Is lunch meat bad for dogs? What about hot dogs? Is it ok to feed my dog lunch meat or hot dogs every once in a while, or should I avoid giving them to him at all costs? There is a lot of debate on this subject.
Some say that processed meats such as these are dangerous and toxic for your canine friend to eat, while others argue that there is nothing wrong with allowing your dog to eat these treats from time to time.
There are two factors you need to consider when deciding whether or not you want to give your dog a treat made out of processed meats: the quality of the product and how often you will be offering it.
Here we take a look at what exactly makes up luncheon meat and hot dogs, the possible side effects of feeding these treats to your dog, and how you can go about choosing healthy processed meats for your four-legged friend.
What are lunch meats?
Luncheon meat is food made by finely chopping or grinding various parts of animals. Lunch meats can be made from beef, pork, lamb, fish, or poultry. Luncheon meat may also contain animal by-products such as blood and bone.
According to the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture), most products labeled “lunch meat” come from pigs but include other animals’ parts.
Other ingredients used in this type of product may include water or ice, salt, sugar or dextrose (for flavor), sodium nitrite (for color and preservation), and spices.
The meat is then ground up, blended with other ingredients, cured, formed into a loaf or block, smoked, cooked, and packaged.
Further Reading: Can Dogs Eat Corned Beef 
Is lunch meat bad for dogs?
Lunch meats are often high in fat and low in protein. They also tend to contain a lot of sodium, which can be dangerous for dogs who suffer from heart disease or may lead to issues such as urinary stones if fed regularly.
It is recommended that you avoid feeding your dog any type of processed meat from the deli counter since many of these products have been linked with negative effects on animal health.
Why do people feed it to dogs?
People may choose to feed their dog’s processed meats such as luncheon meat and hot dogs because these types of foods are typically cheaper than natural meats.
They can also be harder for a dog to resist since they tend to contain a lot of salt and sugar, which makes them more attractive to your canine friend’s taste buds.
As with human food, you should never give your dog any kind of fatty treat from the deli counter on a regular basis.
Are there alternatives?
While some owners choose to feed their pets processed meat products such as luncheon meat and hot dogs every once in a while, others opt for healthier options that won’t leave their pets feeling sluggish or sick due to negative side effects.
A better choice would be to give your dog a treat made with healthy ingredients such as organic meats or vegetables.
These types of treats will not only be better for your pet’s health, but they tend to cost the same (or less) than processed meat products and can help improve his overall well-being.
Further Reading: What canned food can dogs eat
How often do I need to feed my dog lunch meat?
As we mentioned earlier, it is recommended that you avoid feeding your dog stuffed peppers or hot dogs on a regular basis, no matter what type of meat they are made out of.
If you choose to allow your pooch to indulge once in a while, there is no reason why luncheon meats and hot dogs should make up more than 10% of their daily caloric intake – this means that for every 1000 calories your dog eats per day, no more than 100 should come from luncheon meats or hot dogs.
What are the side effects?
There are many negative side effects that can occur if you allow your canine to eat too much-processed meat on a regular basis. Some of these include:
Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea due to an excess of fat in the diet Diarrhea, constipation, or other digestive issues due to an excess of salt in the diet Your pet may develop heart disease as he gets older, which can lead to heart failure Pneumonia caused by bacteria found in processed meats Osteosarcoma which is a rare but deadly cancer that comes from eating too much red meat Heart problems and inflammation of the pancreas
Where can I get healthy treats?
Rather than giving your dog a processed meat-based treat every once in a while, you may want to consider buying him healthier options.
Many pet owners opt for organic meats, which are made with high-quality ingredients that will help give your dog what he needs without leaving him feeling sick or sluggish.
Some types of healthy treats that many dogs love include organs, chicken or beef jerky and deli meats cut into strips orbits.
Why are some pets vulnerable to food poisoning?
If you have a dog with a compromised immune system, they may be more susceptible to food poisoning from luncheon meats and hot dogs.
Puppies and senior pooches, as well as those who suffer from cancer or other serious conditions, are also more likely to become sick if they eat too many processed meat products on a regular basis.
What are some ways to protect your pet from food poisoning?
There are a few things you can do to keep your pet safe. For starters, never feed them more than 10% of their daily caloric intake in the form of luncheon meats and hot dogs. Some other ways to protect your pooch include:
Providing him or her with plenty of fresh water at all times Enrolling them in an obedience class, so they get enough exercise and don’t develop bad habits Avoiding giving them any kind of fatty treat from the deli counter on a regular basis keeping their vaccinations up to date
Is there anything else I should know?
If you suspect that your dog has food poisoning, contact your veterinarian immediately. He will be able to test for salmonella poisoning, which is one common cause associated with the consumption of luncheon meats and hot dogs.
Your vet may also recommend that you stop feeding your pet these kinds of treats altogether until he or she is able to recover fully.
What are the symptoms of food poisoning?
While your dog may not be able to tell you if he or she is suffering from food poisoning, there are some common symptoms that would indicate an issue. These can include:
Diarrhea Stomach pain Nausea Vomiting Weakness Fatigue Lethargy Elevated heart rate
Further Reading: Can puppies eat steak
How will my vet treat food poisoning?
Treating this type of ailment in pets is slightly different than how it would be treated in humans.
If your veterinarian suspects that your fur baby has contracted food poisoning, he or she will most likely run a battery of tests on his blood and stool samples as well as ask you questions about what they have been eating recently.
Based on the results of these tests, your vet may recommend antibiotics, or he or she may only want to make sure your dog isn’t dehydrated.
Which foods should you always avoid giving to your pet?
While most meat products are perfectly fine, you should avoid giving your dog anything that’s considered “human food.” Many of these can include:
Donuts and other baked goods with a sugary coating Bologna and hot dogs which often contain mayonnaise and high fructose corn syrup Chocolate and caffeine which can poison an animal quickly Corn cobs or popcorn kernels which cause intestinal blockages Alcohol or yeast doughs
What is the best way to feed my pet?
You should always give your furry friend fresh foods like cooked chicken, lean ground beef, lamb chops, turkey breasts, and deli meats cut into small pieces. Just make sure you don’t add any salt or sweeteners to his diet.
You also cook up some rice and add it to his meals which should help with any nausea or stomach issues. If your dog isn’t a fan of plain meat and rice, you can mix in some veggies to make the meal more appealing.
Which foods cause the most problems for dogs?
While many types of food are perfectly fine for dogs, there are a few that you should always avoid giving them because they could make them very sick. The conditions associated with eating these products can include:
Chocolate or caffeine poisoning Liver disease Pancreatitis Digestive problems Kidney damage Pancreatitis Inflammatory & autoimmune hemolytic anemia pancreatitis Urinary tract infections.
Further Reading: Can dogs eat Salami?
What types of meats should you never give your pet?
While any type of meat or poultry is usually fine, there are some products you should stay away from. If your dog ingested one of these items, he may develop any number of conditions, including:
Cyanide toxicity in dogs Chronic renal failure due to ingestion of bones Aplastic anemia Pancreatitis Food-induced hyperlipidemia Hepatic lipidosis Necrotizing myositis/myonecrosis
How can you tell the difference between good and bad food for your dog?
The best way to determine if your pet’s food is safe or not, you can always to contact your vet. They may be able to point out certain products that are known for being dangerous while also suggesting others that are safer.
If you’re worried about what your dog eats at home, there are many manufacturers who have identified their product lines as “dog-friendly,” and which might make them better options than other treats on the market.
Should I be worried about my dog eating too much lunch meat?
Most types of lunch meat and deli meats are perfectly fine for dogs to eat. However, there are some brands that could make them ill or contain things like sodium nitrite, which can cause cancer.
You should always be on the lookout for products that list “mechanically separated poultry” because your dog’s system is unable to process bones and gristle.
Further Reading: Can dogs eat pastrami
Which foods are best to give to your dog as treats or rewards?
When it comes to treats and rewards, you should always check the ingredients of whatever product you’re using before giving it to your pet. Certain brands may contain chemicals that can harm him or potentially cause an allergic reaction.
You can give your dog rawhide chews over bones as they’ll clean his teeth while providing something fun for him to do.
For a healthier option, you could also try finding some natural chews like pig ears and cow hooves which provide good flavor without all the added salt and sugar found in products like pigs’ ears and jerky treats.
What foods are not safe for my dog?
If your furry friend has just eaten something poisonous, you need to take note of how much he ate as well as how much he weighs so you can determine if a trip to the vet is needed or not.
You should always contact your vet before giving anything to him if you’re unsure of its safety.
While many human foods are completely fine for dogs, there are a few that could potentially harm them and which should always be avoided:
Alcohol Yeast dough Dairy or dairy-based products Grapes or raisins Onions Chocolate Coffee.
Can I feed my dog table food?
For the most part, you can give your dog some of your own leftover meals as long as it doesn’t contain garlic, onions, green tomatoes, grapes, or raisins.
The problem with feeding table scraps to your pet is that while they may taste good, they may not provide all of the nutrients he needs for a balanced diet.
In most cases, table scraps aren’t as healthy as some dog foods, which have been designed to meet your pet’s nutritional requirements.
Further Reading: Can dogs eat brisket
Conclusion is lunch meat bad for dogs
Dogs are typically omnivores, meaning that they can eat both plants and animals. However, they do possess specific nutritional needs that must be met in order to support their overall health and well-being. Finally, dogs who are deemed healthy by their veterinarians should not be fed lunch meat. Join us today by signing up for our newsletter