Can dogs eat ham?

Answer
Based on the search results provided, dogs should generally avoid eating ham, especially as a regular treat or in large quantities. Here are the key reasons why ham is not recommended for dogs:

High Sodium Content

  • Ham has a very high sodium (salt) content1235.
  • Excessive sodium can lead to health issues in dogs such as hypertension, kidney disease, heart disease, and obesity13.
  • Sodium can be toxic to dogs, potentially causing vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst, lethargy, seizures, coma, and even death3.

High Fat Content

  • Ham is high in fat, which can be difficult for dogs to digest134.
  • A high-fat diet increases the risk of obesity and pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) in dogs134.
  • Fatty foods like ham can also cause gastrointestinal upset, such as diarrhea or steatorrhea (fatty stools) 14.

Preservatives and Nitrates

  • Ham often contains preservatives like nitrates and nitrites, which are sodium-based compounds3.
  • These preservatives can further contribute to the high sodium content and potential toxicity of ham for dogs3.
While a small amount of plain, lean ham is unlikely to cause serious harm, it is generally not recommended as a regular treat or part of a dog's diet due to the potential health risks. Veterinarians advise against feeding ham and other fatty, salty, or processed meats to dogs1345. Instead, it is better to provide dogs with healthier, low-fat, low-sodium treats or snacks specifically formulated for their nutritional needs13. 12345
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