Can dogs eat bacon?

Updated 19 April 2024
Read time: 5 mins
article author
Written by Corinne Homer
article author
Reviewed by Dr. Linda Simon
Team Vet

No, dogs shouldn’t eat bacon (sorry pooches of the world). It's not advised even as a treat because bacon is very fatty with sky-high salt content.

Yes, we know it’s delicious, and dogs love it just as much as we humans do, but there are alternative meaty treats that you can feed to your ravenous dog without the guilt or risks (read to the end!). 

Read on for all your questions answered on whether bacon is bad for dogs, what the health risks are, and what to feed your dog instead of bacon. 

Is bacon bad for dogs?

It kind of is, yes. Bacon is basically a cured, processed meat full of fat and salt - a treat for humans, so definitely detrimental to a dog’s health. The high salt content means it could dehydrate dogs or cause toxicity over time; while the high fat content could lead to weight gain or cause havoc to dogs with diabetes or pancreatitis. 

Are there any health benefits?

No, not really. Though there is some protein present in bacon as it’s sourced from pork, it’s not really enough to offset the amount of fat and salt - especially for dogs, who have a more delicate digestive system than humans.

Can puppies eat bacon?

No, puppies shouldn’t eat bacon. Puppies need lots of protein-rich, nutritious foods as they’re growing so much during this early stage of life - bacon will just cause discomfort in their tiny tummies. 

When is bacon unsafe for dogs?

  • Bacon isn’t toxic to dogs, so it won’t poison them if they snaffle a piece off your plate when you aren’t looking. That said, it's unsuitable for dogs even as a treat - the salt and fat content is simply too high, so in that respect it’s always unsafe. 
  • If your dog’s eaten a lot of bacon, keep an eye on them. They’ll likely be sick or experience diarrhoea, but if they experience any dodgy symptoms to the extreme, take them to a vet straight away. 
  • If your pooch has a health condition such as pancreatitis, or a heart condition, it’s very risky to feed them bacon.


Can dogs be allergic to bacon?

There’s a chance your dog might be allergic to bacon. If they’ve eaten some bacon and you’re unsure how they might react, keep an eye out for the following symptoms:

  • Reddening, rashing, itchy skin
  • Diarrhoea and/or vomiting
  • Wheezing, difficulty breathing
  • Bloating, stomach pain
  • Lethargy, changes in behaviour 

Can bacon make dogs sick?

Yes, bacon can make dogs unwell. It’s so high in salt and fat, that it could cause real digestive issues in your pooch if fed regularly. Feeding your dog foods that are so high in fat could cause acute pancreatitis, diabetes, and not to mention weight gain and lethargy. 

Look out for signs of pancreatitis in your dog, which they may get from eating too many fatty foods: 

  • Lethargy, low energy
  • Dehydration
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Hunched back
  • Fever

How much bacon is safe to give your dog?

If your pooch sneaks a piece of bacon from your plate, it probably won’t cause them harm, but that’s really the only time they should eat bacon. Don’t feed it to them as an intentional treat, there are lots of other nutritious meaty treats they could eat instead (see later in article).

Can dogs eat bacon every day?

Nope - do not feed bacon to your dog daily. Bacon isn’t a good choice for a dog’s diet, whether a treat or otherwise, and feeding them bacon daily isn’t a good idea as it’ll lead to weight gain, illnesses such as pancreatitis, and even sodium toxicity. 

What kind of bacon can dogs eat?

We advise against feeding your pooch any greasy bacon - but you might have specifics to consider! Here are the answers to some more bacon-based questions.

Can dogs eat raw bacon?

No - raw meat carries a higher risk to dogs than cooked meats, as they’re more likely to become contaminated or carry harmful bacteria. That said, bacon isn’t great for dogs even when cooked, because of its high salt and fat content.

Can dogs eat cooked bacon i.e boiled or fried?

Bacon won’t harm a dog if they’ve sneakily eaten a piece, but it’s also not recommended as a food for your dog, however it’s cooked. Choose a lean protein that’s lower in fat and salt, such as chicken or turkey.

Can dogs eat bacon fat/rind?

No - don’t feed bacon fat or rind to a dog. It’s obviously very high fat (that’s all it is!) so has zero nutritional value and could lead to tummy issues and weight gain in your pooch. These high fat foods are also dangerous for dogs who have pancreatitis, or are prone to it. 

Can dogs eat smoked bacon?

No - don’t feed smoked bacon to pooches. All kinds of bacon are very high in salt and fat, and as a cured/processed meat it has little nutritional benefit to your pooch. Keep the bacon for your own butties, and feed your pooch some lean, protein-rich meats instead.

Can dogs eat turkey bacon?

Turkey bacon is slightly healthier than pork bacon for dogs, but as it’s a cured meat it still contains high fat and salt. Feed your pooch some healthy meaty dog treats instead.


The final word on bacon - it’s a no for dogs! We know they find it delicious, but it’s very high in salt and fat, therefore detrimental to their health - and contains little nutritional value. If your dog steals a piece of bacon it’s unlikely to harm them, but don’t feed it to your pooch intentionally. 

What other foods can dogs safely eat? 

If you want your dog to have a tasty meat treat, keep them away from bacon and try one of these alternatives instead… 

Beef Jerky for dogs - packed with protein and deliciously meaty, without the high fat content.

Meaty Treats for dogs - infused with meats such as turkey or duck, as well as gut-friendly probiotics. 

Grain-free dog food with chicken - a tasty, well-rounded meal full of nutritious lean proteins that are great for digestion.

Our full range of nutritious grain-free dog food, healthy dog treats and supplements for dogs are packed with natural ingredients, designed to boost your dog’s body and mind.

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