Dogs love to snack on anything they can find lying around: leftover bones, food scraps from the trash bin, socks… whatever you can think of! Has your dog taken a bite out of chorizo and you’re wondering whether it’s safe for them or not?
In this article, we will talk about what chorizo is, and whether it’s safe for dogs to consume!
Is Chorizo Safe for Dogs?
To quickly answer your question, dogs shouldn’t eat chorizo. The reason for this is that chorizo has too much fat, salt, and toxic seasonings like garlic and paprika.
All in all, chorizo isn’t the healthiest snack option for your dog. Moreover, if the chorizo is contaminated or undercooked, it can cause trichinosis, a parasite infection that can also be transmitted to people.
What Is Chorizo Made Out Of?
Chorizo contains pork fat and pork meat. Some seasonings that are often used for the meat include paprika, garlic, and onion powder. Chorizo is made by grounding the meat and then putting it inside the guts.
In order to understand why dogs can’t eat chorizo, you need to understand how the seasoning can influence your dog’s well-being. Below, we’re going to go through the main seasonings used for chorizo and their possible effects on dogs.
When making chorizo, one of the main ingredients that are used is paprika. Even though it adds a lot of flavor to the chorizo, paprika can cause irritation to the dog’s skin. Besides skin irritation, paprika can cause diarrhea, stomach problems, and gastrointestinal irritation in dogs.
Onion seasoning is definitely one of the seasonings that makes chorizo not appropriate for dogs. Thiosulphate can be found in onions, which can be the cause of heinz body anemia. This disease can make your dog sick by destroying its blood cells.
Thiosulphate can also be found in garlic and has the same harmful effects on dogs as onion powder does. The only difference is that your dog needs to eat a huge amount of garlic to get sick, which isn’t the case with onions.
While seasoning chorizo, manufacturers typically use salt to improve its taste. Even though the shelf life of the product is extended thanks to salt, it’s not all that good for your dog.
Salt consists of sodium, which is required by the human body in order to relax and contract muscles, conduct nerve impulses, and maintain the proper balance of minerals and water. Both for humans and dogs, a small amount of sodium is good for health.
However, the daily consumption limit for salt that dogs and humans have is very different. Even though the salt won’t harm your dog, it can still create problems for their health. The blood pressure of your dog can be raised as a result of salt, which in turn can affect their kidney and heart functions.
Why Is Chorizo Harmful?
As we mentioned earlier, the seasoning is mainly to blame for why chorizo isn’t appropriate for dogs, since it can cause abdominal pain in your dog and other health issues.
Besides the seasoning which we just covered, one of the other reasons why chorizo is bad for dogs is the fact that it contains pork. Even though your dog’s health won’t be affected by the pork, the high content of fat can cause issues in your dog, such as pancreatitis.
Pancreatitis is when the pancreas of the dog becomes inflamed. Symptoms that can indicate pancreatitis include abdominal pain, diarrhea, lethargy, fever, vomiting, nausea, and decreased appetite.
What If My Dog Eats Chorizo?
If the chorizo is contaminated or undercooked, it can be the cause of many health issues in your dog. If your dog has eaten undercooked or contaminated chorizo, you might notice some or all of the following symptoms:
- Upset stomach
Moreover, the excessive amount of salt in this product can cause sodium iron poisoning in your dog. The least dangerous symptoms are excessive thirst and urination. Other than these, your dog can experience cramps, high body temperature, vomiting, and swelling.
If your dog eats a small amount of chorizo that you accidentally dropped on the floor, it shouldn’t be a big problem. The reaction of your dog will depend on its age and the amount of chorizo it consumed. Nevertheless, you should offer your dog some water if you see any changes in their behavior because the chorizo might have had a high salt concentration.
When Should You Go to the Vet?
If your dog ate chorizo, a bad reaction could definitely follow. Diarrhea, swelling, and vomiting are some of the reactions that might appear if your dog has eaten a large amount of chorizo. You should offer your dog water if you start to notice them feeling sick.
If the symptoms continue, you can try to clear out their stomach by offering them white rice and boneless, skinless boiled chicken. One thing you need to make sure of is that the rice and the chicken don’t have any seasoning in them. Keep feeding this same food to your dog for about three days, and their stomach should get clean.
Once you get rid of the symptoms we mentioned, you can start feeding your dog their regular diet. However, if the symptoms still appear after three days, you should visit your vet.
Make sure that you think about the well-being and health of your dog, and how much that overshadows the brief joy of eating chorizo. Even if we have difficulties controlling our own binge eating and cravings, we are in control of the food that our dogs consume.
Once you start feeding them healthier snacks such as bananas, apples, celery, or carrots, they will learn to love the taste of these safe and nutritious treats and snacks!