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If you're wondering whether raw bacon can kill a dog, most likely your dog has stolen some from a counter or he has snatched a package of it when you opened the fridge.

Everybody loves the smell of bacon in the morning and dogs can care less if it's raw. For what it matters, dogs may even eat the whole packaging as well!

While the ingestion of raw bacon can cause several problems, the good news is that there are a few ways to prevent your dog from becoming ill from ingesting such food. 

Is it Unsafe to Eat Raw Bacon?

If your dog ate raw bacon, most likely you're concerned because you may have read on the packaging that it's not meant to be eaten raw.

The reason why you may see warnings of fully cooking bacon before consuming it is because ingesting undercooked or raw meats of may up your chances for foodborne illnesses, better known as food poisoning.

Each year thousands of people are hospitalized and some of them even die as a result of food poisonings. When it comes to bacon, such food poisoning takes place because raw meats are known for harboring harmful viruses, bacteria, and parasites.

This can be easily prevented by cooking the bacon at the right temperature and for a specific amount of time as the packaging directions suggest.

Fortunately, dogs are less likely to get food poisoning due to their histories as hunters and scavengers.

Can Dogs Eat Raw Bacon?

If you have ever woken up one morning to find your dog having a piece of raw bacon in its mouth, you probably have wondered: can dogs eat raw bacon? 

The high fat and salt content in bacon makes it overall an unhealthy treat for dogs, but small, occasional amounts may not necessarily irritate their stomachs. However, every dog is different and may therefore react to eating raw bacon in different ways.

Whether raw bacon will be harmful to your dog may therefore vary based on your dog's size, how much he ingested and whether he has a sensitive digestive system or not.

 If your dog doesn't have a sensitive stomach, chances are he or she may not experience any ill effects at all from eating the bacon.. 

Read on to find a list of possible complications from eating raw bacon and what steps you can take to prevent the situation from getting worse. 

1) Digestive Upset 

Any time your dog eats anything that is different from his usual diet, he becomes predisposed to digestive upset. 

It would therefore not be unusual for your dog to develop abdominal pain, nausea, drooling, vomiting and/or diarrhea and loss of appetite as a result of eating something unusual such as bacon. 

These symptoms are due to the abrupt change in diet and the fact that bacon is rich and fat. In general though these signs are transitory, and dogs should be getting better once the bacon has made its way out of the dog's digestive system.

Expect to see diarrhea about 24 to 48 hours after the raw bacon ingestion (although your dog may not get it at all). 

2) A Bout of Pancreatitis

Some dogs are prone to pancreatitis, which is the inflammation of the dog's pancreas. Pancreatitis in dogs often takes place when dogs ingest foods that are too rich in fat.

Pancreatitis is much more worrisome than temporary digestive upset. Suspect a bout of pancreatitis if your dog develops vomiting or diarrhea that lasts for more than a day, and it's accompanied by abdominal pain, loss of appetite, fever (more than 103F rectally) and lethargy.

In general, the larger the dog, the less chance for them developing a bout of pancreatitis. 

Although pancreatitis can develop in any dog breed, the condition is particularly common in certain breeds like Miniature Poodles, Miniature Schnauzers, Cocker Spaniels and West Highland White Terriers. 

Older dogs are also more predisposed than younger dogs. 

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If your dog gets pancreatitis, symptoms will usually occur within 24 hours. See your vet at once if your dog shows signs of pancreatitis. 

3) Risk for Trichinosis

In addition to vomiting or diarrhea, ingesting raw pork meat can trigger a potential infestation with a worm called trichinella spiralis .

The larvae of the parasite can travel throughout the dog's body and remain hidden for some time. If left untreated, trichinosis can lead to serious abdominal pain, diarrhea and muscle inflammation.

Fortunately, with just a one-time ingestion, unless the dog is super unlucky, the chances of contracting trichinosis are rather low. 

It's also good news that trichinosis has become a relatively rare disease considering that farmed pigs are treated with antiparasitic medication before being butchered and sold to the general population, points out veterinarian Dr. Peter. 

Can Raw Bacon Kill a Dog?

Raw bacon can lead to pancreatitis, which is a potentially fatal condition if not treated promptly. If a dog ingests bacon with the packaging, an untreated bowel obstruction can be life threatening.

What to Do If a Dog Ate Raw Bacon

The course of action may vary based on the amount consumed, the dog's size and the predisposition for pancreatitis.

 If your dog is healthy, not prone to pancreatitis, and ate a relatively small amount, chances are, you may not need to do anything other than monitor him. 

Consult with your vet for the most appropriate course of action. 

Inducing Vomiting 

If no longer than two hours have passed, your vet may suggest induce vomiting in the dog. This is done using 3 percent hydrogen peroxide that is still working well and produces a fizz when poured in a sink. 

If you're not comfortable inducing vomiting, you can take your dog to the vet and he/she can use apomorphine.

 Always check with a veterinarian first before inducing vomiting as it may be dangerous to do such as when a dog ingests sharp objects or caustic substances. 

Feeding A Bland Diet 

A bland diet can consist of bland foods like bread, cooked white rice and cooked potatoes with no skins, salt or butter. 

If your dog refuses to eat, this is okay as this allows her to "rest" her intestinal tract which helps her recover.

Here is a vet's guide on feeding a bland diet to dogs with an upset stomach

Giving Pepcid

The over-the-counter antiacid Pepcid AC (famotidine) can help settle things down if the dog develops a tummy upset. Check with your vet for dosing information.

The Bottom Line 

It may be surprising to learn that raw bacon isn't very safe for dogs so it's best to always keep your kitchen counters free and clear and the trash cans out of your dog's reach.

Not all dogs will get sick from eating bacon, but it's good to be aware of possible problems.

Dogs who do develop symptoms from having consumed raw bacon may include nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, depression. If you see any of these symptoms, they are all signs of gastrointestinal distress. 

However, if you don't notice any of these symptoms within the first two days, your dog is unlikely to be suffering from a gastrointestinal problem. 

 Predisposed dogs may also develop pancreatitis, an inflammation of the pancreas as a result of the fat content in raw bacon. You should closely monitor your dog closely to ensure it isn't suffering from any illness.

Bacon can also cause trichinosis, an infection caused by parasites that live in the stomach and can remain in your pet for years. The symptoms of trichinosis include loss of appetite, bloody diarrhea, and weight loss.

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