Can Dogs Eat Pork? 4 Best Alternatives Revealed - Dog Food Guide (2023)

Can Dogs Eat Pork? 4 Best Alternatives Revealed - Dog Food Guide (1)

Can dogs eat pork? This question might sound absurd for some because for them the answer is a resounding, “Yes!” But, is it really, “Yes” without a shadow of a doubt?

Let’s take a look at every angle of this question so next time, when someone asks us if dogs can eat pork, we can give them a clearer answer with full conviction.

Contrary to popular belief, dogs are not carnivores, but instead omnivores. Their bodies take nourishment both from meats and plants.

However, we could not disregard the fact that their teeth, digestive system, and behavior are designed as if they were only made to accept meat as a primary protein source and as their main source of nutrients per se.

So, we couldn’t blame anyone for raising eyebrows when confronted with the question, “Can dogs eat pork?”

Also Read: Can Dogs Eat Shrimps?

Can Dogs Eat Pork?

Technically, yes, but the discussion doesn’t end there. Pork is not toxic to dogs, so you can give it to your pup. However, certain conditions must be met to keep your dog healthy and safe as he chews on the cuts of meat with gusto.

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To start, it’s best for your dog to eat cooked pork without added salt, spices, garlic powder, onion powder, and other ingredients that can be harmful to him.

Keep his cooked pig meat plain and simple. Reserve the bells and whistles of a gourmet pork dish to yourself. You deserve such a sumptuous treat.

Nonetheless, we’re not saying that your pup doesn’t deserve to be pampered with seasoned pork products like bacon, ham, and pork chop. You may feel guilty for not allowing your dog to taste these fatty and mouthwatering human foods, but you should not.

After all, dogs are not fond of these spices and flavors and they can’t even taste some of these ingredients that we usually add to our dishes.

Instead, dogs are drawn to the fatty and meaty flavor of the meat. So, don’t feel bad for giving your pooch plain and unseasoned cooked pork for dinner.

Whether you believe it or not, your canine companion loves it. And besides, you can also see it to yourself just by observing how fast he finishes his homemade dog food.

Can Dogs Eat Pork? 4 Best Alternatives Revealed - Dog Food Guide (2)

When Is Pork Bad for Dogs?

Generally speaking, plain pork is safe for dogs. In fact, they are way safer than many other foods that often cause adverse and toxic reactions to dogs, such as raw fish or macadamia nuts.

Nonetheless, it’s not a reason at all for us dog owners to be complacent because again adding pork to dog's diet has some risks.

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Overall, it’s not safe to feed your dog pork when it is uncooked, soaked and drizzled with additives, and mixed with toxic ingredients.

Also, it’s not advisable to feed dogs cooked pork bones, pork cuts, and parts with lots of fats, as well fatty and salty pork products like bacon and sausages.

If you are feeding your dog pork or a specific cut or portion of pig meat for the first time, make sure to only give him a small amount.

You can’t just put pork chops on your pup’s bowl and call it a day. And of course, don’t forget to closely monitor your pup because there are always risks involved when you feed your dog something that is not part of his regular diet.

Also, there’s the risk that your pup may show some allergic reactions, or he may exhibit bothersome symptoms like lethargy, vomiting, and diarrhea.

If you observe anything unusual, don’t hesitate to contact your vet immediately, or better yet go to the nearest veterinarian so proper assessment and medical intervention can be given right away if needed.

As for raw or undercooked pork, it’s not recommended both for humans and dogs because it may be infested with trichinella parasites that can cause stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea, and other uncomfortable side effects.

To be fair though with raw pork, trichinella spiralis larvae can also be found in other uncooked or undercooked meats. This can cause a parasite infection called trichinosis.

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This condition also occurs in humans, but there are more cases in dogs. So, we can’t use the excuse that a dog’s digestive system is tougher than ours.

Symptoms of trichinosis that you should watch out for include an upset stomach, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, muscle inflammation, stiffness, and lethargy. These symptoms don’t usually appear in all dogs. Basically, those with a weaker immune system suffer the most.

Next, pork becomes bad for your dog when it is seasoned and mixed with toxic ingredients. We’ve mentioned this earlier, and it’s just right to say it again as repetition can help with the retention of information. Again, you can’t use BBQ sauce for your dog’s pork meat nor add garlic, onion, salt, spices, and other salty ingredients.

Can Dogs Eat Pork? 4 Best Alternatives Revealed - Dog Food Guide (3)

Moreover, there are pork products that are high in salt content and fat, such as bacon, sausages, and ham. You can’t feed processed meats to your dog not just because they are fatty and salty, but also for the fact that they contain carcinogens that can cause cancer.

Eating huge amounts of these fatty and salty pork products can also be too much for your pup’s digestive system to process in one go.

The risk for indigestion is high, and it can cause bloating and an upset stomach. Eating huge portions of these pork products regularly can also lead to weight gain, weight-related complications, pancreatitis, and other fatal health issues.

Finally, while it’s advisable to cook pork meat first before giving it to your pup, you can’t do the same thing with the bones.

Any cooked bone can splinter inside your dog’s body and may pose a risk for choking and/or intestinal obstruction. If you want to feed your pup bones, stick to the ones that you can buy from the pet store.

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Can You Feed Your Dog Raw Pork Meat?

As mentioned earlier, it’s not safe to feed your dog raw pork meat. How about the raw pork that is used for a raw food diet?

Well, we figured that you’ll ask. While both types of meat are raw, the pork that is used in a raw diet has been treated for this type of consumption.

This typically involves freezing the raw pork meat for a certain time to effectively kill those nasty parasites. Standard raw pig meat or even high-quality pork that you can buy from the grocery or a supplier didn’t go through the same process of deparasatization.

What Are Some Safer Meat Alternatives for Dogs?

Pork isn’t toxic to dogs, and other meats such as beef, rabbit, and lamb are more likely to cause allergic reactions in dogs. But still, we can’t undermine the fact that there are also safer meat options that you can give your dog, instead of pork.

At the top of the list is chicken, which doesn’t just provide an extra source of protein in dogs, but is also easier to digest, and is packed with essential vitamins, minerals, amino acid, and fats.

Just like with pork, vets recommend feeding your dog with plain, unseasoned, and cooked chicken meat, especially when they are experiencing gastrointestinal problems.

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Can Dogs Eat Pork? 4 Best Alternatives Revealed - Dog Food Guide (4)

Final Thoughts

Pork meat can be bad or good to your dog depending on how you serve it to him. And again, when feeding pig meat to your dog, it is best to cook it first.

And by cooking it at home, you can also ensure that you are giving your pup the right kind and cut of meat. Below are some suitable parts that you can give to your dog:

  • Lean pork cuts
  • Livers and hearts, which are a great source of vitamins and minerals
  • Tongue, trachea, tail

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Is pork OK for dogs to eat? ›

Plain, cooked pork is safe for dogs to eat, as long as you keep it simple and leave off the bells and whistles people tend to cook with. Seasonings and spice rubs that contain the following ingredients are extremely dangerous because they are highly toxic to dogs if ingested: Onion powder.

Is pork good for dogs with food allergies? ›

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.

Can dogs eat pork everyday? ›

Plain cooked pork could be given in small quantities without major issues. Still, large amounts of pork should be avoided as it is a rich meat and could potentially cause gastrointestinal issues. If you want to feed your dog pork, start with a small amount at first to make sure they can tolerate it.

Why can't dogs eat cooked pork? ›

Most pork products are heavy in fat, and many have sections of fat that remain on them, even after they're cooked. This fat is highly difficult for dogs to digest, and can be a precursor to some serious stomach upset, particularly due to inflammation and irritation in the pancreas.

Is pork better than chicken for dogs? ›

The most balanced meat is chicken, which is high in protein and low in fat at the same time. To prepare a healthy meal for your pup, cook it plain, without salt and spices. Cooking fresh meat for your dog is always better than offering them processed options like sausages, ham, or bacon.

Is pork good for sensitive dogs? ›

Can dogs with a sensitive stomach eat pork? Pork can be suitable for dogs with sensitive stomachs, but it all depends on the leanness of the cuts. Opt for lean cuts of pork as high fat and a sensitive stomach might not be a good mix. Processed pork such as bacon or ham is definite "No!" for dogs with this condition.

Is pork or turkey better for dogs with allergies? ›

Pork is an excellent choice as it is full of protein and helps your dog maintain its muscle mass as well as contains vitamin B1 which is an essential dog vitamin.

Will pork cause pancreatitis in dogs? ›

One of the most common foods involved in the cause of pancreatitis is pork or pork products. Many dogs can tolerate and have digested ham, sausage, and pepperoni, but many others have died from the complications of pancreatitis after doing so. The fat in pork products seems to be very taxing on a dog's G.I.

What meat should dogs not eat? ›

Common meats to avoid are any processed meats like sausage, bologna, hot dogs etc. Also avoid giving your dog any rib bones as they are extremely brittle and can damage your dog's stomach and throat.

What do you do if your dog eats pork? ›

If your dog eats a piece of ham, a slice of bacon, a bit of sausage, or a pork rind of two, they'll probably be fine. But watch for signs of poisoning, and call your veterinarian if vomiting, diarrhea, or other signs linger.

Why is there no pork dog food? ›

Myth: Don't Feed Dogs Pork

Its scarcity may simply be because so many parts of a pig are used for human consumption that snouts and feet and such don't make it to the dog food plant. And because of the possibility of trichinosis in uncooked pork, nobody is going to suggest it as a great raw-food ingredient.

What is the best way to cook pork for dogs? ›

The way to cook pork for dogs is like cooking steak or eggs for dogs. Leave out the seasonings and other ingredients. Unseasoned pork smells great to dogs, so you will not have any trouble serving them plain, well-cooked pork for supper.


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