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Can Dogs Eat Pork?

Dogs, like wolves, are carnivores. 

Yet, it might surprise you to learn that foods that seem like a no-brainer, dog-friendly treats, and snacks can actually be harmful to them. 

And those foods we think could be harmful are actually quite healthy for dogs. 

So the best rule of thumb to keep your pooch safe is never to assume what they can and can’t eat. Instead, make a list of dog-safe foods and plan to feed them in moderation.

In this post, we’ll look closer at whether one specific food is safe for your dog: pork. Let’s take a look!

Is It Safe for Dog Owners to Feed Their Dogs Pork?

Can dogs eat pork? 

Technically, yes. 

As a type of meat, you can feed your dog pork and pork is not toxic to dogs. 

But should your dog eat pork? That’s another question entirely. 

Some dog experts say that, because of pork’s specific characteristics, you shouldn’t be giving your dogs any pork products at all.

Others say that pork is okay for dogs to eat as long as you adhere to certain safety controls. That’s because not all meat is created equal. 

You should know that generally speaking, pork is safe for dogs, in that it doesn’t cause any adverse and toxic reactions like other foods, like raw fish or macadamia nuts can cause a dog. 

However, pork has a complicated background because of the following issues:

Raw pork may contain trichinella

Like all uncooked or undercooked meat, raw pork runs the risk of containing a roundworm known as Trichinella Spiralis. The larvae of this kind of parasite can cause trichinosis, which produces symptoms like elevated body temperature (fever), lethargy, muscle inflammation, pain, and stiffness. 

It’s important to note that any dog food and diet involving uncooked meat could present this risk

Processed pork often has additives 

Even a small amount of preservatives, spices, or additives like onion powder, nutmeg, and garlic powder are highly toxic and extremely dangerous to dogs. That’s why dogs should never eat any kind of sausage or ham. Only plain pork is good for dogs.

Some types of pork products contain high amounts of salt and fat 

Some cuts of pork are highly fatty and can be difficult for dogs who have a compromised or weaker immune system to ingest. 

Besides this, pork meat in the form of bacon and sausages have a high salt content. When a dog eats these foods, it could lead to pancreatitis. 

Too much salt, on the other hand, can cause digestive issues known as “bloat” or twisted stomach because your dog may feel dehydrated from high salt foods, drink too much water to compensate, and this could cause their bellies to expand. 

Can Dogs Eat Cooked Pork Bones?

Unlike cooked pork cuts or organs, giving your dog cooked pork bones as a treat or as food is a bad idea. Once pork bones are cooked, they quickly become dehydrated. When dogs eat pork bones, they chew, nibble, and gnaw on them, which could cause the bones to splinter and damage their mouth or digest system.

Conclusion

So is pork bad for dogs? 

Not at all. 

But there are clearly strict requirements on what kinds of pork food is safe. That’s why many owners who want to feed their dogs a raw diet or a limited ingredient diet often choose chicken or other kinds of meat as the main protein source.

Let’s be clear: When feeding pork to your dog, they should only eat cooked, unseasoned pork.

Cooking pork at home can also help you ensure you’re getting the right cuts of pig meat for your dog. Suitable meat pork parts include:

  • Lean pork cuts (like pork chops!)
  • Livers and hearts (which are a great source of vitamins and minerals)
  • Tongue
  • Trachea
  • Tail
  • Rib bones
  • Trotters (or feet)

Leave a Reply


2 Responses to “Can Dogs Eat Pork?”

  1. I sometimes make food for my chihuahuas. I cook chicken or beef roast, shred the meat and have brown rice with sweet potatoes. I am wondering if I can cook a pork roast with no seasonings in my crock pot and shred for my dogs.

    Comment by Melissa Nestlerode on May 1, 2021 at 12:20 pm
  2. That is perfectly acceptable!!

    Comment by Tom Massey on May 14, 2021 at 4:03 pm

About the Author

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Tom Massey

Tom Massey has owned and operated Snowy Pines Labradors for over a decade. They have become the leaders in English Labradors in the US. He and his team serve customers all over the US and Europe. They house their "dog family" in a state of the art facility on a large farm in the Ozark Mountains. With an obsession for genetics and temperament they raise and train dogs known across the globe for health and personality. Tom serves the pet industry in many forms campaigning for ethical breeding, training, and pet ownership.

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