Q:

Is it bad to let a dog eat ham?

A:

Quick Answer

Dog owners should not feed their pets ham, or other processed meats, as those substances contain high levels of salt and fat, which causes gastrointestinal distress. People should avoid feeding their dogs ham, along with bones and fat trimmings, as those substances may spark bouts of pancreatitis in canines, say experts at WebMD. Additionally, meat bones may create a choking hazard for dogs, and can break in their digestive systems, causing cuts and injuries.

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Full Answer

Ham and other high fat meats are toxic to dogs and cats. They contain large amounts of saline, which may lead to sodium ion poisoning. Pets who consume too much salt show excessive urination and thirst, and may compensate for too much salt by drinking copious amounts of water. This too, poses a threat, as dogs can develop a condition called bloat, which causes their stomachs to collapse and may lead to death. Other signs of excess salt consumption include vomiting, diarrhea, tremors and even depression, say experts at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, or ASPCA.

In addition to ham, other human foods pose threats to dogs too. Alcohol, caffeine and chocolate are toxic to dogs, as are avocado, grapes and raisins, garlic, onions and milk. Raw yeast dough also poses a health risk, as do macadamia nuts. Dogs, like people, should never consume raw or undercooked meat, poultry or eggs, which may carry salmonella.

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