Can dogs or cats eat bacon?

May 1, 2023
This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinary advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding your pet’s care, treatment, or medical conditions.

Can dogs eat bacon?

While there are plenty of dog treats flavored like the meat, it is not safe for dogs to eat actual bacon. Bacon is chock full of fat and salt, both of which can be harmful to dogs.

The high-fat content in particular can lead to pancreatitis, a condition that causes inflammation of the pancreas and can lead to further complications such as abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea.

It's important to note that we're not just singling out bacon. Any kind of processed meat has added preservatives, which are not good for your dog's digestive system.

If your dog did just nab some bacon off your plate, watch for signs of illness such as lethargy, diarrhea, or vomiting. If your dog seems ill, reach out to your veterinarian immediately. And if they do wind up requiring veterinary care because they ate an unsafe food like bacon, pet insurance can help cover the cost of treatment.

Can cats eat bacon?

Bacon is full of salt and fat, which is what makes it so tasty. But consuming bacon — especially an excessive amount — can lead to obesity among cats. This increases their chances of developing serious health issues such as diabetes, liver disease, and heart problems.

Moreover, the sodium (salt) in bacon can cause dehydration in your feline friend. This can lead to kidney problems, especially if your dog eats bacon frequently and over a long period of time. Cats have relatively small kidneys compared to many other animals, so they're particularly sensitive to high levels of sodium intake from salty foods.

So even if your cat begs you for some tasty strips of crispy bacon at the breakfast table, keep it to yourself! It may seem harmless at first, but regularly feeding your cat even small amounts of bacon can result in serious long-term health consequences down the line.

But if your cat just stole some bacon off the countertop, reach out to your veterinarian — especially if your feline frienis showing signs of illness such as lethargy, diarrhea, or vomiting. And if your cat does wind up requiring veterinary because they ate an unsafe food like bacon, pet insurance can help cover the cost of treatment.

Information Purposes Only

The suggestions offered here are for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for pet-specific advice from your veterinarian. Never disregard your vet’s recommendations, or delay in acting on them, based on something you have read on this site. Regardless of how a food is rated here, any food that you give your pet can pose potential health risks, including allergic reactions, choking, or other health conditions such as bloat. Always monitor your pet while they’re eating, and never introduce a new food into your pet’s diet without first consulting your veterinarian. 

Pet Poison Emergency Protocol

If your pet is acting sick, call your regular veterinarian immediately. If your regular veterinarian is closed, call a nearby on-call veterinarian, animal urgent care, or veterinary emergency hospital. If your pet is not acting sick but you think they may have been exposed to a poison, call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (888-426-4435) or Pet Poison Helpline (855-764-7661).

Food Safety Statuses


Could be given almost daily without harm

Safe in moderation

Not toxic, but should not be given regularly


Toxic or simply too risky to give to your pet