Meat, meat, meat, protein, protein, protein. If you have a dog, you’ve likely heard that high amounts of meat and protein are a must for your dog’s diet. In fact, one of the most popular diets for dogs — the raw food diet — is centered around meat.
It is, in fact, true that protein, especially protein sourced from high-quality meats, are critical for our dogs. However, unlike their wild canine companions such as the wolf, coyote, or wild dog, the domestic dog’s diet isn’t strictly carnivore. Interestingly enough, unlike their wild cousins, the domestic dog has genes that are only found in omnivores and herbivores.
Nonetheless, our dogs love meat, and for the most part, it loves them, being a great source of vitamins, minerals, and protein. Now, we did say for the most part, and that’s because some varieties of meat aren’t the best for our dogs’ diet and can even make them sick.
In fact, this brings up our topic of the day. It’s deliciously savory, and we are certain your dog thinks so as well. Today, we are talking about if it’s OK to give our dogs salami, and if so, how much?
Let’s not waste any more time and find out!
Can I Give My Dog Salami?
Let’s get the main question out of the way first. Can you give your dog salami?
Much to your dog’s joy, dogs can have a little salami, as a treat. But we stress the little part because it can make your dog sick if they eat too much — which we know they would be more than happy to do.
You never want to give your dog more than a slice or two, and it definitely shouldn’t be a frequent treat either. Small dogs are, of course, at a greater risk of getting sick, with some professionals even recommending you never give a small dog salami as a treat.
We won’t go that far, but we want this advice to stress the importance that you should never give your dog a lot of salami no matter their size.
Salami has several things in it that aren’t the best for our pup’s health, so let’s go what those are, shall we?
Can salami make dogs sick?
Yes, salami can make your dog sick. There are four main concerns when giving your dog salami that you need to be aware of.
First, is the high amount of sodium found in salami. Processed meats like sausage, bacon, and salami are often called salt bombs, and that’s because they can easily have over 30mg per single slice (about 2 grams). Yikes! Short term effects of excessive sodium intake include increased thirst, bloating, and frequent urination.
Second, unlike some meats, salami is not known for being high in protein and low in fat. In fact, processed pork is about the worst meat you can choose if you’re trying to stick to feeding your dog a high-protein and low-fat snack — the best kind of snack. Feeding your dog fatty foods is a quick way to blow up their weight, putting them at risk for diabetes, heart disease, and several other issues. As well, a high-fat diet can result in pancreatitis.
Third, we have the nitrates used to preserve processed meats. Nitrates, like sodium nitrate, have been linked to causing colorectal cancer in humans.
Fourth, salami is commonly prepared with herbs and spices like garlic and onions that can be dangerous in high amounts.
The issues above are definitely concerning, but fortunately, as long as you keep the salami as a once-in-a-blue-moon treat, you shouldn’t have to worry about them.
Now, regardless of how much you give them, you always run the risk of upsetting your dog’s stomach, which can result in gas, diarrhea, and sometimes constipation.
How much salami can a dog eat?
In the best-case scenario, you never give your dog any salami, but we are realistic here at Tindog. Our best advice is to start small, and by that, we mean tearing a slice in half or even into quarters.
While a full slice or two may not make them ‘sick’, it can definitely give them gas, and no one wants that!
Is it OK to give dogs pepperoni?
Like salami and bologna, pepperoni contains the same high fat, nitrate, spices, and sodium content that can make them sick if they consume it on a regular occasion or eat too much at a single time.
What Meats Can Dogs Eat?
While meats like salami, bologna, and pepperoni aren’t the best option for your dog, this is far from the case for other meats. Chicken, turkey, beef, fish, lamb, and unprocessed pork are all perfectly fine for your dog to eat, with the leaner cuts being the more favorable choice.
What is the healthiest meat for dogs?
The healthiest meat for a dog is either chicken and a fish — like tuna or salmon. Due to the western’s diet being high in foods and meats that contain high amounts of omega-6 fatty acids, fish (high in omega-3s), are probably the better choice. That is, if you treat your dog to your food on more than a rare occasion, which many of us do.
How much protein should my dog get per day?
There are several factors that go into how much protein your dog needs with active, large, senior, and young dogs requiring more in their diet. This is one of the big reasons you will find commercial foods formulated for older or younger dogs, and dogs of different sizes.
On average, It’s recommended that protein make up anywhere between 20 to 35% of your dog’s diet with fat and carbohydrates rounding out the rest. Remember to pay special attention to your dog’s national needs if they fall into one of the special groups due to their size, age, or activity level.
Large breed puppies, in particular, require special food formulated for them to help prevent growth issues like hip dysplasia later in life.
So, is it OK to give your dog salami? The answer is yes, but make sure it’s only a little as processed meats like salami are pretty much the worst type of meat you can give your dog. It’s completely unlike lean meats like chicken or fish, and it is packed with fat, sodium, and preservatives that have been linked to cancer.
And this advice goes the same for us as well. Processed meats like salami, bologna, and pepperoni can cause us all the same issues it does for dogs. Instead, look for deli meats like chicken, turkey, roast beef are great alternatives for both us and our puppers.
Want more advice on improving your dog’s diet and what foods you shouldn’t give them, make sure to stay up-to-date with Tindog’s Nutrition Blog.