Can Dogs Eat Spam

Can Dogs Eat Spam?

Last Updated: August 18, 2023
correct answerThe Short Answer is:

Spam should not be given to dogs. Spam provides no nutritional value to our canine friends since it is an “empty calorie” food. Despite the Spam meat being fine, it’s the other ingredients in the can of Spam that make it dangerous for our pooch.

In this article you will know the answer to the query “Can Dogs Eat Spam?“.

I brought home some spam yesterday and my dogs immediately ran over and started sniffing them. Is spam safe for dogs to eat? Heres everything you need to know about this salty meat called Spam before you let your pooch eat it. 

Can Dogs Eat Spam

Spam can be eaten by dogs? Dogs should not consume Spam. The ingredients in spam are highly processed and contain a lot of salt sugar and carbohydrates. The average Spam can contain more than a thousand calories. All of these conditions can negatively affect your dogs health. 

Lets take a closer look at how dog owners should not share Spam with their four-legged friends and how accidentally eating Spam can negatively affect our pets health.

Can dogs have Spam?

Spam should not be given to dogs. Spam provides no nutritional value to our canine friends since it is an “empty calorie” food. Lets talk about what spam is first in order to understand why.

What is Spam made of?

Spam originated during World War 2. It was one of the most affordable ways to feed thousands of soldiers during the war. 

A variety of ingredients are used in making spam which is highly processed meat. 

  • Ham.
  • Ground pork.
  • Sugar.
  • Salt.
  • Spices.
  • Potato starch.
  • Sodium Nitrite.

Is Spam good for dogs?

It is not good for dogs to eat Spam. Is Spam meat safe for dogs? Despite the Spam meat is fine its the other ingredients in the can of Spam that make it dangerous for our pooch. 

Lets take a look at each ingredient to understand why. 

Ham is safe for dogs to eat

In general dogs can eat ham. Ham is one of many great protein sources for dogs. Due to the high salt content in the ham the ham is very salty. The ham in the Spam can is therefore unfit for consumption by dogs.

Ground pork is safe for dogs to eat

Doggy owners can also feed their dogs ground pork like ham. However since it is also very salty due to the high salt content in the ground pork dogs should not eat it.

The high amount of Salt in Spam is harmful to a dog’s health

In terms of sodium a can of Spam contains 790mg. Dogs that accidentally consume a whole can of Spam may suffer from sodium-ion poisoning. You should not exceed 100mg of salt per day for a dog that weighs 33 pounds. By almost eight times a can of Spam exceeds the recommended salt intake for dogs!

Keep a bowl of cool freshwater nearby in case your pooch accidentally eats the whole can of Spam. Water is one of the best ways to combat the effects of salt poisoning.  

In the event your pups got into one of the Spam cans in a short amount of time and no water was provided or there was no water available they may experience the following signs and symptoms of salt poisoning. 

  • Vomiting. 
  • Nausea.
  • Swollen tongue. 
  • Diarrhea.
  • Extreme thirst.
  • Frequent urination.
  • Fainting.
  • Lethargy. 
  • Very tired. 
  • Walking drunk. 
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Upset stomach or stomach pains. 
  • Increased fluid accumulation in the body of the dog.
  • Kidney failure.
  • Hypernatremia or muscle tremors.
  • Muscle spasms.
  • Headache or dizziness.
  • Difficulty breathing or respiratory distress. 
  • A rapid or tachycardic heartbeat. 
  • Confusion.
  • Seizure (in severe cases). 
  • Coma (in severe cases). 
  • Death (in severe cases). 

The lack of water can cause our canine friends to experience headaches dizziness and seizures due to salt poisoning since the brain cells are destroyed. 

A dog suffers from muscle tremor or hypernatremia when there is just a lot of salt in the blood which causes the muscles to lose moisture. In this case the muscle becomes stiff wrinkles and contracts. Consequently the muscle shakes violently and jerks. 

Although all of this sounds scary it is the neurological symptoms that are the most dangerous because they can result in comas convulsions and even death. 

When you discover that your pup consumed a whole can of Spam or if you suspect that he has salt poisoning contact your vet as soon as possible. Getting your dog back to a normal hydration level as quickly as possible is of the utmost importance. Using IV fluids or other methods your vet will be able to keep your dog hydrated.

The high amount of Sugar in Spam is harmful to dogs’ health

The sugar content of a can of Spam is 1 gram. The sugar in dog food and treats is not required by our pets. Adding too much sugar to your dogs diet can lead to weight gain blood sugar spikes diabetes dental problems and even pancreatitis. 

Too much sugar can lead to tooth decay and plaque and tartar buildup in dogs. Sugar consumption is bad for your dog because the bacteria in their mouth use sugar to produce acid and this acid will break down the minerals in your dogs enamel which can lead to dental problems.   

If dogs consume too much sugar they can get upset stomachs and either vomit or have bloody or explosive diarrhea.

Sodium nitrite can cause blood disorders in dogs if consumed in high doses

There are many dog foods that contain sodium nitrite as an additive or preservative. However sodium nitrite can be harmful to dogs at high doses. Dogs can develop methemoglobin or a blood disorder if they consume more than 7.9 and 19.8 kg/mg of sodium nitrite every day.

Potato starch does not provide any nutritional benefit to dogs

In terms of potato starch there is a big difference between potato starch and whole potatoes. Here are the differences: 

Its great for dogs to eat whole potatoes since they are rich in potassium which helps maintain healthy blood pressure and prevents cardiovascular disease. 

However potato starch is a by-product of potato processing and is highly processed. Dog food contains potato starch as a binding agent. In addition to increasing their carbohydrate intake potato starch is extremely low in nutritional value for our pets. 

Potato skins are usually rich in vitamins and minerals that dogs can benefit from. Due to the potato skin being removed your dog will only be consuming high carbs with little to no nutritional value. It is considered empty calories because it increases calorie intake without benefiting from the food.

Is Spam bad for dogs?

Spam is not good for dogs as you can see. Dog owners should avoid feeding their canine family members Spam at all costs. Generally While ground pork and ham are generally safe for our canine companions to consume they are drenched in salt which makes them unsafe.

When we accidentally eat the entire can of Spam in a short period of time our four-legged friends are at risk of salt toxicity. Whenever you suspect that your dog is unwell and has sodium-ion poisoning contact your veterinarian immediately. 

Dog owners are advised not to feed their dogs potato starch-containing foods. In Spam potato starch is used to bulk up the highly processed spam.

Keep your pets away from potato starch because its pretty much a source of empty calories that will only cause your furry friends to gain weight and be at risk of diabetes and heart disease.

High calories in one can of Spam

A can of Spam contains more than 1000 calories as we mentioned before. An actual can of Spam has 1080 calories per serving! Dogs are not supposed to consume empty calories. 

Can dogs eat cooked Spam?

Cooked Spam should not be eaten by dogs. Regardless of how you cook the Spam it will still contain high amounts of salt which is extremely dangerous to dogs. This is why you should not feed cooked Spam to your canine friends.

Can dogs eat Spam raw?

Raw Spam is not suitable for dogs. Your dogs health is at risk from raw Spam since it contains a high amount of salt. The potato starch in Spam whether raw or cooked provides no nutritional value to dogs apart from being used as a cheap filler to give Spam its bulk and fullness.   

Dogs who eat Spam whether cooked or raw gain weight get diabetes and have tons of other health problems.

Is Spam dog food?

Spam does not qualify as dog food as you can see. Spam is a meat product made specifically for humans. Additionally it contains additives and preservatives such as sodium nitrates which are harmful to your dogs health. A highly processed food that is high in salt and carbohydrates spam is a highly processed food. Your dog pals will not enjoy this. 

So Can Dogs Eat Spam?

Without a doubt no. Spam should not be eaten by dogs. We highly recommend that you do not give your puppy Spam if you have it in your cupboard or you’re about to make a dish with it. 

All of our furry family members will eat anything you give them including food that is not healthy or safe. When dogs eat Spam they do not realize its high in salt and carbohydrates which are bad for them. Their primary focus is the meat. 

Spam however is not healthy for dogs due to its high salt and sugar content and carbohydrates and calories. As responsible dog owners we should avoid feeding our dogs Spam.

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Amanda Dogs Trainer

Amanda (Author)

With over a decade of experience, Amanda is a distinguished dog trainer. Her expertise in canine behavior has transformed countless lives, fostering harmonious human-canine connections. Through compassionate and personalized approaches, she empowers owners to understand and connect with their furry companions, creating a legacy of joyful tails and transformed lives.

Osvaldo Maciel Dogs Trainer

Osvaldo Maciel (Content Reviewer)

Osvaldo Maciel, a stalwart in the field with 14 years of experience, is a revered dog trainer. His journey is defined by a profound understanding of canine behavior, shaping unbreakable human-canine bonds. Osvaldo guides owners to connect with their beloved pets, leaving an indelible mark of happiness and transformation. His legacy shines through the countless lives he has touched.

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