The majority of dog owners are aware that dogs require a diet high in protein and low in fat. For this reason, a meat product is typically listed as the first component in dog meals. Given that Spam is mostly comprised of meat, you could presume that it is okay to serve it to your dog. Even though no one could criticize you for coming to such a logical conclusion, you should never give your dog spam! You are not the only one if you find this to be a little perplexing. Can dogs eat spam? Let’s examine this canned food in more detail to see what harm it can do to our animal friends.
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Spam: What Is It?
The canned meat product known as “Spam” became quite popular all across the world during World War II. Because it is canned, it has a long shelf life and was a fantastic meal throughout the war. Today, there are 15 various varieties of Spam, from the classic to teriyaki. They are popular in Hawaii and are sold all around the world. You might be curious about the composition of this mystery meat. The main ingredients are pork, salt, and potato starch. Spam contains just six components in total. That seems to fit even for a dog on a restricted ingredient diet. What gives, then?
Are dogs safe from spam?
Spam is dangerous for your dog even though it only has six components. Spam is never a good idea to give your dog since the hazards are simply too large. However, there are no hazardous components in Spam for dogs. This is not a contradiction, despite what it might appear like. By giving your dog Spam, you run the risk of dehydration, fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and even pancreatitis. It also poses a serious risk of causing your dog salt toxicity. How, then, can Spam be so harmful to dogs’ health if it isn’t poisonous to them?
Why Is Spam Not Appropriate for Dogs?
While legally none of the components in Spam are harmful to your dog, they are undoubtedly unhealthy. When we start discussing how much of each ingredient is present in Spam, however, the true problem emerges. Some substances, including some of the following that you’ll find in Spam, are harmless in small quantities but can be dangerous when the dose is increased.
Extraordinary Sodium Content
It’s hardly shocking that Spam has a high salt content. It is canned meat, after all, and under the right circumstances, it may be securely preserved for up to five years. How much salt is actually in Spam? Two ounces of Spam constitute one serving. The amount of sodium in that two-ounce portion is 790 milligrams. But there are six servings in a can of Spam, which means there is 4,740 mg of salt in a can of Spam. However, if given to your dog in big quantities or too frequently, it might dehydrate them and potentially cause a salt overdose.
With 16 grams of fat in every two-ounce portion, a single can of Spam includes 96 total grams of fat, including 36 grams of saturated fat. While dogs need to absorb fats and they’re not intrinsically hazardous for them to eat, excessive quantities of fat in the diet might produce certain unfavorable consequences. For instance, a high-fat diet can hasten weight growth, which can eventually result in obesity. Even worse, a high-fat diet has been related to canine pancreatitis.
Preservatives and Nitrates
As a general guideline, you should never give your dog meals that have nitrates or preservatives in them. These aren’t good for ourselves, much less for our canine friends. But over time, our systems have adjusted to them. The systems of our dogs haven’t changed, thus they can have a far more noticeable impact on our puppies. Your dog may become ill from consuming too many nitrates and preservatives as its digestive system struggles to process the substances. Vomiting, diarrhea, and a compromised immune system may follow from this.
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Our dogs previously hated regular Spam, but now it comes in 15 different varieties. Chemicals are commonly associated with flavors, and some of these flavorings can be hazardous to our dogs. Consider the Spam with a garlic taste. The seasoning in this Spam may be equally harmful to dogs as garlic is, and it is likely to have very negative effects on dogs that consume it.
Risks Associated with Feeding Your Dog Spam
As we just explained, there are many elements in spam that might have negative health impacts on our pets. But what precisely may occur to our pets if they consume these harmful additives?
The pancreas is impacted by the illness known as pancreatitis. As the pancreatic tissue is broken down by the digestive enzymes, the pancreas enlarges. This occurs as a result of pancreatic injury or obstruction, which keeps the enzymes from being able to expel themselves.
What causes pancreatitis in Spam? High-fat diets are one of the main causes of pancreatitis. As we’ve already established, giving Spam to your dog, especially frequently, undoubtedly increases the risk of pancreatitis due to its extremely high fat content. Obesity is another cause that can lead to pancreatitis. Naturally, Spam is a major cause of obesity because of its high-fat content and high-calorie count. Because Spam can raise your dog’s risk of pancreatitis from two independent sources, it is a pancreatitis double whammy.
As we just mentioned, the high calories and fat levels in Spam make it a concern for contributing to obesity. This is especially true with smaller dogs or dogs that aren’t naturally very active.
Your dog can quickly and easily dehydrate if they consume too much sodium. Spam is highly likely to result in dehydration due to its high sodium content. Low energy levels, thick, sticky saliva, vomiting, diarrhea, and other symptoms are possible outcomes.
Salt poisoning is the worst of all the potential health problems that Spam can cause in dogs. In the worst-case scenario, it may result in kidney damage, seizures, tremors, comas, and even death. If salt poisoning begins to develop, you’ll experience diarrhea, loss of appetite, lethargy, and a general lack of control.
Can Dog Eat Spam Lite
Each serving of Spam Lite contains 70 fewer calories. Instead of using just pork, they combined ham and chicken to reduce the number of calories. Additionally, Spam lite contains a lot more chemical additives than regular Spam. It would help if you didn’t feed Spam lite to your dog either, even though it has fewer calories.
Can Dogs Eat Low-Sodium Spam
The only difference between Spam Lite and Spam labeled with 25% Less Sodium is the number of calories it contains. The ingredients for this one also combine chicken and ham. Although it may have less sodium, your dog still cannot handle the amount.
Can Dogs Eat Turkey Spam
Turkey spam is the least harmful to your pet of all the types of spam on this list. Despite this, 2 ounces of Turkey spam contain 520 mg of sodium. A healthy 33-pound dog should only consume 100mg of salt daily, to put that into perspective. Just 2 ounces of Turkey spam, or 1/6 of the small container, contains 5 times the recommended daily allowance of salt.
Can dogs eat cooked spam?
For your dog, there is no healthy way to prepare spam. Spam has too much salt for your dog to eat, whether you fry it or heat it in the oven. Do not give it to them or include it in their dog food.
Can Dogs Eat Spam Raw
And what about raw spam? Is that secure for canines? Although uncooked spam is safe for consumption by both humans and animals, you shouldn’t give it to your dog.
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Final Thoughts – Can Dogs Eat Spam?
It’s only natural for us to want to share our food with our canine companions because we love them so much. Spam is an inexpensive meat treat that many people love. Since it’s primarily made of meat, it seems like a great option for dogs. But as we’ve seen, the hidden sodium and high-fat content are the ones that are most harmful to the health of our dogs. For these reasons, it’s best to refrain from giving your dog any Spam and choose a healthier treat instead, like dog jerky or some homemade chicken breast.