There’s a magic trick that works every single time. Start cooking bacon and your dog will magically appear! This is understandable (after all, most of us will appear too if we smell bacon), but is bacon really good for them? Is bacon grease good for dogs? Yes, they love it when we mix it in their food but it’s not necessarily the best idea and we will tell you why. Let’s talk about bacon and your dog.
Dogs, like us, love them some bacon!
The problem, of course, is their enthusiasm. It’s hard to look into that fluffy face and those woeful eyes and say ‘no’ to them. To be frank, it’s hard enough to say no for ourselves, but a little education on why bacon should be removed or minimized is definitely in order. While it is bad for us, it is VERY bad for dogs and can reduce their lifespan if you overdo that bacon. We’ll explain.
Why bacon is not necessarily a good idea
Have you noticed how your dog drinks a lot of water after eating a few strips of bacon or some dog food with a little bacon grease mixed in it? That’s due to the salt content. Bacon and ham have a very high salt content and this dehydrates your dog. Some of us like to mix in a little onion or garlic powder as well and these are downright toxic to our furry friends. So, what about raw bacon? While the chances of it are lower with dogs than with humans, dogs CAN get trichinella, a parasite, from eating raw pork and so this is not a good idea either. Pork, in general, is a bad idea for dogs also because it contains fats that dogs cannot easily digest. This can lead to pancreatis. Lastly, even pork bones are not safe, as they can dry out and splinter, and these splinters can get lodged in the throat or other places and hurt your pet. There is, however, a healthy option that your dog will love which will let you share breakfast together…
Behold the power of Turkey bacon!
When you are buying your own bacon, why not get your doggy some dog-friendly bacon too? Turkey bacon, if you choose the uncured, low-sodium option is perfectly healthy for dogs and they absolutely LOVE it. It’s also good for them, as the fatty proteins in turkey bacon can be easily digested and help to maintain a shiny coat so that your furry friend is kept well-fed and looking sharp. That said, there are some additives that are included, so try to keep the turkey bacon at a minimal. You can still cook a couple of pieces for your dog, just don’t overdo it, or if you DO, keep it to a minimum by overindulging on ‘Turkey Wednesday’, for instance. Like the foods that we eat, portion size is important, so with a little forethought your dog can eat well at the same time as you while you ensure that they are watching their health.
Some other foods that are surprisingly bad for dogs
A lot of foods that seem innocuous (like pork) are actually quite bad for dogs. Some of them seem harmless but while dogs have been domesticated for a long time this does not mean that they have an identical digestive system to us. Some foods are bad and others are even downright toxic. Here are some examples that you might not be aware of:
- Raisins and grapes – Now, we know that you are probably saying ‘oh c’mon, my dog loves grapes’ but grapes and raisins are surprisingly toxic to some dogs and not to others. We don’t fully understand why, but grapes have caused kidney failure and death in some dogs. Maybe your dog is one of the lucky ones but you should be aware… grapes are very, very bad for them.
“Grapes have caused kidney failure and death in some dogs”
- Green tomatoes – Ripe, red tomatoes are fine for dogs and some dogs love them, but green tomatoes and tomato plants are another story. That is because in their unripened state they contain a chemical called Solanine which can cause mild to severe cases of Gastrointestinal distress. They can still have tomatoes, just make sure that they are RIPE.
- Macadamia nuts – Like grapes, we don’t know a lot of the science behind it, but Macadamia nuts are extremely toxic to dogs and can make them quite ill. Generally this will manifest in the form of vomiting but it can also cause weakness, depression, and even Ataxia (loss of control of bodily movements) in the most severe cases. Stick to peanuts if your dog wants nuts (unsalted and in moderation, of course!)
- Tea and coffee – Caffeine is really, really bad for dogs and they are sensitive to it. As such, don’t let them share your morning java or cup of tea (unless you go with decaf). Too much caffeine can lead to vomiting, dehydration, and alarming jumps in heart rate so keep that caffeine all to yourself.
- Cheese – Dairy, in general, is not good for your dog. Yes, cheese is a popular training treat but try to keep it to a minimum. Over time it can lead to gastrointestinal problems and obesity and in the short-run too much dairy can cause diarrhea and constipation.
- Avocados – With avocados the big worry is the skin and the leaves. This is because they contain a chemical called Persin, which can cause heart and respiration problems in animals if they are particularly sensitive to it.
Some final words
Today we’ve discussed why bacon grease is bad for your dog as well as given you some alternatives so that breakfast can still be a communal treat. If you can’t take the bacon away, please just keep it to a minimum so that you and your furry friend can share many, many more breakfasts together in the years to come. Just like with us, it’s all about the moderation!