Can Dogs Eat Bacon? What Would Your Vet Say?

Can Dogs Eat Bacon? What Would Your Vet Say?

Author WDF Staff


Dogs adore human foods, but not all foods are suitable for canines. Bacon is a two-legged favorite and tasty addition to many snacks and meals. People eat a lot of bacon, from bacon donuts to bacon-wrapped appetizers. In fact, the average American citizen consumes nearly 18 pounds of bacon each year, and while that might be delicious, it is not the healthiest option. Dogs may enjoy bacon as well, but can dogs eat bacon?

Should I give bacon to my dog?

No, your dog should not eat bacon, according to general vet advice. There are a few risks associated with feeding bacon to dogs, and it is considered a fairly unhealthy food; the simplest and safest option is to simply avoid giving it to your dog. Furthermore, some dogs should not eat bacon due to allergies or other health issues.

On the other hand, most healthy dogs can eat a small amount of bacon and be perfectly fine. Given how delicious bacon is, it's no surprise that most dogs will sniff the air and give their best puppy eyes whenever you're preparing some for yourself.

bacon on frying pan

Bacon can be used as a valuable training treat because most puppies go crazy for it. It has a great texture, a lot of flavor, and it smells delicious.

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So, is bacon bad for dogs?

Yes, eating a lot of bacon or eating bacon on a regular basis is bad for dogs, just like it is for humans.

The first problem is bacon contains a lot of fat and depending on how you cook it, you can add even more fat by frying it in butter or oil. Dogs do require fat for energy, but it should be in the form of "healthy" fats such as polyunsaturated fats. These are sometimes referred to as "functional" fats because they play an essential role in your dog's body, but they cannot be produced by your dog on their own and must be obtained through their diet.

On the other hand, bacon is high in saturated fat and cholesterol. Cholesterol and saturated fat do not pose the same risks to dogs as they do to humans because they are less likely to clog their arteries. It is still unknown whether they cause heart disease with the same frequency as humans.


These fats are more likely to be stored in the dog’s body, increasing their risk of obesity. Obesity, in turn, can increase your dog's risk of developing other health problems such as diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.

Pancreatitis can also be caused by eating too much fat, and dogs who have previously suffered from the condition will need to avoid fatty foods for the rest of their lives. Your dog can develop pancreatitis by consuming a large amount of fat at once (acute), or they can develop the condition over time even if they only consume a few fatty foods regularly.

Furthermore, processed meats such as bacon, salami, and sausages have been identified as carcinogens linked to bowel cancer and an increased risk of gastric cancer. Red meat, on the other hand, is in a lower class and "probably" causes bowel cancer.

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Finally, bacon is high in salt and preservatives, usually nitrates. Because nitrates are a salt, bacon is generally high in sodium. Although your dog requires some salt in their diet, too much salt can make them sick, causing dehydration or even sodium poisoning.

bacon on plate

This may sound frightening, but as long as your dog is healthy, eating a balanced diet, and exercising regularly, a little bit of bacon every now and then should be fine. Moderation is essential, just as it is with humans.

How much bacon can dogs safely eat?

The most important thing to remember when wondering, "How much bacon can my dog eat?" is that bacon should be considered as a rare treat you can give your dog only on special occasions. If you choose to feed your dog bacon, you should limit how much and how often they eat it.

If you're going to feed bacon to your dog, a reasonable serving size, according to vets, for a treat is as follows - A 1/4 strip is adequate for a small dog, and a 1/2 strip is adequate for a larger dog.

There is also a variety of commercially available "bacon-flavored" dog treats. While these should still be used as a training reward or occasional treat for your dog, they are much healthier options.

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What are the safer alternatives to bacon?

If you are adamant about giving your dog bacon, you should do so sparingly and only on rare occasions. There are, however, far better and safer alternatives that you can feed your dog as treats. Your dog will reap all of the benefits of the rich bacon flavor while avoiding all of the harmful nutrients in it. Here are three safer alternatives for your dog:

  1. PURINA Beggin' Strips Bacon Dog Treats
  2. Pedigree Bacon-Flavored DENTASTIX
  3. Blue Buffalo Health Bars - Bacon

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