Skip to Content

Can Dogs Eat Ham? No And Here’s Why!

Meat is a common ingredient in a dog’s diet, but can dogs have ham? We’re covering all the reasons why dogs should not eat ham in this helpful post.

Dog licking in front of a ham hawk.

Even though ham is commonly used in dog diets, you should always ask yourself “Can dogs eat ham?” before deciding to slip it into its diet. In fact, dogs and puppies actually require meat regularly in their diet. However, not all types of meat can be safe for your dog as some can actually turn it sick.

Can Dogs Eat Ham?

Ham is considered very delicious to dogs. This explains why your dog can beg you for a slice of ham. However, ham can be slightly toxic to dogs due to the presence of parasites in high concentrations

Moreover, eating ham could make your dog suffer from severe stomach aches as a result of inflammation of the gut. Make sure to resist your dog’s cuteness when begging for ham, as it could be extremely dangerous to hand him even one slice of ham.

Sliced ham on a wood board next to bread.

7 Reasons Why Your Dog Should Stay Away From Ham

Ham can cause many health problems to your dog some are mild and others are severe and can be fatal such as:


Ham is processed meat. This means that during its processing, additional salts were added. This will instantly make your dog thirsty and drink water in large quantities. A high intake of water causes swelling of the gut resulting in severe pain. Complications could occur leading to death due to twisting of the stomach.

Pancreas Inflammation

The pancreas is a vital organ in the dog’s body that is responsible for breaking down fats and converting them to fuel used by the body. However, types of salts present in ham stimulate the secretion of pancreatic juice at a higher rate. This causes severe inflammation and complications including digestion of the pancreas leading to death.

Internal Wounds

Even the ham bones can be extremely dangerous for your dog as these bones split into tiny fragments that can cause internal wounds or damage to teeth

Diarrhea and Vomiting

Ham is known to have a complex structure that makes it hardly digested by the stomach. This can disturb the stomach resulting in throwing up. High rates of vomiting would lead to dehydration which can be sometimes fatal.


Another common side effect is fatigue, which develops due to the toxins present in the ham. This badly affects the dog’s mentality, dropping levels of enthusiasm harshly.


Trichinosis is a parasite found in meat, especially ham and pork. It appears as a roundworm and can be very dangerous for the dog, and its owners.

This parasite travels from the dog’s gut to the muscles causing severe cramping and inflammations. It’s very difficult for the parasite to be destroyed by the dog’s immune system after infection.

Diagnosis and treatment of trichinosis are extremely expensive due to the number of tests required to identify whether your dog is infected or not.

A honey ham on a plate.


To sum it up, your dog shouldn’t be feeding on ham as it can be very harmful to it. In addition, there are much better alternatives that are much healthier for the dog in the long run.

This post may contain affiliate links.