Can Dogs Eat Pancetta? Is it Harmful?


Pancetta gets defined as fatty meat derived from a pig’s belly. So, can dogs eat pancetta? gave their expert opinion in a February 13, 2020 review report about unsafe foods for your dog like fatty meat that includes pancetta.

Pancetta meat gets cut out from the pig’s belly and then cured using spices, salt, and allium ingredients like onions. Its preparation process originated from Italy and involves curating it with salts, sugar, and spices. That process enhances its preservation and flavoring.

Why is Pancetta not Safe for Dogs?

Experts spell out the dangers of giving your dog pancetta. The first reason pertains to the high quantities of white fatty meat that can lead to health issues. The second reason is the way it gets prepared using salts, spices, and allium foods.

  • Risk of Pancreatitis

The report by WebMD categorizes meat with fat trimmings like pancetta as food that’s dangerous for dogs. When taken by your dog as cooked or uncooked food, it can cause pancreatitis.

In a report dated March 25, 2014, Vetstreet gives out the reasons for pancreatitis occurring in dogs.  A dog’s pancreas releases enzymes to help fats break down in the digestion system. If the fatty content is high, the pancreas can get inflamed and can lead to pancreatitis in your dog.

  • Risk of Contracting Cancer

According to a Wikipedia entry, pancetta belongs to the class of highly cured and processed red meat. It contains nitrosamines which are carcinogenic compounds that get formed through the reaction of amines and nitrites.

Nitrites get added to aid in pancetta preservation, while the amines are natural meats ingredients. The high temperatures required in processing the pancetta enhance the formation of nitrosamines. The carcinogenic content within the nitrosamines can lead to cancer in your dog.

  • Issues with Added Ingredients

Pancetta processing involves adding large quantities of salt that can lead to your dog getting too thirsty. According to a report by, although salt is an essential ingredient to your dog’s wellbeing, too much of it can lead to high blood pressure and possible heart disease.

pancetta slices

As you love your spiced food, you may think it proper to give your dog spiced food like pancetta. But is it right for your dog? The answer is negative. According to a HillsPet report on February 9, 2018, pancetta spiced foods like pancetta can get toxic and cause stomach problems like diarrhea, gas, pain, and vomiting.

Onions, leeks, and garlic are also added as ingredients to make pancetta. These form a part of foods known as the allium family that are highly toxic to dogs leading to stomach upsets.

What to Do if Dog Eats Pancetta?

Don’t panic when your dog eats pancetta by accident. Any harmful effect depends on the quantity taken. If it’s a small piece, you need to watch out for any abnormal behavior. If it’s large quantities, the dog can suffer from internal infection or inflammation, requiring you to call your veterinarian.

Final Remarks

Based on the above facts, it’s not appropriate to give your dog a pancetta in any circumstances. Consider other meaty foods if you want to apply a raw diet for your dogs like beef, lamb, salmon, duck, and etcetera.

You should also train your dog on your house rules regarding healthy habits. But, all-in-all, it proves wise if you can keep things that can harm your dog out of its way.


  1. Foods Your Dog Should Never Eat, 2020, Amy Flowers, DVM
  2. Pancreatitis in Dogs, 2014, Vetstreet

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Maria Klypo

Maria Klypo

As a dog and cat owner, Maria has a passion for her pets, and her mission is to help other pet owners live comfortably with each other by writing articles on pet-related topics. She is passionate about sharing knowledge and experiences on raising and spending time with furry friends, and she is always willing to learn from others' experiences.