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Blythe Baird in “Theories about the Universe” mentions her dog wanting peanut butter chocolate chip bagel but even though her dog makes the cute puppy face that makes all dog owners swoon, she can’t have it because chocolate makes dogs very sick. This article is somewhat similar to Baird’s notion; but instead of chocolate, it addresses bacon. Bacon, which is a fancy name for salted pork belly, is loved by most people and even dogs.
The reason is not far-fetched; the aroma, the crunch, the taste and the fact that it can be paired with several meals, ranging from breakfasts to fancy meals in diners and restaurants all contribute to why this food item is a go to choice for a lot of people.
It is therefore not surprising that dogs, with a sense of smell that supersedes that of humans would also want to be partakers of the meat. The con of this however is that bacon is not healthy for dogs, whether cooked or raw. This is because it is fatty and has a high salt content and this in turn can upset a dog’s stomach.
Although delicious and sweet-smelling, bacon poses a number of risks when consumed by dogs. Even though it is not inherently toxic, bacon is not a healthy treat or snack for dogs. Uncooked bacon contains a parasite known as Trichinella Spiralis Larvae which causes a pork roundworm infection.
The parasite affects the dog’s muscles and causes them inflammation and pain. It should be noted that this parasite is hard to detect and treat, therefore it is essential to be watchful of the type of meat that dogs consume. Dogs are likely to suffer from obesity which can lead to cardiovascular diseases and bone issues when they consume raw bacon.
In addition, not only the meat should be excluded from a dog’s meal but also the grease because of its high content in fats, calories, it basically has no nutritional benefits and it can as well lead to clogged arteries.
Bacon is not exclusively toxic for dogs but it is not healthy for their consumption because of some of the complications that come with it. The goodness of the taste is really temporary as compared to the excruciating pain the dog might be in later. In addition to the risks mentioned earlier, consumption of bacon by dogs can lead to pancreatitis which can be terrible. Pancreatitis is a condition whereby the pancreas becomes inflamed and this can be really painful and uncomfortable for a dog.
It is usually accompanied by a dog’s watery stool and vomiting episodes. And, unfortunately, in cases where this condition gets really severe, there might be permanent side effects. A dog’s breathing can even be affected and this is classified under chronic obstructive pulmonary disease which is caused by the high levels of sodium nitrate in bacon.
Dogs can however be mischievous and get a taste of the meat without the supervision of their human companions; in situations whereby, it is suspected that a dog had a taste, the following should be looked out for: vomiting, fever, stiffness when moving, diarrhea, and so on.
Alongside looking out for the above symptoms, dog owners should get rid of leftovers that are still lying around, they should also try to determine how much of the meat the dog consumed and then, a vet should be notified. It is possible that the dog will be placed on a bland diet for a couple of days while also being given anti-nausea drugs. If the reaction to the meat is severe, blood samples will be taken to determine the levels of dehydration and pancreatitis.
In order to rule out causes of nausea and abdominal pain, ultrasounds and x-rays may be required. The excessive salt content in bacon put dogs at a high risk of salt poisoning as well. The salt content in bacon can make them dehydrated which results in them drinking more water and this leads to bloating. Bloating is a dangerous condition whereby a dog’s stomach twists.
Dogs cannot survive without protein in their meals and diets because there are specific amino acids that dogs cannot make on their own and are present in meat. As a result, for better protein choices, plain cooked white pork can be fed to dogs instead after it has been cooked for several hours in a bid to get rid of the bacteria in it.
It should not be cooked with seasonings and spice rubs as most of them have very high salt contents. It is worthy of note that dogs react to meats differently, therefore, they should be given the treat in small quantities to observe how they react to it. In situations whereby dog owners get overwhelmed by the bacon cravings of their dogs, there are accessible bacon-flavored treats that are healthy for dog consumption.
Also, there are other meat substitutes that can be given to dogs in the stead of bacon and they include chicken, beef, turkey, lamb and so on. Chicken is rich in protein and it is easily digestible but it should also be cooked with no seasonings to avoid salt poisoning. Other meat items are rich in vitamin B6, glucose and so on.
Alongside this, all kinds of meat have their own excesses; in order to balance this out, their meals should be served together with vegetables such as cabbage, kale, broccoli and others. Also, dogs are known to easily adapt to changes in foods, food texture and so on; therefore, with other healthy meat and vegetables options, their craving for bacon might reduce.
As said earlier, dogs react to foods and treats differently, and as a result, dog owners need to be familiar with the breeds, sizes and the healthiness of their dogs. This is because, some breeds have stronger immune systems and some big dogs can withstand more than some small dogs can. Consumption of bacon for dogs is more potentially dangerous because it can be hard to get out of their system once ingested.
It is important to note that the topic of the consumption of bacon is a heated one amongst dog owners. Some believe that a little bit of bacon can cause no harm but the problem that comes with this is that the dog keeps craving it. There is however a safer way to give dogs bacon. Some companies offer options of bacon that is low in fat and in sodium and this helps dog owners feel less guilty about denying their dogs a taste of the meat.
Dogs cannot be watched all the time and so, owners have a responsibility of training them in order to prevent them from taking food they were not given. A way to do this is to establish boundaries which can be implemented from when the dogs are puppies so they can grow into it as adults.
Harmful foods such as bacon and other items should be kept out of their reach as their instincts can sometimes overpower their training on boundaries. They should also be trained to wait patiently for their food so that they do not take food items that can upset their digestive system off their owner’s plate. Dog owners should avoid keeping their dogs in the same room as the bacon as this reduces the craving and temptation.
All of these need to be put into practice because the digestive system of dogs cannot thoroughly process some human food items. Bacon is an avoidable food item in a dog’s food has it has no nutritional values and it can be replaced with any of the substitutes mentioned above. The insight of a veterinarian doctor should also be sought on the place of bacon in a dog’s diet.
Raw bacon does not put dogs in immediate life-threatening situations but it is not a safe choice for dogs as it can slow down their activities and make them really sick. It is therefore necessary for dog-owners to thoroughly keep track of what their furry friends are consuming because eating bacon in large quantities or at all can eventually weaken the health of dogs. Therefore, their diet should be made as healthy as possible.
In conclusion, a healthy diet is not only important to humans but also to dogs and to achieve this, harmful and fatty foods need to be cleared off their diets. The fact that dogs are carnivores does not mean that they can be fed any kind of meat as this can prove to be dangerous in many ways and this is because domesticated dogs do not have the tough digestive system that wild dogs have, thus, their meat has to be carefully chosen.
Feeding dogs bacon as a way to satisfy their cravings should not be promoted by dog owners as it could put the dogs in uncomfortable positions and some of the diseases like pancreatitis can have long term effects. Dogs should mostly only enjoy the tasty smell of the bacon and only have a taste of it occasionally.