Many people assume dogs are carnivores, and therefore they can eat any kind of meat, but that’s not true. Dogs are actually omnivores, and there are plenty of meats they shouldn’t eat.
Your dog may love the way gammon tastes, but it’s actually really bad for them. Keep reading to find out more…
Why Gammon Is Bad for Dogs
Gammon is a fatty cut of ham that has been cured like bacon, either by dry salting or brining, and that’s exactly why it’s bad for dogs. Dogs should not consume any foods that are high in fat and/or salt, and gammon checks both those boxes.
Gammon, like ham and bacon, is a fatty meat. Just a 3 oz slice of gammon contains about 15g of fat, which is 0.5g more than the RDA for a 33 lb adult dog. 5.5g of that fat is saturated.
In other words, when you feed your dog a single slice of gammon, you’re giving them all the fat they need for the whole day, but not nearly enough calories from protein and carbs.
All that said, feeding your dog a little bit of extra fat isn’t going to hurt them, but if you give them too much fat on a regular basis, it can lead to the same problems a person would experience, such as obesity and pancreatitis.
When gammon is cured, salt is added to the meat, either by rubbing it on dry or soaking the meat in a salty brine. In either case, foods with added salt are too high in sodium for dogs.
When a dog eats too much salt, it can give them a bad stomach ache, but that’s not the worst of it… Larger breeds have a tendency to drink too much water after eating a salty meal, which can cause bloat – a sudden build up of gas that can cause the stomach to twist on itself, resulting in death.
Don’t Panic, a Little Bit of Gammon Won’t Kill Your Dog
I don’t want to freak you out. If you’re reading this right after you gave your dog a slice of gammon, they’re going to be fine – it’s not poison. If you want to give your a dog a small taste as a treat, that’s okay. The main point is you shouldn’t feed them gammon or other cured meats on a regular basis.
Other Meats That Are Better for Dogs
Instead of feeding your dog gammon, try giving them one of these other meats that are much safer and healthier for them to consume:
- Skinless/boneless chicken
- Skinless/boneless turkey
- Beef (ground, round, or chuck)
- Ground pork
Please note: you should only feed your dog fresh meats that have been cooked. Dogs should not consume processed meats. In other words, chicken nuggets do not count as “boneless chicken.” Nor does “ground pork” mean hot dogs or bologna.
Sara Ipatenco (December 14, 2018). The Nutrition of Gammon. Retrieved from https://healthyeating.sfgate.com/nutrition-gammon-9807.html
Parade (November 11, 2019). 20 Things You Should Never Feed Your Pet. Retrieved from https://parade.com/49717/parade/20-things-you-should-never-feed-your-pet/