Pork is one of those ingredients that many dog parents struggle to understand.
You may find yourself asking… I like pork, but can my dog eat pork? What happens if a dog eats pork?
Dogs certainly seem to want to eat pork. If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of some wide puppy dog eyes staring up at you as you eat bacon, then you know it’s definitely tempting to feed your dog some pork, but is it safe?
Can Dogs Eat Pork?
Most of a dog’s diet should come from meat because dogs are natural carnivores, which is why many pet parents are eager to share meat with their pup. However, in some cases, pork is not always safe for dogs.
Dogs can certainly eat pork, however, it should always be a lean cut of meat served to dogs plain and gently cooked. According to the American Kennel Club, pork is frequently served with spice rubs and seasonings, such as garlic powder, nutmeg, and onion powder, which are all highly toxic to dogs. Condiments like barbeque sauce are also dangerous for dogs to consume because of their high salt and sugar content, along with possibly harmful spices.
Improperly treated, raw pork is hazardous for dogs and humans to consume because it can contain the parasite trichinella spiralis larvae, which can cause a dangerous parasite infection. A dog that has a Trichinella spiralis infection may experience the following symptoms:
- Muscle inflammation
- Upset stomach
If the pork is plain and cooked, your dog is unlikely to have an adverse reaction to consuming pork. However, you should always start slowly when transitioning your dog to a new protein so their digestive system can have time to adjust.
According to the World Health Organization, it’s also strongly recommended that you avoid feeding your dog preserved pork products, such as ham, sausage, and bacon, which are linked to cancer. Cooked pork bones are also a no-no because of the possibility of a bone splintering, which can cause your dog to choke or experience tears in their digestive system.
Is Pork Good for Dogs?
Pork is rarely a primary protein source used in dog food, which leaves many pet parents left to wonder, “Why is there so little pork dog food?”
There are several reasons for the lack of pork available on the pet food market. For starters, pork used to be thought of as unhealthy for dogs. There were many misconceptions out there about dogs eating pork. Some claimed that pork’s high-fat content could lead to pancreatitis, even though it contains less fat than beef, while others said it’s bad for dogs’ livers.
Over and over again, the science has not supported that pork is bad for dogs.
Even though we know better now, this stereotype has stuck around and may limit some pet parents’ desire to purchase pork for their dogs.
Another reason there are fewer types of pork dog food available is because of the large amount of pork consumption by humans. Humans love pork. Whether it’s bacon, ham, sausage, or pork chops, we eat pork in large quantities. Human consumption can lead to less pork available for our furry friends.
Pork dog food can be an excellent source of many key nutrients, such as amino acids, which help dogs build healthy muscle mass, and thiamine, which is a key mineral used to support healthy cell function. In addition, pork is a great source of omega-3s, vitamin E, and healthy fats.
Pork is also highly digestible and easy on the stomach for many dogs, making it a great option for dogs with sensitive stomachs.
What Happens if a Dog Eats Pork?
If you serve your pup plain, cooked pork, most dogs will not experience an adverse reaction to eating small quantities of pork. Many will actually benefit from the high-quality protein, fiber, essential fatty acids, and antioxidants that are available in pork.
In fact, pork is an excellent anti-allergy dog food because it is less likely to cause an allergic reaction in our pups, especially when compared to other popular protein sources like beef and chicken. For example, chicken is a very popular protein source for dogs, but it can cause gut inflammation in some dogs. If your dog regularly experiences constipation, loose stools, or bloating, pork may be a great protein choice for your pup. We recommend consulting with your veterinarian for advice on how to gently transition your dog onto a new pork diet.
Can I Give My Dog Pork? Yes, you can!
Keep in mind that pork should be cooked, unseasoned, and pure (not a preserved meat like ham, bacon, or sausage.) Otherwise, many dogs will enjoy pork, and their health can benefit from its many nutrients and high-quality protein content.
Homemade Dog Food with Pork Recipe
One of the best ways to make sure your dog is eating quality pork safely is by making it yourself. You can provide your dog with high-quality, cooked pork so that they can reap the nutritional benefits and enjoy a tasty protein source.
Here’s one of our favorite homemade dog food with pork recipes:
Prep time: 10 – 15 minutes
Cook time: 4 hours
Total time: 4 hours 15 minutes
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1 large sweet potato
- 1 large carrot
- 1 large apple
- ½ cup water
- Chop all of your vegetables.
- Add all of the ingredients to your crockpot and secure the lid.
- Cook on low for four to five hours until ingredients are soft and pork easily breaks up.
- Allow food to cool, then feed it to your pup.
Be sure to check out our homemade beef dog food recipe too!
Save Time with Healthy Dog Food from PetPlate
Want to save some time in your already busy schedule? PetPlate is here to help!
Our veterinary nutritionist, Dr. Renee Streeter, crafts each of our delicious recipes to ensure they are balanced, healthy, and something your pup will love to eat. We offer various recipes, including our newly launched yummy Power Packed Pork Entrée, which supports weight management and metabolic health.
Pork isn’t often used in dog food, and we think that’s a shame because we don’t want our dogs to miss out on all the fantastic nutrients that pork offers. Our Power Packed Pork Entrée is high in protein and fiber and is a great source of complex carbs and fatty acids. Even more important, it’s delicious, so your dog is guaranteed to be licking their bowl clean.
Instead of making homemade dog food, save time by having healthy fresh-cooked dog food delivered right to your door so that you can spend more quality time with your dog and provide them with a healthy, fresh meal.