Can Dogs Eat Sausage? Sort Of.

smoked sause sliced on board

Written by Colby Maxwell

Updated: October 18, 2022

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As responsible owners, we always want to give our pups the best we can. At the same time, we also want to give them things they enjoy! With moderation, most things are safe for dogs, but there are still some things that we shouldn’t ever give our pups. Today, we are going to take answer the question: Can dogs eat sausage?

Can Dogs Eat Sausage?

Can Dogs Eat Sausage? Sort Of.

A very small amount of sausage is ok for your dog to eat, but too much can be unhealthy.


Yes, dogs can eat sausage without experiencing major adverse health effects, but it should be consumed in moderation.

Sausages are a treat that humans and dogs alike love, but are they overall safe for pooches? The answer is yes, but it isn’t as straightforward as that. First, it’s important to know that there are so many types of sausages that it’s almost impossible to go over each one in this article. Instead, it’s important to understand the reasons behind what makes something healthy or unhealthy for a dog in the first place.

Overall, sausages are a good source of protein for dogs, but there are some other things present within the sausage that keep them from being a staple food option for a dog — namely, the fat/grease content and the spices. Sausages aren’t a lean protein, with some having up to 50% fat content. Other types of sausage have lower fat content, somewhere between 25-35%, but even this is still quite high. Too much fat can cause stomach problems in dogs (and humans), not to mention the extra calories. For a sedentary dog, too much fat can result in unwanted weight gain and obesity.

In addition to fat, sausages contain spices and seasonings. The most prevalent seasoning is salt, a necessary nutrient, but one in excess in sausages. Too much salt can cause a host of problems for your dog. Additionally, most sausages contain garlic and onion (either in cooked, raw, or powdered form). Members of the allium family are toxic to dogs, with onion and garlic being two of the most commonly used alliums in the world. Too much onion or garlic can cause a severe reaction and a big mess to clean up later!

Knowing all this, giving your dog a few small pieces of sausage isn’t a problem, but making it a primary food source for your pup isn’t a good idea. In much the same way as it is for humans, it’s a yummy treat, but probably not something we should be eating all the time.

Here is our list of the best dog foods available right now (updated for 2022)!

Are Dogs Able To Eat Raw Sausage?

Can Dogs Eat Sausage? Sort Of.

Raw pork is best avoided for its high potential for parasites.

©Mary Swift/

Although some raw meats can be safe for a dog to eat (when incorporated into a raw diet), pork usually isn’t among them. Raw pork has a higher chance of carrying bacteria and parasites when compared to other raw meats. Trichinosis is probably the most common parasite that pork carries, but cooking is enough to kill it. Additionally, raw sausage could have raw onions or garlic, increasing their potency and the chance of causing stomach aches and diarrhea if consumed.

If your dog somehow gets a hold of raw pork, it isn’t something to worry about, just something to keep an eye on. If you notice long-term changes in your pup, such as stiffness, extended bouts of intestinal problems, or anything else, contact your vet.

Is All Sausage Bad for Dogs?

It’s tough to classify “all” sausage as bad for dogs, especially with how many types and preparations there are. Still, sausage will almost always have a high fat and sodium content, as well as spices like garlic and onion powders that could be irritating for your dog.

All sausages aren’t “bad” for dogs, but they should be given to dogs in moderation, not as a primary food source. Even sausages without pork, including chicken or turkey sausages, have high fat levels and potentially other harmful elements (especially if it’s highly processed).

How Much Sausage Is Safe for a Dog?

Can Dogs Eat Sausage? Sort Of.

Smaller dogs can have a few small pieces of cut sausage, while larger dogs can have a whole sausage without experiencing any health effects.


The exact answer will depend on the size of your dog. For small dogs, a few cut-up pieces of sausage should be plenty. For medium to large dogs, a whole sausage cut into smaller pieces would probably be the most they should have at one time.

If your dog gets into sausage accidentally (and eats a whole lot of it), don’t worry too much. Just be prepared that the next day or two could be pretty messy!

The Side Effects of a Dog Eating Too Much Sausage

There are a few side effects that can come from a dog eating too much sausage, including:

  • stomach pain
  • intestinal irritation
  • parasites (raw pork and sausage)
  • diarrhea
  • vomiting
  • dehydration

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About the Author

Colby is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering outdoors, unique animal stories, and science news. Colby has been writing about science news and animals for five years and holds a bachelor's degree from SEU. A resident of NYC, you can find him camping, exploring, and telling everyone about what birds he saw at his local birdfeeder.

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