In either case, you’re probably asking yourself: can dogs have pork? In this guide, we discuss all the health implications of your dog eating cooked, raw, or pork bones.
Can Dogs Have Raw Pork?
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Raw feeding is a common food source for many dogs. The BARF diet (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food) is increasingly popular with dog owners. Supporters argue that the diet is more in line with what dog ancestors ate before commercial kibble.
Advocates for the BARF diet argue that it improves skin, teeth, hair, and overall energy levels. However, many veterinarians caution against the potential for a bacterial infection. There are also side effects of an unbalanced diet.
BARF diets may include any of the following elements:
- Organ meat
- Muscle meat
- Dairy products
If you want to start feeding your dog raw, you may be wondering if raw pork is a suitable protein source.
However, raw pork commonly contains a parasite called Trichinella spiralis. This parasite is dangerous for both humans and dogs because it can cause a disease called Trichinellosis.
This parasitic infection happens when your dog consumes the larvae of the worm. They enter the body and make their home inside the muscles. They may also pass through the intestines as excretions and infect others.
Trichinellosis does not always have symptoms in humans or animals. However, you may notice changes like:
The easiest way to prevent this infection is to not feed your dog raw pork. If your dog starts experiencing severe side effects, we recommend taking him to the vet for further testing.
If you are set on feeding your dog a BARF diet, we recommend consulting with your vet or an animal dietician. They can make appropriate recommendations for your pup to keep him happy and healthy.
Can Dogs Have Cooked Pork?
Cooked pork is not inherently dangerous for your dog. However, the usual spices that people cook with pork are not suitable for dogs. These toxic spices include onion powder, nutmeg, and garlic powder.
Other sauces and accompaniments are also unsuitable for dogs. For example, if you use BBQ sauce, the high levels of salt and sugar can be harmful to your pup. Your dog may have an upset stomach or more severe side effects.
Overall, plain cooked pork is okay for dogs in moderation. However, if your dog is prone to food allergies, you should keep an eye on him. Pork can cause allergic reactions in some pets.
Can Dogs Have Bacon?
Bacon is one of the most delicious breakfast foods. If your dog is begging at the table, you may feel tempted to give him a slice. However, bacon can be harmful in the long term because it is processed.
Processed meats like bacon are carcinogenic for humans. Eating large quantities of these meats can increase your cancer risk by up to 18% per 50g. While there are no specific studies on the effects of processed meats in dogs, we can safely assume it’s not a healthy choice.
Can Dogs Have Ham?
Like bacon, ham is processed meat. Therefore, it isn’t a healthy choice for your dog. Ham also has a lot of salt, which is dangerous for your pup.
High salt content food can make your dog want to drink more water. Excessive drinking can put your dog at risk of gastric dilation volvulus, also known as bloat.
Bloat is a hazardous and potentially lethal condition. It happens when the dog’s stomach twists, stopping blood flow, and trapping any gas inside the body. Bloat needs immediate treatment from a veterinarian, including surgery.
Common symptoms of bloat include:
- A swollen stomach
- Visible discomfort and pain
Breeds with deep chests like St. Bernards and Great Danes have a greater vulnerability to bloat. Dogs that eat and drink too quickly are also at a higher risk. If you suspect this condition, take your dog immediately to the vet.
There is no guarantee that eating ham will give your dog bloat. However, it increases the likelihood. If your dog accidentally consumes ham, monitor him closely in the following hours and don’t let him drink excessively.
Can Dogs Have Pork Bones?
You may be tempted to give your dog the pork bones from dinner. However, this can be potentially dangerous. Cooked bones can splinter into small pieces that can tear up your dog’s throat. If the bone gets stuck on the way down, it can restrict breathing.
The bone is also hard to digest if swallowed, so it may cause intestinal blockages. Your dog may need emergency surgery if there is a significant blockage. It is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to cooked bones.
You should stay away from raw pork bones at all costs because of the risk of parasitic infection. There is no way of telling if the raw pork is safe or not, so you should err on the side of caution.
Does Pork Have Any Benefits for Dogs?
Pork has some nutritional benefits for dogs. It has a similar level of protein to beef, which is a more common option. Dog food should have at least 20% protein to be nutritionally-beneficial for your pup.
Dog’s diets need to have an adequate level of protein. It allows for muscle building, skin and hair growth, hormone production, and supports the immune system to stay healthy. Because dogs don’t store protein in their bodies, they need to consume it every day.
How Much Pork Can a Dog Have?
Dogs should only eat a small amount of cooked pork. Pork is very high in saturated fat, which can cause pancreatitis. This painful disease happens when the enzymes in your dog’s pancreas start to eat their own tissue.
Pancreatitis can seem mild at first, but the condition can progress quickly. These are some symptoms to keep an eye out for:
- A hunched back
- A bloated stomach
- No desire to eat
- Weakness and tiredness
- High body temperature
If you suspect that your dog has pancreatitis, it’s crucial to take him to the vet as soon as possible. A veterinarian can treat him with IV fluids, medications, and overall monitoring to ensure the symptoms don’t worsen.
Because of the high fat content, it is also easy for your dog to gain weight rapidly if they eat a lot of pork. Some breeds, like Golden Retrievers and Labradors, are more prone to obesity than other dogs. However, all dogs can become overweight.
Obesity is dangerous for dogs because it can shorten their life. It can also increase the likelihood of diseases like arthritis, heart disease, and diabetes.
If your dog is overweight, you should consult with your vet for a diet plan. They can recommend special food and an exercise regimen to lose weight.
What Meats Can Dogs Eat?
If you’re looking for an alternative protein source for your dog, then chicken, lamb, and salmon are excellent options.
Chicken is a generally healthy protein source for dogs. It is high in protein but low in fat and calories. It can help your pup to build muscle and also contains Omega 6 fatty acids. These acids keep your dog’s skin and hair looking bright and shiny.
Chicken is a part of many mainstream dog foods. Alternatively, you can boil plain chicken and provide that as part of a balanced meal.
Lamb is another healthy source of protein in dog food. It has a high level of protein, healthy fats, and many amino acids. These nutrients and vitamins help to provide energy, grow muscles, and improve skin health.
It is a standard option for dogs that struggle with allergies. Some dogs have sensitivities to chicken, so lamb is a great alternative.
Salmon is a protein source in many premium dog foods. It contains many Omega 3 fatty acids, which help the immune system, reduce swelling, and improve skin and hair appearance.
You can feed your dog cooked salmon or choose kibble that uses it as the primary protein source.
In conclusion, you should never let your dog have raw pork. You should also avoid processed pork like bacon or ham. Any of these forms of meat can do more harm than good in your pup’s long-term health.
Pork bones can be dangerous for your dog. Cooked bones can break apart and get stuck in your dog’s throat or stomach. Raw bones are also unsuitable because of the dangers of parasitic infection.
Cooked pork is suitable for dogs in moderation. However, the meat should be free from any human seasonings and should be cooked through the middle. It is not the best meat for your dog, but it’s unlikely to do damage in small amounts.
Overall, there are better protein options for your dog, like chicken, salmon, or lamb. If in doubt, we recommend consulting your vet about a suitable balanced diet for your pup.