Dog Lifestyle, Pet Health, Pets and Family

Can Dogs Have Summer Sausage?

We love to share the foods we love with our pets but at the same time need to consider the safety of our dogs since some seemingly safe foods that our dogs would enjoy could actually harm them which is why we found ourselves asking “can dogs have summer sausage?”  

Small brindle French bulldog sitting at a table with plate fork and knife and sausage getting ready to eat.

Read on to learn the answer.

What Is Summer Sausage?

According to Hemplers Meats, Summer sausage is a type of cured meat that was developed in Europe prior to refrigeration technology. Using several types of preservation methods at once allowed people to make a sausage that would keep from spoiling without refrigeration “in the summer months.”

Hence the name, summer sausage.

A close up picture of seven summer sausages on a plate.
Different summer sausages can have different textures.

There are many types of summer sausages on the market (think salami, pepperoni, and Spanish chorizo), but traditional German-style summer sausage is a bit softer and less dry than these ready-to-eat meats. This is due to the German climate and the fact that the meat didn’t have to have as much water removed in order to stay fresh through the summer.

Now certain types of summer sausage are shelf stable while other do require refrigeration.  

Potential Safety Issues With Summer Sausage For Dogs

Since summer sausage is a meat product that dogs, as carnivores or as some say herbivores (see the debate in our article on Homemade vs conventional Dog Food Which is the Best for Your Dog) it seems that consuming summer sausage should be very benign and harmless to dogs.  

However, summer sausage, actually any sausage is packed in casing. Sausage casing, also known as sausage skin or simply casing, is the material that encloses the filling of a sausage.  Sausage casings can be made from vegetarian items, cellulose, or plastics and other ingredients that are not meant to be eaten.

Beagle dog sneaking summer sausage from the table.

Summer sausage may also contain other ingredients that are non-meat ingredients such as spices, fillers and colors.  

Finally, since traditional summer sausage was made so that it did not require refrigeration and now various types of summer sausage are manufactured and some do require refrigeration it is important to consider whether the summer sausage you are intending on serving your dog was stored property.

Meats and other refrigerated products that are not stored properly, according to Pediatric Child Health Journal when meat is not stored safely it can become spoiled with germs. You won’t always be able to tell from the taste or smell.

These germs can cause stomach aches, diarrhea or vomiting, or fever and more serious problems such as kidney failure, blood infection or even paralysis due to a pathogenic contamination.  

Can Dogs Have Summer Sausage?

Small brindle French bulldog sitting at a table with plate fork and knife and sausage getting ready to eat.
Dogs can eat summer sausage like most things with caution and in moderation.

With all of this said when we answer the question “Can Dogs Have Summer Sausage?” we would have to say that it should be fine for dogs to eat provided the following guidelines are met:

  • The summer sausage was stored in accordance with the manufacturers recommendations
  • The summer sausage does not have unremoved casing that could be dangerous to your dog and cause choking or stomach issues.
  • The summer sausage does not contain spices or other ingredients that are either dangerous or cause stomach distress.  

Conclusion

As dog lovers we always want to reward our dogs but certain treats may not agree with their systems.  Take care that any treat or meal you are providing your dog is safe and then give lots because you know he is a “good boy”

Check out more articles on feeding your dog safely:

Can I Share My Spicy Food with My Dog? Can Dogs Eat Jalapenos, Chipotles and Other Spicy Foods?

Can my dog taste sour? Plus other fun dog facts about how dogs enjoy food

Dog Eating Sausage FAQs

What happens if a dog eats sausage?

If a dog does eat sausage you need to be careful about choking, stomach issues due to the potential contamination or richness of the sausage. In general, most types of sausage purchased from a grocery store will be fine for your dog to eat in moderation and nothing will happen if your dog eats a small amount.

Are pork sausages bad for dogs?

Many vets consider pork sausages bad for dogs due to the high fat content that is difficult for dogs to digest. If you only give pork sausage to your dog in moderation you should not have an issue with diseases related to fatty foods such as enteritis.

Can my dog eat Italian sausage?

If you give your dog Italian sausage, much like summer sausage, you have to watch for a couple of items like the spices in the sausage which may cause digestive issues and the casing. Certain sausage casings will present a choking hazard for dogs.

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