Does eating dog meat harm my health?

January 9, 2024 | 03:25 pm PT
I like to eat dog meat and drink alcohol on cold days. Is eating dog meat harmful for my health, and should I consume it regularly? (Tu, 37, Hanoi)


The combination of dog meat and alcohol is favored by many men on cold days due to their delicious flavor and high nutritional value.

However, eating dog meat can pose several health problems, especially when many places serve meat that is still unclear or dubious in terms of origin.

Part of dog meat sold at stores may come from stolen or abused dogs, and thus it may pose many risks. Stray dogs often carry cyanide, which is a highly toxic substance. During the cooking process, heat can convert cyanide into hydrocyanic acid, which is also an extremely toxic substance, posing a threat to those who are exposed to it. Consuming poisonous dog meat can lead to digestive disturbances and even make the nervous and cardiovascular systems affected.

A dog transported in a cage in Vietnam. Photo by Shuttlestock/Kanjanee Chaisin

A dog transported in a cage in Vietnam. Photo by Shuttlestock/Kanjanee Chaisin

Moreover, dogs' bodies can contain various dangerous pathogens such as roundworms, tapeworms, E. coli bacteria, and especially the rabies virus (if the dog is rabid). If dog meat is not cooked thoroughly, people who consume it can be at risk of infection from these pathogens.

In general, dog meat carries a high risk of containing various types of parasites. Many types of tapeworms from dogs can not only parasitize our intestines but also migrate and attack various other organs such as the liver, eyes, and even the brain, causing several dangerous complications for those who consume it.

Consuming an excessive amount of dog meat or doing so too frequently can also be the cause of diseases like gout, obesity, electrolyte imbalance, and dehydration. Overconsumption can lead to an excess of protein, raising the levels of uric acid in the blood, which is a contributing factor to high blood pressure.

Dr. Le Van Thieu

National Hospital Of Tropical Diseases

go to top