Dogs are carnivores, so they enjoy a good meal with real meat. In addition, meat is rich in protein, which is perfect for dogs. With that said, can dogs eat pork?
This answer is more complicated than you think, but the short answer is that plain, cooked pork is safe for dogs. Any other kind of pork is not.
Is pork safe for dogs to eat?
This meat is only good for dogs to eat if it is cooked and plain. Most people cook their pork with spices and other flavors, which are often bad for dogs. For example, these spices typically contain garlic, onions, and nutmeg, all toxic to dogs. Any other way you prepare pork is bad for your dog to eat.
For a quick reference, here’s what’s okay and what’s not:
- Plain, cooked pork: Yes
- Seasoned, cooked pork: No
- Raw pork: No
- Pork bones: No
- Preserved pork (ham, bacon): No
Not only does seasoning have ingredients that are toxic to dogs, but they also add more sodium, which is bad for your pup.
A closer look at feeding your dog pork
Raw pork is not good for human or dog consumption. This is because it typically carries a trichinella spiralis larvae, which can cause an infection called trichinosis. This will, of course, have a negative impact on your dog’s body, especially on puppies and senior dogs who may have a weakened immune system. Symptoms of this illness may include:
- Elevated fever
- Muscle inflammation
- Pain and stiffness
- Upset stomach
While these symptoms are more subtle in dogs than in humans, you should still call your veterinarian right away if you notice your dog is feeling under the weather.
Like chicken bones, pork bones can be chewed by your dog, but it’s not recommended. Whether it’s cooked or raw, the bone is brittle and can split. Your pup may accidentally swallow some bone, thus upsetting their digestive system and making them sick. If you want to give your dog a bone, a dental chew that’s made for dog consumption would be the better option.
Preserved pork like ham, sausage, and bacon are also not safe for your dog to eat. These foods are fatty and high in sodium, which is too much for a dog’s stomach to digest. Too much sodium in your dog’s diet may cause excessive thirst, thus potentially causing your pup to get Bloat.
What is Bloat?
When a dog’s stomach fills up with excessive gas, food, or fluid, then Bloat occurs. This fills up their stomach, putting pressure on their organs. Bloat is deadly, and if you notice your dog’s belly is swelled up or they have extreme discomfort, then you need to call the emergency veterinarian immediately.
How to feed cooked, plain pork to your dog
However, pork does have health benefits for your pet. It’s an allergy-friendly food since it’s highly digestible. Pork also has an abundance of amino acids and an essential mineral called thiamine. Thiamine is also known as vitamin B1 and helps improve cell function in dogs.
Should you decide to give your dog a little pork, cook the meat first and keep it plain. Then, only feed your pet small quantities of the meat. You can give them a small piece here and there while you’re cooking dinner, or you can add a little bit to their dog food as a topper. Remember, 90% of your dog’s diet should be their commercial dog food. This already has all the nutritional benefits your pup needs to be healthy.
Additionally, you can make your own homemade dog treat recipes that contain pork. This way, your dog can get a tasty snack and get some nutrition in their bellies. Take a look at some recipes below:
Can dogs eat pork?
The decision to feed your dog will be entirely up to you and your dog’s veterinarian. Always check in with the vet before trying new foods with your dog. If your pup has allergies, then pork may be a good alternative to feed your dog. As long as you’re careful about feeding this meat to your pup and you only give it in small quantities, it’s a tasty treat your pet will surely enjoy.
Other meat your dog will love
Rachel is a stay-at-home pet mom, caring for her dog, cat, turtle, tortoise, and fish. She’s a content writer in various niches but most notably in the pet field, educating pet parents on the health and wellbeing of their furry friends. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, playing video games, or organizing something.