If you are one of those who like making a sandwich with bologna meat, you know how delicious this product can be. As a dog owner, you probably share food with your pet, but it can be unclear can dogs eat bologna and whether it is safe to consume.
Additionally, you will want to know the benefits of giving this food to your furry friend and about the possible side effects. Keep in mind that most dogs adore this product, although it has no significant nutritional value. Plus, it can often cause overweight in some breeds. So, be careful!
What Is Bologna?
Bologna meat (mortadella, baloney, bologna sausage) is a thick sausage sprinkled with fat pieces, a blend of spices, peppercorns, cut pistachios, and corn syrup that originated in Bologna, Italy. Nowadays, it is one of the favorite luncheon meat Americans use to make sandwiches.
The USDA regulations require that all cooked sausages in the US, including bologna, need to be reduced to tiny particles. Therefore, bologna is made of meat paste like a hot dog.
The manufacturers usually use cured beef, pork, or chicken leftovers to make this salami. However, it is not a rule. Some varieties are made from the best meat cuts, while others use ligaments, chicken legs, entrails, and other byproducts mixed with a small percentage of meat.
Unfortunately, this tasty food is almost without any nutritious ingredients and high in calories in most cases. Plus, it is modified through the producing processes to enhance its flavor and contains elevated nitrate and sodium levels without many vitamins and minerals.
Can Dogs Eat Bologna Meat?
Technically speaking, bologna is non-toxic for your dog, and it can eat this salami in moderation. The small amount as a treat is tasty, but this product is filled with fats, too much salt, and preservatives, so you should avoid offering it to your buddy daily. In fact, this salami is considered a cheap replacement for meat that is necessary for the canine diet.
Nitrates can be harmful and negatively impact the dog’s liver, kidneys, and stomach when your pet intakes it in a high percentage. There is one more concern. Swallowing plastic bologna casing is potentially dangerous and can cause intestinal blockage.
Do Dogs Like Bologna Meat?
Dogs like meat and their bodies need the proteins it contains. However, our pets are evolved, and they often eat other ingredients. Bologna is some kind of meat and should be beneficial for canines. The problem is not in that part. Additives, nitrates, sodium, and unhealthy fats are actually harmful, so you should protect your dog from them.
Sometimes, dogs are like children and enjoy unhealthy food only because it is tasty. They don’t think about healthy nutrients and their own health. However, you should be a responsible owner and take care of your four-legged friend’s eating habits.
Since bologna meat contains any combination of poultry, turkey, pork, and beef, your dog will adore it. It is not aware of the lack of nutrients in this salami and just wants to enjoy a yummy meal. When you think about it, all the children in the world do the same, right?
Since you know that uncontrolled bologna intake may lead to nausea and vomiting, you should keep this product out of the dog’s reach. You can sometimes share this delicious bite with your buddy, but you should avoid doing it too often. By pretending that bologna is something special, your dog will enjoy it as a treat for good behavior.
Bologna Meat Benefits
Strict critics claim that bologna meat has no benefits for your pet’s health and wellbeing, except for the fact that dogs like eating it and enjoy its taste.
However, this food has a kind of semi-benefit for canines since it is a moderate protein source. In fact, this salami contains more proteins than an egg. They provide the amino acids to the dog’s body, necessary for cells and tissue building.
Still, it is always better to use some other meat as a meat source. When it comes to bologna, it seems that its benefit can’t outweigh the potential side effects it can cause.
Bologna Components Harmful For Dogs
You should consider bologna ingredients and their potentially harmful effect on your dog’s health before including this product in its diet. Yes, it can make your dog sick when it eats this food regularly, especially in larger quantities. Let’s see.
These compounds preserve the cured meat flavor and appealing smell and provide the product with desired pink color. Preservatives also prevent harmful bacteria growth in meat. Unfortunately, nitrates added to processed meat are often harmful to people, but they are even worse for dogs due to their digestive tract size.
Nitrates are also one of the primary causes of severe illnesses in canines, including stomach and bowel cancers. They often cause liver and kidney disease, pancreatitis, and stomach ulcers, as well.
Salt (sodium chloride) is an unavoidable ingredient that improves the bologna flavor. Have you ever heard that processed meats are well-known as salt bombs because of the high level of this mineral? Most salami, including bologna, contain more than 30 mg per slice of 2 g.
Such a salt concentration causes a short-term effect of increased thirst, frequent urination, and bloating. To make matters worse, the long-term salt intake will lead to hypertension and consequential heart disease.
As I have already mentioned, bologna contains high fat and calorie content. Unfortunately, they are not healthy dietary fat beneficial for the dog body, but mostly omega-6 fatty acids that can be hazardous without balancing with omega-3 fatty acids. In most cases, it is low-grade meat, low-quality lard, and lard leftovers no one should eat, including animals.
For ease of comparison, you should know that 2 ounces (57 g) of bologna serving has almost the same amount of fat as a large cup of ice cream. Often consumption will lead to quick weight gain and obesity, followed by heart disease, pancreatitis, and diabetes.
4. Herbs And Spices
Since bologna usually contains the worst meat possible, it is necessary to improve its taste and make it acceptable for consumption. Therefore, its preparation includes various herbs and spices, including onions and garlic, harmful for canines in high amounts.
5. Corn Syrup
Most bologna producers in the US use corn syrup as an additive when producing bologna meat. It improves the meat taste, but remember that it comes from corn starch. In other words, this ingredient increases sugar levels in the dog’s body and usually has undesired consequences, including diabetes and heart disease.
6. BHT (Butylated Hydroxy-Toluene) And BHA (Butylated Hydroxy-Anisole)
These synthetic antioxidants can cause severe health problems in canines. When you feed your pet with processed meats, including bologna, you can expect it to suffer from thyroid, liver, and kidney issues because of the preservative presence. Sometimes, they may harm a dog’s neurological functions or even cause cancer.
Harmful Effects On Dog’s Health
When your goal is to provide a nutrient-dense, healthy diet to your dog, it is better to avoid offering it bologna meat. Results of various studies show that such a product is unacceptable for both people and dogs.
The adverse effects of regular bologna consumption include:
- Causing high blood pressure and kidney problems because of salt content.
- Increased chances of heart disease, cardiovascular disease, and stomach and bowel cancer because of high nitrosamines level.
- Connection to chronic diseases, including COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
- Increased possibility of suffering from diabetes and pancreatitis because of high sugar content.
1. Gastrointestinal Distress
Canines’ stomachs and intestines are not physiologically prepared for such low-quality food as bologna. Since this processed meat type contains too much salt, unhealthy fats, and preservatives, a dog’s digestive system can’t digest it properly.
As a result, your pet will suffer from stomach upset, followed by symptoms like vomiting, stomach pain, and diarrhea. If you don’t change your dog’s diet after the first negative signs, you can expect severe problems. Some of the diseases that affect vital organs can be fatal in the end.
This inflammation type negatively affects the primary pancreas functions, including digestive enzyme secretion and insulin production. That severely disturbs the blood sugar balance in the dog body.
Depending on the form, this condition can be life-threatening for canines, usually followed by symptoms, such as:
- Abdominal pain
Keep in mind that even dogs that recover from pancreatitis often suffer some consequences. Plus, they become prone to this disease later in their lives.
Even though a few pieces of bologna won’t harm your furry friend, avoid offering it this food too often. Some other meat types and treats specially made for canines are a better and healthier choice.
Even though you can offer your dog bologna meat from time to time as a treat, you should avoid using it as a staple in its diet. Unfortunately, this sausage contains some questionable contents that may harm your pet’s health when eaten too often. All in all, keep it away from reach since canines usually adore unhealthy food like most people.