Dogs love to eat meat, and naturally, their owners want to share their scraps. But not all meats are safe for dogs. And when it comes to pork, dog owners need to be aware of a few things before they throw their dog a chop.
Pork is a tricky meat because it can be okay for your dog to eat if certain conditions are met. Because it isn’t a straightforward yes or no, we’ll tackle the different conditions so that you know when dogs can eat pork.
What is the Safest Pork Option for My Dog?
If you want to feed pork to your dog, then you want to cook the pork with no seasoning. That means also avoiding salt and pepper because these seasonings can disrupt your dog’s digestion.
You’ll want to avoid table scraps because pork is often cooked with seasoning that can be toxic for dogs. The most common seasonings with pork that can be toxic for your dog are:
- Garlic Powder
- Onion Powder
- Cocoa Powder
Related Link: Toxins in Dry Dog Foods: Part 1
Can a Dog Eat Raw Pork?
No. A research study in the US found that 69% of raw pork chops and ground pork contain the following harmful bacteria:
- Yersinia Enterocolitica
These bacteria are harmful to people and dogs, underlining the importance of cooking pork thoroughly.
- Stomach cramps
If your dog has eaten raw pork and is showing signs, you should contact your veterinarian. Your vet will need to prescribe the Mebendazole medication to get rid of the parasite.
Can a Dog Eat Cooked Pork?
Yes, dogs can have small amounts of cooked pork. But because pork is a very fatty meat, you’ll want to choose pieces that have less fat. Pork fat can disrupt a dog’s digestion and inflame the pancreas, which can cause pancreatitis. Signs of pancreatitis include:
- Lack of appetite
- Pained abdomen
- Hunched appearance
If your dog shows signs of pancreatitis, you should contact your vet immediately for treatment.
Can a Dog Eat Ham or Bacon?
While dogs can eat ham and bacon, it is not a great source of nutrition, and both ham and bacon are fatty cured meats that can increase the risk for pancreatitis and obesity. 56% of dogs are considered obese in America, and high-fat table scraps are the leading cause.
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Related Link: Dietary Fats for Pets
Can I Give My Dog Pork Bones?
No, pork bones are unsafe for your dog. Cooked and uncooked pork bones can splinter into shards, which can cause:
- Damaging the mouth, throat, and intestines
- Blocking the intestines
- Lacerating the mouth and internal organs
Pork bones are hazardous for your dog. If your dog ingests a pork bone, contact your veterinarian.
What Happens if a Dog Eats Pork?
If your dog eats cooked pork that contains no bones or seasoning, then your dog will be fine. If your dog has eaten uncooked pork or a pork bone, then you’ll want to look for these symptoms:
- Stomach cramps
- Blood in Stool
If your dog begins to show signs after ingesting uncooked pork or a pork bone, you’ll want to contact your vet immediately. Pork bones are particularly dangerous, so you’ll need to act quickly if this is the case.
Can Dogs Die from Pork?
Pork bones are dangerous and can cause death for dogs because they can splinter and damage internal organs. You should avoid feeding your dog cooked or uncooked pork bones.
While pork meat is not on the list of fatal foods for dogs, you should be wary about feeding pork to your dog because of its high fatty content. Pork can lead to obesity and pancreatitis. And raw and undercooked pork can be bad for your dog. Because it isn’t the best source, you should consider alternatives to feeding pork to your dog.
What are Healthy Meat Alternatives?
There are several healthy meat alternatives to pork for your dog. You can feed them:
- Chuck Steak
- Lean Ground Beef
While these meats are safe for your dog to eat, you do want to make sure the meats are thoroughly cooked. Uncooked meat can have salmonella or E Coli bacteria. You’ll also want to cut the meat into easy-to-chew pieces to prevent choking.
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Related Link: 5 Reasons Why Whole Fish is Good For Your Dog
Consider Alternatives Before Feeding Pork to Your Dog
When considering feeding pork to your dog, you need to remember to cook it thoroughly with no seasoning to ensure your dog is safe from toxins and harmful bacteria. And while it is okay for your dog to eat pork, there are better meat alternatives that are less fatty to give your dog.
Also, be mindful not to feed uncooked pork products or pork bones to your dog, which can cause harm or death if left untreated.
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