Can Dogs Eat Ham? When it is or isn’t an Emergency

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

Plain ham isn’t considered toxic to dogs but that doesn’t mean you should let your dog eat it, whether that’s cooked or raw. There are a number of concerns with ham (and other processed meats) that makes it bad for dogs.

Why Dogs Shouldn’t Eat Ham

Ham contains a number of ingredients that are bad for a dog’s health if consumed regularly. This includes ingredients like sodium which ham can contain a large amount of. Ham may also contain additives and preservatives which can be harmful to dogs in high doses. Sodium nitrite is one example. An amount above 7.9 kg/mg per day could cause sickness and lead to a blood disorder.

Last but not least, fat contains a relatively high fat content. 100 grams of extra lean boneless ham, for example, may contain 6 grams of fat. While protein is an important part of a dog’s diet, dogs can get this from healthier alternatives to ham such as wet dog food.

How much ham is OK for dogs?

While we would discourage dog owners from letting their dogs eat ham, a small, infrequent amount is unlikely to be problematic. A small piece or two would be okay if your dog is deserving of a piece! Just make sure it’s plain ham and not ham that contains ingredients that could be toxic to pets.

What to do if your dog ate too much ham

Did you unknowingly give your dog a large piece of ham? How the dog reacts will depend on a number of factors such as the dog’s size. It’s possible that your dog may start to exhibit a number of symptoms such as excessive water drinking and vomiting. This could happen due to the high sodium content of the ham. While not situation like this is an emergency, we would advise calling the vet to see if a trip is necessary.

To find out what else aside from ham is or isn’t safe for dogs to eat, we would recommend visiting our human food for dog database which covers over 100 human food items and their safety level for dogs.


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