Can Dogs Eat Bologna? – Everything to Know About Dogs and Bologna!

Despite not being strict carnivores, dogs love the smell and taste of meat. Bologna is a type of processed meat usually made from ground meat of beef, chicken, turkey, pork, or even a combination of all of these. Your dog will love bologna, but is it safe for dogs? Can dogs eat bologna without any health risks?

Remember, you can’t go about feeding your dog everything without taking some precautions. Bologna contains several ingredients, including spices, corn syrup, peppercorns, etc. So, you need to make sure all the ingredients in the mortadella sausage are safe for your dog.

Can dogs eat bologna?

Dogs can eat bologna occasionally as a treat; it should not be a big part of your pup’s diet. Bologna contains high amounts of sodium, additives, and preservatives, which can be harmful to a dog.

Dogs need protein and fats in their diet. Bologna does contain a small amount of protein, but other than that, it has nothing much to contribute towards a dog’s good health. An excessive amount of sodium and nitrates present overweigh the positive effects of the little protein in bologna. Furthermore, there are little to no vitamins present in it. So, it is not worth feeding your dog bologna regularly.

Why is bologna bad for dogs?

Bologna contains loads of fat and salt, which are harmful to dogs. It has a lot of omega-6 fatty acids, which can lead to several health problems if not balanced with omega-3 fatty acids. The high salt content in bologna can cause kidney issues in dogs.

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The ratio of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids is very unbalanced in bologna. This increases the risks of chronic diseases in dogs. The sodium nitrate present in bologna can react with the amines and trigger cancer in pooches. It does not end here; there are a few more harmful effects of bologna on a dog’s health.

Harmful effects of bologna on a dog’s health

Bologna is not healthy food, especially for pregnant or overweight dogs. It contains many calories, which can cause fatal effects if consumed daily.

The catalog of diseases bologna can make you think twice before giving it to your dog.


The large amount of sodium in bologna is responsible for the inflammation of a dog’s pancreas. It can be extremely painful and difficult for the canine. If not treated readily, pancreatitis can also become lethal.


Consuming too much salt can cause extra water buildup within the dog’s body. This can lead to increased blood pressure in the pooch. Bologna, if consumed frequently, will cause recurrent hypertension, which can induce dangerous diseases.


Bologna often contains corn syrup or some other kind of sugary substance in it. These ingredients in any food can cause obesity and diabetes in dogs. If your dog is already obese, bologna can be even more harmful.

Risk of cancer

Eating bologna carries a risk of cancer in the dog. The elevated levels of nitrate in bologna react with amines and lead to cancer development in the body. It mainly leads to bowel cancers.

Kidney issues

Bologna contains antioxidants like butylated hydroxyanisole and butylated hydroxytoluene, which are used to preserve processed meats. These antioxidants can cause kidney problems in both dogs and humans.

Can bologna kill a dog?

“My dog ate bologna, what do I do?” you don’t need to worry if your dog ate a piece of bologna. Eating bologna will not suddenly cause harm to your dog. The overtime and frequent use of the sausage can cause life-threatening diseases in your pup. 

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Healthy alternatives to bologna for dogs

Bologna should not be a part of your dog’s daily diet. Yes, it can be given sometimes to the pooch as a treat, but even then, better and healthier options are available. Some safe and healthy meats you can give your dog in exchange for good behavior include:

  • Beef liver
  • Turkey
  • Ground beef
  • Steak
  • Chicken

These meaty treats will provide a great nutritional punch while being totally safe for the dog to ingest.

Related FAQs

What happens if a dog eats bologna?

Eating bologna once will not harm your dog. However, if consumed regularly for a long period of time, it can cause several health issues in dogs. Pancreatitis and diabetes are among the most common problems caused by regular bologna intake in dogs.

Can dogs eat processed meat?

Processed meat is not good for dogs. If given, it should be given occasionally and in moderation. Processed meat usually contains preservatives that can be detrimental to a dog’s health. Red or white meats will be a better and safer option for the canine.

What meats should dogs not eat?

Dogs should not be given any types of processed meats. Along with that, bacon and ham are also not ideal for dogs.

Will bologna make a dog sick?

If often fed to a dog, Bologna can lead to some serious diseases. It will not immediately make your dog sick, but your pup will begin to show alarming symptoms with time.

Final words on whether dogs can eat bologna

Bologna has no other benefits to offer except for some protein; it is just a cheap alternative to meat. Bologna can also contain some ingredients your dog may be allergic to. The risk factors easily override the little beneficial protein you get from bologna. It’s still okay to be given as a seldom treat. But, if you are looking to include it in the dog’s regular diet, there are far healthier nutrient-dense food options available.

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Immad Amir

Immad has a black Labrador who is his first child. With no prior experience of how to take care of his pooch, Immad started researching about what dogs love to eat. This blog is a journal of all the research Immad has done regarding a pet's diet.
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