Can My Dog Eat Ham? If Not, Are There Other Options?

If you happen to find your dog eating a slice of ham on the floor from the deli bag, then don’t worry. Ham is one of the meats dogs can eat. Of course, moderation should be taken into consideration.

The answer

To put it into simpler terms, the answer is both yes and no.

Why you can

The only reason why you can give ham to your dog is because it’s a protein. Dogs in fact need protein to function. And of course, if you are considering to give ham to your dog, please call or visit your vet first.

Doing so will help you and your dog find out whether you should eat ham.

Why you shouldn’t

Though, ham really doesn’t offer much nutritional value for your dog because of the high sodium content the food has. But there are also reasons why you should not give ham to dogs. Along with the high sodium content, ham is also high in fat.

However, there are some other options aside from ham for your dog to eat as well.

But before we get into the other options for your dog, here are some of the reasons why you should or shouldn’t feed ham to your dog.

Negative facts of feeding ham to your dog

If you are thinking about feed store-bought ham to your dog, do not. Store-bought ham has negative effects if you were to feed it to your dog.

Your dog can eat it, but it shouldn’t be a replacement for the other foods you are feeding. Because ham is high in sodium and fat, it can be dangerous for your dog.

If your dog consumes a high amount of ham, it could be lethal. Some pups can be sensitive to fatty foods, which includes ham. Having too much ham could also lead to inflammation of the pancreas, or pancreatitis. Other effects can occur if your dog consumes. Two of them are lethargy and seizures.

If your dog is sensitive and you see him/her vomiting, please call EMS or go to the vets.

Ham Bones?

The answer is no. Dogs should not be eating ham bones. When people cook ham bones, the bones soften and splinter which can be a threat for your dog.

If your dog were to eat the ham bone, it could cause splinters to go into your dog. If the splinters are inside cuts inside the mouth and choking could occur. It could also create blockages in the internal intestines/organs.

If you are thinking about giving it raw, don’t try to. Raw ham bones could contain bacteria and salmonella. And if you see your dog feeling ill and not right, call the veterinarian immediately.

Other options

Because you aren’t considering giving your dog ham, here are some other options to ham which your dog can safely eat. Some of the options are Turkey, Chicken, Ground Beef, and Chuck Steak.


So you’re thinking about turkey. Yes! It’s definitely better than ham!

Some of the good concepts about turkey are it’s a common ingredient found in dog food. So giving a raw piece of turkey will not be a problem. Although, remember to keep the intake for your dog in moderation.

As long as you are able to get your vet’s permission to let your dog eat turkey, go for it. When giving a piece of turkey to your dog, some have preferences. Some dogs like their’s raw and frozen while others like it raw by the slice.

The options are endless to giving a slice of turkey to your dog. Turkey can also serve as an alternative source of protein for your dog as well.


Chicken is another great source of protein for your dog. It’s much safer than ham and can even be a substitute for dog food.

To serve chicken to your dog, do not serve it raw. Serving raw can increase the risks of salmonella and bacterial infections. Instead, try to either grill, poach, and roast the chicken. Add it to your dog’s bowl of dog food for the extra protein.

It is also helpful before you consider the option of chicken for your dog to go to the vet’s first. You may not know if your dog is allergic to chicken. So it’s best to check first.

Ground beef

Another great option against eating ham is ground beef. As long as you cook it right, ground beef can serve as another substitute for dog food since it has protein in it.

The nutritional benefits along with giving ground beef to your dog are the following. The meat has amino acids, minerals, and vitamins. All three help support your dog’s immune system.

Although, there is a general rule when it comes to feeding your dog ground beef. The determination for the amount of ground beef depends on your dog’s weight. Try to feed around 2 to 3 percent of your dog’s body weight.

Chuck steak

Another good source of protein along with the others is steak. It can be another substitute for your dog. But before considering the option to give steak to your dog, make sure to check in with your veterinarian first.

To serve steaks, never serve raw.

Recap and conclusion

To recap everything in the description, dogs can eat ham but should avoid it. It’s high in sodium and fat. It can be lethal to dogs who are sensitive. Ham also is a protein, is not as safe as the others.

The other options you can serve your dog are turkey, chicken, ground beef, and steak. All of the four are safe options, unlike ham. Turkey is a good choice and found in many dog food products. Chicken can be a substitute for dog food.

Ground beef is also a good choice to substitute dog food as well. Similar to chicken, do not serve raw. Make sure to cook it well. Steaks also are a good choice for your dog. There is no harm when it comes to serving steak as long as it’s not raw.

For more information about the choice of meats to give your dog, please visit your local veterinarian to find out which is the best for your dog.

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