Sometimes, when it comes to our dogs, we are looking for a shortcut- we want to provide them with the best nutrition possible but we want to spend as little time as possible feeding them!
At other times with our dogs, we want to use them as machines that reduce the amount of waste that we create- objects that we we can feed scraps of food to.
Te question of whether we can or should feed raw sausages to our dogs covers both of these issues.
After all feeding raw sausages to our dogs takes less time and creates less mess than feeding them cooked sausages.
And what about those raw sausages that have been sitting in the fridge a day or two longer than we feel comfortable using?
Can they be fed to our “best friends”?
Let’s find out…
What Are The Most Common Meats Used In Sausage?
The most common meats used to make sausages are pork, beef, and turkey. When these meats are lean and cooked correctly, they are a great source of protein and vitamins for your dog.
However, all three of these meats come with their own potential problems for dogs, especially when eaten raw.
So, it is often recommended by veterinarians that dogs do not eat raw meat.
Although this is debated amongst experts, it’s best to not take any risks if you want your dog to be as healthy as possible.
What Are The Dangers Of A Dog Eating Raw Meat?
It’s generally believed that dogs should not eat raw meat because it puts them at risk of a number of harmful bacteria and parasites, all of which can make your dog severely ill.
If your dog has accidentally eaten a small amount of raw sausage, then they will probably be fine. But, it’s always best to keep an eye on them for any developing signs of sickness.
Raw pork is renowned for containing trichinella spiralis larvae which can lead to infections like trichinosis.
Symptoms can include diarrhoea, vomiting, and fevers.
Although your dog is unlikely to die from this infection, it will put your dog through unnecessary illness and stress.
So, it’s always recommended to avoid feeding your dog anything that contains raw pork.
Raw beef and turkey are similarly dangerous for dogs because they can lead to food poisoning and salmonella, especially in ground meats.
Again, symptoms involve diarrhoea and vomiting as well as loss of appetite and tiredness.
Lean cuts of beef, pork, and turkey are full of protein.
Increasingly, some experts are experimenting with the idea that eating raw meats can be a positive for your dog as it mimics the diet of wild canines.
Yet, it’s always best to contact your vet first before giving your dog any new foods, especially raw meat as it’s better not to take any risks to ensure your dog’s safety.
How Might Eating Raw Smoked Sausage Affect Your Dog?
Although cooked smoked sausage isn’t technically toxic to your dog, it often contains an unhealthy amount of salt and fat.
When eaten very regularly, too much salt in these sausages could make your dog extremely thirsty which can lead to sodium ion poisoning, bloating, and even death.
Symptoms of too much salt intake in dogs include being sick, diarrhoea, depression, seizures, and high temperatures.
Plus, high-fat diets are not good for dogs because they can lead to a variety of issues like pancreatitis.
So, you should resist giving your pooch smoked sausages in order to keep them from developing health problems over time.
This can help reduce simple issues like weight gain which may lead to more severe illnesses like diabetes or joint problems.
Why Might Seasoned Sausages (Such As Italian or Summer) Be Dangerous To Feed Your Dog?
Alongside all of the issues listed above, although the seasonings used to make sausages taste great for humans, they are extremely toxic to dogs.
Onions and garlic are two of the main ingredients used within sausages which when eaten in any form by dogs can lead to serious illnesses.
This includes eating them raw, cooked, the leaves or plants, and processed powders.
Depending on the recipe, some homemade sausages can contain whole large onions per batch. Onion toxicity is so bad for dogs because it causes damage to their red blood cells, tricking the dog’s body into thinking its own red blood cells are an invader.
This means your dog’s body will begin to destroy its own red blood cells resulting in haemolytic anaemia.
Symptoms can include lethargy, decreased appetites, fainting, pale gums, and changes to urine colour.
Similarly, in homemade sausages, there can be up to a whole head of garlic per batch.
Garlic and alliums in general including onions, leeks, and chives can all cause major gastrointestinal issues.
What Is The Safest Raw Meat Sausage To Feed Your Dog And Why?
No matter what the meat, raw sausages are a potentially dangerous snack for your dog. So, the safest way to feed a dog raw meat sausage is to only give them a tiny bite-sized chunk.
This will ensure that their body will not be overwhelmed with fighting off a lot of harmful bacteria and will give them the best chance at staying healthy, reducing their risk of becoming ill. Raw pork is probably the most harmful, yet beef and turkey can also induce food poisoning in dogs.
What Nutrition Is In A Raw Pork Sausage?
A bun-sized pork sausage contains around 244 calories, 20 grams of fat, and approximately 6.6 grams of saturated fats. Fats should only make up around 12-20% of a dog’s diet. So, for their nutritional benefit and to ensure that they don’t become overweight, it’s best to avoid feeding your dog sausages in any form.
Raw pork sausages contain over 611mg of sodium. It is recommended for a dog weighing around 33lb that only 100mg of sodium a day is in their diet. Although an average human can take around 2400mg a day (around 6 grams of salt), we obviously have very different tolerances than our furry friends.
Again, both smoked and raw pork sausages can contribute to sodium ion poisoning. This is a severe condition that will also destroy brain cells due to dehydration leading to dizziness, headaches, fits, comas, and even death.
How Much Raw Sausage Should I Feed My Dog?
Cooked or tiny amounts of raw sausage should only be given as a treat to a dog. So, they should never be given as the main part of their diet, only as part of a healthy and balanced lifestyle.
Because of the various reasons listed above, you should avoid feeding your dog raw sausages and instead opt for lean and cooked cuts of meat. If they have consumed a small amount accidentally then they will probably be fine. Yet, it’s best to avoid them to ensure that your dog will have the healthiest diet possible.
If they have eaten a large quantity, it’s advised to keep a watchful eye on them and always have their water bowl filled due to the high salt content which will make them thirsty. If they begin to develop symptoms always take them to the vets to get them checked.
Most canned or kibble diets have been designed by experts to be completely satisfactory for a dog’s dietary needs. So, although it’s nice to give your dog treats as rewards for good behaviour, raw sausages shouldn’t be a go-to. Instead, opt for any number of dog-safe fruits, vegetables, and snacks.
Can You Feed Your Dog Meat That Is Going Off?
In general, dogs are much more capable of eating foods that would make humans sick. They have very acidic stomachs which will usually help them to fight harmful bacteria which their owners may have suffered with. They’re also naturally opportunistic scavengers. So, in the wild, they would eat off meat and be absolutely fine.
Despite this, it may be worth just tossing the meat rather than taking the risk of making your pooch sick. If the meat has been cooked but smells very off and rancid or has obvious signs of bacteria such as mould growing on it, then definitely avoid giving it to your dog.
However, if it just seems slightly dry and unpalatable to humans, this doesn’t mean that your dog won’t love it as a treat. Humans have very high standards of food quality which dogs do not need to follow!
It’s best to use your common sense in these situations. If it’s clearly off then do not feed it to your dog. If it’s just one day out of date and showing no signs of bacteria then they should be fine.
Can Dogs Eat Raw Sausages?
At the end of the day, it will put your mind at ease if you choose to avoid feeding your dog raw sausages. Raw meat of any kind is a potential hazard to your canine. So, we suggest negating the issue altogether by treating your dog only with dog-safe snacks.
These tasty treats can include carrots, green beans, cooked sweet potatoes, cooked lean meats, apples, and much more! A simple google search will unlock so many new ideas and recipes to try which will keep your dog healthy and satisfied. They will certainly love the effort you put into finding their favourites.
As well as causing gastrointestinal issues like pancreatitis, the harmful bacteria found in raw meats can cause neurological problems, obesity, and even death. This may lead to a costly trip to the vets and pain or stress for your pooch. So, why risk it? Avoid feeding your dog’s raw sausages and put their health and safety first.