Can Dogs Eat Bologna? 10 Facts About It

Meat is a favorite of canine palates. Even though they are not technically carnivores, they have adapted to survive primarily on meat. Meat is a great source of the protein and fats they need to thrive.

Meat is the main ingredient in bologna. Perhaps now you think it’s okay for your dog to try it. This meat, however, has been through a lengthy processing procedure.

It’s typically high in sodium and has a lot of additives. Because of this, it’s not a great food for either humans or dogs.

However, it poses no health risks to canine companions. It’s fine to give your dog some bologna as a treat once in a while, but it shouldn’t make up a significant portion of their regular diet. Bologna should be served rarely, if at all.

Here, we’ll examine everything you need to know about feeding bologna to your dog.

Can Dogs Eat Bologna?

There is no simple answer to the question of whether or not bologna is safe for dogs to eat. While bologna might not be considered a “poison” by some standards, its high fat and sodium content make it a poor choice for canine diets.

Can bologna kill a dog?

sliced bologna on wooden board

If your dog manages to get his or her paws on some bologna, it won’t be the end of the world. Just one piece is harmless and won’t hurt your dog. However, giving your dog an excessive amount of bologna over a long period of time can cause health issues.

The sodium content of bologna is quite high. Many canines experience difficulties in this area. In the long run, this can lead to serious health issues like pancreatitis. This is extremely dangerous and could be fatal to your dogs.

However, there are a number of factors, such as genetics and diet, that can lead to this issue. Furthermore, eating a single bologna sandwich will not cause this issue; rather, eating multiple sandwiches per day for years is required.

Smaller dogs are more likely to experience health issues. They won’t have as much tolerance for the high sodium content as a giant dog would because they’re smaller.

Again though, a single component is useless. Don’t give them a tiny piece once a year for decades. Dogs can have bologna occasionally, but it shouldn’t be a regular part of their diet.

Why is bologna terrible for dogs?

While bologna won’t instantly kill your dog, it’s also not a particularly good choice. This is largely due to its excessive amounts of salt and omega-6 fatty acids.

Bologna has far too much sodium to be beneficial, despite the fact that all animals require some salt to live (it helps you move around the water inside your body).

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Kidney disease and other illnesses can result from consuming an excessive amount of sodium. While a single serving of bologna probably won’t harm your dog, feeding large amounts of it over a long period of time can. It will take a very long time, perhaps even decades.

It takes more bologna for smaller dogs to experience any negative effects. They are more diminutive, so this is the case.

sad eyed dog

However, bologna is also rich in omega-6 fatty acids. In moderate amounts, omega fatty acids pose no threat.

In some cases, like when a dog has dry skin, omega fatty acids can be helpful. However, omega-3 fatty acids are necessary for a proper balance. Your dog’s health may be at risk if certain conditions aren’t met.

Moreover, bologna provides very few of the nutrients your body needs. Sodium and unhealthy fats make up the bulk of the dish.

High calorie content means your dog might not eat as much of it as usual. Over time, this, as you might expect, can lead to a lack of essential nutrients. Overweight canine companions should not indulge in this food item.

Additives like corn syrup are common in bologna. These aren’t terrible for our dogs, but they also aren’t good for them. To the same extent that we shouldn’t eat them, our dogs don’t need to.

Bologna and Dogs with Allergies

Bologna has a reputation for being “mystery meat” due to the fact that its ingredients are unknown. All sorts of meats, vegetables, and even fruit can be used to make a bologna.

It could be a problem if your dog has allergies. Chicken, for instance, can be found in bologna. You might be feeding chicken to your dog without realizing he has an allergy to the protein.

Allergy-prone dogs should therefore avoid bologna. Those dogs run the risk of eating their allergen if they snack on bologna.

vet examines the ears of the corgi dog

Potential Benefits of Bologna

Unfortunately, feeding bologna to your dog won’t reap many positive results. Many dogs find it irresistible. This means it can serve as a very special reward.

If your dog gets into trouble (say, by bolting out the front door), offering it a piece of bologna as a reward might help.

Bologna isn’t our go-to meat, though. If it’s an emergency and you don’t have anything else, it might do. However, it is not something we would recommend purchasing as a luxury item. Just eating chicken in its most basic form is a better option.

As a meat product, bologna is a good source of protein. The protein content, however, may be lower than expected because it isn’t just meat. While dogs can benefit from a higher protein diet, bologna isn’t the best choice.

If you’re trying to get your dog to eat, bologna isn’t the best choice. If a dog stops eating, chances are good that they aren’t feeling well. The consumption of bologna may exacerbate this health problem. Alternatives such as low-sodium broth and similar foods are highly recommended.

What Happens If a Dog Eats Bologna?

Bologna is not good for your dog, so don’t feed it to him. No harm will come from eating one bologna sandwich once. The consumption of bologna over a long period of time, however, has been linked to a number of additional health issues.

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Heart Issues

Because of the high sodium content, consuming a lot of bologna may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. In humans, high sodium intake is associated with hypertension; the same is likely to be true for dogs.

Even if your blood pressure goes up consistently, it probably won’t be a problem the one time it happens. However, persistently high blood pressure can eventually lead to cardiac complications.

For this reason alone, you should stay away from bologna.


Nitrate content is quite high in Bologna. Flavor is enhanced by the nitrates used in most processed meats. However, it may increase the likelihood of cancer in your dog.

Naturally, the added danger from a little bologna won’t be too severe. Consistent feeding, however, can significantly elevate the risk.

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Nutritional Deficiencies

Long-term consumption of bologna may also lead to nutritional deficiencies. Bologna is low in nutritional value.

In light of this, you can’t simply feed your dog bologna. A large amount eaten may force them to cut back on other (healthier) foods.

Ingesting bologna will prevent a dog from finishing its regular meal.

As a result, dogs who are fed bologna on a regular basis run the risk of developing malnutrition. All of these have potential drawbacks. However, if the deficiencies persist for an extended period of time, this could prove fatal.


A dog’s pancreas can become inflamed if it consumes an excessive amount of fat. Inflammation of the pancreas is the underlying cause of pancreatitis in dogs.

If your dog consumes excessive amounts of fat, he or she may develop acute pancreatitis. Chronicity is also a possibility.

A fatty meal isn’t the only trigger for pancreatitis. Even so, that is speculated to play a role. Therefore, we advise against feeding your dog a diet high in fatty foods such as bologna.

What To Do If Your Dog Eats Bologna

An occasional bite or two of bologna is probably safe for your dog. This isn’t something that ought to happen every day. Bologna isn’t poisonous, and eating it once or twice won’t likely make you sick. Long-term consumption is the real concern.

Salt toxicity should be your primary concern if your dog consumes large quantities of bologna (a whole pack or multiple packs).

Get the nutritional data for the bologna and estimate how many pieces your dog ate. The next step is to contact either a vet or pet poison control.

If you know when your dog ate the bologna, include that information along with the nutritional data.

With this data, they can tell if your dog is in danger of suffering from salt toxicity. Since salt toxicity can be fatal for dogs, it’s possible that you’ll need to take Fido to the vet for treatment.

When Is Bologna Okay For Dogs To Eat?

Bologna, like other types of processed meat, is safe for canine consumption. Your dog’s daily diet should include a good amount of protein, and this will do just that.

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If you’re making a bologna sandwich and your dog begs for some, it’s fine to indulge them on occasion.

When Is Bologna Bad For Dogs?

Bologna sausage thin sliced cut with knife

The high sodium and fat content of bologna is the main reason why you shouldn’t feed it to your dog.

An excessive intake of sodium has been linked to cardiovascular disease and hypertension. A case of salt poisoning can develop if a dog consumes too much sodium.

After eating a lot of bologna, your dog may get salt poisoning if they start throwing up, having diarrhea, or drinking a lot more water than usual.

Due to the high fat content of bologna, feeding it to your dog may lead to weight gain. Among the many health problems that can arise from canine obesity is pancreatitis.

Commercially produced bologna may also contain additives and preservatives that aren’t good for your dog.

Consequently, while bologna is not something you should feed your dog at all costs, there are plenty of other meat-based options you might want to think about including instead.

Look for Healthier Alternatives

Bologna is safe for your dog to eat in small amounts. However, there are consequences to feeding your dog an excessive amount of bologna.

Most bologna has an extremely high sodium content. Unhealthy fats and lots of additives are also present. Due to these potential side effects, we advise you to not give these to your puppy.

Find something else to eat besides bologna that isn’t as unhealthy. Many cuts of meat are far superior choices for canine consumption.

That being said, you shouldn’t be too concerned if your dog manages to steal a slice of bologna from the counter. Your dog won’t be harmed if it eats just one piece.

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Final Thoughts

The bologna we eat is safe. Ingesting bologna will not cause any negative side effects for your dog. However, the bologna’s additives can be harmful. The high salt content is especially concerning because it can lead to salt toxicity if consumed in excess.

The good news is that bologna isn’t so high in salt that eating just one slice will make you sick. On the contrary, your dog will likely need to consume many smaller pieces.

However, bologna isn’t exactly the healthiest finger food. Both the nitrates and the high fat content are bad for your dog’s health.

Heart disease and pancreatitis are just two of the many ailments that have been linked to chronic overconsumption. As a result, we think you should stay away from bologna as much as you can.

Do not worry if your dog manages to sneak a bite. Still, never intentionally or routinely feed your dog bologna.

Find your dog some other kind of meat, please. The best option is simply prepared meat.

You should supplement your dog’s diet with some fresh meat and vegetables, but don’t forget that commercial, complete dog food is what they need most. While meat like bologna does not provide any nutritional value, this diet should.

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