Can Dogs Eat Chorizo?

March 13, 2022by DOGuide0

If you’re about to give your dog chorizo or you’ve been giving it and now ask the question: Can dogs eat chorizo? we have the answer for you.

Can Dogs Eat Chorizo?

Yes, dogs can eat chorizo, but is chorizo bad for dogs? Yes, chorizo is bad for dogs because it is high in fat and salt, which can cause pancreatitis and other medical issues. Learning all the reasons dogs can’t eat chorizo can help you understand why it can be so detrimental to their health.

Why Dogs Can’t Eat Chorizo

Chorizo is a sausage made in Mexico, Spain, and Portugal. They come in a casing and are usually made out of pork meat with several spices with added pork fat. It’s not the healthiest food for humans and it’s even more unhealthy for your pup.

Chorizo is high in:

  • Fat
  • Salt
  • Spices

The other problem is that Mexican chorizo comes raw or undercooked, which makes it highly toxic to dogs.

How Fatty Foods Affect a Dog’s Health

Dogs can have a difficult time digesting foods with high-fat content, such as chorizo. Mexican chorizo is often infused with additional pork fat to give it more flavor, which can be a double whammy for a dog. As the digestive tract works on processing the fat, the pancreas can become inflamed. Inflammation of the pancreas is pancreatitis.

While all breeds can suffer from pancreatitis, certain breeds are more susceptible to it. Those breeds are:

  • Miniature Schnauzer
  • Miniature Poodle
  • Cocker Spaniel

Pancreatitis is life-threatening. If your pup begins to exhibit the signs of pancreatitis, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible. The American Kennel Association identifies these signs to look for:

  • Hunched back
  • Repeated vomiting (either several times within a few hours or periodically over several days)
  • Pain or distention of the abdomen (dog appears uncomfortable or bloated)
  • Diarrhea (Read: When Is Dog Diarrhea an Emergency?)
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dehydration
  • Weakness/lethargy
  • Fever

dog chorizo

High Salt Intake in Dogs

Dogs do not process salt well. Too much salt can cause mild to serious health problems, such as:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle Tremors
  • Incoordination
  • Seizures

Water can reduce the risk of toxicity of salt in dogs, but it doesn’t prevent health issues completely. Refrain from giving your dog any foods with high salt content, like chorizo.

Undercooked or Raw Pork

Undercooked or raw pork is dangerous for dogs. It can contain trichinella parasites that cause a parasite infection. Symptoms of a parasite infection include:

  • Pain
  • Vomiting
  • Upset Stomach
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy

Spanish chorizo is cured and smoked, so it’s a safer option than Mexican chorizo. Mexican chorizo is usually uncured and either raw or undercooked. Even small amounts of contaminated pork can cause a dog’s stomach to become upset. For the sake of your dog’s health, don’t take the risk.

Sidenote: Dog owners who feed their pups raw food often includes raw pork in their diet. So, how is it that they don’t get sick? Raw pork should be frozen for at least 3 weeks before feeding to a dog. Freezing rids the pork of the parasite, which makes it safe to consume raw. Learn more about raw food for your dog here: Health Benefits of Raw Dog Food

Spicy Seasonings for Dogs

Mexican chorizo is usually made with vinegar and chile peppers, which are both aggravating to a dog’s stomach. Spanish chorizo isn’t any better, as it has garlic powder or garlic, white wine, and pimentón, which are all toxic to a dog.

BBQ sauce is another spice that can cause your dog a lot of discomfort. It’s high in salt and flavored with garlic and onion. Garlic and onions can cause a condition called Heinz body anemia, which affects a dog’s red blood cells. This condition is life-threatening and the veterinarian should be contacted immediately if a pup seems sick after ingesting anything with garlic or onion.

It’s also important to know that some BBQ sauces have nutmeg in them, which is also another spice to keep from your pet.

Arguments Against the Risks of Chorizo to Dogs

Pet owners who believe chorizo is okay for dogs may bring up the following arguments:

Cooked Chorizo Won’t Make a Dog Sick

Cooked chorizo is better for dogs, but it’s still not good for them. While the risks of eating undercooked or raw pork are eliminated, it still has high-fat content, salt, and ingredients like onion powder, garlic powder, garlic, etc. All of it can cause stomach problems and gastrointestinal irritation.

Chorizo is a Good Source of Protein

Some pet owners will argue that chorizo is made from pork, which is a good source of protein. Unfortunately, the high levels of fat and salt negate the protein benefit.

sausage and dogs

Hot Dogs and Sausages

Is chorizo better or worse than hot dogs and sausage? They are all the same. All of them have higher than the recommended amount of fat and salt dogs should have in their diet. In addition, hot dogs and sausages are mixed with many other ingredients. Those ingredients can lead to stomach problems and some dogs may even suffer from skin irritation due to an allergic reaction.

Frequently Ask Questions About Dogs and Chorizo

The following questions relate to the main topic of this article – can dogs eat chorizo?

What Should You Do If Your Dog Eats Chorizo?

Good news! If your dog eats chorizo, you don’t have to do anything at all. Chorizo is safe for dogs.  Just don’t make giving your dog chorizo a habit. Eating chorizo one time shouldn’t hurt your pup unless he/she has a food allergy to one of the ingredients in it. If your dog gets sick from eating it, never hesitate to contact your vet OR you can turn to an online virtual vet for just $5. Here’s the link to sign up.

Can Dogs Eat Chorizo and Eggs?

Another common question dog owners have is: “Can dogs have chorizo and eggs?” While plain eggs are good for dogs to eat, the chorizo in the eggs isn’t healthy. It’s best to leave chorizo out of the eggs.

Can Chorizo Kill Dogs?

Chorizo can kill dogs indirectly if fed in large quantities over time. Chorizo by itself won’t kill a dog, but the salt, fat, and some of the ingredients in it can lead to serious medical problems that could shorten a dog’s lifespan.

Are Dogs Allowed Chorizo?

There’s no law against giving your dog chorizo. The real question is: is chorizo good for dogs? The answer to that question is no. It’s unhealthy and can cause serious medical issues.

Summary: Can Dogs Eat Chorizo?

Now, you know the answer to “Can dogs have chorizo?” Chorizo, hot dogs, and sausages are all very yummy foods for a human and furry friend, but that yumminess comes with serious risks. Just like humans, our furry friends need a healthy diet that consists of healthy protein from recommended sources, like plain chicken, pork, lamb, and fish. Added ingredients may make food taste better, but they are not part of a healthy diet, especially for dogs.

Always avoid giving your dog high-fat foods, especially those with a high level of salt. Small amounts of cooked chorizo may seem like it’s okay for a special treat, but it can cause long-term problems.

At Dog Ownership Guide, we believe Happy Dogs ~ Happy Owners. That means keeping our dogs happy in a healthy way. Choose a recommended source of food and treats for your dog. Chorizo is less of a risk for humans in small quantities, so keep it to yourself.

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