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Can Dogs Eat Ham: Dietary Restrictions for Dogs

You’re having ham for dinner and your dog walks up to you. And you’re wondering if you can feed them from your plate. 

Can dogs eat ham?

Yes, they can. But, not as a staple diet. Ham is a source of protein. However, it doesn’t provide enough nutritional value. In addition, it packs a high quantity of fat and sodium. Both of which can individually prove dangerous for your dog. Too much fat can cause pancreatitis. And high doses of salt can cause vomiting, kidney damage, seizures, etc.

That answers the question. But stay with us. Because we are about to explore more every aspect of the topic.

Let’s jump right in!

Ham For Dogs: Yes or No?

While the straightforward answer is “Yes”, the most responsible one is “Ask your vet”. There are too many factors to consider. And if you truly care about your dog, you’ll make the time and consult a veterinarian. 

In fact, that should always be your course of action. Not just for ham. But for sharing any human food with your beloved pet. 

Let’s come back to the question at hand and why ham is okay. As well as when and why it might not be okay. 

Just a Protein Source 

Dogs require protein. And ham is primarily a protein source. So, giving your dog some ham isn’t a completely crazy idea. To add to that, ham is exceptionally tasty as it packs a lot of fat. This leads us to the next point.

Not Good For Digestion

While ham does provide protein, there’s a lot of debate about its digestibility. There are other sources of protein, which are much better for dogs. Besides, digestibility isn’t the only point working against ham. 

Packs Too Many Fat 

Dogs can usually digest ham just as they can digest pork. The problem isn’t the meat itself, rather, what makes up the treat. 

What makes ham delicious is its fat content. But, this fat content is too high for dogs. A healthy diet for your pet should consist of 15 – 20% fat. And dog food already provides that. 

But what’s wrong with giving them some fatty food? A high fatty diet will cause your dog to develop pancreatitis in the long run. It might cause digestive distress in the short run. 

Another risk of a fat-rich diet is developing bloat. Bloat is problematic at the very least. And at the worst can kill in hours.

If you see your dog puking after eating ham, you should take it to a vet. And steer away from giving your dog ham in the future. Even disregarding the fat content there’s still one more serious problem with ham.

Soaked in Salt

Ham is salted and cured. And that’s where the last problem comes in. The high sodium content is just as bad for you as it’s for your dog. But in your dog’s case, it gets more serious. 

In addition to the salt, the preservatives used in ham contain nitrates and nitrites. Both of these compounds also contain sodium. 

Salt can make your dog lethargic, cause them to urinate more frequently, and induce vomiting. It also causes fluid to accumulate abnormally. In rare cases, high sodium levels can damage their kidney, cause seizures, and even death. 

Given all of the points, you really should refrain from giving your dog ham. They may or may not be able to digest it, but there’s a certain risk involved. 

Ham Bones For Dogs: Yes or No?

Well, we’ve got ham out of the way, but what about the bones? That is straight out no. Cooked bones are fragile. These bones crack and splinter when the dog chews on them. Splinters present a choking hazard. 

Large splinters can easily get lodged in your dog’s throat, preventing it from breathing. Smaller splinters on the other hand can injure your dog. 

Cuts inside the mouth or in the throat, from splintered bones, are very common. In bad cases, the splinters can even cause cuts inside the intestine. Or, even puncture it. 

So, bones are a big no.

So Only Dog Food Is a Yes? 

No. You can definitely give your dog a few tasty treats every now and then. Besides, if you wish to give them meat, provide them with raw meat. 

Raw meat is a natural diet for dogs. So it’s safe to assume they can digest it. Just skip the fancy prepping and any meat will be good for your dog.

However, don’t give your dog chicken bones, pork bones or rib bones. Get a milk bone or nylabone. Here’re a few suggestions from us.

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How to Treat Your Dog With Meat?

As previously mentioned you can give your dog raw meat. However, make sure to remove the bones from the meat. If you’re providing your dog chicken, remove the skin. Chicken skin is very bad for dogs. 

For any other meat follow the same pattern. Get rid of the bones and as much of the fat as possible. And cook it without any of the bells and whistles of the thanksgiving dinner. 

Quick Meat Treat Recipe

You shouldn’t get your dog hooked on ham. It’s high in everything that is bad for your dog. But the taste will make your dog want it. So how do you deal with that? That’s easy. Prepare a healthier tasty treat for your pal.


Gather the following ingredients to make the treat.

  • 1 cup ground up meat. (Preferably chicken)
  • ¼ cup fennel 
  • ¼ cup fava beans
  • ½ cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon of assorted fruits

Preparation Process 

Follow each step and you’ll end up with a healthy snack for your dog.

Step 1: Prepping the Fennel

Wash the fennel and then dice it. You can steam it to make it easier for your dog to chew. Or you can provide it raw. 

Step 2: Prepping the Beans

Cook the fava beans lightly. To do that, first remove them from the pods. Next, toss them into a pot of boiling water and blanche for 30 seconds. Take the beans out after 30 seconds and immediately submerge in an ice bath.

Step 3: Adding It All Up

Put everything in a bowl, add the ½ cup yogurt and stir with a spoon. Make sure that the fruits are properly processed. Chop the fruits and remove any seeds to prevent choking hazards. 

And now your dog can enjoy a tasty, meaty treat that is healthy too. Keep in mind that the treat should only make up 10% of its calorie intake. The rest must be from a balanced dog food. 

With that, we conclude our thoughts on the topic. 


Question: Is bacon good for dogs?

Answer: No. Bacon is extremely fatty and rich. Consumption of too much bacon can lead to pancreatitis. And it can be fatal.

Question: Can I feed my dog eggs?

Answer: Yes. You can give your dog eggs. However, cook it properly. Avoid any sort of seasoning, butter, or oil, and the eggs should be perfect.

Question: Is sugar bad for dogs?

Answer: Yes. In large quantities, sugar is just as dangerous as salt or fat. Because of that, you should avoid feeding your dog baked goods.


So can dogs eat ham? Yes. But they shouldn’t. Ham packs too much fat and too much salt. That is a dangerous combination for your pet. 

You should rather give them raw meat. Which is natural for them and does not come with the risks of processed meat.

Hope this helps you keep your dog happy and healthy!