Can Dogs Eat Slim Jims? Are there Risks for Dogs?

Introduction

No, dogs cannot eat Slim Jims. Invented in 1929, Slim Jims are a wildly popular snack. Anyway, they contain several ingredients that are harmful to dogs in the long run. These ingredients are not directly toxic but definitely pose a hazard if used regularly.

Therefore, if your dog accidentally has a bite or two, there is nothing to be worried about. However, giving a Slim Jims stick to your dog on purpose is something pet parents must refrain from doing.

Why is Slim Jims Bad for Dogs?

There are several reasons Slim Jims are bad for dogs. Although not being directly toxic, they are still riddles with troublesome ingredients. Let’s go through the not-dog-friendly ingredients and potential issues related to Slim Jims.

Stomach Issues

Like all processed foods, Slim Jims can wreak havoc on the dog’s digestive system causing vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, dehydration, etc.

meat sticks

Beef Allergies

The main ingredient in Slim Jims is beef. As unusual as it sounds, beef is a common allergen among dogs. The treats also contain chicken making them unsuitable for dogs with chicken allergies as well.

Corn Syrup and Corn

Corn and corn syrup are not suitable foods for dogs. They are too high in carbs, and there is always the chance of causing allergies.

Wheat Protein

Some dogs are allergic to grains, and in such cases, the presence of wheat protein will trigger an allergic reaction. In general, such allergies manifest with diarrhea.

Soy Content

Despite being a meat product, Slim Jims contain hydrolyzed soy protein. Such protein is not very likely to cause allergies, but there is always a possibility in extra sensitive dogs.

Too Much Salt

All meat treats feature added salt. Too much salt is troublesome for dogs as it triggers dehydration and, in more severe cases, can even cause salt poisoning.

Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)

MSG is sodium salt of glutamic acid and is a rather controversial ingredient. Many food brands add MSG to their products because of its ability to enhance the flavor of the food. However, MSG is considered to be addictive.

Risky Spices

There are many different Slim Jims types and flavors. Different types include different spices, but the general rule is simple – the dog’s stomach is not designed to handle spices. Best case scenario, spices digestive upsets, and worst-case scenario, they can cause bleeding GI tract ulcers.

Artificial Additives

Like all processed foods, Slim Jims are loaded with artificial additives – colors, flavors, and preservatives. Long-term exposure to such additives is harmful to both humans and dogs.

Signs Your Dog Has Eaten Slim Jims 

The signs and symptoms following your dog’s indiscretion with Slim Jims depend on several factors, such as the amount of Slim Jims your dog ate, its body size, and overall health. Depending on these factors, you can expect some of the following issues:

  • Vomiting (may contain blood)
  • Diarrhea (may contain blood)
  • Abdominal pain
  • Cramping
  • Lack of appetite
  • Dehydration
  • Tremors
  • Heavy breathing
  • Restlessness or lethargy.

If your dog is showing one or more of these signs and symptoms, it is best advised to call your trusted veterinarian and seek further help.

dog eating treats

What to Do If My Dog Ate Slim Jims?

If you caught your dog eating Slim Jims or suspect it ate some, it is necessary to call the vet. In most cases, you will be instructed to wait and monitor the situation. However, if your dog is small and ate a considerable amount of Slim Jims, you will have to make a trip to the vet’s office.

When instructed to monitor your dog, you will have to watch for some of the above-described signs and symptoms. Even if there are no troublesome changes in your dog’s behavior, it is a good idea to feed your dog a bland diet (mixture of plain boiled white rice and chicken meat) for a couple of days.

Minor cases of digestive upset can be managed at home. However, before giving your dog any medication, it is critical to consult with the vet. Certain human meds are dangerous for dogs and can do more harm than good.

Summary

All in all, dogs cannot eat Slim Jims. A bite or two may not be harmful, but feeding your dog Slim Jims on purpose is highly unadvisable. Although there is nothing directly toxic in the snacks, they contain several potentially hazardous ingredients.

Luckily, Slim Jims are not the only snack option. The pet market is loaded with treats and snacks made exclusively for dogs. They are not just safe and tasty but also beneficial for dogs. Therefore, stay on the safe side and keep the Slim Jims away from your dog’s food bowl.

Sources

  1. Blah, Blah, and More Blah! Bland Diet Instructions for Dogs and Cats, Lynn Buzhardt, DVM, 2021
  2. A Hidden Ingredient In Pet Food, Feeding Fido and Fluffy, 2014
  3. The Top 7 Most Common Food Allergens for Dogs, Christine Caplan, 2021
  4. Salt Poisoning in Dogs, iPupster, 2020

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Ivana Crnec

Ivana Crnec

Dr. Ivana Crnec is a licensed doctor of veterinary medicine, a passionate writer and a devoted pet parent. Specializing in domestic carnivores, her professional experience ranges from preventative medicine and routine wellness care through diagnosing and treating conditions to emergency and specialty care
Bitola, Macedonia