As a veterinarian, I see many people who like to offer their pets a little of their food when they are eating. In the summer, many people have cookouts and BBQs. Bacon is often a very tasty treat that your dog may enjoy and something that is quick to sneak them a small bite. While your dog may love this treat, it may not be the best treat that you can give to your dog.
What happens if my dog eats bacon?
Bacon is high in fat and can often cause gastrointestinal issues. Bacon is not toxic to dogs, but a large amount can cause vomiting and diarrhea.
Any high fatty food can lead to your dog vomiting and having diarrhea and can even lead to pancreatitis in severe cases. This would cause your dog to need to see your vet and possibly even be hospitalized for them to fully recover.
What is Pancreatitis?
Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas usually caused by eating a meal that is very high in fats. Pancreatitis can be life-threatening if left untreated. The pancreas is the main organ that is used to produce digestive enzymes to help break down the food that your dog is eating, as well as regulate your dog’s blood sugar.
When your dog eats a high fat diet, it can cause the pancreas to become inflamed. The pancreas lives in your dog’s body right by the stomach and small intestines. When the pancreas becomes inflamed, it also causes the stomach and intestines to become irritated, leading to vomiting and diarrhea.
What happens if my dog eats bacon fat?
Bacon fat is one of the worst things that your dog can eat. The fat is the one part of the bacon that will cause gastrointestinal issues. While this may be one of the tastiest parts of the bacon for us, it is the worst part of bacon that your dog can eat.
What happens if my dog eats raw bacon?
Raw bacon can contain salmonella or other bacteria on the surface of the meat. When your cook raw foods, you are killing these bacteria organisms and making the bacon safe for people to eat. If you feed raw bacon to your dog that does contain salmonella or other bacteria, your dog can develop chronic diarrhea that often takes many weeks of medication to clear this infection.
What happens if my dog eats bacon grease?
Many people want to add a small amount of bacon grease to the top of their dog’s kibble to help entice them to eat. While many dogs love this added to their food. These can lead to GI issues, just like fat can.
Can dogs eat cooked bacon?
Cooked bacon is the best that you can feed to your dog but still can cause gastrointestinal issues in sensitive stomach dogs. If you want to feed your dog bacon, it would be best to feed turkey bacon. You should also make sure that all the grease and oils have been drained off or patted dry with a paper towel.
Will a dog get sick from bacon?
Many dogs will get very sick from eating bacon. Some dogs can eat all the bacon, bacon grease, and bacon fat they are fed without any issues. Many dogs, especially small breed dogs, will have gastrointestinal issues from eating any form of bacon and should be avoided to help keep your dog healthy and happy.
What to do if my dog eats bacon?
If your dog accidentally eats a small amount of bacon, they are probably going to be just fine unless they have a history of a sensitive stomach. If your dog eats a large amount of bacon or has a sensitive stomach, they may have gastrointestinal issues such as vomiting and diarrhea.
If your dog starts to develop GI issues, there are a few things that you can do at home to help calm their stomachs:
- Withhold food for 4 to 6 hours: If your dog is vomiting, you can withhold food for a few hours to help their stomach calm down. Most dogs will continue to eat and vomit their food even when they are sick
- Offer a bland diet: A bland diet such as boiled chicken, white rice, and scrambled eggs will help your dog be able to process their food without upsetting their stomach more.
- Give over-the-counter medications: Things such as Imodium or Pepto Bismol can be given to your dog to help calm their stomachs. Imodium is commonly used for diarrhea. A typical dosage for dogs is 1 tablet for every 40 pounds of body weight. If your dog continues to have diarrhea after a few days and or is getting worse, your dog may need to see your vet for prescription medication.
- See your vet: If your dog is very lethargic or has been vomiting for more than 24 hours, it would be best to see your vet. Sometimes your dog needs prescription medications and IV fluids to fully recover from pancreatitis.
How much bacon is bad for dogs?
There is no set amount that is bad for a dog; each dog is different. Some dogs can eat a lot of bacon each day without having any issues, were others may just lick a piece of bacon and have many GI issues. If you do want to share a small amount of bacon with your dog, look for turkey bacon or make sure to drain all possible grease off the piece of bacon.
After seeing many sick dogs in my clinic, especially after a 4th of July picnic, I never recommend that you feed your dog bacon or any high fatty foods. If you want to offer your dog any human foods, things like a piece of bread, a piece of plain baked chicken without any oils or fats, added, or scrambled eggs are good bland foods that you can give to your dog.