Can Dogs Eat Raw Bacon?

Meat is an important element of a dog’s nutrition, so it’s natural that they’d want a share from your meal. But that doesn’t imply you can give your dog raw meat.

Can dogs eat raw bacon? Because of a dog’s carnivorous nature, many dog parents don’t think twice about giving their dogs raw bacon.

Find out whether or not dogs can have raw or cooked bacon, and some healthier bacon alternatives you can feed your furry friend.

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dogs eating raw bacon

Can Dogs Eat Bacon?

The short answer is no. You’re better off avoiding bacon to feed your pooch. Even if it’s not toxic or poisonous, there are a lot of other reasons why it’s not a good food choice for dogs. 

Bacon is pork that is preserved using smoking, curing, or salting. It can have negative effects on dogs that are different from those on humans.

In 2015, the World Health Organization found that processed meats like bacon and sausage can be linked to cancer.

Bacon is an incredibly rich and fatty food with a high salt content, which can prove to be too much for a dog’s stomach to handle. 

Eating large amounts of fat can cause pancreatitis, which can be fatal.

The same goes for ham and other processed meats not meant for dogs. Ham has a high salt content, which may cause increased thirst which could lead to a deadly condition called “bloat.” 

Bloat occurs when a dog’s stomach fills up with gas, food, or fluid, making it expand. Due to the high salt content in ham, dogs will become dehydrated and drink an excessive amount of water. 

Here are some diseases that your dog may suffer from due to the consumption of bacon:

  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) which is caused by high levels of sodium nitrate in bacon.
  • Obesity. Bacon is high in calories, so it can easily add on the pounds for your furry friend. Obesity can lead to more serious problems like hypothyroidism and cardiovascular diseases. 

It’s also not recommended to mix your dog’s food with bacon grease because it is high in saturated fats, extremely rich in calories, has no nutritional benefits, and may lead to clogged arteries.

Watch what Donna Vincent has to say about bacon and bacon grease for dogs.

Can Dogs Eat Raw Bacon?

No, even if the bacon you want to give your dog is raw and hasn’t been preserved, it’s still better if you avoid this kind of food for them.

Raw bacon may lead to problems in your dog’s GI tract. It can cause diarrhea, the formation of harmful parasites like Trichinella spiralis larvae, and more.

The infection of Trichinella spiralis will only produce subtle symptoms in dogs:

  • Upset stomach
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Elevated fever
  • Lethargy
  • Muscle inflammation
  • Pain and stiffness

Pets with weaker immune systems will have even more severe symptoms.

Can Dogs Eat Pork?

Pork isn’t necessarily a no-go for your pooch. Plain, cooked, pork is okay. The ingredients we use to make pork flavorful pose potential dangers for their stomachs.

Bacon, ham, and other processed pork are too decadent for them. Even plain, cooked pork with a bit of salt might be dangerous.

Make sure that the fat on the plain, cooked pork is also removed.

This fat is highly difficult for dogs to digest and can be a precursor to some serious stomach upset, particularly due to inflammation and irritation in the pancreas.

Like with any other food, feed your dog a small amount of plain, cooked pork first to see if there’s any reaction.

All dogs are different and certain meats are more likely to cause allergic reactions to certain breeds.

Make sure to portion it out and only give small pieces and a limited amount. Keep a close eye on your dog after feeding them anything that’s outside of their standard diet.

Bacon Alternatives

Why give something to your dog that has short-term and long-term health issues? While dogs are omnivores, there are types of meat that can be harmful to them, one of which is bacon. 

Here are some great bacon alternatives for dogs. 


Chicken is a nutritious and affordable alternative that has more protein and less fat than pork. Most dogs love chicken too. While it does have more benefits there is also one risk for your dog.

Chicken is frequently contaminated with Salmonella bacteria which can make your dog sick. So be sure to cook the chicken thoroughly and never serve it raw. 

Wash your hands after handling raw chicken and disinfect any utensils or surfaces the chicken has touched. 


Turkey is broadly similar to chicken, although it contains less fat. It also tastes different than chicken and is slightly more expensive.

That said, it is certainly a viable choice for your dog’s protein needs. If it works for you and your dog, then have at it.

There are plenty of turkey-based dog foods on the market, so if you want to go the commercial route, you have options. 

We recommend Rachael Ray Nutrish Turkey Dog Food. It uses lean US-farm-raised turkey as the number one ingredient.

In most kibbles, meat barely makes the top ingredient, so we salute Rachael Ray for ensuring that this has no by-product meal, filler, wheat, and other ingredients.


Another bacon-flavored treat we recommend is the Purina Beggin’ Strips. They are simply delicious and nutritious bacon-flavored pork treats with a soft texture for easy chewing.

They sound so good that you know your dog is going to love them. 

These come in a 2.65-pound pack that is resealable to keep the treats fresh.

They are made with real pork as the main ingredient along with grains and natural flavors, giving your dog the good stuff they really want.

Is Raw Bacon Good for Your Dog?

Bacon, whether raw or cooked, can cause substantial long-term damage to your pet. They may have trouble digesting bacon, causing diarrhea, indigestion, and pancreatitis.

Trichinella spiralis larvae and other parasites are found in raw bacon. Don’t try to feed them even a little. While dogs are omnivores, some meats, like bacon, can be harmful to them.

One great alternative to bacon is chicken, which has less fat and more protein. You can also try giving them bacon-flavored treats to keep them satisfied.