Can Dogs Eat Pork? The Safe and Unsafe Sides of Pig Meat

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Dogs would highly likely eat anything you hand them, including a savory bit of pork. Because why not? It’s tasty and oozing with flavor. Not to mention, the aroma is divine. It probably wouldn’t harm them since they’re practically begging for it, right? Well… you might want to rethink it! Consider the question “can dogs eat pork?”

Pork is made of animal meat, which is naturally included in the majority of dog meals. But when fed in wrong proportions and with the wrong cooking methods, you could be unknowingly giving your dogs more health problems in the long run.

Can dogs eat pork?

Yes and no. When served in a plain fashion devoid of salt, garlic, and other types of seasonings, it’s completely safe for dogs. The same goes for processed pork in wet and dry dog foods.

On the other hand, raw pork, pork bones, and flavored pork bring health risks to canines that could otherwise be avoided.

Read on to learn what makes pork safe and risky for dogs, as well as the occasions you can feed pork to your canine without any worry.

How is Pork Served in a Dog’s Diet?

To answer your question of can dogs eat pork, we have to first understand that pork can be cooked in many different ways. Depending on what’s the method used, pork can actually be harmful for your furry friend. Below are 5 ways in which pork is commonly cooked and you’ll learn which are the ones you should avoid.

Raw or Undercooked Pork

Not all raw ingredients are bad for dogs. In fact, as we discussed in our previous blog post, there are a number of great benefits raw diets bring to your canine friend. This includes better stool quality, improved skin and coat, a healthier appetite, and fresher breath.

However, when it comes to raw or undercooked pork, it’s a completely different story. The biggest threat here is the rare infection dogs can contract from trichinella spiralis larvae. This could lead to vomiting, nausea, muscle inflammation, lethargy, and pain.

Dogs with weaker immune systems are more susceptible to contracting this kind of infection. Similarly, humans can get infected by the trichinella parasite when raw meat is consumed.

Seasoned or Flavored Pork

Humans love flavorings and seasonings in their food, there’s no question about it! it doesn’t only enrich a meal’s taste but also adds a splash of color to the entire dish. The same can’t be said for dogs, however. As much as you’re tempted to give your pet a bite, refrain from doing so. Stick to the basics. Give only plain and simple pork, literally with no spices and additives.

Spices and seasonings such as onion, garlic, salt, nutmeg, and cocoa powder are big no-nos for our furry pals. Especially when these are marinated into pork in large quantities, it can have dangerous effects on Fido, including anemia, urinary tract infection, kidney problems, and severe stomach ache.

If you really want to add a bit of flavor to your dog’s pork meal, opt for dog-approved spices like basil, cinnamon, parsley, ginger, and turmeric. Now that’s a healthy and hearty meal for your beloved canine!

Pork Fats

Animal fat is rich in flavor. It’s also rich in health risks, especially for our doggos. Pork fats are oozing in temptation but they are actually hard to digest. This could lead to stomach inflammation, upset stomach, and irritation in the pancreas, among its numerous effects.

As a result, it’s just loads of vet bills you shouldn’t have to spend on in the first place. To cut it short, just refrain from feeding your canine pork fats and your wallet will be thanking you big time.

Pork Bones

Research shows that chewing on bones is healthy for dogs, provided you give the right type of bone for the breed. Even the American Kennel Club said so! However, pork bones are an exception.

First off, it’s hard to chew for dogs even with their sharp teeth. If shredded, it could lead to mouth and internal injuries. It may also contain trichinella parasites, as discussed above.

Even cooked pork bones are not any safer. It could break in parts and cause splinters in your dog’s throat. To be on the safe side, never give your furbaby cooked bones of any kind. Just stick with raw chicken, turkey, beef, and lamb bones, which are soft enough to chew and digest.

You should also always ensure that you’re keeping a close watch on your dogs when they are chewing on the bones. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Pork in Dog Food

So what about pork found in dog food, you ask. As long as they’ve been processed properly and mass-produced mainly for dogs, you can trust them to be safe and clean for your canine’s diet. They are served as plainly as possible without harmful ingredients for dogs.

According to The US Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA), processed wet dog food should “…be safe to eat, produced under sanitary conditions, contain no harmful substances, and be truthfully labeled.“

There is also a regulation where canned dog foods should contain low acid levels to keep the food free from bacteria and germs. In short, canned dog foods are 100% sterile! There’s only a chance of getting bacteria in it once you open the can. Until then, it remains safe, clean, and tasty!

What about the pork in dry food? Dry dog food is made by mixing wet and dry ingredients together to form a dough. This, then, is heated and pushed to form a certain pellet size suitable for dog consumption.

The ingredients in dry pet food can also be found in the human food chain. Aside from meat, fish, and by-products, these contain cereals, vegetables, and grains. The process includes cooking the ingredients, removing the fats, and creating a dry meal with the remaining ingredients.

When is it Safe to Feed Pork to my Dog?

You now know what kind of pork you should not feed to your dogs, but when is it safe to give them pork? Here’s a plot twist: you don’t have to totally remove pork from your dog’s diet. In fact, you can serve it to them provided it’s well-cooked.

You can also serve it from being freeze-dried or when prepared as dry pork. This thoroughly removes all types of bacteria that could be present in the meat and gives your dog an appetizing treat!

Believe it or not, dried pig ears also make a great snack. Overall, as long as you cook the pork well with no flavors, then it’s completely safe to serve your canine pal. You may also throw in some veggies and secreting organs for a well-balanced meal!

  1. Stewart Freeze-Dried Pork Liver Dog Treats

Since 1973, Stewart has been producing 100% high-quality and consumer-favored treats for all dog breeds and sizes. All ingredients are responsibly sourced and produced for the safe and healthy consumption of canines.

Widely preferred by many professional trainers all over the world, you can’t go wrong with training your beloved Fido with the Stewart Pork Lover Dog Treats. Each kibble is free from gluten, grain, soy, and corn, containing no artificial flavors, preservatives, or flavors to ensure safe and harm-free delicious treats for every dog.

The Stewart Dog Treats also serve as a great meal topper to add more flavor and excitement to your canine’s everyday dish, providing palatable goodness with every bite. You can rest assured every ingredient from this dog treat is sourced properly and mixed in with all the essential nutrients dogs need for a healthy lifestyle and a smooth training session ahead. You can purchase a packet in varying quantities from 1.5 ounces to 4 ounces per tub.

  1. Stella & Chewy’s ‘Purely Pork’ Dog Food Topper

Another Stella & Chewy product we absolutely love is Stella & Chewy’s ‘Purely Pork’ Dog Food Topper. A bag is available in 3.5 ounces, 8 ounces, 1.12 pounds, and 2.18 pounds, so you can have plenty to go around with. This meal mixer is great for any breed. It’s packed with all the quality ingredients your dog could ever need to grow big, happy, and strong.

Each bag contains a mixture of healthy goodness such as pork, pork liver, fenugreek seed, pumpkin seed, organic cranberries, vitamin D3 supplement, calcium carbonate, and folic acid, essential for growth and development. All ingredients are natural and minimally processed to keep the nutrients intact.

When it comes to your canine’s pork consumption, have no worries with the Stella & Chewy’s ‘Purely Pork’ Dog Food Topper. You can have peace of mind that there are no preservatives and antibiotics added – simply fresh and safe ingredients. You can serve conveniently with its “scoop, mix, and serve” method.

  1. Stella & Chewy’s Freeze-Dried Raw Dinner Patties

Of course, this list wouldn’t be complete without Dinner Patties in Pork flavor! Oozing with natural ingredients, these Stella & Chewy’s Raw Dinner Patties contain a healthy balance of 95% pork, organs, and bone, and 100% organic-certified fruits and vegetables. With all these combined, you get a satisfied canine with a completely finished bowl!

Claimed to be made with single ingredient animal meat, these dinner patties are produced with no grain or gluten. There are also no added hormones or antibiotics, making it suitable for dogs of any age, health, breed, and appetite. Its freeze-dried method is completely safe for dogs and preferred by pet nutritionists for the safe consumption of pork minus all the flavors, spices, and fatty components.

Hence, there’s no need for you to worry about the risks of pork to dogs. Stella & Chewy ensures that by choosing their products, your beloved canine can reap the benefits of vibrant coat and skin, allergy relief, improved appetite, healthy gut system, excellent stamina, and healthy teeth and gums.

  1. Grandma Lucy’s Artisan Dog Food, ‘Pork Recipe’

Having the term “Grandma” on a brand is a resounding empathy, warmth, and merry home-making. This is exactly what Grandma Lucy’s Artisan Dog Food delivers to dogs of varying breeds with her Grain-Free, Freeze-Dried Dog Food in Pork Recipe. Every bite is enriched with the nutritional value of USDA pork, celery, apples, and vitamin supplements, among many of its healthy ingredients.

This ‘Pork Recipe’ is specially formulated to suit all life stages of a dog. It contains no fillers, preservatives, or GMOs to keep your pup or hound healthy and active as can be. Not to mention, it has a great taste that all breeds would love. Say no more to difficult feeding time! Even the pickiest eater among your pet dogs would come running to you when it’s mealtime.

To achieve the best consistency, mix 1 to 2 cups of warm water with every cup of the dog food and let it sit for 3 to 5 minutes before serving. Add bits of veggies or dog food toppers for some extra crunch!

  1. Beg & Barker Pork Loin Strips

Dog foods and treats come in different shapes, sizes, and forms. We want to give justice to this list by featuring pork jerky for dogs. As Beg & Barker’s tagline emphasizes, this is not your ordinary dog treat! Their pork loin strips are proudly made with 78% protein, unlike other jerkies with too many fillers in them. This one keeps your furry pal alive, alert, and enthusiastic with its natural ingredients.

Each strip is slowly air-fried to perfection, making it every bit crispy and flavorful for your hound’s eating satisfaction. Feel free to give these pork loin strips on any occasion, whether as a reward for good behavior or a casual treat after a hearty meal.

The Beg & Barker Pork Loin Strips are made with human-grade ingredients to ensure safety, hygiene, and wellness among dogs of all breeds. Beyond that, this snack promotes energy and brain health, improves skin and coat conditions, and suits special diets for medicated dogs.

Can Dogs Eat Pork? The Final Answer

Yes, if you’re wondering can dogs eat pork? You’ll be happy to know that dogs can eat pork in regular proportions as long as they are well done.

Giving raw pork, pork bones, and pork fats can lead to a number of health issues that could be prevented simply by cooking the pork well and staying away from spices and seasonings in general. Keep in mind that raw pork is highly dangerous for dogs, as well as flavored pork that could trigger an upset stomach, among many of its possible adverse effects.

By stirring clear from these unhealthy cooking methods (for dogs) and advocating healthy consumerism by choosing high-quality wet and dog foods, you can keep your canine bestie happy and healthy without completely omitting pork from their diet.

Sheena Mai

I started out with the intention of finding out all I can about dogs because I love dogs but it has now turned into a mission to share my findings and experience with as many people as possible. Dogs are loyal animals but they also have their needs and it's our job to keep them happy and healthy! I hope you will find the information to be useful and thanks for stopping by!


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