Can Dogs Eat Ham?

Last Updated on March 9, 2023 by Woody Pet

Can Dogs Eat Ham?

Have you ever heard of a more ridiculous query such as “Can dogs eat ham?”

…to which the answer is obviously yes!

But the truth of the matter is, there isn’t a consensus on the issue at hand, and most veterinarians and pet dieticians are on the fence about this.

Think about it. Ham is basically made from meat. Meat is full of protein. Protein is something that carnivores need, and by extension, love meat, and protein is a major requirement for sustenance by carnivores like dogs in order for them to gain energy, live and move about. 

It does sound like simple, obvious logic for you to come to such a conclusion, that is if you are solely looking at this from a surface-level standpoint. 

Ham, especially in the civilized world where most of our products are mass-produced from factories, is not by any chance an exemption to this, but rather a good example of the negative aspects of it being one of many byproducts of meat processing plants.

The truth of the matter is, there are more reasons why ham is a bad idea to feed your dog, especially if you are considering feeding it ham on an almost daily basis.

In this topic, we are going to discuss whether feeding your dog ham is a good idea or not.

feeding ham to dogs

Feeding Ham To Dogs: Is It Harmful? The Answer Might Surprise You!

Anything that has the label “processed” in it should already be a red flag for dog owners, but it does not necessarily mean that such kinds of food should not be fed at all.

Ham is processed meat. It contains lots of sodium, preservatives, and all sorts of additive chemicals that just basically equate to it being bad news when you are thinking of feeding it to your dog.

However, if you cannot resist your dog’s beady eyes, begging you to toss a piece of your Christmas ham left over from the previous night’s Thanksgiving dinner, then you can do so.

But keep in mind that you must feed your dog ham to a minimum. If you feed your dog an excessive amount of ham, trouble will surely follow.

A concentrated amount of fat is found in ham, and if eaten in excess, will serve no benefits whatsoever. It will only result from the excess fat being stored in your dog’s body, thereby making it obese.

High amounts of sodium in ham have rather awful side effects for dogs. If your dog has eaten an excessively large volume of ham, vomiting, lethargy, and constipation are only a few of the many possible symptoms your dog might get.

In more severe cases, your dog is most likely to suffer from a stroke, seizure, or kidney failure.

Can Dogs Eat Ham Bone? Surely They Can Have Those… Right?


Giving your dog ham is in itself bad. If you actually intend to inflict further damage than what you have already done, giving your dog a ham bone is the worst you could do in this situation.

It needs no further observation that when bones are cooked, they become soft and brittle. 

And when bones become soft and brittle, they are easy to break. So easy, in fact, that if one pet, say, something with a snout and canine teeth and a carnivorous appetite were to gnaw on said cooked ham bone, it will easily be able to splinter it into pieces without breaking a sweat.

And furthermore, bone splinters are the bane of many dog owners who have had to deal with a choking dog that accidentally swallowed a bone splinter and having to save them via the administration of Heimlich maneuvers. 

For the sake of your dog’s health and safety, avoid feeding your dog ham bones. 

What Kind Of Ham, If Any, Is Best?

As grim as the prospect of giving your dog any kind of ham may have negative implications, it is worth keeping in mind that as long as you give your dog any food in a controlled manner, that is, if you are able to specifically lessen and reduce the ways and means your dog can consume ham, then by all means, do so.

Hams should not be totally eradicated from your dog’s to-eat list. If you have seen dogs, they definitely would go ballistic when you tease with and wave around a piece of ham above them.

Feed your dog hams as few as possible. Treat the ham as some sort of occasional treat. Using ham to entice your dog to follow certain commands or even in training sessions is not encouraged. Your dog will develop a dependence on ham if you use it as an incentive in training.

To answer the title of the subtopic, the best kind of ham to feed your dog is less of it. 

can dogs eat ham bone

In conclusion as to the query that this blog has tackled which is: “Can Dogs Eat Ham?”, it is best to revisit and review the many points that we have made to cover all possible sides and scenarios this issue has at hand.

For starters, ham is, by all means, a meat product. It contains protein and is preferred by most, if not all domesticated carnivores such as cats and dogs if given the chance and opportunity to consume it.

What makes ham a debatable topic in terms of whether it is a good staple of food for dogs to consume is that it is both a meat product and a processed product; a good source of protein but a bad source of sodium, ham is indeed a paradox of a meal for the lack of a better term.

While ham has many dangerous precedences, and by nature should concern most dog owners, however, it should not deter you from giving your dog some ham. 

As long as you control your dog’s ham intake by only giving it bits and pieces instead of large amounts of ham bones, your dog won’t have much issue in this regard.


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