Picture this — you’re having breakfast and cutting into a thick slice of bacon when your dog runs up to you. He sits by your feet, staring at you with the most earnest puppy eyes you’ve ever seen, begging for some. You sneak him a taste of your breakfast bacon, but keep wondering all day long, “Can my dog eat pork?”
Dogs can eat pork, but you have to observe some rules.
What are they? Let’s find out today!
Is Pork Safe For Dogs?
Pork is safe for dogs to eat if it is fully cooked, sans salt, spices, oil, and other condiments.
The key factor to note here is what kind of pork you’re feeding your dog. Because pork comes in a variety of different eatables, choosing the right type becomes an important contributing factor to food safety.
Chunks of premium quality boneless pork, boiled until soft and shredded to easily chewable pieces can make for a great dog treat. You can also supplement your pet’s meal with it.
Steer clear of processed pork like sausages, pepperoni, ham, and the likes. These variations contain a lot of spice rubs, flavoring agents, oils, and undergo different cooking processes, making them unsafe for your canine companion.
That said, unadulterated pork is a great source of lean protein and other vital nutrients, like Vitamin B1. Including properly cooked pork in your dog’s diet can help them grow fast, develop muscles, and even treat allergic reactions. Just feed your dog pork the correct way.
Be sure to exercise portion control! Do not replace all your dog’s meals with pork. Use it to supplement his meals only.
Fun Fact: Did you know that pork beats chicken when it comes to providing nutritional benefits to dogs?
Can My Dog Eat Raw Pork?
No, they cannot and should not.
Raw pork meat can prove to be fatal to dogs because it can contain disease-causing parasites. Poor quality pork can often be contaminated with microbes like Trichinella spiralis which, in turn, can cause an illness called Trichinosis. Your dog becomes vulnerable to suffering from severe food poisoning including symptoms like stomach ache, vomiting, flatulence, fever, and diarrhea.
Steer clear of raw pork if you want to keep your dog safe.
In case you notice any of the symptoms we mentioned, consult a vet immediately. Do not self medicate.
Can My Dog Eat Cooked Pork?
Yes, they can! But a lot depends on how you cook your pork. Always go for a lean cut (tenderloins are your best choice) and trim away any access fat or sinew. Do not forget to remove the bones as well. Now it’s time to cook.
Begin by cutting your pork tenderloin meat into thin strips or cubes, per your convenience. Boil it in plain water until the meat starts falling apart. Strain the stock, finely chop up or shred this boiled pork and serve a helping to your dog.
You can supplement a porky meal by boiling sweet potatoes, carrots, or even apples with the pork meat. Take extra care to chop everything up really finely, or as a chef would say, do a brunoise of your ingredients. This helps your dog to eat without the risk of choking on any of his food.
You can also bake or broil your pork until the juices run clear and feed it to your dog.
Pro Tip: Pork meat is high in sodium and must be fed at intervals. Do not keep your dog on a pork-only diet under any circumstance.
Dog-Friendly Alternatives to Pork
Then again, pork is not your only choice of lean protein when it comes to feeding your dog. There are alternatives you can explore, some of which we particularly like and have jotted down for you.
A forever favorite with dogs, chicken is a great source of lean protein for them. You can supplement your dog’s kibble with boiled and shredded chicken, or give him a small portion along with other essential nutrients every single day.
Like it’s the case with all other meats, whether white or red, make sure your chicken does not have any bones in it. You can boil, broil, bake, or even create dehydrated chicken treats to feed your dog. Try a little bit of everything to understand what your dog likes best and stick to it.
You can add veggies like carrots and sweet potatoes to your pet’s chicken meal to turn it into a wholesome diet.
Check out our article on can my dog eat chicken for more information.
We think you knew this one was coming! Much like chicken, turkey too is rich in protein without being heavy in fats. So, it’s a good idea to indulge your dog with some turkey occasionally, because it also contains riboflavin and phosphorus.
However, don’t just slice off some from your Thanksgiving spread and feed your dog. Turkey bones and skin are not for your pet to eat.
Dogs have a metabolism that varies vastly from that of humans, so they cannot digest things that we can!
Go for skinless, boneless turkey meat that has been cooked till well done without spices, seasonings, and oil. Alternatively, you can look for turkey-based treats or even kibble that contains turkey.
Now this one might come as a surprise to you, but wild boar is not just for gourmet feasts and fancy cooking shows. Because of its high protein content, it is one of the best alternatives to pork, although a tad unusual.
In fact, wild boar is good with treating allergies and other food-related gastric issues in dogs. Just follow the same drill of preparing it the right way. You’ll have a delicious and nutritious pork substitute.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you’re still confused about how to feed your dog pork? Here are answers to some common queries put forth by pet owners.
Can Dogs Eat Pork Pie?
No, they cannot. Although very delicious, you can’t serve your dog pork pies. High in fats and sugars, these also contain ingredients like onion and garlic that are toxic to your dog.
Can Dogs Eat Cooked Pork Bones?
Pork bones are extremely unsafe for your dog. Whether raw or cooked, pork bones often disintegrate when your dog chews them. The sharp bone edges can damage your dog’s mouth, food pipe, or intestines.
Your canine may also try to aggressively swallow the small bone parts leading to choking hazards and blockages.
Can Dogs Eat Pork Fat?
You shouldn’t serve pork fat to your dog. They are not equipped to digest the fat and it can lead to gastrointestinal issues and inflammation in the pancreas.
You can use good quality, boneless, skinless pork tenderloin, cooked to perfection to feed your dog. But make sure it does not contain salt, oil, or other ingredients we flavor our pork dishes with. Always keep an eye out for health complications post your dog’s porky meal — consult a vet in case of medical emergencies.
Can Dogs Eat Pork Mince?
Cooked and unseasoned pork mince in small amounts is safe for your pet. You should ideally place it in the freezer to kill all the parasites. However, as a responsible dog owner, you should know that pork cannot be a full-course meal for your dog.
Can Dogs Eat Pork Sausage?
While you may be tempted to feed your dog pork sausages, please avoid them. Pork sausages are not ideal for your dog.
They may provide some protein, but their high fat and salt content will cause great damage. Ingredients like onion, garlic powder, or other seasonings are highly unsafe and could unfavorably affect your dog’s digestive system.
Can Dogs Eat Pork Crackling?
Pork cracklings cannot be added to your dog’s diet. These roasted bits have excessive amounts of fats, salts, and oils, which are not needed by dogs. Also, the cracklings offer no vitamin or mineral benefits to your pet.