Can Dogs Eat Salami…And Is It Healthy?

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Dogs eat meat, the more the merrier. That’s the perception we all have if we’re new at looking after dogs. The reality is that dogs eat all kinds of things, they’re like little hairy garbage cans. Protein through meat is indeed a very important element in a dog’s diet, but the quality of that meat is even more important. So, can dogs eat salami?

can dogs eat salami - dog attempting to eat salami off the table

Let’s find out!

Can Dogs Eat Salami?

Let’s get this question out of the way first, as your furry little friend is probably drooling his own body weight as he waits for the answer.

Can dogs eat salami?  Yes! Your dog will be relieved to know that they can indeed have a little salami as an occasional treat.

Dog about to get a salami treat

We don’t wish to be a party pooper, but we’d like to put heavy emphasis on the “little” and the “occasional” part of the answer.

Too much salami can pose a whole host of health hazards for your dog.

Keep reading and we’ll explain…

Even though your dog will be ecstatic to eat as much salami as they can cram into their mouth, you never want to feed your dog more than a slice or two.

Also, this really shouldn’t be a regular treat either.

Dogs of smaller breeds are at a higher risk of developing health issues, and some veterinarians even suggest never feeding salami to a small dog.

We wouldn’t go that far but strongly recommend caution, try and reserve delicious salami treats as a very occasional indulgence for your dog, no matter their size.

sad looking dog - no salami

To any dogs listening to this, we’re very sorry!

Is Salami Good for Dogs? Benefits of Salami for Dogs

Salami offered in moderation, does actually have some benefits for your dog. It’s loaded with minerals such as potassium and phosphorous and has high amounts of vitamin B3 and B6.

Image of a salami, some of which has been sliced.

Some of the health advantages of feeding salami in regulation to your dog include:

The Growth and Repair of Cells

The high content of phosphorous in salami assists in the growth and repair of cells and tissues in our hairy little friends.

In addition, it also promotes stronger teeth and filters the waste out of their kidneys.

Regulates Fluid Balance and Nerve Signals

One of the most important minerals for your dog is potassium. This amazing mineral is also present in plentiful amounts in salami. It helps regulate their fluid balance, nerve signals, and prevents the age-related weakening of muscle strength.

Red elements chart focusing on potassium

On top of that, a potassium-rich diet helps with blood pressure levels in your dog and also prevents seizures.

Protection from Anemia

Vitamin B6 or Pyridoxine aids the production of hemoglobin in dogs. Hemoglobin is that plucky little amino acid that supplies much needed oxygen to your dog’s cells.

If your dog has Low hemoglobin, it means that only a low amount of oxygen is being delivered to your dog’s cells and tissues. This results in the development of anemia.

Being high in Vitamin B6, salami can kick the production of hemoglobin into high gear and prevent anemia in dogs.

Salami Nutrition

The salami nutrition profile consisting of cooked beef and pork salami is quite fascinating.

Similar to many other processed and cured meats, they contain both good and bad nutritional contents, whose values are as outlined:

Protein21.8 grams
Carbohydrates2.4 grams
Sodium1740 mg
Potassium316 mg
Calcium15 mg
Iron1.56 mg
Zinc2.93 mg
Vitamin B3 or Niacin6.05 mg
Vitamin B6 or Pyridoxine0.459 mg
Vitamin K or Phylloquinone3.2 µg
Fat25.9 grams

Source: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/172936/nutrients

There are several ingredients in salami that aren’t quite so good for your dog’s health. Let’s take a look at them next!

Is Salami Bad for Dogs? Risks of Salami for Dogs

If you feed your dog more than the occasional single slice, salami can be bad for your dog.

These are the four major health concerns connected to feeding salami in excess to your dog:

Salami is a salt bomb!

The terribly high amount of sodium present in salami and other processed meats such as bacon, sausages, and pepperoni is commonly referred to as a salt bomb.

A single slice of salami can easily have over 30 mg of sodium, which is extremely, ridiculously, mind-bogglingly high.

can dogs eat salami - hands holding a mound of salt

Consuming such high amounts of sodium frequently may lead to salt poisoning, increased thirst, bloating, dehydration, and even kidney damage.

Poor protein-to-fat ratio

Good-quality, healthy meat such as chicken, is high in protein and low in fat.

This is the polar opposite of salami, as the processed pork used in salami is one of the worst meats you can possibly give to your dog.

a big fat basset hound

Feeding too much salami to your dog without any concern to the quantity may increase their weight dramatically. This in turn, can put your dog at risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, and pancreatitis.

Salami can Cause Cancer in Dogs

A common class of chemical compounds used as preservatives in salami is nitrates. The nitrates, particularly sodium nitrate, is very likely to trigger a series of biological reactions in your dog. This may result in the growth of various cancerous tumors!

Cooked salami has toxic ingredients

Salami is commonly prepared with seasonings and spices such as onions and garlic powder/paste that are toxic to dogs.

Regardless of how much of it you feed them, these kinds of ingredients always run the risk of agitating your dog’s abdomen, which can result in indigestion, diarrhea, or gas.

Can Dogs Eat Raw Salami?

Maybe once in a blue moon.

Raw or uncooked salami still contains all the ingredients that your dog’s digestive system will struggle with — sodium, high fats, nitrates, and possibly onion and garlic.

can dogs eat salami -  unhappy dog

It’s okay to occasionally give a single slice of raw salami to your dog. However, it’s not a good idea to give them too much or do it too often.

Can Dogs Eat Dry Salami?

Dry salami is normally made with beef and has less fat content than the usual salami.

Therefore, your dogs can safely eat dry salami, although in small servings.

Again, we’re stressing on the “small servings” part, moderation is key in the case of dry salami as well!

Also, watch out for any added spices — they may be toxic for your dog!

Can Dogs Eat Salami Skin?

It depends! Let me explain…

If the salami skin is natural, that is, composed of the submucosa of the GI tract of the beef or pork, it’ll be effortlessly digested by your dog and will pose no concerns.

However, if the salami skin is made of artificial substances composed of cellulose or collagen, your dog’s metabolism will have difficulties digesting it, leading to abdominal blockages, vomiting, and severe stomach ache.

Since the salami skin has no notable health benefits and ingesting the wrong kind can cause your furry friend tummy issues, it’s probably best to avoid giving salami skin to your dogs.

Can Dogs Eat Cooked Salami?

Yes, but only as a special treat.

Cooking the salami doesn’t get rid of the high contents of fats and sodium. In fact, it may increase their percentage and introduce other harmful ingredients such as seasoning, onions, and garlic.

can dogs eat salami - onions and garlic

Giving a slice of cooked salami for dogs once in a while is unlikely to be the cause of any major worries. However, feeding your dog more than that may end up in a hasty trip to see the vet.

Can Dogs Eat Turkey Salami?

Yes! But again, only in moderation.

Turkey has relatively less fat, which makes turkey salami a better choice to feed your dog compared to other alternatives.

However, turkey salami still has a high sodium content, and that’s why we recommend that you put a limit on how much your dog eats, just like the other varieties of salami.

How Much Salami Can a Dog Eat?

Not too much!

Although salami isn’t inherently toxic to your dog (unless it has onions or garlic), you should only give it to them occasionally and it’s advisable not to give them anything else that might contain salt.

can dogs eat salami - a dog looking really ill

If you give your dog salami too often or in high quantities, your dog may suffer salt poisoning, pancreatitis, diarrhea, indigestion, gas, nausea, heartburn, and loads of other nasty abdominal issues.

Can Salami Kill Dogs?

Perhaps!

We can’t really say that salamis will definitely kill your dog, even if they do eat large amounts, but it’s certainly a possibility. At least in theory.

The high amounts of fat and sodium in salami are unhealthy for your dog. If they come prepared with garlic and onion powder/paste, then they’re downright poisonous to them!

If you have a senior, puppy, or a small breed of dog, over feeding them salami might give them an unhealthy amount of sodium. This, over time will certainly shorten their life expectancy quite dramatically.

Questions About Dogs and Salami in Brief:

  • Can my dog eat salami? Yes, but just a little.
  • Is salami good for dogs? On the whole, no.
  • Is salami bad for my dog? In excess, yes.
  • Can dogs eat raw salami? Yes, in moderation.
  • Can dogs eat cooked salami? Yes, in moderation.
  • Can dogs eat turkey salami? Yes, in moderation.
  • Can dogs eat dry salami? Yes, in moderation.
  • How much salami can a dog eat? ONE slice, every once in a long while.
  • Can salami kill dogs? In excess and over time, very probably.

Disclaimer

All information in this article is for educational purposes only and is not meant to replace your veterinarian’s advice

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