Can Pugs Eat Ham? And Why It’s Bad For Them

You’ve prepared a nice juicy ham sandwich with lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, and pickles and now your Pug is following you around begging for a taste. You’re probably wondering “can Pugs eat ham” and what’s the big deal if I share just a small piece with them. Well, let’s take a look at the type of effects it can have on your four-legged friend.

Can Pugs Eat Ham?

No, ham contains high saturated fat, salt, and preservatives that can cause your dog to pack on extra pounds and lead to health issues. Ham comes from pork, which is known to contain harmful bacteria and prone to parasite infection.

In other words, there are a lot better meats such as salmon to feed your Pug. Let’s take a closer look at the effects of pugs and ham.

can pugs eat ham

Note: This article is written by someone who owned a Pug for 16 years, not a veterinarian, and shouldn’t be a substitute for professional advice. If your Pug has eaten something potentially dangerous or is showing signs of illness, you should contact your vet immediately!

Are There Any Benefits To Feeding Ham To Pugs?

Even though ham is high in protein, there are no benefits to feeding it to your four-legged friend. The high salt content will make your pooch overly thirsty, which can eventually lead to bloat.

A high-quality Pug dog food can ensure that your pooch gets the required protein they need to function properly.

Nutritional Facts

Once slice (1 oz) of raw ham:

  • Cholesterol: 16mg
  • Sodium: 364mg
  • Total Fat: 2.4 grams
  • Protein: 4.6 grams
  • Iron: < 1mg
  • Calcium: 7mg
  • Total Carboyhydrate: 1.1 grams
  • Potassium: 80mg

The high fat content and high sodium level makes it bad for both dogs and humans.

Is Ham Safe For Pugs?

No, market-bought ham is high in salt and contains nitrates (NO3) and nitrites (NO2) which are known to be toxic to dogs.

The Dangers Of Feeding Ham To Your Pug

can dogs eat ham slices
Ham is bad for dogs and can lead to several health related issues.

Regardless of whether a food is good or bad for dogs, there are always dangers of feeding it to your pooch. As mentioned, it is not toxic to dogs, but overfeeding them can cause the following issues for your four-legged friend.

Vomiting and Diarrhea

Every dog is different, but some may begin throwing up in the house after being fed the ham. They may also experience an upset tummy/diarrhea and suffer from bouts of diarrhea.


The high salt content will make your dog thirstier than normal, to the extent that they lose their appetite, won’t react to stimulation, uninterested in normal activities, and excessively groggy.


Due to the high salt content, your dog will drink water more rapidly. This can cause your dog’s stomach to fill rapidly with air and fluid, which can lead to bloat. Although this is more common in giant breed dogs such as Bull Mastiff’s, Labs, Boxers, St. Bernard’s and etc, small dogs like Pugs can be prone to bloat.


Pugs are prone to allergies and may have an allergic reaction to certain hams. If ham doesn’t sit well with your pooch, they may experience an allergic reaction which can consist of itching skin, digestive disturbances, diarrhea, vomiting, lack of energy and etc.


Feeding your Pug too much salty food can lead to pancreatitis overtime. It is a severe condition that can lead to organ damage and even death if left untreated.

Choking Hazards

If your pooch gets a hold of ham bones, they can be a choking hazard and can lead to serious internal injuries. A cooked bone can easily splinter and get lodged in your dog’s stomach or intestines leading to emergency life-saving surgery.


Ham is pork, which means that it comes from pigs. Several types of harmful parasites such as Staphylococcus aureus (staph) and Trichinella spiralis (trichinae) which can be bad for dogs.

Can Pugs Eat Ham Lunch Meat?

No, you should avoid feeding Pugs any type of processed meat which can include bacon, pastrami, salami, ham, bologna, and etc. Processed meat goes through a preserving process of curing, salting, smoking, fermenting, or drying.

Which basically means, that it contains too much salt for your four-legged friend!

Can Pugs Eat Cooked Ham?

can pugs eat cooked ham
Cooked ham may still contain harmful bacteria and salt that is bad for dogs.

Both yes and no. Giving them a small piece of your cooked ham during the holidays shouldn’t cause any harm, as long as you don’t do it every day. Pugs are prone to obesity and foods in high-fat content are generally bad for this breed.

If your pooch is susceptible to heart issues, has diabetes or other health issues, avoid ham at any cost.

Cooking the ham does not completely remove the bacteria.

Can Pugs Eat Canned Ham?

No, canned ham is such as spam can contain up to 7 times more fat than chicken and more salt than deli ham. Even low sodium canned ham is not recommended.

Can Pugs Eat Ham Hock Bones?

ham hocks
ham hock bones should be kept away from your dog.

No, they are still loaded with salt and are bad for your pooch. Ham hocks are part of a pig’s leg and many people use them to add flavor to soups, braises, and other liquid-based dishes.

What Should I Do If My Pug At Some Ham?

Nothing is scarier when you realize that your Pug snuck a bit of something that is known to be bad for them. If you notice your dog snarfing down a piece of ham, don’t panic.

Remember, a small piece won’t kill your dog. Just remember to keep your sandwich, or holiday leftovers away from your pooch.

Just monitor your pooch to ensure they do not have any negative reactions. There’s a good chance that it will just pass through their system and they’ll be fine in a few hours.

That being said, if your dog ate half of the holiday left overs when you weren’t looking, you will want to scoop them up and take them to the 24/7 emergency clinic or your veterinarian. As your dog will likely have some negative reactions.

Your veterinarian will likely begin treatment for salt poisoning, which may include IV fluids, monitoring electrolytes, and checking for brain swelling and dehydration.

The sooner your dog receives medical treatment, the less damage they will suffer!

How Much Ham Can A Pug Have?

is ham safe for pugs
The high protein in ham does not make it a good protein source for your four-legged friend.

Some pet owners are going to feed their dog a piece of ham, especially during the Thanksgiving or Christmas holiday. After all, they are a part of the family and you don’t want to make them feel bad.

If so, make sure you give them a very small sliver of ham the day, just enough for a taste. Don’t give them any of the bones and avoid giving them any of the leftovers.

Never give a Pug puppy any salty foods, not even a taste. A puppy should be fed high quality puppy food or treats to avoid any type of issues.

Alternatives To Ham For Pugs

All dogs love eating ham, but just because they will eat something doesn’t mean that it’s always good for them. As a responsible pet owner, you should know which types of human foods are safe for Pugs.

If you find yourself always giving your Pug a taste of the food you’re eating, then you may want to consider feeding them some of these pet safe foods.

Your dog’s treats should never consume more than 10% of their daily diet. Consult with your veterinarian before adding any type of human food to your Pug’s diet.

Final Word On Feeding Pugs Ham

If your Pug has diabetes or is overweight, you should avoid feeding them ham. However, sharing a small piece of your holiday ham or leftovers shouldn’t hurt your dog.

References And Further Reading

Merck Manual – Micheal Bartel, MD, Fox Chase Cancer Center – Overview of Pancreatitis

Black Pug Site