Can Dogs Eat Spam?
As carnivores, dogs love all kinds of meat and that includes the processed meat we humans eat. And so it may be tempting to give your pooch some of the spam canned meat that’s in the kitchen cupboard, whether that’s as a temporary replacement if you’ve run out of their proper dog food or even as a special treat.
But when it comes to the question, ‘can dogs eat spam?’, the answer is actually no. As much as that canned pork meat may look appetizing for your pet, it is not actually good for them. We take a look at why spam can be harmful for your hound.
Why Is Spam Bad For Dogs?
Spam is a highly processed meat made from pork shoulder and ham and contains not only high levels of fat, but also salt, garlic flavoring and preservative nitrates. All of which are not that good for humans so are a real danger for your pet – in fact they can potentially be toxic when consumed in quantity. And too much salt – or sodium – will dehydrate your dog and if left unchecked can quickly lead to your pup getting very sick indeed. With the high fat levels, spam is also a danger when it comes to obese animals.
How Much Salt Is Too Much For Your Dog?
A fit and healthy adult dog weighing around 33 pounds should be consuming no more than 100mg of sodium a day, across all their daily meals and any additional treats. Now let’s look at a two-ounce can of spam or a just under a third of a can – as well as 140 calories of fat, it contains 750mg of sodium, seven times the healthy daily amount for your dog. Feed them an entire seven-ounce tin as a substitute for the daily meals and you are giving them a seriously health-risking 2,250mg of salt. This is why spam for dogs is a definite no-no.
Symptoms Of Salt Poisoning
If your dog has eaten spam and ingested a large amount of salt as a result, you need to keep an eye out for the early signs of dehydration. If he has an ample supply of fresh water to drink while eating and afterwards, he may be able to hydrate himself sufficiently to counter all that extra salt. However, the following signs are all symptoms of more serious dehydration which needs urgent veterinary attention:
- Extreme thirst and urination
- Lack of energy and loss of appetite
- Nausea and watery diarrhea
- Increased heart rate
What To Do If Your Dog Eats Spam
If your pooch accidently eats a small piece of spam, chances are he will be ok, especially if he has ready access to fresh water to quench his thirst. But it does also depend on the size of your dog and if he has any other health concerns. A smaller dog in particular can be at risk of dehydration if their salt intake levels rise and all it can take is a small piece of spam to put his body and digestive system under stress. If you suspect – or know – your dog has eaten some spam, give them a large bowl of fresh, clean water and monitor them for any of the listed symptoms of dehydration. If your pet starts to show any signs of salt poisoning or he has any concerning behavior changes after eating spam, contact your veterinary professional immediately.