The Short Answer is:
Bacon grease can be consumed by dogs, but their intake should be monitored and moderated. You may want to consider giving your dog bacon grease for a variety of reasons, including: Providing a Treat, Make Their Coats Shinier, Good Energy Source for Active Dogs, and Getting a Scared Dog to Eat.
The purpose of this article is to explain the “Can Dogs Eat Bacon Grease?“.
- How Nutritious is Bacon Grease?
- How Much Bacon Grease Should You Feed Your Dog?
- What Are the Side Effects of a Dog Eating too Much Fat?
- Will Adding Bacon Grease to a Dog’s Diet Improve Their Coat?
- Are Any Other Breakfast Foods Toxic for Dogs?
- How Nutritious Are Cooked Eggs for a Dog?
- Bacon Grease vs Beef Fat: Which is Better for Your Dog?
- Can Dogs Eat Bacon Grease? (Watch Video)
Bacon grease can be consumed by dogs but their intake should be monitored and moderated.
You may want to consider giving your dog bacon grease for a variety of reasons including:
- Providing a Treat: Dogs are loved by people for being natures most faithful companion so it is only natural that you would want to reward them for their loyalty.
- Make Their Coats Shinier: You can keep your dogs coat shiny by including fat in their diet. Because dietary fats contain only fat-soluble vitamins fats are necessary for maintaining healthy cells nerves and muscles.
- Good Energy Source for Active Dogs: Fats provide dogs with tremendous energy. A dogs fat intake can provide up to 2.5 times more energy than their protein and carbohydrate intake.
- Getting a Scared Dog to Eat: When a dog is nervous or frightened either because it is new to the house or because it is a rescue animal the smell of bacon grease might be enough to encourage them to eat.
However it appears the cons outweigh the pros when it comes to feeding a dog bacon grease.
Bacon grease has very little nutritional value for your dog and can cause health problems like obesity upset stomachs dehydration and even death in the worst-case scenarios.
Ultimately the detrimental effects of giving dogs bacon grease seem to outweigh the benefits so it is best not to let them have this type of fat supplement regularly.
In general if your pet is nervous or frightened and can handle greasy foods moderately then once in a while is fine.
The gastrointestinal system should be able to handle the fat levels though and they should be hydrated.
How Nutritious is Bacon Grease?
We should start with the obvious: Bacon grease is very high in fat.
As bacon grease contains 100 grams of fat it provides 128% of the RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) for humans.
Since an adult human is physically bigger than a dog an overdose will be even greater for a dog
Additionally it contains 195% of the recommended daily allowance of saturated fat with 39 grams.
Science has discovered that there are “heart-healthy” types of fat but you would be hard-pressed to call levels like these nutritious.
Additionally bacon grease contains 32% of the recommended daily allowance of cholesterol.
Despite the fact that dietary cholesterol does not affect blood cholesterol levels as much as previously thought these levels should still be considered unhealthy.
However bacon grease is not entirely nutritionally useless.
There is 12% of the RDA of Vitamin D in it which is an essential nutrient for dogs.
The consensus however is that bacon grease has very little to offer dogs in terms of nutrition.
How Much Bacon Grease Should You Feed Your Dog?
The prevailing wisdom suggests that you give your dog one teaspoon of bacon grease per 20 pounds of body weight.
Therefore a Chihuahua should only receive a fraction of a teaspoon of food whereas a large breed may receive more food based on its size.
Bacon grease intake should be limited to a teaspoon according to others.
In any case if your dog does not experience any adverse health effects from the bacon grease you may feed him more according to his body weight and size.
The digestion of larger dogs can generally tolerate up to five teaspoons of bacon grease per day without any adverse effects.
What Are the Side Effects of a Dog Eating too Much Fat?
Obviously obesity is one of the side effects.
This can happen very quickly and lead to health issues for your dog especially in the case of bacon grease which contains 195% of the dogs RDA for saturated fat.
An additional side effect would be pancreatitis an inflammation of the pancreas caused by excess fat consumption.
The condition is often fatal to dogs.
Pancreatitis can mimic the symptoms of other conditions making it difficult for veterinarians and owners alike to diagnose it.
Diabetes and liver problems are also possible side effects of dog pancreatitis.
Since the pancreas produces insulin for dogs (and humans) an inflamed pancreas could cause a diabetic crisis in your dog.
Fat consumption can also damage the liver and lead to liver problems. The bottom line is that you do not want to see your dog have to deal with this condition.
The third less severe effect is diarrhea.
The result is bacterial overgrowth in the intestines and intestinal inflammation caused by increased gut permeability due to excessive fat consumption.
It is likely that your dog will get diarrhea if this happens.
Lastly the sodium levels in bacon grease pose a problem for dogs.
Due to their small size dogs are more likely to suffer from salt-related ailments like dehydration and salt poisoning.
The sodium nitrate in cured meat such as ham or bacon helps keep them fresher longer but it also means you must be careful not to overfeed these kinds of foods to your dog due to their extremely high sodium content.
Will Adding Bacon Grease to a Dog’s Diet Improve Their Coat?
Yes but it comes with a price.
The fatty acids in bacon grease help skin retain moisture which will make a dogs coat softer and shinier.
Fats in bacon grease can not be properly processed and metabolized in dogs with fatty livers resulting in skin problems.
Coconut oil or supplements such as omega-6 and omega-3 are healthier sources of essential fats.
Are Any Other Breakfast Foods Toxic for Dogs?
Definitely. Some breakfast foods such as milk are toxic to dogs.
The enzyme lactase which breaks down sugars in milk is no longer produced when dogs are weaned from their mothers milk.
As these undigested sugars make their way into a dogs intestines and colon gas can form due to the fermentation of bacteria in the gut which can result in gastrointestinal discomfort.
Severe cases may also result in vomiting and diarrhea.
Muesli grape jellies and jams as well as anything containing grapes or raisins should be avoided altogether.
Although the specific substance that causes kidney failure in dogs is unknown in grapes and raisins these fruits are known to cause kidney failure in dogs.
Keeping your dog away from anything that contains these substances is crucial for their safety.
How Nutritious Are Cooked Eggs for a Dog?
Your dog will love eggs as a source of protein with additional benefits such as linoleic acid and fat-soluble vitamins to keep their coat strong and shiny.
Nutritionally speaking eggs provide 12 grams of protein per serving or 24% of the recommended daily allowance.
In addition to their 13 grams of fat eggs contain only 3.6 grams of saturated fat making them a healthier source of essential fats.
The cholesterol content of eggs is 355 milligrams or 118% of the RDA so keep that in mind when giving your dog eggs.
Eggs also contain other nutrients dogs need like vitamin D calcium iron and potassium.
In addition to choline eggs are also a good source of choline. Choline improves cognitive brain function in dogs.
If your dog is healthy and does not have any underlying health issues that could be worsened by eating eggs eggs are safe in moderation.
When the rest of your dogs food provides all the necessary nutrients their bodies require there is no need to avoid giving him these nutritious treats.
Bacon Grease vs Beef Fat: Which is Better for Your Dog?
Whether you decide to feed your dog excess fats of any kind depends on what he prefers.
Try both bacon grease and beef fat on your dog to see if they prefer one over the other.
The saturated fats in bacon grease and beef fat can cause pancreatitis.
Since bacon grease has a higher concentration of polyunsaturated fats than beef fat it may be better for dogs that have dry skin or need more fatty acids to maintain healthy skin and a shiny coat.
A direct comparison of bacon grease and beef fat can shed some light on the main differences:
- Total Fat: Beef fat contains 50 grams of saturated fat while bacon grease contains 39 grams. Both bacon grease and beef fat contain 100 grams of total fat.
- Cholesterol: There are 95 milligrams of cholesterol in bacon grease and 109 milligrams in beef fat.
- Vitamin D: Bacon grease contains 12% of the recommended daily allowance for vitamin D while beef fat contains only 4%.
- Sodium: The beef fat wins because it contains no sodium while bacon grease provides 150 milligrams or 7% of the RDA.
- Total Calories: In comparison bacon grease contains 897 calories per 100 grams while beef fat contains 902 calories per 100 grams. In terms of caloric intake the difference between bacon grease and beef fat is negligible.
There is no additional nutritional value in either option such as proteins carbohydrates calcium iron or potassium.
When compared directly it appears bacon grease slightly edges out beef fat when it comes to limited nutritional value.
There are however so few differences between the two and the nutritional value of both is so low that it really comes down to your dogs taste.