Dogs are certainly keen meat eaters, but we as their loving owners always want to make sure we are giving them the very best.
A lot of the time, it’s a question of preparation, serving portion sizes and making sure your dog enjoys all things in moderation.
Because of that, it’s not just worth asking the question of can dogs eat pork – you ought also to consider other ideas.
Can dogs eat pork chops, for instance, and can dogs eat pork bones? Let’s look at this a little more in-depth.
Is pork good for dogs?
There are lots of ways of preparing pork, and the scent that wafts up from a good pork chop is sure to get your pooch salivating – if not standing optimistically in the kitchen by your side, wagging his or her tail and hoping for a treat.
But of course, even with dogs being quite the natural carnivores all told, it’s just as important to prepare pork in the right way for your pet – the same way you’d prepare pork properly for a human being.
Similarly, some dog owners might quite understandably want to give their dog their pork chop bones, pork rib bones or other parts of the animal they themselves don’t want to eat.
This is more of a grey area – we’ll get to why in a little while.
However, as far as well prepared, nicely diced up portions of pork go, dogs can certainly enjoy a lot of benefits from it.
The most important detail to remember is that you ought to be giving your dog fresh pork, not prepackaged pork that has had additives and flavors meant only to enhance the taste for human beings.
These kinds of additives are far more complex for your dog’s digestive system to deal with.
That’s especially true of sauces, which you might want to add to the meal when feeding your dog pork chops to help the flavor appeal to them.
Rest assured your dog is happy with plain pork, and should certainly preferably enjoy it without any added salt or sugars – those are often rather rife in sauces for pork.
Your dog can’t handle either salt or sugar altogether well – and also be on the lookout for pork with added flavor powders.
The reason for that is that things like onion powder, garlic powder and more can be incredibly toxic for your pet.
Check the ingredients list carefully when buying pork to feed your dog, or instead stick to the pork found in his or her expertly prepared dog food dinners – those are sure to be safe.
But if dogs can eat pork chops, can dogs eat pork chop bones? It’s a somewhat more complicated issue.
While giving a dog a bone is something that’s completely ingrained in how we see these animals, the fragile and easily snapped pork bones dogs eat can break when crunched down on in ways that make nasty sharp splinters.
Dangers of pork for dogs
Pork is a good meat to feed dogs when it’s nicely cut up for them to easily manage, but there are also some more perilous components of dogs eating pork that a responsible owner is smart to keep in mind.
For example, as alluded to above, extra care needs to be taken if you’re, for instance, feeding the dog pork rib bones.
Dogs are famous for loving to gnaw and gnash at bones, exercising their jaw muscles in breaking them down – but they’re not as safe as we often like to think.
Pork bones, in particular, can be dangerous for dogs, because they crunch down into little slivers and splinters that can be difficult for dogs to swallow and digest.
Those rough and sharp edges can cause some harm to a sensitive dog’s innards, and likewise, he or she risks choking if your dog is one of those enthusiastic eaters, prone to gulp down whatever they’re enjoying without properly breaking it down.
Young dogs, older dogs, and puppies are especially susceptible to this, so take care and perhaps think twice before feeding your dog pork chop bones.
Furthermore, if you’re considering feeding your dog raw pork, definitely do not do so.
It may seem quite natural to help your dog enjoy meat as it might seem they would encounter it in the wild, but pork ought to always be cooked before you give it to your dog.
Raw pork can contain parasites or carry other health risks that can seriously upset your dog’s stomach, as well as induce vomiting and nausea in your pet.
Keep this in mind if your dog is trying to beg for scraps of uncooked or undercooked pork – however much they try and give you the big sad eyes, there’s no way they’ll get anything from it.
It’s also tempting to hand dogs bacon and pork sausages – after all, it’s all come from the same source.
However, sausages and bacon are far higher in salts and fats than the pure, plain cooked pork chunks it’s best to give your dog.
The other options are far more likely to link to obesity and even complications of your dog’s pancreas.
How much pork can a dog eat daily?
Even the largest dogs need only no more than the equivalent of a pork chop daily, and smaller and younger dogs far less still.
Better still, pork in a cooked and cut up form should be given as an occasional, more rich meal addition to your dog’s balanced and healthy diet.
Pork is a surprisingly rich meat, considering its light color and overall texture. There’s a fat found within pork that is, in short, much easier to digest for human beings than for dogs.
However, you may well be able to attest that a particularly hearty pork chop dinner can leave quite the tummy ache from time to time, and the same is true of your dog.
Overdoing it with pork medallions or pork chops for your pooch can not only increase his or her risk of indigestion and tummy upset but also ultimately lead to some surprisingly strong weight gain.
Dogs gain their nutrition far differently than their human masters, and it can be tricky sometimes to remember just how different we can be – after all, your dog is part of the family.
If you’re feeding a dog pork for the first time, start with a very small amount, especially for puppies.
What many dog owners sometimes forget is that dogs are alike in humans since they can be allergic to some surprising things – including certain meats.
If your dog doesn’t suffer any ill effects from eating pork – sneezing fits, runny eyes, rashes and the like – he or she is likely not allergic, and you can sensibly introduce pork more into your pet’s diet.
What to do if your dog eats pork
Leave it to the ingenuity of our beloved pets – they always find a way to get at the food we try so hard to keep away from them.
However, you might feel some panic if you find your dog has eaten pork and you were not planning to give it to him or her.
If your dog has eaten raw pork, certainly keep an eye on them, and seriously consider contacting your vet for advice – especially if your dog is small, young or otherwise known to be delicate. Raw pork comes with far more complications.
Also contact your vet immediately if you know your dog has eaten pork that has some onion, garlic or high salt content.
While salt will cause some health problems for your pet longer term, even small amounts of onion and garlic are incredibly toxic for your dog and ought to be treated immediately.
Alternatively, this could be a case of your dog having upended someone’s plate of pork chops and gulped the whole lot down before you could stop them.
Preferably, that pork will be free from seasoning, but if it is, you’ll be fine as long as there’s none of the aforementioned garlic and onions.
Your dog ought not to eat the kinds of seasoning humans enjoy, but a one-off or accident can be let slide.
Keep some water close by in case your dog splutters from eating too fast, and watch in case they get an upset tummy.
More than this, let your pet know they mustn’t sneak food like this – it’s important to set those boundaries.
Dogs love a good meaty dish to sink their teeth into, and many of us trust in some well-prepared pork to round off their diet.
Served in a healthy balance with other goodies, pork chops can be a nice treat for your dog, but certainly needn’t replace his or her standard meals.
However, always make sure to ensure the meat is thoroughly cooked and that your dog eats pork free from flavoring and additives.
Watch out for pork bones too, which aren’t as ideal for your dog as you might initially think.
Emily started this blog out of pure passion. She LOVES her 3 dogs; Chew Barka, Cooper & Nelson, and spends countless hours every day playing with them.
When she’s not nerding out on dogs, you’ll find her on a snowboard or in the kitchen baking chocolate brownies.
She’s been featured in PetAware, Dogtime, and ModernDog.