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Can Dogs Eat Salami? Know What Is Best For Your Dog

  • 11 min read

The following information is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not constitute pet medical advice.
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*Can Dogs Eat Salami?*

It is hard to resist the googly eyes of your dog when you’re eating. You’ve probably been guilt-tripped more than once into feeding him what you’re eating.

As a dog parent, you have a soft spot for your dog and will likely offer him anything for his pleasure. However, is that a good thing.

In this case, we’ll be talking about if dogs can eat salami.

The sweet smell of salami is enough to draw your pup’s attention to it. Although should you feed it to him?

Let’s talk about how salami affects dogs, its safety, and whether you should even allow your dog to eat salami at all.

But first of all, what is salami?

What Is Salami?

can dogs eat salami

Salami is simply cured sausage made with meat. It is traditionally made with beef, however, it can now be made with any meat or game such as pork, deer, etc.

The curing process serves to preserve the meat while retaining its color, taste, and flavor. And this is achieved by using a salt mixture called “cure”.

The next step in making salami would be fermentation. Here, benign microorganisms are allowed into the salami to help the preservation process. These microorganisms can be introduced through the environment or by using cultures.

Salami originated as far back as Roman times in Italy. The name comes from the Latin word “salare” which means “to salt”. However, other cultures also claim to have salami-making tradition that dates back hundreds of years.

While salami was originally fine with beef, that’s not the case anymore. You can literally find salami with any type of meat be it domestic or wild meat.

Can Dogs Eat Salami?

Dogs love meat. If left to fend for themselves, they’ll go for food that has high protein and fat content.

Salami is made with meat, therefore it has enough protein. However, are the added ingredients healthy and safe for your dog?

Salami isn’t harmful or toxic to your dog if given in a small amount and at irregular intervals.

However, the preservation process for salami loads it with salt thereby shooting up its sodium content. That amount of sodium is unhealthy for dogs, especially smaller pups.

Yes, dogs can eat salami, but it shouldn’t be regular. As this might lead to a host of problems that we’ll talk about later.

In essence, making salami a once-in-a-while treat for your dog isn’t so bad.

Is Salami Safe For Your Dog?

can dogs eat salami

On one part, salami contains a lot of protein which is necessary for the good maintenance of your dog’s body. On the other hand, it contains so much sodium that regular consumption puts your dog at risk of illnesses.

So is it safe?

This is the place where moderation plays a role. Giving your dog salami regularly is not safe. The high salt content can cause several health conditions. And I’m certain you don’t want to see your pooch suffer.

Now, giving your pup salami now and then isn’t so bad. Once it’s a tiny piece over an extended period, you’re less likely to run into trouble.

Dogs are known to have sensitive guts, some more than others. Salami can cause gut irritation for your dog because of the high salt content.

In essence, a tiny piece of salami every once in a while wouldn’t hurt your furry friend. However, when it becomes regular, you’re begging for problems.

Nutritional Value Of Salami

Salami is a very popular food in the United States. It is basically preserved meat with appealing color and appetizing flavor.

It is made of meat, therefore high in protein. However, it also has high sodium content due to the method of preservation.

Let’s look at the nutritional fact from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This shows the nutrients in a 100g serving of cooked beef salami.

  • Energy: 261kcal
  • Protein: 12.6g
  • Fat: 22.2g
  • Carbohydrate: 1.9g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Sugar: 1.5g
  • Sodium: 1140mg

The above facts show how much sodium is contained in 100g of salami. It is outright alarming. If your dog ingests this amount of sodium regularly, then he will become prone to certain illnesses.

Salami does have a high level of protein as well. And this nutrient is very important for the synthetic functions of your dog’s body.

As you can see, the fat content in salami is also high. What does that mean?

Giving your dog salami regularly leads to drastic weight gain and eventually obesity. It can even lead to chronic health conditions like heart disease, pancreatitis, etc.

While fat and sodium are crucial for the proper functioning of your dog’s body, the amount in salami is too much. Consistent intake of that amount will bring nothing but trouble.

Benefits Of Dogs eating Salami

The bulk of salami is meat, therefore it has protein in spades. In biology, protein is an essential macronutrient for your dog’s body. It works in almost every aspect of the body.

It helps in immune function, adequate growth, wound healing, bone repair, enzyme action, cell regeneration, and the list goes on and on. Therefore lack of protein can deal a devastating blow to your pooch.

Salami does supply lots of protein to your dog when eaten, and that’s a good thing.

Even though it’s not written as part of the nutrition facts, salami contains some minerals and vitamins. These are micronutrients that are necessary for the body to function properly.

Problems Associated With Dogs Eating Salami

can dogs eat salami

As we already established, too much salami can cause life-threatening problems for your dog. A good portion of the ingredients used in making salami can easily make your pup sick.

The most common cause of problems for dogs associated with salami is its high sodium content. Just a slice of salami contains a whopping 214mg of sodium! While your pooch needs sodium to stay healthy, too much of it is bad.

Sodium helps maintain normal nerve function and homeostasis. However, too much of it can cause high blood pressure, salt poisoning, or kidney damage.

Salt poisoning usually results in symptoms of severe dehydration. This includes disorientation, thirst, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures. Unfortunately, it can also lead to death.

Another cause of problem associated with salami consumption is fat. According to the USDA’s facts, salami even contains more fat than protein.

Giving this amount of fat to your dog regularly can easily lead to weight changes. Obesity isn’t to be taken lightly when it comes to dogs, it has severe implications.

Moreover, eating too much fat can lead to inflammation of your pup’s pancreas, and this is called pancreatitis. It is a very painful and distressing condition.

Your dog becomes very unwell and ill-looking with no appetite. For pet owners, this is usually devastating to witness. Pancreatitis can rapidly get worse and can lead to death.

While making salami, several spices can be added to further enhance taste and flavor. These spices might include herbs, onions, garlic, etc. Such spices are toxic to dogs and can cause stomach upset, red blood cell destruction, anemia, etc.

Well, it seems salami has more bad news than good. Therefore it is important to moderate how you feed it to your dog.

If your canine friend starts feeling unwell after eating salami, it’s best to visit the vet immediately. This is to prevent the worst-case scenario.

How Much Salami Can A Dog Eat?

The sodium content in salami is too high for a dog to consume regularly. And this is even worse for smaller dogs.

Therefore you have to be conscious about how much salami you give your dog. Your pooch can eat tiny bits every once in a while, that won’t be a big problem.

Although, some dogs have more sensitive guts than others. Therefore be watchful for your dog’s reaction to salami, especially if it’s the first time.

Basically, what we’re driving at is that you shouldn’t make salami a regular food for your dog. Even worse, you shouldn’t replace dog food with salami. It will only breed catastrophe for you and your pooch.

What If My Dog Already Ate Salami?

After reading this article, you might probably get worried if you’ve already given salami to your dog. However, a slice or two of salami wouldn’t hurt your pooch. There’s no cause for alarm.

However, due to the high sodium content, your pup is probably going to feel more thirsty than usual. Therefore you’ll notice him drinking more water.

Make sure you provide enough water for him and take him for walks as well. The excess sodium should have been excreted in 2 days and everything will be back to normal.

Although, if your dog happens to eat a lot of salami, then the best course of action would be to consult your vet. You should also be on the lookout for symptoms such as;

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Increased thirst and urination
  • Fever
  • Seizure
  • Trembling

Once you notice any of these, take your dog to the vet immediately.

How To Prevent Your Dog From Eating Salami

can dogs eat salami

Well, if you don’t want your dog to eat salami without your notice, you shouldn’t be leaving it within their reach. All food should be kept on shelves where your dog cannot reach.

More importantly, you should train your pup so that they don’t steal food from tables or shelves. If you train your dog on time, he won’t even touch food even if nobody is watching.

However, you should not test your dog’s limit. Keep food on shelves to remove it from their reach, and properly put away leftovers in the refrigerator.

If Not Salami, What Else?

Aside from the normal dog food, you will tend to give your pooch other foods while eating, or a treat if he does something good. Due to the taste and flavor, many people give salami to their dogs as a treat. However, if this continues for some time, it’ll lead to health problems.

So what else can you give?

Dogs have an appetite for a variety of food, therefore there are lots of other things you can use for treats. They include;

  • Homemade chicken
  • Scallops
  • Shrimp
  • Crab

And remember, never put salt or spices while preparing these food for your dog. Cook or steam them as plain as possible, your dog will still love them.

Can Puppies Eat Salami?

That’s a no.

Puppies have different nutritional requirements from adult dogs. Therefore it is best to stick to dog food made specifically for puppies.

Additionally, a puppy’s gut is even more sensitive than the adult dog. With the amount of salt in salami, they’re bound to get stomach upset and abdominal discomfort.

It’s also important to know that loading that amount of sodium into a puppy that small will cause so many health problems. Just keep salami away from puppies.

Final Thoughts

Dogs are well known for their voracious nature and appetite for a wide array of food. Salami is one of them. Left alone, a dog can eat a whole roll of salami without a care in the world.

However, as a dog owner, you’re the one with the responsibility to dictate what’s healthy for your dog to eat. Salami is quite tasty and delicious but can deal a devastating blow to your pup’s health if taken regularly.

Note that salami isn’t toxic. A tiny slice now and then will cause no harm to your dog. Therefore it can be used as a high-value treat.

To live a very healthy life, it is advised to avoid giving your dog processed food, salami inclusive, as they contain ingredients that can be harmful or toxic to your dog. As they say, “prevention is better than cure”.

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