Can dogs eat Spam? While Spam is a flavorful and convenient choice of meat for dogs, it’s actually unhealthy for them. This processed meat is packed with sodium and other seasonings that will mess with your doggo’s stomach. If you think that the lone can of Spam in your pantry can be your pooch’s next meal, you should think twice.
Can dogs eat Spam?
No, Spam is not okay for dogs. First of all, the fact that it’s made for humans means it doesn’t contain the nutrients a canine needs. While Spam doesn’t contain toxic ingredients, the salt content is the enemy.
Too much salt can dehydrate your dog faster. Also, if your pooch has an undiagnosed kidney problem, feeding it with Spam regularly will aggravate the situation. The effects of excessive sodium would be much worse and faster for small breeds. Also, young pups are not good at tolerating excessive salt intake.
Even though you’re getting the ‘Less Sodium’ Spam, it’s still not a good excuse to feed it to your dog. Less sodium doesn’t erase the fact that this canned product is highly processed.
In fact, even humans shouldn’t indulge too much on processed meat because it’s stripped of natural nutrients that can be sourced from fresh meat.
Aside from that, Spam comes in garlic flavor, which, as you know, is not safe for canines. If you are to prepare your dog’s meals home, you should opt for fresh and unprocessed ingredients. Eggs and steamed chicken are good sources of protein instead of Spam.
So what’s on a serving of Spam? A single slice (2 ounces) of Spam contains 170 calories, 750 mg of sodium, 140 calories of fat, and 71 grams of protein. And just so you know, dogs are not supposed to consume more than 100 mg of salt a day. Add their actual meals and treats to that, and it spells sodium over-consumption.
What is in Spam meat?
The canned food Spam is made by blending ham and ground pork. It was invented in 1937 and was catapulted to popularity during World War II since it’s easy to consume. Also, it can be shipped to overseas soldiers without spoiling easily.
Aside from meat, Spam is loaded with salts, sugars, starches, and sodium nitrite. The fact that it can last on the shelves for years means it’s been treated with preservatives. This is one of the reasons Spam isn’t for dogs.
Due to the sugar content, dogs can easily gain weight when put on a Spam-dominated diet. And since sugar is addictive, your dog will want for more.
Another major component of Spam is potato starch. This ingredient is a cheap filler made to hold all the ingredients together. It has very little nutritional value and will be the source of empty carbs when fed to dogs. If you’re thinking of giving Spam to your dog as a protein source, it’s sad to say that the small amount of protein is bundled with a lot of unhealthy add-ons.
Lastly, the sodium nitrite in Spam is used to prevent bacterial buildup on the food. This makes the canned product last longer. However, this very same ingredient is associated with Type 1 diabetes and cancer among canines.
But for the sake of fairness, I won’t discount the fact that Spam still has nutritional value. It contains protein as well as Vitamins A, D, E, and K. It’s also a source of potassium, zinc, copper, and iron. However, you have to watch out because Spam is also high in fat.
What happens if a dog eats Spam?
Don’t get me wrong, your dog will not collapse or die if it ate a small slice of Spam. A single helping of Spam will not cause pancreatitis or severe reactions right away. Unless your dog has extreme sensitivities, snacking on Spam once shouldn’t hurt.
A tiny bit from time to time may not hurt, but you have to consider the cumulative effect. If you keep on giving your leftover Spam to your pooch, it may soon suffer from the consequences. It’s best to stick to a healthy canine diet without the addition of Spam.
The salt and sugar in Spam will soon show on your dog’s weight. Also, you might be compromising your doggo’s kidney health with the regular serving of Spam.
In rare cases, dogs that have consumed too much Spam (we’re talking about an entire can repeatedly), may experience salt poisoning. It may lead to lethargy, seizures, diarrhea, vomiting, increased heart rate, and poor appetite.
What can I give my dog aside from Spam?
If you want to give your dog a good source of protein, nothing beats unprocessed meat. Steamed chicken is a good start since it’s easy to prepare and low in fat. You can also add freshly cracked eggs to their wet food to boost its protein content.
The likes of oatmeal and quinoa are also good sources of plant protein. Usually, these are used on commercial dog food products.
For snacks, you can give your dog a small helping of steamed potato or carrots. Still, you should factor all of these into their calorie intake. This way, your dog won’t grow obese or overweight.
Raw meat is also good for dogs, but it can be tricky to prepare since fresh meats are prone to contamination. If you’re switching your dog to a raw diet, you must always use freshly butchered meat to prevent the presence of listeria and salmonella.
Are hot dogs good for dogs?
If you’re thinking of giving your pooch hot dogs instead of Spam, let me stop you on your tracks. Like Spam, hot dogs are processed meat. Aside from all the preservatives and salts, hot dogs are covered with artificial coloring. All of these are not healthy for canines, although a small helping once in a while will not hurt a healthy pup.
Aside from that, hot dogs are choking hazards for canines. If your doggo happens to swallow an entire length of the hot dog, it may cause a blockage on their airway.
In case you want to give your dog a treat from the BBQ grill, I recommend pork, beef, or chicken with no salt or seasoning in it.
Is it safe to give my dog ham?
Since Spam is a contraction of ‘spiced ham’, ham isn’t advisable for canines. Again, it’s processed meat, and processed meat contains loads of salts, sugars, preservatives, and whatnots. Even us, humans, have to take it easy with every serving of ham. As much as possible, avoid giving your dog these types of processed food. Some types of ham are also glazed with sugar, onion, and garlic – ingredients that are not good for canines.
If you want a quick treat for your pooch, reach out for some kibble pieces instead. I also suggest buying a chewy treat with meaty flavors made, especially for canines.
Can dogs eat Spam? The answer is no. Your pooch is not supposed to eat any processed meat. Like humans, the excessive salt and preservatives found on Spam are unhealthy. While a small slice of Spam shouldn’t be a cause of concern for dog owners, it shouldn’t become a part of your pooch’s regular diet. In the end, complete and balanced dog food is still the best choice.