Can Dogs Eat Bacon Grease?

By John Martin - October 14, 2021

Bacon frying in a pan

Dogs should not eat bacon grease as it can lead to several health concerns. However, if they accidentally have a small amount of it, then they are unlikely to face any issues.

Let’s take a more detailed look at why dogs cannot eat bacon grease regularly or in large amounts.

Why Can’t Dogs Eat Bacon Grease?

Dogs cannot eat bacon grease since it contains high levels of salt. This salt or sodium content can be extremely harmful to dogs, even though it might be normal enough for human beings.

Dogs have sensitive digestive systems that cannot handle too much sodium, which is why bacon grease can lead to digestive issues or poisoning if eaten in a large quantity. It could also create long-term problems if you feed bacon grease to your dog on a regular basis.

Apart from salt, bacon grease also contains too much fat. Like salt, too much fat can also lead to digestive problems while also leading to swelling and inflammation that could be potentially fatal for dogs.

Related: Can Dogs Eat Turkey Bacon?

Potential Risks

There are several risks associated with dogs eating bacon grease. These could either be short-term or chronic in nature. Let’s look at some of them in further detail.

Pancreatic Inflammation

A major problem that can occur if dogs eat too much bacon grease is the inflammation of the pancreas. This is also known as pancreatitis.

Within this condition, too much fatty food can cause the pancreatic enzymes to start functioning before they ideally should.

This can lead to inflammation and harm to the pancreas itself. This can then lead to vomiting, nausea, pain and general discomfort.

This condition could either be mild or severe depending on the quantity of bacon grease that your dog consumes. This could result in hospitalization as well as chronic problems like diabetes, indigestion and pain.

Digestive Issues

As a result of taking in more salt and fat than the dog’s digestive system can handle, various digestive or gastrointestinal issues are bound to occur if dogs eat too much bacon grease.

For instance, they could end up experiencing diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, excessive gas, inability to eat more food and discomfort.

If the problem is mild, your vet might simply suggest medication and a balanced diet. They might also try to induce vomiting to get rid of the excess salt from your dog’s system.

However, in case the issue has become severe, then hospitalization and treatment might be necessary.

Dehydration and Bloating

Eating too much salt through bacon grease could also result in dehydration. This can cause your dog to become more tired and lethargic than usual while also leading to dizziness.

Your dog will keep feeling thirsty, which will cause them to drink plenty of water and other fluids to satisfy their thirst.

This could then lead to bloat due to large amounts of fluid present in their stomachs. This can be quite harmful to the general health of dogs and can result in hospitalization.

In extreme cases, it can also result in death. To prevent this, you should keep an eye on some symptoms such as swelling, anxiety, drooling, indications of pain and more.


Bacon grease can also lead to some infections in dogs that might also transmit to humans around them.

Further, in case your dog already has underlying health conditions or known infections, then too much fat and salt can make them worse and could also prove fatal.

Heart Diseases

In the long run, heart diseases can also develop as a result of eating too much bacon grease.

A small amount of it on a rare basis is unlikely to cause too much damage, but having it regularly can certainly be dangerous for your dog’s heart. Excess amounts of fat can collect inside their body.

Further, the heart rate can increase significantly due to salt poisoning. This can then develop into a chronic issue or lead to cardiac arrest, which could end up being fatal.

It is, therefore, important to keep track of what kind of food your dog consumes on a regular basis.


Since bacon grease contains plenty of fat, too much of it can lead to obesity in your dog due to the number of calories involved. This can then make it difficult for your dog to be active, leading to a decline in their overall health.

Obesity can also make your dog more likely to develop other major diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, overheating, long-term injuries and more.

If your dog does end up eating more bacon grease than necessary, you should try to provide some extra exercise so that they can burn off all the calories without a risk of developing such diseases.

Are There Any Benefits of Bacon Grease?

It is important for dogs to have a certain amount of salt and fat content in their bodies. This normal amount can lead to certain benefits in dogs such as high energy levels, nourishment for malnourished dogs, as well as healthy and moisturized coats.

Bacon grease can also become a good way to reward your dog after obeying your commands.

However, it is important to note that bacon grease does not provide a regulated amount of salt or fat, which is why it is generally better to avoid feeding it to your dog.

You can either opt for some dog-friendly alternatives of bacon grease or consult your vet before feeding it to your dog.

Also Read: Can Dogs Eat Frozen Yogurt?

Steps to Take If Your Dog Eats Bacon Grease

In case you notice that your dog has eaten bacon grease, you should take the following steps to ensure your dog’s safety.

Remove the Rest

If your dog has accidentally eaten or licked some bacon grease from the floor (because of a spill) or from a kitchen counter or bowl, then you should try to take any remaining bacon grease away from your dog so that they cannot access it anymore.

This can help limit the amount that your dog eats so that the risks of eating it do not worsen anymore. Further, you can also try preventing this kind of situation in the first place by keeping the bacon grease high up so that your dog cannot reach it.

If you are unsure of how much bacon grease your dog ate, then you should consult your vet.

Make Observations

If you are aware that your dog has eaten bacon grease, you should observe and record their behavior so that you can see if any symptoms arise.

For instance, if your dog develops issues with digestion such as diarrhea, vomiting or nausea, or if they develop a fever and are generally feeling uncomfortable, then you should immediately take them to the vet.

This can also help you understand how severe the issue is depending on how much bacon grease your dog has eaten.

Consult Your Vet

The next step to take is to consult your vet so that they can determine the intensity of the problem. They will ask you for the symptoms and will also conduct the relevant examination and tests of your dog.

Based on this, they can then suggest the steps that you can take for your dog. If the problem is not too major, then the vet might simply suggest medication to get rid of the salt inside your dog’s body.

However, if it is more intense, you might need to hospitalize your dog and provide the relevant treatment.

It is important to take your dog to the vet as soon as you notice the symptoms. Delaying the process might be harmful or fatal for your dog.

Take Precautionary Measures

It is important to take the following relevant precautions so that your dog does not come into contact with bacon grease in the first place.

  • You should keep track of what your dog is eating at all times to ensure that they do not end up consuming what they shouldn’t.
  • If you are cooking with bacon or grease, ensure that you keep it out of your dog’s reach. You should also dispose of it properly.
  • Try not to develop a habit of giving bacon grease to your dogs, as they might learn to expect it regularly.

Also Read: Can Dogs Eat Sunflower Butter?

Final Thoughts

To sum up, dogs should not eat bacon grease in large amounts or on a frequent basis because of the high amounts of salt and fat that it contains. In case you notice any symptoms arising, you should take your dog to the vet immediately.