Should dogs eat raw or cooked pancetta?

Pancetta on a pizza
Pancetta on a pizza

Can dogs eat cured pork belly (Pancetta)?

The consumption of this food is not recommended and is highly discouraged to be fed to dogs. Firstly, a pancetta is a pork belly that contains a lot of white fat. Fatty meat is undeniably harmful to dogs as it can cause severe health problems especially if consumed in large quantities. Further, pancetta is a cured meat that is usually highly processed thus contains a high level of fat, sodium, spices, and nitrates that are all toxic to dogs.

What is a Pancetta?

Pancetta is seasoned meat made from pork belly invented by Italians. It is a versatile ingredient that can be used to improve the flavor of soups and pasta. The type of pancetta you are most familiar with is sliced and eaten raw. It is also sold in cubes for cooking.

How is pancetta made?

Making pancetta is seemingly a simple process. You just have to prepare the meat with a mixture of dry salt and spices or a liquid brine with similar ingredients. Commonly used spices and condiments include pepper, fennel, chili flakes, allspice, and nutmeg. These mixtures can preserve the meat and inject some flavor into it. The rest will develop as the meat solidifies and ages. The meat is also rolled up, forming the characteristic spiral shape of pancetta slices.

What does pancetta contain that is dangerous to dogs?

Pancetta mostly contains fat from pigs since it is made from a pig’s belly. Thus, making it unsafe for dog consumption because it can result in serious heart disease. Fat cut from meat, either overcooked or undercooked, can also cause pancreatitis. Since pancetta is cured and salted, the sodium content is eminently high which can your dog very thirsty and may develop into sodium ion poisoning.

What would happen if my dogs ate a large amount of pancetta?

The main concern for dogs with repeated consumption of raw pancetta is related to pancreatitis. It is a disease wherein the pancreas becomes inflamed and may not function properly. Another problem associated with pancetta is that eating raw pork increases the risk of trichinosis, a parasitic infection that occurs when dogs and humans eat raw or undercooked meat, especially muscle. This infection is difficult to detect in dogs and even harder to treat therefore, prevention is the only way to be safe.

My Pittbull dog loves pancetta. Will he be OK?
My Pittbull dog loves pancetta. Will he be OK?

What should I do if my dog ingested pancetta?

If your dog accidentally ate pancetta, there is no need for immediate panic. You must quantify the amount of pancetta that your puppy ate. If your dog only ate a piece of pancetta, then it should be fine. You just need to monitor him/her for a few hours to see if there are any abnormalities in his/her behavior. But if your dog snatched a bunch of pancetta from your plate then he/she might suffer from internal inflammation or infection. In this case, the best thing to do is to call your veterinarian for appropriate treatment.

Which is better for dog consumption? Raw or cooked pancetta?

Neither raw nor cooked is better for dogs especially if given in large amounts. Pancetta once cooked is usually soaked in oil which means it will be very greasy and becomes fattier. Raw pancetta on the other hand may cause parasitic infection. Therefore, both can be dangerous for canines if the quantity isn’t regulated.

How do I prevent my dogs from ingesting too much pancetta?

A healthy dog lifestyle starts with healthy habits.  You can train your puppies to familiarize them with the rules of your house. But the surest way to prevent your dog from eating things that can be harmful to his/her health is to keep these things away from them.

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