Can Dogs Eat Spam?
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Spam is a brand that sells canned pork and other meats. It seems like a good idea to feed your dog Spam or another brand of canned meat, possibly as a treat or even as kibble. After all, meat is so good for dogs that it should be a staple in their diet.
Unfortunately, spam contains a lot of salt and fat, both of which can make your dog sick. It also contains unhealthy preservatives and a lot of sugar. If your dog eats spam, monitor them for signs of upset stomach, salt poisoning, and pancreatitis.
In this article, we'll discuss why dogs shouldn't eat spam, symptoms to watch out for if your dog does, and more.
Spam is bad for dogs
Spam is not healthy for dogs and ideally should not be fed as a treat. It contains too much salt and fat for dogs, both of which can make them sick if fed in large quantities.
It's also not very nutritious as it contains a lot of potato starch as a filler. Spam is also high in sugar, which is not healthy for your pup.
While a very small amount of spam probably won't harm your dog, it's probably not worth the risk. Below, we discuss the risks of spam to dogs.
Risks of Spam to Dogs
The number one risk of spam to dogs is salt poisoning. While dogs do need some salt to survive, just like humans, excess salt is bad for them and can actually be toxic. Your dog should be getting all the salt it needs from dog food.
It's even more dangerous if your dog doesn't have access to fresh water and salty food. One of the biggest risks of dogs eating too much salt is dehydration.
Excess salt can also take too much effect on a dog's kidneys, leading to kidney damage or failure.
Symptoms of salt poisoning include:
- excessive thirst or urination
- out of coordination
- Upset stomach (vomiting, diarrhea)
- loss of appetite
- tremors or seizures
If your dog shows symptoms of salt poisoning, see a veterinarian right away. In severe cases, your dog's kidneys may be damaged and he may become severely dehydrated. Salt poisoning can be fatal, especially if left untreated.
The second risk of spam to dogs is pancreatitis. This is an emergency that occurs when a dog's pancreas becomes inflamed. High-fat foods are one reason.
Symptoms of pancreatitis include:
- Upset stomach (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea)
- severe abdominal pain
- loss of appetite
- increased thirst
- "Downward Dog," or prayer position, with hips in the air and head lowered to the ground
If your dog shows signs of pancreatitis, it's important to see a veterinarian right away. If your primary veterinarian is not available, call your nearest emergency room for assistance.
How about Spam Lite, Turkey or Low Sodium?
Unfortunately, even spam in all flavors isn't good for your dog's health. They still contain unhealthy additives.
For example, even spam marked as 25 percent less sodium still has too much salt for dogs.
help! My dog accidentally ate spam
If your dog eats spam, don't panic! Fortunately, it doesn't contain toxic ingredients, and most dogs will be fine after eating some spam.
Provide them with plenty of fresh water to counteract the salt in the spam and reduce their risk of dehydration or salt poisoning.
If your dog eats a lot of spam, it's best to contact your veterinarian for advice. Let them know the ingredients in the spam, how much your dog is eating, and if they are showing any symptoms of an upset stomach, dehydration, or illness. Keep in mind that behavioral changes such as tiredness are also symptoms to watch out for.
After your dog eats spam, keep an eye on your dog, even if they only eat a little. You may see some stomach upset. If it becomes severe or persists for several days, contact your veterinarian for help.
If you notice symptoms of pancreatitis or salt poisoning, call an emergency veterinary clinic or see if your primary veterinarian can make you an emergency visit.
What Canned Meat Can Dogs Eat?
Generally speaking, canned meat is not good for dogs because it often contains salt and other preservatives.
Some may contain seasonings or other ingredients that are unhealthy or even toxic to dogs.
While you can rinse canned meats (without toxins) to remove some of the salt, it's best to avoid them altogether or feed them as a rare food.
It is not recommended to put canned meat on kibble or feed it every day. In this case, it is best to feed your dog cooked, unseasoned fresh meat or use store-bought canned dog food.
Stores also sell kibble ingredients that you can use in place of canned meat!
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about the author
I'm an animal writer for four years with a focus on educational pet content. I wish our furry, feathered and scaly friends the best care! In my free time, I'm usually outside gardening or spending time with my nine rescue pets.
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