What Meat Dogs Should Avoid Eating?

Everywhere people are saying a slice of that and that, a small piece of this won’t hurt your dog probably.

But why it should be probably?

When we can be sure that we give the good food our dogs deserve. We can make sure that they have human food too but only that part of it that is safe for them.

In today’s article, I will include only what kind of meat and treats that contain mainly meat dogs can’t eat. It’s important to know why you can’t give these foods to dogs.

We have to take care of our dogs as best as we can because they are our own responsibility and there is no one else that knows their needs better than we do.

So, sit and read carefully about what meat dogs should avoid eating.

1: Raw meat

I am starting with raw meat because it’s more complicated.

Many vets say yes, dogs eat raw, of course, in small amounts, while others say totally no.

The U.S Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has many studies that eating raw meat by our dogs poses a risk not only for us but for us and our families.

You may wonder why?

Well, raw meat is full of bacteria. But not only bad ones, there is a good kinds of bacteria too. Only bad bacteria can cause food poisoning.

Eating regularly or in big amounts of raw meat can cause pancreatitis.

1A: Raw Pork Meat

Never give your dog raw pork meat because pigs are carriers of the deadly disease Aujezky caused by swine herpes virus type 1. This causes a high percentage of death cases of dogs.

1B: Raw Minced Meat

Raw minced meat should be avoided as it has a high concentration of salt, lipid, and extra ingredients like flour and herbs. The meat will lose some beneficial nutrients during the processing methods.

Good bacteria in raw meat

Raw meat contains good bacteria or probiotics. The good bacteria ensure a healthy intestinal flora, so dogs can digest food easily.

Bad bacteria in raw meat

In many cases, raw meat contains bacteria that can be harmful to humans and dogs. There is Salmonella, listeria, and E. Coli in raw meat. Even pathogenic parasites such as Sarcocystis and Toxoplasma gondii can be found on the surface of raw meat.

You should be careful if you decide to give your pooch raw meat as the digestive system of healthy dogs can barely cope with these bacteria, what about sick dogs (link)?

When you cook raw meat all of these parasites and bacteria are gone because of the high heat.

Raw Meat Precautions

If you want to give your pooch raw meat make sure that the meat is fresh, was stored in the fridge, was hygienically prepared, and doesn’t have a strange smell. But dogs eating raw meat for an extended period are exposed to health issues like nutrition deficiencies.

2: Chicken and Turkey Skin

With the upcoming Thanksgiving, you may wonder if you can give your dog some turkey.

Yes, you can. Turkey meat is safe for dogs, but there are some things you must know.

The turkey you are gonna cook for you and your family won’t be a good option because you will use oil or butter on it, many herbs and spices, a lot of salt, then you will stuff them with garlic and onion. All of these things will upset the stomach of your doggo.

Turkey skin isn’t good for dogs and it should be avoided.

The same is the situation with chicken (link).

Dogs mustn’t have chicken skin.

The other reason why the skin of turkeys and chickens is bad for dogs is that it’s high in fat and calories and at the same time doesn’t have much nutritional value.

3: Ham

Yes, ham has protein, but there are much better sources of protein that dogs can get.

We can all agree that is much easier to go to the store and buy ham than spend around 2 weeks preparing homemade.

But it’s not a healthy food for humans and what about dogs?

Store-bought ham is full of nitrates and nitrites and contains a huge amount of salt that can be even toxic to dogs.

It can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and abnormal fluid accumulation. The high level of sodium intake can make even more serious damage like kidney damage, seizures, and even death.

The next unhealthy part of ham is the high-fat content. A healthy amount of animal fat in dog food is about 15 to 20 percent. The fat in ham is more and it’s getting difficult for dogs to digest it.

4: Bacon

Like ham, bacon is very rich in sodium and fat. It’s not healthy for dogs. It shouldn’t be given cooked or raw. Avoid it in any form and don’t give it to your dog as a part of treats too.

If your dog has pancreatitis or should follow any diet because of health reasons, then it is a must to NOT give your dog bacon.

5: Prosciutto

Dogs can’t eat prosciutto, an Italian cured meat made out of beef or pork. It’s full of salt and fat. Many store-bought prosciutti contain garlic as extra seasoning that can be toxic to dogs.

If dogs eat prosciutto, they may experience some health issues like:

  • Salt poisoning.
  • Blood disorders can cause a rapid heart rate, shortness of breath, or loss of consciousness.
  • Food-borne diseases because of the larvae of trichinella that cause upset stomach, vomiting, diarrhea, or muscle pain.
  • Pancreatitis.

6: Pepperoni

Pepperoni is another treat that can’t be eaten by dogs because of its high-fat content and sodium levels.

You should not give any of the pepperoni varieties:

  • turkey pepperoni;
  • hot pepperoni;
  • pepperoni sticks;
  • pepperoni jerky.

If you wonder if dogs can eat pepperoni pizza, I have the answer. Unfortunately, dogs should stay away from it.

Like proscuitto, pepperoni may contain garlic but also onion and both of these ingredients aren’t safe for dogs.

7: Salami

Salami is another human meat treat that can’t be used as a dog treat.

Some people say salami is a type of pepperoni and others vice versa. But that’s not very important for us, actually.

Salami is a type of processed meat that contains too many seasonings, sodium, additives, and preservatives.

Again all this high concentration of sodium can lead to many health problems.

8: Bones

Can dogs eat bones of pork, beef, chicken, turkey, lamb, etc?

Maybe you think that I will tell yes.

Well, actually, dogs can’t eat bones.


The bones of chicken and turkey can splinter while the dog is eating them and cause internal bleeding and hurt the throat, lungs, or stomach.

While the bones of pork, beef, and lamb are much bigger than chicken and turkey they still can break badly in your dog’s mouth.

NEVER give your dog cooked bones.

If you want to give them a bone to chew then give them chewy sticks, they will be out of danger and you will be stress-free.

9: Sausage

If sausages are made by you, without any seasonings, baked in the oven and you have removed the excess grease then you can give a small amount of them to dogs.

But if you want to give store-bought ones to dogs then my advice is to not give them because seasonings like garlic, onion, and red pepper flakes can damage the red blood cells of your dog.

Usually, any sausages from the store don’t contain too much meat but more fat, herbs, and seasonings.

10: Hot dogs

You should avoid feeding your dog any raw hot dogs or hot dogs that aren’t cooked well. The best option for dogs is baked in the oven or grilled and all the excess grease should be wiped.

11: Spoiled meat

Spoiled meat is the worst thing that you can give your dog to eat. If you won’t eat spoiled meat, then why you will give it to your pooch?

Spoiled meat can infect dogs or poison them.

It is a breeding ground for pathogens such as E-coli, Clostridium botulinum, Penitrem-A, Salmonella, Staphylococcus, and many others.

All these parasites can harm everything in your dog, including the stomach, nervous system, and heart. They can cause paralysis, seizures, cramps, vomiting, diarrhea, and weakness.

Staph infection can spread to humans from dogs.


If you want you and your dog to be healthy and live a stress-free life, then don’t give every human food to dogs. They can’t get enough nutrients and at the same time meat treats like pepperoni, salami, ham, and all the others mentioned above are high in sodium and seasonings that can cause many health problems.

Share your love
Desislava Asenova
Desislava Asenova

Desi is a dog-lover and proud parent to Daisy, her sweet and sassy Chihuahua. She's always been fascinated by the different diets and eating habits of different animals, and she's especially interested in how food affects a dog's overall health and happiness.

When she's not busy writing about dog food, Desi enjoys pampering Daisy with long walks and playtime in the park. She's also an avid home cook and loves coming up with new recipes for her and Daisy to try out together. She's excited to share her passion for dog food and help other pet owners find the best food for their fur babies.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *