Cooking up some chorizo? If you have a dog, you’re likely to be met with puppy eyes begging for a piece. But can dogs eat chorizo, or is this Spanish cured meat best left to the humans? Let’s have a look at what chorizo is for those who are not familiar, and whether you can share a piece with your furry friend or not.
What is chorizo?
If you’ve ever been to Spain, visited an Argentinian BBQ or regularly go to your local Mexican supermarket, you’re probably familiar with chorizo. Originally from Spain, this smoky pork sausage is made with dried paprika, which gives it a red color. It’s often, but not always, spicy.
Spanish chorizo is usually smoked, meaning it can be eaten without cooking. Still, it’s often used in stews or as a replacement for ground meat. However, in the US, you may also come across Mexican or South American chorizo, which can contain different meats or seasonings and generally needs to be cooked. These can be found in dishes like Mexican “papas con chorizo” (cubed potato fried with chorizo), in tacos and as part of the meat assortment for BBQs.
Cooking chorizo at home or opening a package of sliced chorizo will undoubtedly attract your dog’s attention. If your pooch is begging for a piece, you may be left wondering: can dogs eat chorizo? Or is it better not to share?
Can dogs eat chorizo?
If you’ve read our post about dogs and pepperoni, a similar cured sausage, you’ve probably guessed it already. Unfortunately, whether Spanish or American, chorizo doesn’t make for a very healthy dog snack. Not only is it very fatty, but it’s also laden with salt and seasoned with garlic. Other ingredients may also have been added for conservation purposes that aren’t suitable for our furry friends.
Chorizo is by no means toxic to dogs, and yours won’t keel over if you give it a slice or cube of chorizo. They can occasionally have a bit as a snack with no ill effects, but you should make sure feeding chorizo and other sausage meats doesn’t become a habit. You should also avoid the spicy variety, as that’s a recipe for tummy upset in dogs.
Additionally, you could ask yourself if it wouldn’t be better to just feed something healthier as a treat. A proper diet is extremely important in keeping a dog happy and healthy. Fatty, salt-laden chorizo doesn’t really form a part of that. There are plenty of other, healthier snacks that our dogs go just as crazy for!
Healthy alternatives to chorizo
If your dog is crazy about chorizo but you’re looking for something healthier, there are a few somewhat similar options. For example, lean pork meat can be minced and mixed with some sweet (not spicy) paprika for a less fatty and salty snack. You could even go for chickpeas if your pooch has had enough meat for the day already.
For those just looking for a nice snack to give their dog as a treat, why not go for something like healthy dog cookies instead? Most dogs love them, they store well and they’re much more convenient than having to prepare a chorizo alternative. You could even whip up some homemade treats, like our super easy peanut butter oatmeal dog cookies. Much healthier!
Conclusion: Can dogs eat chorizo?
As with many human foods, dogs can technically eat a small amount of chorizo. Unless your pup has a particularly sensitive stomach, nothing bad is going to happen, and they do love sausages like this.
However, there are many other and more healthy snacks for dogs out there that they adore just as much. We recommend just skipping the chorizo entirely and serving something more suitable for dogs instead.