Pigs are nice creatures and all, but we’re not here today to talk about raising them, we’re here to talk about eating them! I don’t suppose anyone reading this will be offended, especially since you searched for it in the first place ;).
Dogs aren’t vegetarians, everyone knows that, and if you give them a piece of pork, they’ll happily devour it in no time!
But, can dogs eat pork safely?
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Can Dogs Eat Pork, Or Is Pork Bad For Dogs?
This is a bit of a shady area and the answer is a bit more complicated than a straight out yes or no.
However, in general, YES dogs can eat pork, as long as certain conditions are met (and we’ll talk about these conditions in a minute).
How Can Dogs Eat Pork?
To start off, you should carefully and thoroughly cook any pork before your dog eats it.
Any raw or under-cooked pork will contain trichinella muscle larvae, that leads to intestinal roundworms and trichinellosis in dogs.
Some of the things that trichinosis can lead to are:
- Muscle soreness
- Intense body pain
- Upper eyelid swelling
So, to make sure any trichinella in the pork is killed and eliminated, you have to cook the raw pork for a long enough period of time.
Before you cook the pork, it’s mostly recommended that you freeze it for around three weeks, to ensure that all parasites contained in it are killed.
You also want to stick to leaner cuts of pork, as thicker cuts of pork tend to contain much higher levels of fats, which can lead to a serious condition in dogs called pancreatitis.
How Much Pork Can Dogs Eat?
As with any new food, you should closely watch your dog’s reaction when you first give them a small amount of pork.
Dogs are more prone to be allergic to pork than other meats (like chicken or turkey), so if you see any health problems or signs of something wrong with your dog after you feed them even the tiniest bit of pork, then don’t feed them any more pork again.
You also don’t want to overdo it with feeding your dog pork because it’s rich with a type of fat that’s very difficult for dogs to digest, which can lead to indigestion and the inflammation of your dog’s pancreas.
Statistics show that around 50% of dogs have some kind of allergy to pork, so be careful if you don’t know whether your dog is allergic or not.
The best way to find out is by feeding them a very small amount of cooked pork and seeing if all goes well or they don’t handle it the way they normally should.
Can Dogs Have Pork Bones?
If you’re having some pork yourself or preparing a large amount of pork for something like a family gathering or friends coming over, you’re going to have a whole lot of pork bones sitting there waiting for you to either make use of them or throw them away.
And, one of the ways you may be thinking of making use of them is by feeding them to your dog.
But the question immediately pops up and you ask yourself, can dogs have pork bones? Or are pork bones bad for dogs?
Many dog owners don’t even give this issue a single thought, they firmly believe that it’s in the nature of dogs to play around with and do whatever they please with bones.
But, if you’re looking for the most straightforward answer to this problem, then the short answer to this question is no, dogs can’t have pork bones.
What About Raw Pork Bones? I Heard These Are Fine For Dogs!
Some people will argue that there are ways you can give your dog a pork rib bone and everything goes fine (such as when you give them a raw pork rib bone), and there are ways you can give your dog a pork rib bone and the potential of disaster taking place is very high (such as when you give them a cooked pork rib bone).
However, the reality is that either way you choose to give your dog a pork rib bone, be it raw or cooked, holds several dangers that could severely affect your dog.
This is why it’s best that you keep any form of pork bones away from your dog as much as possible.
Feeding your dog pork meat may be an acceptable thing to do under certain circumstances, as it can be a good source of dietary protein that your dog’s body can put to good use, but feeding them pork bones is almost always advised against by professionals in the field.
Even if you were thinking of offering one to them as a toy, that’s a very bad idea, as they could easily decide to try to chew on it and eat it.
Why Is This Such A Bad Idea?
Pork rib bones, whether given to your dog raw or cooked, can splinter inside your dog’s throat or stomach, which will lead to deadly choking and serious internal injuries.
Not to mention the possibility of these small pieces of bone blocking your dog’s intestines and causing constipation.
When feeding your dog raw bones, it’s not just the salmonella and poisoning that you have to worry about.
Don’t worry about Salmonella or any other bacterial infections because dogs have different digestive systems than us humans and are much less likely to get infections from these elements, but worry about the possible choking risks involved.
Some people will have you believe that feeding your dog raw pork bones instead of cooked bones will significantly decrease the risks involved of the bones splintering and potentially leading to chocking and/or intestinal blockage, but that isn’t entirely true.
Cooked bones do indeed have a slightly lower chance of splintering in your dog’s system, but that doesn’t mean that these risks are diminished when it comes to raw pork bones.
The risks with raw pork bones are slightly less, but are still very much there.
What About The Benefits of Giving Dogs Pork Bones?
Here are a couple of benefits of that dog owners often like to suggest that giving their dogs pork bones can offer.
- Pork bones aid in cleaning your dog’s teeth
- Pork bones help your dog emit healthier and less smelly feces (and who doesn’t want less smelly feces?)
Cleaning Your Dog’s Teeth With Pork Bones Isn’t Worth It
Cleaning your dog’s teeth is indeed a benefit that bones (especially raw bones) can offer your dog, but with all the risks covered above, is it worth it to go through with this?
The main benefit that your dog’s teeth get from bones is because of the friction/chewing aspect, and there are tons of different options out there you could give your dog to chew on while removing choking risks and risks of intestinal blockages!
For instance, check out this article we wrote about the best dog toys for pitbulls – many of these toys are awesome if your dog’s a heavy chewer, and are able to offer your dog’s teeth the same benefits that pork bones has to offer.
There’s nothing too special about pork bones in and of itself in this aspect, the mechanism is the same, whether the bone is real or the bone is a toy, it’s just that your dog is entirely safe with a toy rather than a real pork bone.
Dogs chewing on a very resistant piece of rubber is much safer than them chewing on a real bone they can break down into pieces in no time.
Addressing Your Dog’s Smelly Poop By Giving Them A Pork Bone Isn’t The Right Way
As for the part about enhancing the smell of your dog’s feces, if your dog has smelly poop, then chances are there’s a problem with their diet that giving them a bone to eat isn’t nearly going to be addressing.
Instead of trying to solve this problem from the surface by giving your dog a bone to eat, talk to your veterinarian in order to find out what the root cause of this problem is, and if any dietary changes are needed to address it – as most of the times, it’s because they aren’t getting the right food they need.