Is Spam Bad for Dogs & Puppies to Have?
If you have a dog at home, you should know that these animals require a high percentage of protein and moderate percentage of fat in their daily diet. This is the primary reason why you will find that dog foods contain meat products as one of the primary ingredients. This knowledge will help you assume that it is safe to feed Spam to your dog. This is simply because it is mainly made up of meat.
It is true that nobody will blame you for making such a simple assumption. However, it is important that you do not feed Spam to your dog. It may seem a bit confusing to most of you. Nonetheless, there are many others like you in the same boat. Feeding Spam to your dog makes sense, since it contains meat. However, why it is prohibited from feeding to your dog is something that requires detailed analysis.
What Is Spam?
When you talk about Spam, it basically refers to a canned food that is made up of meat. It was extensively used during WWII and it also gained worldwide popularity during those times. Since it is canned, it comes with a long shelf life. This factor makes it a great food during any type of emergency. In this modern era, Spam comes in 15 different flavors. These range from the original flavor to the teriyaki flavor. Although Spam is sold all across the globe, it is largely popular in Hawaii.
Most of you may be wondering about the mystery that surrounds Spam. This canned food mostly contains pork, potato starch and salt. There are just 6 ingredients that make up Spam. Even if your dog is on a limited ingredients diet, Spam sounds like the perfect food for the mutt.
Is It Safe To Give Spam To Dogs?
Although Spam is made up of just 6 different ingredients, it is not at all safe for dogs. It is wise not to feed this canned food to mutts as the risks involved are extremely big. Thankfully, Spam does not contain anything that may prove to be toxic for dogs. To most of you this may seem like a contradictory statement. Feeding Spam to dogs may cause dehydration, diarrhea, vomiting, and fever. It may also contribute to pancreatitis. Spam is also a prime candidate for causing salt poisoning to dogs.
Reasons behind Not Feeding Spam to Your Dog
Although none of the ingredients in Spam can be categorized as toxic for dogs, they are not healthy at all. The real problem arises when it comes to the individual quantities of the different ingredients that are present in Spam. There are some things that are better off in low doses. However, the danger arises when the dose of the ingredient is increased. There are several such items that are present in Spam.
- Excess Amounts of Sodium Content: There is nothing surprising about the fact that Spam comes with a pretty high sodium content. Do not forget that it is a canned meat and is supposed to come with up to five years of shelf life. Tus, it is bound to contain a high dose of sodium. However, how much sodium is actually present in Spam? A single serving of this canned food is approximately 2 ounces. That 2 ounces of servings contain about 790mg of sodium. A single can of Spam comes with around 6 such servings. That means, there is around 4,740mg of sodium in a single can of Spam. Although sodium is vital for all types of dogs to lead a healthy lifestyle, excess doses of the mineral may easily dehydrate the poor animal. It may also lead to sodium poisoning if consumed too often.
- High Quantities of Fat: Each serving of Spam, which is roughly 2 ounces of the food, comes with 16gm of fat. This means that a single can of the food comes with around 96gm of fat that also contains 36gm of saturated fat. It is true that dogs need to have fats and it is not bad for them to have them. However, excessive amounts of fat may give rise to several adverse effects in dogs. For example, dogs may gain weight rapidly if they are given excessive amounts of fat. This may eventually lead to obesity that may be the cause of several types of health diseases. It is also true that high-fat diets are linked to pancreatitis in dogs.
- Preservatives and Nitrates: It is generally recommended not to feed such foods to dogs that contain preservatives and nitrates. These are unhealthy for humans, let alone dogs. Somehow, the human system has gotten used to such ingredients with time. Unfortunately, dogs are not so fortunate. Too much preservatives and nitrates for dogs may lead to sickness and their digestive system will also have to fight it out with additives. The end result may be diarrhea, vomiting, and a weak immunity.
- Flavorings: It is already dangerous to feed the regular Spam to dogs. However, this canned food is now available in 15 different flavorings. This means that there are additional chemicals in the food that makes it more toxic and dangerous for pooches. Take the garlic-flavored Spam for example. Garlic in its normal form is toxic for dogs. The flavorings used in the Spam will be more toxic. The end result will be severe adverse reactions in your mutt.
Dangers of Giving Spam to Dogs
Spam contains several components that may cause some undesirable health problems in dogs. Some of these are discussed below.
- Obesity: As mentioned earlier, Spam comes with a high percentage of fat and calories. Feeding such foods to dogs will result in an obese dog that will give rise to health issues, such as joint aches and heart ailments.
- Dehydration: Consumption of excess sodium leads to dehydration in dogs. The high percentage of sodium in Spams makes it a prime candidate for causing dehydrating. This will eventually lead to vomiting, diarrhea, reduced energy levels, and thick, sticky saliva.