Can Dogs Eat Pig Ears? Or Are Pig Ears For Dogs Bad?

(Last Updated On: June 17, 2019)

Pig ears are an element of cuisine that decorate plates from Portugal, Africa, Thailand, and Bulgaria to China. And they’re exactly what they sound like, babe’s ears – boiled and then smoked.

Pig ears are also an option when it comes to canine cuisine, sold in the most prominent pet stores, by various companies, some of which claim to be “Vet Recommended”. But, they’re an option that often comes with a slew of critique at the back just as well.

Although many dog owners warrant caution, others rant and rave about how much their pups enjoy pig ears without any repercussions – so should you or shouldn’t you?

It’s wise to educate yourself about this subject before jumping to any conclusions on whether to give these to your dog or not. In this article, the pros and cons of giving your dog pig ears to eat as a treat or just something they get regularly as part of their diet are going to be outlined and the age-old question of whether pig ears are good for your dog or not is going to be cleared up and answered.

Before we get into the nitty gritty of everything you need to know about these treats, let’s have a quick look at what we believe to be the best pig ears for dogs out there on the market today.

Our List Of The Best Pig Ears For Dogs – (Our 5 Favorite Options)

Top Pick: USA Pig Ears by Best Bully Sticks
Pick #2: Brutus & Barnaby’s Natural Whole Pig Ear Dog Treat
Pick #3: Downtown Pet Supply Natural JUMBO Pig Ears
Pick #4: Smokehouse Natural Smoked Pig Ears
Pick #5: Pig Ear Chews by Country Pups

*Note: The links in the table above, as well as several links in the remainder of the article below, will take you to over to Amazon.com where you can find out more information about the products, such as current prices and customer reviews.

The Pros Of Pig Ears For Dogs

Taste

Almost every dog owner who has given their canine pig ears can attest that dogs love ‘em. So much so, that they go bonkers for them!

And even for a nice sized dog they can enjoy them to the fullest for a bit longer than most other chew treats, which is always a great plus.

Honestly, what is better than watching your dog chomp on a treat that makes their heart smile? Pig ears will do this every time.

If your dog is a smaller breed, it is recommended that you break up the pig ear into smaller pieces, though. This is to avoid any possible choking hazard.

Oral Hygiene Benefits

Due to the chewing motion involved when a dog enjoys these treats, pig ears have been proven to effectively remove plaque and tartar from a dogs’ teeth.

Consequently, they improve your canine’s oral hygiene and they do so with a lesser probability of injury, as compared to products made from cow.

According to Veterinarian Dr. Fegan, pork is softer than cowhide, which makes it easier on the teeth and gums. It also lessens the chance of a tooth fracture.

Ability To Prepare At Home

One great benefit of pig ears is that you’re not forced with just the option of buying them from a pet store, you can prepare them at home if you’re willing to put in a little bit of effort. It’s simple, just follow these simple steps:

  1. Visit your local butcher and request pig ears
  2. Wash and clean the pig ears
  3. Cut them into smaller sized squares or strips
  4. Coat them with a layer of olive oil
  5. Bake them for 6 hours (Preheat the oven at 350 degrees)

Another method that dog owners choose to cook pig ears by is to boil them and then roast them. This process takes even longer than 6 hours and is more tedious, so baking them is often the most preferred method.

As they say, home cooked meals are almost always healthier than anything that’s been processed and put in a bag. Less salt and no preservatives! A healthier recipe that calls for a happy canine.

The Cons Of Pig Ears For Dogs

Salmonella

This one must be mentioned first as it can affect humans in the household, especially young children.

Scientific evidence published in The Journal of Food Protection found that slightly over four percent of pig ears, packed as commercial dog treats, have salmonella present.

For this reason, if you have a baby or young child in the house, keep the pig ears out of reach. Maintain your heightened levels of awareness.

Per the Mayo Clinic, here are the three main symptoms of the bacterial infection: Abdominal pain, Fever, Nausea.

It was also found that the salmonella decreased at slower rates if the treats were refrigerated. For the dog owners who decide to purchase pig ears, it is suggested to store them at room temperature.

High Calorie Count

Pig ears are weighty when it comes to their calorie count. Meaning, that if you give your canine more than the occasional treat, they’re prone to gain weight.

Like anything high in calories, if consumed too often pig ears could play into causing obesity in your dog.

These treats are jam packed with salt as well (most chew treats are) – in layman terms, pig ears are the doggy version of human junk food and should be given to your pup only in moderation.

As a dog owner, you know how active your canine is. If your dog is lean and lives an active lifestyle, an occasional pig ear will do no harm. If your dog is already overweight, it would be better to refrain.

Gage the situation and distribute the treat accordingly. In moderation, it is highly unlikely that pig ears will cause obesity, even in dogs that live a sedentary lifestyle.

Upset Digestive System

Diarrhea – it’s a messy word and can be an even messier situation. If you are a dog owner, you have certainly experienced your furry buddy go through at least one bout of diarrhea.

Unfortunately, this is the result for lots of dogs, after consuming pig ears. Why? They are greasy and because such they are prone to upset stomachs.

If your canine is the type that has a sensitive stomach, pig ears may not be the best choice for them.

If the opposite applies, then you may have nothing to worry about as long as you follow the “everything in moderation” rule.

Allergies

Not all canines can eat pork without suffering an allergic reaction.

Some of these allergic reactions include but are not limited to: vomiting, hot spots, diarrhea and infections in their ears.

If you are aware or have even the slightest inclination that your pup is allergic to pork, do not give them pig ears.

And if after the consumption of pig ears, one or several of these symptoms begin to arise, your canine may have a pork allergy. Bring this to the attention of your veterinarian and they will treat your pooch accordingly.

The Bottom Line

Pig ears are a tasty treat for your pet, but should be given to them in moderation when compared to how active your canine is.

If you do decide to give your dog pig ears, remember this saying that goes “there are always too many critics with too little credentials”.

Let your pup relish what life has to offer as long as there’s no medical reason for you to not be doing so!

Just be sure to cap your canine’s craze for them at a couple a week. When it comes to pig ears for dogs, moderation (not restriction) is key.

If you made it this far and want to give this a try, then here’s another look at our favorite 5 pig ears for dogs treat formulas on the market today.

Our List Of The Best Pig Ears For Dogs – (Our 5 Favorite Options)

Top Pick: USA Pig Ears by Best Bully Sticks
Pick #2: Brutus & Barnaby’s Natural Whole Pig Ear Dog Treat
Pick #3: Downtown Pet Supply Natural JUMBO Pig Ears
Pick #4: Smokehouse Natural Smoked Pig Ears
Pick #5: Pig Ear Chews by Country Pups

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