Can Dogs Eat Cold Cuts and Deli Meats? When it is or isn’t an Emergency

Processed meats such as the cold cuts and lunch meats you get from the deli aren’t healthy for dogs. Cold cuts and deli meats may look harmless but they can actually be unsafe for dogs due to the high salt content. Dogs can suffer from mild to serious bouts of sodium poisoning depending on the amount of cold cuts they eat.

Why cold cuts and deli meat are bad for dogs

In addition to the high sodium content, cold cuts may also contain preservatives that aren’t good for a dog’s body. This applies to most types of deli meat including the turkey cuts. The reason cold cuts are able to last for some time is due to the use of preservatives like sodium nitrate. This preservative can cause a blood disorder if a dog consumes an excessive amount. This is why you should also not be feeding your dog any other types of processed meats such as hot dogs.

What to do if your dog ate a cold cut

Try to find out how many slices of cold cut or deli meat the dog ate. A trip to the emergency vet is unlikely to be required if it was just a tiny piece. You may want to watch over your dog carefully for the next day or two to ensure he is behaving as normal.

If your dog ate several pieces of cold cuts, a call to the vet might be necessary. Your dog may end up being just fine but it’s not a risk that we would invite taking given the possible dangers that cold cuts could introduce to pets.

You can learn about the other types of human foods dogs shouldn’t be fed by visiting our human food for dogs database.

Disclaimer: The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a veterinarian when in doubt.


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