A dog with a wary expression looking at baloney, showing they are harmful to dogs.

Can Dogs Eat Baloney?

No, dogs should not eat baloney. Baloney, or bologna, is highly processed and contains ingredients that can be harmful to dogs. It's loaded with salts, fats, and preservatives, which can all pose significant health risks to your furry friend.

A photo of Stefan Stumpfl, the co-author of this article.

By Stefan Stumpfl, in collaboration with Dr. Ali Raza.

Updated on Jun 24, 2024

Did You Know?

The high sodium content in baloney can lead to salt poisoning in dogs.




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Feeding Frequency


Allergic Risk


Why is Baloney Bad for Dogs?

Baloney is rich in sodium and fats, which can lead to obesity, pancreatitis, and other health issues in dogs. The high salt content can cause dehydration and, in severe cases, sodium ion poisoning. Additionally, the preservatives and artificial ingredients found in baloney can lead to digestive problems and long-term health risks.

How Much Baloney Can Dogs Eat?

If your dog accidentally consumes a small piece of baloney, it likely won't cause immediate harm, but it should not be a regular part of their diet. Think of it like junk food—tiny amounts, very infrequently, and only in emergencies. Even in small quantities, it can still upset their stomach or contribute to longer-term health issues.

Common Misconceptions

Some people believe that because dogs are descended from carnivores, they can eat any type of meat, including processed ones like baloney. This is misleading because domesticated dogs have different digestive systems and dietary needs compared to their wild ancestors. They are not equipped to handle the high levels of salt and fat found in processed meats like baloney.

Similar Harmful Products

Baloney is not the only processed meat to be wary of. Here are a few others to avoid:

  • Hot Dogs: Like baloney, they're high in preservatives, fat, and salt.
  • Sausages: Often contain spices, seasonings, and high levels of sodium which are harmful.
  • Ham: Extremely salty and often contains added sugars or honey.

What to Do If Your Dog Eats Baloney?

First, don’t panic. Monitor your dog closely for any signs of distress like vomiting, diarrhea, or lethargy. If you notice any severe symptoms, contact your vet immediately. Avoid inducing vomiting unless specifically advised by a professional, as this can sometimes do more harm than good.

Long-term consumption or large amounts of harmful food can lead to chronic health problems such as pancreatitis and kidney issues. Treatment can be quite expensive, making pet insurance a valuable asset for managing unexpected veterinary costs.

What are Healthy Alternatives?

Instead of baloney, consider these healthier options for your dog:

  • Lean Chicken: Cooked and unseasoned, it's a great source of protein.
  • Plain Turkey: Also cooked and unseasoned, it's easier on their digestive system.
  • Carrots: Crunchy and nutritious, they make a great low-calorie treat.


Baloney should stay off your dog's menu. While it might be tempting to share everything with your furry friend, stick to healthier, dog-friendly options. Always consult with your vet before introducing new foods to your dog’s diet, especially if they have specific health conditions. Keep your pup's diet balanced and nutritious!