Bacon has long been a staple in the American kitchen, filling the bellies of families during Sunday breakfasts and on lazy Wednesday evenings. You’ve probably seen your dog’s senses go on high alert as soon as that strip of bacon starts sizzling in the pan. After all, what meat-loving creature isn’t tempted by bacon? But before you start slipping your pup tidbits of this treat, consider that it’s actually not the best thing for your dog to be eating.
Can You Give Your Bacon?
The short answer is no. Bacon is particularly high in fat, and most dogs aren’t able to metabolize large amounts of saturated fat like humans can, leading to a painful stomach, diarrhea, vomiting, and a loss of appetite. The high salt content in bacon can sometimes bloat the stomach or twist the intestines, both of which can be deadly if they aren’t surgically corrected. The pancreas can become painfully inflamed when a large amount of bacon (and its fat) is eaten, a condition called pancreatitis.
-However, in extreme moderation bacon is fine, it just shouldn’t be an everyday treat!
What Is Pancreatitis, and Can Bacon Really Cause It?
The pancreas is designed to aid food digestion by producing enzymes that break food down. Unfortunately, it isn’t able to fully break down an onslaught of saturated fat, the type of fat found in bacon. When it’s overloaded with fat, the pancreas becomes inflamed. As the inflammation takes hold of the pancreas, it blocks the enzymes from entering the digestive tract and causes them to flood the abdominal space. When this happens, the enzymes begin to digest the fat and proteins in other organs, including the pancreas. This is very painful to a dog, but it is treatable.
Signs of pancreatitis vary depending on the severity of the case. Almost every case shows with a very painful abdomen. Dogs will walk very delicately with a hunched back and become aggressive if their abdomen is touched. If they still have an appetite, eating will cause the pain to increase. They’ll have frequent bouts of vomiting, as well as diarrhea. They may develop a fever or a low body temperature, too.
Treatment of Pancreatitis in Dogs
When your vet has confirmed the presence of pancreatitis through bloodworks and x-rays/ultrasounds, treatment is fairly straightforward. Your vet will admit your dog and immediately hook up IV fluids to flush the fat from the body. They might administer pain medication, as well as potassium if the dog’s levels are low. The dog won’t be given food for a few days to allow the pancreas to rest. When food can be given again, it has to be low in fat and high in carbohydrates. For dogs who get frequent bouts of pancreatitis, their diet will need to permanently be low-fat to prevent any more cases.
Bacon might taste good, but the taste isn’t worth what it can do to your dog. Remember that even small amounts can greatly upset your dog’s digestive system. Even if they don’t eat enough bacon to create pancreatitis, you might see vomiting or diarrhea, which are always unpleasant. Stick with treats created just for dogs; they’ll taste just as good as bacon to your dog!
Hi, I’m Jacob. I’ve been a professional blogger for over 6 years and in that time I’ve written countless blogs that have reached millions of people. I am a DVM by profession but all you need to know is that I LOVE DOGS!
SDO started way back in 2015 on a whim. I’d read a couple of dozen blogs online while searching for the best products for my pup and the amount of misinformation online from unqualified sources giving potentially harmful advice shocked me. Then suddenly it hit me, hey, I can do this too! And I can do this RIGHT! Without even knowing what a blog was or how it makes money. I jumped right in to share the years of knowledge I have of dogs with the world.
Within a few months I realized that people were reacting extremely positively to my blogs. My website had taken off and I would receive countless emails from happy dog owners telling me how my website was a God-send for them and their pups were doing so much better after they followed my advice. I would get so many questions as well, and in my attempt to consolidate and answer all the questions I would get from my readers, my blog has evolved to the website you see today. Over the years I encouraged my good friend Tina who is also a DVM to share her experiences and better guide the people who read us. By the Grace of God we now reach close a million people a year and we get such a warm feedback on how we have made life easier for new dog owners all over the globe.
As a dog owner only you would know the feeling you get when you come home at night and you pup is there at the door wagging their tail in sheer joy. The bond a person and their dog share can not be explained in mere words. Yet dogs are like children, and they need to be cared for and trained, and that’s why Smart Dog Owner exists, to give you the precise and exact information that you seek about your dog. No matter how minute that detail is, chances are we will be there to help you out! As someone who has raised 7 of her own dogs. Jacob will always help you out.