Summer sausage, just like any kind of sausage, is made with a blend of spices to taste the meat. If you make it at home, it is very likely to be free from all the chemicals and artificial preservatives. However, even homemade summer sausage can be harmful to dogs. But, can dogs eat summer sausage?
Summer sausage is not toxic, but your dog does not need to eat it because it is not as nourishing as regular dog food. Summer sausage is very high in salt and fat. Plus, it is made with different kinds of spices that can give your dog stomach pain. Or, it might have garlic or onion powder which are lethal for canines.
Homemade summer sausages might be free from all the extra added carbs, grains, and sugar. But it does not change the fact that it is still made with fatty beef and seasonings. It is not something that your dog needs to eat. Sticking with regular dog food is what your dog is craving, trust us.
We do not recommend offering summer sausage to dogs because of its high sodium and fat levels in addition to the seasonings used. If your dog regularly eats summer sausages, he is likely to get severe digestive issues, pancreatitis, kidney damage, or salt poisoning.
Nutritional Value of Summer Sausage
Summer sausages are a tradition in America where you can buy or make your own sausages without storing them in a chill place. It can be made with a mix or meat options such as pork, beef, or venison. You can have dried or smoked summer sausage, so the options vary greatly.
Curing salt is used in almost all kinds of summer sausage. As a seasoning, generally, mustard seeds, black pepper, garlic salt, or sugar is used.
As a tradition, summer sausage is fermented with a low pH so that bacteria cannot grow on it and it lasts for a good time. So, the taste might be a little bit tangy. The distinctive flavor can be replicated using citric acid as a substitute to keep bacteria fermenting the mixture.
Summer Sausages are made with mixing ground beef with curing salt. This mixture gets refrigerated overnight and seasoned the day after. The seasonings used are generally garlic salt, black pepper, mustard seeds, or sugar. All of the ingredients are mixed until they are well combined.
After that, the mixture goes into the oven, and it is baked for a long time. That is how this delicious sausage is made. 2 oz of summer sausage typically contains 200 calories. 150 calories of it come from fat, which is a really high amount.
Why are Summer Sausages Bad For Dogs?
Summer sausage is bad for dogs because of its high fat and salt content. Other concerns for dogs are the seasonings used in it.
The small amount of garlic powder used in summer sausages might be not very harmful to your dog. However, you cannot know how much garlic salt was used in the store-bought summer sausage. Also, if your dog has a sensitive stomach, even the tiniest bit of it can cause discomfort to your dog.
Garlic powder can cause poisoning in dogs. It was once used as a remedy for people, but it is deadly for dogs. It might be good for us, but dogs are not us. It is a fact that garlic and other allium family members like onions include thiosulfate that is actually poisonous to dogs.
Thiosulfate is the reason why blood cells in dogs get oxidative damage when eaten. This situation results in hemolytic anemia in dogs. If your dog has hemolytic anemia, look for the symptoms such as pale drooling, rapid respiration, fatigue, exhaustion, anemia, and dark urine.
Other symptoms of garlic poisoning in dogs are gastrointestinal discomfort involving vomiting, diarrhea, decreased appetite, pain in the abdomen, fatigue, and thirst.
Black pepper is another seasoning that is used in summer sausages. Although it is commonly accepted that a small amount of black pepper is appropriate for dogs, massive volumes of black pepper can cause stomach discomfort.
It does not mean that you can feed your dog summer sausages just because it is safe for dogs to eat a low amount of black pepper. Because trust us, summer sausages are made with a lot of them! Black pepper also has a powerful smell, which might cause an uncomfortable sensation in a dog’s nose, which would make him sneeze a lot.
Artificial preservatives, colors, and flavors that can be present in summer sausages pose a risk for dogs. The preservatives called BHA, BHT, and ethoxyquin are the most dangerous of them all for dogs. These can induce or trigger allergies, and may even be cancerous. Check out natural products like rosemary or vitamin E.
A lot of cheap store products contain artificial coloring to make the product look good, smell amazing, and taste better than homemade ones. Check for artificial colorings in the ingredient’s list of the summer sausage you are planning to give to your dog.
You can also sometimes tell whether the product has artificial colors just by looking at it. Unrealistic pinks and reds are a sign that the food contains artificial colors, especially for the case of sausages and salamis. Checking labels are also important.
Conclusion: Can Dogs Eat Summer Sausage?
You might be feeling tempted to share some fantastic summer sausage you just bought or made yourself with your dog. But should you? We do not recommend feeding summer sausages to your dog because of this product’s high salt and fat content.
Let’s not forget summer sausages are also made with lots of seasoning that dogs are not supposed to eat. Garlic powder and onion powder are toxic for dogs and should not be fed intentionally.
If your dog is having a hard time after eating summer sausages such as having diarrhea, dehydration, or vomiting, you should take him to the vet immediately.