Salami can be a very tempting sight for your dog, and its shape and texture can entice your dog into having a bite right away. You might be worried about its health effects on your dog because you only want the best for it. Salami is not a conventional treat, and the dogs cannot eat salami because of the addition of garlic, seasoning, pork, and red wine.
For all these reasons, the safety and dangers of salami to dogs have been detailed below.
To make salami, producers usually use a combination of the following ingredients;
- Pork fat
- Lactic acid starter culture (optional)
- Dextrose/sugar (optional)
- Sodium Nitrate (optional)
- Various spices (usual)
You might also like our recent post on dog combs that is available on a separate page.
Nutritional Profile of Salami
Salami like most fish meat is high in fat and salt contents. However, there are different types of salami and their safety and hazards can vary greatly. Some of the common Salami types are individually discussed below, but before that have a look at the nutritional profile of salami:
Nutritional profile of salami per 100 grams
- Calories 407 kcal
- Carbohydrate 1.6 g
- Fat 33.7 g
- Saturated Fat 11.9 g
- Monounsaturated Fat 16.0 g
- Polyunsaturated Fat 3.7 g
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids 280 mg
- Omega-6 Fatty Acids 3270 mg
- Protein 22.6 g
The main contents of a Genoa Salami are red wine and pork. Both ingredients are unhealthy for dogs and can lead to serious health consequences if consumed for a prolonged period.
- Red Wine – Red wine makes up only a small amount of this salami. But, because dogs cannot tolerate any alcohol amount, it is best to avoid giving Genoa Salami to your dog completely. Red wine can cause vomiting and diarrhea. It has the same effect on dogs as on humans. They can also get “drunk” much like humans and start to feel very disoriented. This is more dangerous for small dogs as they can get disoriented more easily because of their lower alcohol tolerance.
- Pork – Similar to the most common Salami, Genoa Salami contains pork. It is one of the most unhealthy meats you can give to a dog. Pork’s high levels of fat and salt make it a very unhealthy food for dogs. This type of salami should be especially avoided if your dog is old and also if it is diabetic or obese. Pork in salami will only worsen its health problems.
Processed and canned food is manufactured with human consumption in mind and is not dog-friendly in any way. Store-bought salami is highly processed and contains artificial flavorings and additives that your dog’s body cannot digest properly.
They can also have other toxic ingredients such as Herbs, Spices, or Garlic that are infamous for causing vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy in dogs.
Harmful Ingredients in Processed Salami
- Nitrates – Processed Salami often contains nitrates that are needed to increase its shelf-life. Nitrates can be very dangerous to dogs. It is harmful to the digestive system, and dogs cannot process them.
- Sulfate Based Preservatives – Another common preservative used in processed Salami is Sulphate-based preservatives. Studies have found that dogs fed a diet with high levels of sulphate preservatives often develop Thiamine Deficiency. Thiamine deficiency in dogs can have painful symptoms such as continual vomiting, loss of appetite, and overall weight loss.
In conclusion, processed salami should not be given to dogs in any amount because of their unhealthy seasonings and additives.
Best option: Salami Slices
If you must give your dog salami, the best option is to give it Salami slices rather than bigger chunks of it. This ensures that your dog does not consume too much of the fats and salts that can cause a stomach upset and dehydration.
Salami is only safe for consumption as a once in a while treat, and they should be completely avoided as part of a dog’s daily diet.
Why is Salami Dangerous for Dogs?
Dogs and specifically small puppies cannot tolerate a high amount of sodium in their body. Salami is about 70 percent sodium per 100 grams of serving. This makes it a very unsuitable snack for dogs as the sodium levels are beyond the recommended sodium intake.
The high amount of sodium can cause severe dehydration in dogs, and they can also be at risk of salt poisoning. Salt poisoning happens when dogs consume more salt than what their body can digest, and this results in disorientation in them.
They may remain at low energy levels throughout the day and may also feel a loss of appetite.
Give your pup enough water to drink after they eat salami. This will help it deal with the excessive levels of sodium in their stomach.
High Levels of Fat
Only a single slice of salami (26g) is 25% fats and the remaining content is saturated fats and calories that your dog does not need. This is beyond the recommended fat intake in a dog’s diet. A dog’s diet with more than 20% fat is considered unhealthy and problematic by most experts. 10-17 percent of the fat is the maximum recommended intake for most average sized dogs.
High-fat foods cause pancreatitis in dogs, which is a long-term disease that can lead to pancreas inflammation. The condition can be very challenging to deal with and causes great discomfort to your dog.
High-levels of fats in the body cannot be dissolved in a dog’s body quickly and therefore make your dog obese, which further puts it at a higher risk for heart disease and diabetes.
Salami does not make a very delicious meal without seasonings and spices. They are mostly garnished and cooked with seasonings that contain all types of herbs and spices. These can harm your dog’s stomach and also make defecation painful for it.
The seasonings can also be made up of garlic and onion, which is well-known for causing gastrointestinal issues. They also contain the chemical thiosulfate, which is responsible for causing anemia in dogs.
Can Elderly Dogs Have Salami?
Be cautious while feeding salami to a small puppy or an elderly dog. Elderly dogs already remain at a high risk of heart and kidney disease, and they might also have to combat high blood pressure. Salami can heighten all these risk factors as excessive fat levels can put your elderly dog at a higher risk of heart disease, and high levels of salt can increase his blood pressure.
Therefore, when it comes to feeding salami to your elderly dogs, it is best to avoid it at all costs. You can replace salami with more dog-friendly meats such as Chicken or Lean beef.
They have lower levels of salt and fat, which makes them a preferable meal for dogs.
Does Salami Have Any Nutritional Value for Dogs?
Salami is only good for a dog as a once in a while treat, and you cannot expect any important health benefits from this food. Because it is meat, people tend to believe it is high in proteins and vitamins.
However, this is not the case as 100 grams of salami only holds 22 grams of protein, while the remaining content is mostly unhealthy fats and calories that your dog’s body does not need.
The excessive levels of fat offset any health benefits that can be derived from the food.
Moreover, salami does not have any significant amount of needed vitamins for healthy development and nourishment of dogs, such as Vitamin A, B, B12, or Vitamin E. Other meats such as Chicken, Turkey, Salmon, or Whitefish offer a more balanced nutritional value than salami.
Alternatives to Salami
Dogs should not eat salami, and if your dog can’t resist its appetizing smell or texture, you can consider a few alternative types of meat similar to it. Below are some of the dog-friendly alternatives to salami:
- Chicken: You can safely give boiled pieces of chicken to your dog. It is boiled chicken safe for dogs and a very good source of nutrition for it. Chickens are high in protein and Omega-6 fatty acids, which help improve your dog’s bone and skin health.
- Lean Beef: Lean beef can be very beneficial for a dog’s health and nourishment. This beef can be an especially good choice for small puppies, and elderly dogs as high iron levels in the meat strengthen their immune system and protect them against infections and diseases. Like chicken, it is also high in protein content, making it an overall nutrition-packed food for dogs.
The final answer is No; Salami is best avoided completely and not given to your dog in any amount. It does not offer any nutritional value or even serves as a convenient dog treat. Even when you believe you have found the healthiest and safest salami for your dog, it can still contain hidden ingredients such as red wine or garlic that can intoxicate your dog.
Salami’s most common types are unhealthy for dogs, and it is highly unlikely to find salami free from preservatives or pork. Even Salami made with beef can have an unhealthy amount of pork combined with it, which makes it unsuitable.
Salami can cause long-term health problems such as obesity, heart and kidney diseases, and a high blood pressure level.
Therefore, it is not safe food for your dog.