Can dogs eat chorizo?

Are you a dog owner? Then you are all too familiar with the feeling when your dog stares at you with those puppy eyes pleading for a scrap of food you are eating. For most dog parents, that leading stare evokes guilt. That’s one of the reasons why most of us share bits of human […]
Chorizo sausage and text - Can dogs eat chorizo?
Can dogs eat chorizo?

Are you a dog owner? Then you are all too familiar with the feeling when your dog stares at you with those puppy eyes pleading for a scrap of food you are eating.

For most dog parents, that leading stare evokes guilt. That’s one of the reasons why most of us share bits of human food as a treat to our dog without knowing Can dogs eat chorizo or not.

Humans and dogs react to varied food items differently. So, the items that are good for humans might not be best for your dog’s health. It is always better to make sure that human food you are sharing with your dog is safe for it. In this article, we will only concentrate on chorizo and will try to explain whether you should share this food item with your dog or not.

Can dogs eat chorizo?

Chorizo is not a food item prepared to keep dogs in mind. It is not the recommended source of protein for your dog. It also contains high levels of salt and fat which is extremely unhealthy for your dog.

Plus, chorizo might contain some seasonings that are not particularly safe for your canine companion. If the chorizo is undercooked or contaminated, it can cause a parasitic infection in your dog, which is known as Trichinosis.

Studies have shown that onion and garlic powder is toxic for your dogs. That is why you should avoid sharing any food items that have been seasoned with onion and garlic powder.

To understand why chorizo is harmful to your dog, you have to find out how the chorizo sausage is made first.

How is chorizo made?

Chorizo is a high protein food which mainly contains pork meat and pork fat. The meat is often seasoned with onion, garlic, and paprika powder. The manufacturers first ground the pork meat and fat and then, stuff it inside the pork guts.

To understand the answer to the question can dogs eat chorizo, you have to understand the impact of the seasoning on your dog’s health. Here are the main seasoning ingredients for chorizo. Check it out to know how these ingredients affect the health of your dog.

Salt

To make it taste better, the manufacturers dip chorizo into salt while seasoning it. While the salt helps to extend the shelf life of chorizo, it is not at all the better for the health of your dog.

Salt contains sodium, which is an essential mineral for every living being. It balances body fluids and regulates blood pressure. Both for the dogs and humans, the average amount of sodium is good for health. However, the daily salt consumption limit of humans and dogs are different.

So, while the salt in chorizo would not harm you in any way, it can create significant health issues for your dog. Salt can raise the blood pressure of your canine companion, which, in turn, can affect the heart and kidney functions of your dog.

In the aged dogs, consumption of excessive salt can worsen the symptoms of some other diseases. In the worst-case scenario, excessive consumption of salt can even kill your dog.

Salt poured mid flow from a hand holding a bowl
Salt

Onion

While salt is harmful to the dogs, it is the onion seasoning which makes us emphatically say no to chorizo for dogs. Onion contains thiosulphate, which can cause a medical condition known as the Heinz body anaemia in dogs. This disease can destroy the blood cells of your dog and make him sick.

Three white onions one in half
Onion

Paprika

It is another main seasoning ingredient which is used for making chorizo. Even though paprika makes chorizo flavorful, it can cause skin irritation in dogs. So, it is better to treat your dogs with food items that don’t contain paprika. Other than that, paprika and other such spices can cause gastrointestinal irritation, stomach problems and even diarrhoea in dogs.

Paprika in a pile
Paprika

Garlic

Along with onion powder, the manufacturers use garlic powder while making chorizo to make it taste good. Like onions, garlic also contains thiosulphate and can harm the dogs in the same manner. The only catch is that, unlike the onions, your dog has to consume a ridiculous amount of garlic to get sick.

One Garlic
Garlic

The harms chorizo do

So, you have understood the reasons why we said no to your question, Can dogs eat chorizo. Now, it is time for you to understand the harms that this food item can cause to your dog if you keep feeding it.

Other than the seasonings, the main and perhaps the only ingredient that most chorizo contains is pork. While pork in itself is not bad for the health of your dog, the high-fat content can cause problems like pancreatitis in dogs.

Other than that, the seasonings are also responsible for health issues. All of these can cause abdominal pain in your dog and force it to intake too much water.

As we have already pointed out earlier, paprika is one of the main seasonings of chorizo, which can cause eye and skin irritations in dogs. Other than that, it can cause severe stomach issues in the dogs as well.

Onions and garlic both contain thiosulphate, a component responsible for a disease in the dogs known as the Heinz body anaemia. It is the disease that can destroy the blood cells of the dogs. However, if you offer small bites of chorizo to your dog occasionally, it would not create many problems for it. But, if you keep feeding chorizo to your dog, it can cause serious health issues.

What happens if your dog overeats chorizo?

While answering your question, Can dog’s eat chorizo; we have explained time and again why it is not wise for you to share it with your dog. However, if you still keep feeding chorizo to your dog, then there is always a chance of overeating. Offering too many chorizos to your dog is not suitable for its health. Now, the question is, how would you understand that your pup has overeaten chorizo?

As overeating chorizo always generates bad reactions in dogs, there will be plenty of indication that something is wrong with your dog. Vomiting, swelling and diarrhoea are some of the nasty responses that will appear if your dog has overeaten chorizo.

If after eating chorizo your dog starts to be sick, you should offer him water. If the symptoms continue for days, then you can try to clean up the stomach of your dog by providing skin and boneless boiled chicken and white rice. Make sure not to add any seasoning to the rice or chicken. Keep feeding this meal to your dog for around three days.

Once the symptoms settle down, please bring back the regular diet that they have daily. If the symptom persists even after offering rice and boiled chicken food for consecutive three days, get in touch with your vet immediately.

When to see the vet?

Other than eating the regular well-cooked chorizo, the undercooked or contaminated ones can also create health issues in your dogs. If your dog has eaten contaminated, undercooked or spoiled chorizo you will notice;

  • Stomach Upset
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Lethargy
  • Nausea

You must have heard that bagels and popcorns are bad for the health of your dog if they are seasoned. The same things happen in the case of chorizo. The excessive salt content of the food item can cause sodium iron poisoning in the dogs. At the very least, it would cause excessive urination and thirst. Other than this, swelling, vomiting, high body temperature, diarrhoea, and cramps are also quite common.

When we say no to your question, can dogs eat chorizo, it does not mean it’s an urgent warning. For example, if you dropped your chorizo on the floor accidentally and your dog consumes it, it will not create any issue.

However, if you see any changes in the behaviour of your dog, you should offer water. As the salt concentration in this food item is pretty high, it can cause dehydration in your canine companion. But, as chorizos are high in salt and oil content, you should try not to offer it to your dog.

All in all, food items with a high concentration of salty and fatty ingredients can be harmful to your dog. Chorizo is one of the food items that taste delicious yet very harmful for the health of your canine. We hope that we have satisfactorily answered your question.

Conclusion

There is no dog mum or dad out there who does not love their furry friends to stay happy and healthy. If you are one of such dog parents who want the best for your beloved pet, then stop feeding them chorizo. Even if your dog eats chorizo accidentally, be very observant to find out if there is anything amiss in their behaviour. Try to feed your dog the food items that are good for their health. We strongly advise you to do some research on the food items before sharing it with your dog. Most dogs love to eat whatever you feed them. So, make sure that you don’t give them something that will hurt them immediately or in the long run. Please think and research before sharing your food with a dog.

About the Author

Teresa loves animals and travelling around the UK! She currently has two dogs and two cats. She loves caring for and sharing her knowledge of pets. Qualified Dog Groomer and currently studying Canine Behaviour. She has been part of the Dog Friendly Team since 2016

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