they put in cheap dog food which, in many instances, is actually not good for your dog at all compared to a few strips of bacon.

    1. Just like fatty foods do not seem bad when immediately consumed by humans, unless we have been eating very healthy, it’s the same for animals. This is even more so the smaller they are. I allowed my friend to give bacon to my small 10 pound dog because I didn’t know it was harmful. Within hours, she went from a boisterous dog to a listless one. I was told by a vet that even just one time consumption of this food can have devastating long-term pancreas problems. If you love your dog, you just won’t risk it!

    2. Then don’t feed them cheap dog food. Organic all the way!! Also don’t feed them food that’s formulated for human consumption. There is a saying, “killing them with kindness”, and it really applies to us feeding our dogs from the table.

      1. I don’t understand your comment. Dogs in the wild would have a diet consisting of 90 percent meat. They require meat so how can giving them some chicken or steak be harmful? I have a hard time believing that there’s anything nutritious or beneficial in commercial dog food. I would argue that some dogs refuse to eat it because, instinctively, they know it’s not really food.

        1. This is my opinion only. Bacon is not found in the wild. Anything processed for human consumption should not be given to dogs. If you don’t season your chicken or steak, or add BBQ sauce or anything, and as long as you cook it to remove toxins like we do, it should be okay for your dog.

          They are domesticated, not wild animals anymore. My guy has doesn’t get human food, and when he does get a little off the floor, or from a ‘friendly’ neighbor, he instantly gets sick or diarrhea. Re-read the article above, it has great advice.

          1. You should be giving them raw food. If you don’t want to hassle making and handling raw meats, than I would suggest getting a bag of raw dehydrated foods.

  10. My dog is a 20 pound Bichon. I give him bacon-flavored treats frequently. Is this different than giving him regular bacon? Should I stop with the bacon treats that are made for dogs?

    1. Hi Linda. This article is intended to caution people about regularly giving real bacon to their dogs. There are many kinds of safe and harmless bacon flavored dog treats which should be fine.

  11. It’s funny how you decide what’s best for your dog. You assume your dog wants to live a longer life rather a happier life. And why would that be true? Would you rather have a lifetime living with a terrible disease leaving you in chronic pain or live only a few, but happy, years?

    Of course a dog’s happiness isn’t entirely dependent on food but you can see it’s something they really enjoy. You should ask yourself what your dog really wants; many years without the joy of food or maybe a few less with the joy of food. It just bothers me that some people think they know what’s best for their pet when they, in fact, haven’t given it much thought. I assume, and correct me if I’m wrong, most of you immediately assume that a longer life equals a better life.

    1. You say “Would you rather have a lifetime living with a terrible disease leaving you in chronic pain or live only a few, but happy, years?”

      It’s like you think the only bad effect of something like bacon is taking some years off their life, like, they’ll still have a nice peaceful natural death, just a few years earlier. This is so wrong it almost makes me cry. Giving them bacon is what will give them terrible diseases and chronic pain! If you feed them badly, they won’t have a long painful life, or a short happy one, they will have a short, painful one.

      Please think about whether you should own a pet if you think it’s okay to ruin it’s life. Looking after a pet is a responsibility, and it’s your job to keep it both happy and healthy. Trust me when I tell you, if a pet dies early, it’s from a very painful disease. It’s not simply taking a few years off it’s life, it’s making it’s short life a torturous one full of chronic pain.

  12. I gave my dog some bacon, the small ones in little pieces, because she wouldn’t eat her regular food. She seems fine. Is she going to be fine? She’s a 10 pound Bichon and Poodle mix.

    1. Just drain the fat off and pat the bacon with a napkin to absorb the grease. She’ll be fine I think. Dogs will sometimes refuse the commercial stuff, because they know instinctively that it isn’t food. Notice how many so called bacon-flavored dog treats are on the market. I really believe that the dog food industry is behind this idea of bacon being really bad, simply so you’ll buy their products.

      On another note, the store I work for sells something called pigs ears which are really just bacon for dogs. The thing is, they are actually the real ears of pigs! You wouldn’t really know they were if someone didn’t tell you. They are hard, greasy and smell sort of like bacon. They grossed me out initially having to touch them, but now I’m used to it.

      The customers tell me that dogs go crazy for them (and at twelve bucks a dozen I hope they would). My point is, if it’s okay for dogs to eat these things, which in my opinion is a kind of bacon, how can it be so harmful to give your dog a slice or two of your own bacon?

  13. I have a 60 pound Pit bull. I gave her bacon a few days ago without the knowledge that it was bad for her. She has had explosive diarrhea since the following day and is still experiencing it. It’s been 4 days now.

    Her anus is red and irritated, and she seems to be slightly depressed. I have stopped her food and have been offering extra water. What else should I do? Do you think she needs to go to the vet or should I give it a couple more days?

    1. Recently, my 75 pound Boxer got into the garbage and sucked down a good 1-1/2 cups of pure bacon grease out of a container I had thrown away. Other than vomiting a few times that day, and having the runs into the next day, he was fine. I’m sure he’d love to do it again if he could, too!

      I’m not a vet, and not telling you what to do or what not do to, just sharing my experience. However, my dog is on a strictly raw diet too, so I’m not sure if that’d make any kind of a difference due to having more acids in his stomach or what not. Good luck!

    2. Anonymous says:

      First things first, no more bacon for her! Give her Pedialyte and put Preparation-H on her anus to relieve the irritation. Then make her hamburger and rice for 3 days. She can also have a dose of Pepto Bismol for her belly ache.

    3. I just fed my 68 pound male Pit bull bacon and he seems fine a day after. But I did not realize it was so bad for him.

    4. Nina, just get the next appointment with your vet. My stunningly gorgeous white GSD sadly died last Thursday after only three weeks illness having had blood tests, ultrasound scan and camera scoping.

      He was drooling from acid reflux, dramatic weight loss. The diagnosis was no cancer but he had Esophagitis. He was prescribed 40mg twice a day of Losec but he rejected food of any kind. He would drink water. We expected him to recover. He was just 8 years old. I am almost demented with grief.

      Please take your beloved pet to the vet ASAP. It is an absolutely horrendous experience to lose them because of old age, so how much worse when it’s like this. And we acted as soon as we realized he was not very well.

    5. Put your dog on a diet of white chicken meat and white rice until she recovers. This is true for any dog that has an upset stomach. And make sure she has access to plenty of water.

      Perhaps slip some coconut water into her bowl as well, to make sure she’s getting enough electrolytes. Our dogs get stomach pains very easily as they are very small breeds. Rice and bland meats (no spices) always straightens out their problems.

    6. How much bacon do you give her? Have a vet do a blood test and perhaps prescribe pain meds. Keep in mind that pancreatitis is very painful.

  14. I love my “Buttercup” and don’t want to harm her health. Thank you for the advice.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Sorry Toby, no bacon for you 🙁

  16. Thanks for your info on bacon. My big concern now is why my dog has seizures? He is an 4 year old Dachshund who just started having seizures about 8 months ago. He has maybe 2 per month.

    Could certain foods cause seizures in dogs? He hasn’t to my knowledge fallen and hit his head so I’m wondering where they are coming from? I really don’t want to put him on seizure medication without first finding out if it’s related to something else. I would rather go with a holistic approach. Do you have any advice or suggestions for me?

  17. I gave my dog grilled strips of bacon 3 days in a row simply because someone gave them to me. I didn’t know not to give him bacon. He is behaving a bit unusual but does not look in pain. I gave him 650mg Troscan (de-wormer) thinking it could be worms. He is eating grass and throwing up at least twice a day since. No more bacon! Could he still get Pancreatitis from this? He never had bacon before. He is a small-medium Terrier.

    1. As your Terrier does not look to be in pain, I don’t think he is suffering from pancreatitis. Don’t give him any bacon, raw or cooked in future.

      Many veterinarians consider grass eating a normal dog behavior. While dogs don’t gain anything of real nutritional value from grass, it also may not hurt them — as long as there are no dangerous fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides used on the grass itself.

  18. Fulminant necrotizing pancreatitis is an acute, extremely severe, usually fatal form of pancreatitis. In hours, your dog will go into shock. Dogs may vomit or simply show signs of severe abdominal pain. If you suspect this problem, get your dog to the veterinarian immediately.

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