Many dog owners believe that meat is healthy for dogs because they are omnivorous. Dogs can eat pork but it depends on the type of cut and how the meat was cooked or processed. Pork is considered red meat and tends to have more saturated fats than alternative animal products like salmon or tuna. Although it’s higher in fat, pork has a ton of essential nutrients that are good for dogs. These include vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12; iron; potassium; magnesium; phosphorus; zinc; and selenium.
You should not give your dogs pork bones of any kind. These bones are susceptible to splintering, which can damage your dogs’ esophagus and digestive systems or lead to choking. Cooked or boiled pork bones are even worse. This process softens the bones and makes them more prone to splintering.
The next time you’re at the dinner table and your dogs are begging for some pork, you can generally feel safe that it is OK for them to eat. To help you learn more, we’ve compiled a guide on pork for dogs. From health concerns to side effects, explore below for details on which types of pork are bad for dogs.
Can Dogs Have Pork?
This can be a tricky question. Yes, dogs can eat pork, but they can’t have all kinds of pork. For instance, raw pork may contain Trichinella Spiralis, which is a parasitic roundworm that can lead to symptoms including lethargy, elevated body temperature, stiffness, pain, and inflammation. However, this does not apply to raw pork found at your local pet store because it has been treated, usually through specialized freezing, to remove these parasites before being sold.
It’s not only raw pork that can lead to unhealthy outcomes for your pet. Cured pork, like bacon, ham, sausage, or bologna, is harmful to dogs because it contains an incredibly high amount of salt and fat. In addition, cured pork often has other additives or preservatives that are not good for dogs. Generally speaking, you should avoid giving your dog any processed meat because it can contain seasonings like garlic, onion, or nutmeg that are toxic to dogs.
Alternatively, pork chops, pork tenderloin, and pork sirloin roast are lean cuts of pork that are OK for dogs to have in moderation if it’s appropriately cooked and unseasoned. In fact, there are enzymes in pork that can help lead to better digestion. Make sure to remove any excess fat before feeding to your dogs because these fats are hard for them to digest and may irritate or inflame their pancreas leading to potential stomach upset.
You may also be wondering if you should be giving your dog pork bones. The simple answer is no. For one thing, they are a lot like chicken bones, and they can splinter inside your dog’s mouth, throat, or stomach and present a number of health risks. Boiled or cooked pork bones are even more susceptible to splintering and should never be given to your dogs.
Side Effects of Pork For Dogs
Too much pork, especially if it is raw or under-cooked, can lead to intestinal roundworms as well as trichinellosis in dogs. Symptoms of this disease include:
- Sore muscles
- Severe body pain
- Swelling of the upper eyelids
If you are planning on giving your dog pork as an occasional treat, make sure that it’s fully cooked. It’s also a good idea to make sure that it was previously frozen and not fresh, to ensure that all parasites have been killed. Look for lean cuts of pork that don’t have a lot of fat. Also, be careful not to season any pork that you are giving your dog. Seasonings such as onions and garlic are toxic for them.
How Much Pork Can Your Dog Eat?
Pork is a rich meat, so it’s important to give it to your dog in moderation. Yes, they can have a little bit once in a while, but it shouldn’t be a daily thing. Also, dogs tend to be more allergic to pork than to other meats. Start by giving your dog very small amounts, and then watch for their reaction. Remember, too much pork can lead to indigestion and other health issues, including inflammation of the pancreas.
Yes, Dogs Can Eat Pork in Moderation
It’s not a bad thing to want to give your dog treats, and it’s okay to give them pork once in a while, as long as they aren’t allergic to it. Make sure that any pork you give your dog is fully cooked, and that you only give them a little bit (no more than ½ cup for small dogs and 1 cup for medium and larger size dogs).