Can Dogs Eat Pastrami? And Health Risks Associated with this

Ever wondered if your canine companion can join you in savoring the delight of pastrami? That mouthwatering deli treat might have you curious, but it’s crucial to ask, Can dogs eat pastrami and is it safe for them? This article is here to uncover whether dogs can enjoy this tasty delight or if it’s better to be cautious. We’ll explore the facts together and ensure your dog’s health and happiness come first when it comes to sharing pastrami. So, before you slip a slice of that succulent pastrami into your pup, let’s dive into what you need to know about dogs and pastrami consumption.

Can Dogs Eat Pastrami?

No, dogs should not eat pastrami. Pastrami is highly processed and often contains high levels of salt, spices, and preservatives that can be harmful to dogs. Additionally, the fatty nature of pastrami can lead to digestive issues and even pancreatitis in dogs. It’s best to avoid feeding pastrami to your furry friend and opt for dog-safe treats instead.

Health Risks of Eating Pastrami to Dogs:

Excessive Salt Intake:

Pastrami is often heavily salted during the curing and seasoning process. Dogs are more sensitive to salt than humans, and consuming high levels of salt can lead to electrolyte imbalances, dehydration, and sodium ion poisoning. Excessive salt intake can cause symptoms such as increased thirst, vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, tremors, seizures, and even death in severe cases.

Toxic Ingredients:

Many pastrami recipes include spices like garlic and onion powder. These ingredients contain compounds that are toxic to dogs, especially in larger quantities. Garlic and onions can damage a dog’s red blood cells, leading to a condition called hemolytic anemia. This can result in symptoms such as weakness, pale gums, rapid breathing, and even organ failure.

Processed Meat Risks:

Pastrami falls into the category of processed meats, which have been associated with health concerns in both humans and dogs. Processed meats are often linked to an increased risk of certain cancers and cardiovascular diseases. Feeding your dog pastrami might contribute to the development of similar health issues over time.

High Fat Content:

Pastrami is typically made from cuts of meat with visible fat. High-fat diets can lead to digestive distress in dogs, including diarrhea and vomiting. More importantly, excessive fat consumption can trigger pancreatitis, an inflammation of the pancreas. Pancreatitis is painful, can be life-threatening, and requires immediate veterinary attention.

Preservatives and Additives:

Deli meats like pastrami often contain additives, preservatives, and artificial ingredients. These additives can trigger allergic reactions in some dogs, causing symptoms such as itching, hives, swelling, and gastrointestinal distress.

Weight Gain and Obesity:

Feeding pastrami to your dog, especially if done regularly, can contribute to excessive calorie intake. Over time, this can lead to weight gain and obesity. Obesity is a serious health concern in dogs, as it can lead to joint problems, diabetes, heart issues, and a decreased overall quality of life.

What to do if Dogs Eat Pastarin Accidentally?

If your dog accidentally consumes pastrami, it’s important to be vigilant and observe their behavior and health closely. While some dogs might tolerate small amounts of pastrami without immediate adverse effects, others can experience various degrees of discomfort and potential health risks. Here are the signs and symptoms to watch for:

Gastrointestinal Distress:

Keep an eye on your dog for signs of gastrointestinal upset. This could include vomiting, diarrhea, excessive drooling, or even retching. The spices, salt, and fatty content in pastrami can irritate your dog’s stomach and digestive system, leading to these symptoms.

Increased Thirst and Urination:

Pastrami’s high salt content can lead to increased thirst and more frequent urination. If your dog is suddenly drinking more water than usual and needing to go outside more frequently, it could be a response to the elevated sodium levels in its system.

Lethargy and Weakness:

If your dog appears unusually lethargic, weak or lacks energy after consuming pastrami, it might be due to the ingredients affecting its body. The combination of salt and potentially toxic spices can impact your dog’s overall well-being.

Change in Behavior:

Watch for any changes in your dog’s behavior. Restlessness, pacing, whining, or seeking solitude could indicate that your dog is experiencing discomfort or even pain. These changes in behavior can be indicative of digestive distress or other issues.

Gastrointestinal Noises:

Sometimes, you might hear unusual gurgling or rumbling sounds coming from your dog’s stomach or abdomen. These noises can signal digestive upset and discomfort.

Pale Gums:

Check your dog’s gums for any signs of paleness. Paleness can sometimes indicate issues like anemia, which could be a result of the toxic compounds found in pastrami.

Increased Heart Rate:

If you’re able to measure your dog’s heart rate, an elevated heart rate might indicate stress or discomfort. However, this might not be feasible for all pet owners.


Pastrami contains a variety of ingredients that, at the very least, can make your dog feel unwell. However, it can also potentially lead to severe health issues. While a small consumption of this meat might not pose an immediate threat, especially if your dog is in good health, consistently feeding them pastrami is an ill-advised choice. This caution is amplified when considering that pastrami is not only heavily salted and laden with unhealthy fats but also contains detrimental preservatives and toxic garlic. Given these concerns, it becomes evident that the risks associated with pastrami consumption by dogs outweigh any potential benefits.

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