Why Can’t Dogs Eat Pork? (Safety Guide)

why can't dogs eat pork
Why can’t dogs eat pork? Are there types of pork that are okay?

Humans really love pork, and many enjoy our bacon, ham, pork loin, or chops. Pork remains one of the most eaten meats on the planet.

Some dogs can play us easily for extra food. It is those super cute pleading eyes! Also, we try not to waste anything, and leftover raw meat from cooking often ends up as part of a dog’s diet. Dogs are omnivores, after all, and meat is a primary part of the diet. 

Next time you eat pork and your dog looks pleadingly for some – take pause. Pork, in most forms, is not suitable for dogs. There are some ways to safely feed pork to a dog, but many pork products can cause harm even when natural or raw.

Why Can’t Dogs Eat Pork?

While you may think you are generous to your best friend, you might be putting their lives at risk. There are several compelling reasons why your dog cannot eat most pork. The two most prominent are

  • Raw pork may contain trichinella parasites, leading to stomach pains, vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy. Although unlikely – it does happen! There is a significant risk of giving raw pork to a dog. Check with a Vet to see the risk level in your country.
  • The pig fats are difficult for the dog to digest, causing inflammation of the pancreas and indigestion. 

But dog foods have pork IN them!

As a protein, when prepared correctly, pork is nutritious. Pork CAN be a part of a balanced dog diet. This can only occur when certain conditions are met.

It can’t be argued that many pork products have high protein content that every dog would thrive consuming. Some of the best dry or wet dog foods contain pork as part of the key ingredients. What steps are they taking to make the pork safe to consume by dogs?

Keep on reading to know when it is dangerous or okay to give your dog pig meat products

can dogs eat raw pork
Can dogs eat RAW pork?

When is pork dangerous to a dog? 

Raw or undercooked pork is dangerous to dogs

As a dog owner, offering your dog raw meat is a norm. You do not give a second time when it comes to meat. You like the dog to have a superb experience as other members of the carnivore family. When it comes to pork, this should not be the practice. Never give raw pig meat to your dog

Ensure you cook the pork well before sharing it with your pet. The raw pork is not acceptable for both you and your dog. As noted above, the pork may contain dangerous parasites known as Trichinella spiralis. These (rare) parasites are life-threatening and may lead to death. So, to save your dog, avoid offering it raw or undercooked pork products. 

Seasoned pork products are dangerous to dogs (and flavored pork)

Humans love tasty and flavored meals. This aspect is no different when preparing pork products. Most love your meat with salt, chilli, pepper, or garlic. Many can’t enjoy your sausage if it does not have some onions, mustard, tomatoes, and (more)salt.

For your dog, the case is different. The dog does not seek such flavours – and they are dangerous for dogs to consume. We have no reason to force them to do so. 

If you must feed your dog with a piece of pork, you should not add any flavor or spices. Your dog will enjoy plain pork. Dogs given seasoned food like garlic and onions can have harsh impacts like diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea. 

older dog attacking new puppy
What can be done if there is a situations where an older dog attacks a new puppy?

Fatty pork is dangerous long term to dogs

No doubt, most of us do not like excess pork fat. Some is great of course – but the extra excess is butchered and removed it before we cook. Instead of throwing it away, you consider feeding your dogs with it. Maybe it is is nutritious and will be useful to their body. This might be your thought, but you’re mistaken. 

Whether raw or cooked, the pork fats are dangerous to your dogs. These fats are hard for them to digest, leading to stomach upsets and inflammation. As you avoid the pork fats, do not offer them to your canine friend. 

Even though your dog may be strong enough, too many fatty and high calorie treats put dogs at risk of obesity.

So the following types of pork should never be fed to a dog

  • raw or undercooked pork
  • seasoned or flavored
  • pork sausages
  • smoked or salted pork
  • bacon
  • or pork fats

What about the raw pork in prepackaged dog food?

You will come across dog diets that contain pork as one of the ingredients. Others are pork diets for a dog. From the information above, you might be hesitant about purchasing them. You do not want to lose your lovely family member.

Are these prepackaged pork containing dog foods safe for my dogs? The answer is yes. Prepared correctly, pork is safe for dogs.

The pork diet dry foods in the market is safe for our canines. Unlike the raw pork you buy in the form of bacon, ham, or sausages, the one in the dog diet undergoes a thorough treatment. Frozen when raw, unseasoned, then cooked thoroughly.

The pork meat is sometimes also put under very low temperatures for some time before processing. According to research, this method is suitable for killing dangerous bacteria and parasites in pork meat. This aspect makes it ideal for every puppy. However, the pork should be pure meat and not created products like sausage, ham, and bacon. 

Your dog should not eat bacon. Bacon has high fatty content, flavors, and salt that is not suitable for your dogs. Also, this high fatty content puts your dog at the life-threatening risk of pancreatitis. 

Your dog should not eat ham. Similarly, ham often has a high salt content that leads to dehydration. Your dogs will suffer extensive thirst. 

While thirst is not a bad thing, it can be life-threatening. Your dogs will drink excess water. A large amount of water causes pressure to the internal organs and can lead to death.

So, it is crucial to avoid these products despite being relatives to pork.

puppy at the vet

Frequently Asked Questions

Can dogs feed on pork bones?

No. Most experts think you should never feed your dog with pork bones, whether raw or cooked. The raw pork bones are sometimes hard for your dog to chew. They can shred and cause injuries to their jaw gums, choke, or even tear your dogs’ mouth. Also, the raw bones may contain trichinella parasites and salmonella, which are dangerous for dogs. 

To make matters worse – cooked pork bones are soft. Although the bacteria risk reduced, cooked bones can splinter as the dog chews them, injuring its mouth. If swallowed, these bones can damage the internal organs of your dogs. So, the pork bones are unhealthy for your dogs despite their state.

What amount of pork should I feed my dog?

Though no limit on the size of pork you can feed to your dog, always give them a small amount. If it’s your first time, you should assess their reaction first. Remember, too much fat treat is not suitable for your dog, and pork is in this category.

What can I do if my dog ate pork?

Sometimes, your dogs may eat raw pork. There is a high chance everything is going to be okay. Monitor for any sign of stomach upset and contact a Vet immediately if you see any issues. 

fully grown maltipoo cream
A fully grown cream colored Maltipoo.

Best white meats for a dog?

If you have no time to prepare the pork, you can opt for other white meats that are healthy and safe for your dogs. One of the best alternatives is chicken. Chickens are rich in essential vitamins, proteins, and minerals. Also, they are easy for dogs to digest. 

However, you should avoid seasoned or flavored chicken meat. Always feed your dog with plain chicken meat to save it from stomach issues related to spices and seasoning ingredients.

Some dogs do develop allergic reactions or sensitivity to chicken. Keep an eye out for skin reactions if you switch to a diet with more chicken as the primary protein. If you have a stinky dog, make sure it isn’t an allergy in the diet causing the issue.

Dogs and Pork Conclusions 

In summary, dogs can technically eat pork, but only when unseasoned and prepared correctly (in fact they can have pork in scrambled eggs safely).

Raw pork carries the risk of some parasites and bacteria that are harmful to your dog. Also, it has fats that are a challenge for the dogs to digest. But this does not mean you should skip the pork altogether.

Feeding your dog with pork must meet several conditions. First, you must ensure it is well cooked as the raw pork can make your dog ill or even cause death. Second, you can offer freeze-dried or prepared as dry food pork as a snack for dogs. Dried pig ears are another safe snack and toy for many dogs to chew on. 

So, next time your canine friend salivate for your pork treat, do not offer them raw meat. First, cook it well and ensure it is plain.

Never give them pork bones, seasoned, or flavored pork. Otherwise, it would be best to consider safe and nutritious diets like chicken, lamb, beef as the alternatives to the pork treats.