Can Dogs Eat Pork? Answering a Doggone Important Question

August 24, 2022
Written by Kristy J. Norton

Yes, dogs can eat pork but they should only consume well-cooked meat that is not seasoned in any way.

As a dog mom, I have been tempted to give my pup everything that I eat. However, since he has suffered from certain digestive problems, I decided to do my homework first.

In this post, I will answer the question can dogs eat pork – I will also provide you with the specific conditions that make it safe for dogs to eat pork. Let’s begin!

Can Dogs Eat Pork

Is Pork Safe for Dogs to Eat?

Technically, pork meat is safe for dogs to eat. The meat is not toxic to canines and they should be able to eat it without being sick.

However, this isn’t the full story. While, for the most part, dogs can consume pork, there are certain conditions that you need to meet.

These will be discussed below.

Raw meat on wooden board

Can A Dog Eat Cooked Pork?

Yes, dogs can eat cooked pork – in fact, they should only ever eat pork that has been cooked all the way through.

Raw pork can contain trichinella parasites that can cause an infection known as trichinosis.

The symptoms of this parasite infection can include nausea, diarrhea, fatigue, pain, chills, and swelling around the eyes. Not only is it very unpleasant but in certain circumstances can affect major organs and be fatal.

These parasites are present in raw or undercooked pork. Due to this, any pork that you give to your dog must be cooked to a minimum of 145 F. I would suggest using a meat thermometer to make sure that it is prepared properly.

Never let dogs eat raw pork. Even when cooking pork, resist the urge to throw them any scraps that aren’t cooked all the way through.

Avoid Seasonings With Cooked Meat

Although dogs can eat cooked meat doesn’t mean that you can simply give them the same meat that you are preparing for yourself.

Keep in mind that a lot of human food is toxic to dogs. This includes garlic powder and onion powder. Thus, if you are using these seasonings on your food, keep it away from your dog.

Make sure to cook a fresh batch of pork for your dogs.

A lot of sauces are also bad for dogs. For one thing, they can contain onions and garlic without you realizing it. For another, they are very high in sugar as well as sodium – two things that are very bad for your pooch.

If you haven’t prepared the pork yourself, don’t give it to your dog as you can’t be certain what ingredients have been used.

In particular, avoid pork from takeout or fast food joints. These tend to contain additives, preservatives, and more.

In case you are preparing the pork yourself, be careful of how much oil you use. You shouldn’t add any more fat to your dogs food than necessary. This is an especially important rule to follow with pork as this meat is already fairly fatty.

Can Dogs Eat Pork Bones?

You are aware that chicken bones are off limits but pork bones are much larger – surely you can give your dog pork bones?

Unfortunately, this isn’t the case.

See, when cooked pork bones dry out. This causes them to become more brittle and to break easily when chewed on by your pup.

Thus, when your dog bites down on the bones, there is a risk that they may splinter and pierce their food pipe and even internal organs. The risk is lower with uncooked pork bones but it is still not a chance that you should take.

Black short coated dog lying next to a bone

Is Pork Meat Healthy for Dogs?

Now, you may have noticed that pork is rarely included in dog food. Why is this? Is pork not a healthy meat for canines?

Well, pork does contain enough of protein to be included in a dog’s diet. However, it alone will not provide enough nutrition. It is important to include other sources of protein, vitamins and minerals to ensure a balanced diet.

The main reason that people don’t give their dogs pork all that often is because this meat isn’t very digestible. It contains fat that dogs find hard to digest. In turn, giving pork to your dog can cause digestive issues.

Should You Give Pork to Your Dog?

Every dog is different. As such, always speak to your vet before making any changes to your pup’s diet.

If you do want to give your dog some pork, try giving it in small amounts. Then, give it a few hours. It is possible for some dogs to be allergic to pork.

Be mindful of the size of the dog. The smaller the pup, the less meat that you should give to them. It is best not to test out this meat with puppies. Wait until your dog is full grown.

By giving them only a small amount, in the beginning, the side effects will be fewer even if your pup is allergic.

You should be aware that dogs can also develop allergies later on. Due to this, it is best to give only let your dog eat pork every now and then.

Of course, allergies aren’t the only thing to consider. It is possible for your dog to not digest the pork properly. In this case, they may suffer from vomiting or diarrhea. This is something that you should watch out for as well.

Should You Give Your Dog Pork on a Regular Basis?

If your pup tolerates pork and you are looking to switch up your dog’s diet, then you may be considering including it on a regular basis.

Once again, this is something that you should discuss with your vet ahead of time. They will be able to let you know whether it will be beneficial to your pup or not.

A vet will also be able to inform you of how much pork you should give to your pup. Remember to always follow these guidelines.

Monitor your dog carefully after changing their diet. If you notice any changes in their appetite, stool, energy levels, or coat, then stop feeding them pork immediately.

Take your dog to the vet to determine if the meat caused these issues and how you should proceed.

Can Your Dog Eat Any Kind of Pork?

You should only give your pup fresh pork. It should not have been processed in any way.

Pork items like sausages, ham, and bacon have all been processed in one way or another. They contain various additives that aren’t good for your dog.

If your dog eats pork items every now and then, it is unlikely to affect them. Give it to them too often though and it can take a negative toll on their health.

You should also keep in mind that the additives can make it difficult for your dog to digest these foods. As such, they may experience digestive problems soon after consuming them.

Dog Food

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why Can’t Dogs Eat Cooked Pork?

The only time that dogs shouldn’t eat pork that has been cooked is when it contains harmful seasonings or sauces that may be toxic to your dog.

2. What Meat Should Dogs Not Eat?

Dogs should stay away from bacon, ham, and other processed pork items. Overly fatty meats are not good for them either.

Wrapping It Up

As a responsible pet parent, you want to make sure that you are only giving your pup foods that are safe for them to eat.

Now you know that pork is safe as long as it is cooked properly and doesn’t contain any seasonings. Furthermore, you should only ever give them fresh pork – bacon and other processed pork items are a major no-no.

Follow the above guidelines and your pup will be able to enjoy pork while still remaining healthy and happy.

By Kristy J. Norton
I'm Kristy – a chef and connoisseur of all things BBQ! You can find me either in my kitchen (or someone else's) or at a big outdoor barbecue surrounded by friends and family. In both my professional and personal life I’ve picked up more than a few tips and tricks for turning out delicious food. I consider it a privilege to share it with others!
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