Can dogs have ham?

April 13, 2012

It’s Christmas! The table will be laden with all kinds of scrumptious foods. Naturally, the traditional baked and glazed ham with apple or marmalade sauce would be the main dish. Friends and family will gather around the table groaning with food. And where is Fido? Because Fido is also a well loved member of the family, the dog would not need to beg for human food. Fido’s doggie bowl will also be filled with the traditional holiday dishes. Being a concerned dog owner you surely know that there are some human foods that should not be given to the pet. Ham is one of them. Would you consider giving the dog ham? I would! A little piece of ham would do Fido no harm. It is when the dog is habitually fed large amounts of ham or when the fat trimmings of the ham are given to the dog that the health of the pet is compromised.

You think you are being kind to your dog. Because ham is one of your favorites, you would like the dog to have a plateful of ham too. But you have to consider the fact that ham is cured pork. Aside from being loaded with fat, ham is high in sodium content too. Ham would even be more dangerous if the ham bone is given to the dog to “clean”. Bone splinters can get stuck in the mouth or ingested and perforate the stomach and the intestines.

Vets would tell you that they get a lot of visits from pets and pet owners after the holidays. Humans stuff themselves with holiday foods and pets gorge on leftovers. Hams and other rich and fatty delicacies can be the comfort food of humans but these foods can bring the dog a lot of discomfort. Giving the dog large quantities of fatty and salty ham would result to stomach upset as the dog’s system finds it hard to digest the human food. The dog would vomit and have diarrhea. It would even be more alarming if the situation causes the inflammation of the dog’s pancreas. This medical condition is known as pancreatitis. Severe inflammation would result to the secretion of the pancreatic enzymes which will digest the dog’s own pancreas. The organs surrounding the pancreas can be auto digested as well often resulting to the death of the pet.

Obesity, heart problems, arthritis are only some of the medical conditions that would result if the dog is habitually fed fatty and salty human foods. Giving ham or ham trimmings to a Great Dane, to a Doberman pinscher, to a Boxer or to any other large dog breeds can result to bloat. Fatty and salty ham would make these large and deep-chested dogs drink water rapidly. In doing so, the dog will take in more air as well. Bloat is a fatal condition that can lead to the death of the dog is the swallowed air causes the stomach to twist causing air, food and water to be trapped in the stomach. This will obstruct the flow of blood to the veins. Other internal organs will be damaged. In a matter of minutes the dog can die.

Ham and other people food would provide a variety to the seemingly unappetizing dry dog food. Ham and other human food can be given to the pet as long as it is done in moderation. A piece of ham with the fat removed will be savored by the dog. Dry dog food must always be the main diet of the dog and these human foods must only be given as treats. Needless to say, dry dog food is especially formulated for our four legged friends. This diet would make the pet’s waist trim and at the same time will ensure the stool would be firm.

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