If you’ve ever cooked bacon around your dog, you already know how your pup thinks he or she feels about pork. Since it’s a fairly common part of many human diets, it’s also one of those foods that dogs are likely to be exposed to at some point in their lives. As a dog owner, though, you might wonder whether it’s actually a good idea to feed your dog pork. In fact, you might ask your self, “is pork bad for dogs?”, or even if pork is safe for dogs at all. Then, of course, there’s the question of what happens when dogs eat pork bones.
That’s not to say all dog owners share this concern, of course. Many people figure that since dogs eat meat in the wild, they’d naturally find it with a little bacon or ham. Many dogs, then, have probably eaten pork without anyone giving it a second thought. While pork doesn’t explicitly make the list of foods dogs can’t eat, the truth is that pork is one of those products that has to be prepared in a specific way for it to be safe for your pup.
When to Avoid Giving Your Dog Pork
It’s always a good idea to stop and think before you give your dog any kind of pork product. As a dog owner, you need to know what can make pork unsafe for your dog.
As a rule, you have to make sure that you don’t give your dog uncooked pork. Raw pork is very dangerous for both dogs and humans, as it has the possibility of being infected with some nasty parasites – notably trichinosis (1). This differs from the kind of pork that you’d find in a raw diet, as that specific type of pork is actually prepared to ensure that it doesn’t have parasites living within the meat. What humans normally eat just doesn’t have the same level of safety when uncooked.
Likewise, you have to make sure that there’s not been anything added to the pork before your dog eats it. While we might love things like garlic and onions, those same ingredients can be toxic to dogs. That means that if you’re going to end up giving your dog any kind of pork, it’s got to be as plain as possible.
Pork fat is also a bad idea to give to dogs. Your dog’s digestive system just isn’t designed to handle anything that heavy, so giving your dog pork fat is going to cause him or her some serious stomach pains. In fact, you could even see pork fat leading to some major pancreatic issues.
Cooked pork bones are also unsafe for dogs. This isn’t a pork-specific thing, though – if you’re going to give your dog bones, they need to be either uncooked or specifically made for dogs as treats.
When You Can Feed Your Dog Pork
At this point, you might be giving up on pork entirely. The good news is that if giving your dog pork is really that important to you, you can give it to your favorite canine companion. You simply have to be incredibly careful about how you prepare the pork, and yes, dogs can eat cooked pork.
To start, you’re going to have to get some plain pork – no seasoning at all. From there, you’re going to have to remove the fat and then cook the pork all the way through. When it’s done cooking, you’ll want to cut the pork into small pieces and then just give your dog a little bit of what you have prepared for a treat.
Once you’ve given your dog pork, you’ll need to sit and wait. If your dog has a reaction, you should get him or her to the vet as soon as you can. If not, you’ve found a way to successfully give your dog pork!
Is it a Good Idea to Give Your Dog Pork?
Now you know the ways in which pork can be bad for your dog as well as the ways in which you can successfully give it to your pet. What you might not know, though, is whether it’s actually a great idea to give your dog pork at all.
Honestly, pork’s probably more difficult than it’s worth, and you may be better off sticking to dog food. There are so many other human foods that you can share with your dog that pork really doesn’t need to be part of your repertoire. Pork’s not going to hurt your dog if prepared correctly and if given in the right portions, but it’s really not worth the effort when you can give your dog plenty of other foods.
In short, you should save that bacon for yourself. Give your dog a nice treat and a few extra belly rubs – just make sure that you keep the plate away from him or her.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What meat should dogs not eat?
It’s generally a bad idea to give your dogs raw meat unless it has been specifically prepared to fit a raw diet. Raw meats can be full of bacteria and parasites that can make your dog sick, so try to avoid them. Pork’s difficult for your dog to digest even when cooked, so definitely make sure that you avoid giving him or her uncooked pork.
2. Can a dog eat cooked ground pork?
Dogs can probably eat cooked ground pork in a few circumstances. First and foremost, it needs to be very low in fat. In addition, it needs to be completely free of any kind of season. Even in cases where you have cooked, unseasoned ground pork, you’re going to want to ensure that your dog doesn’t eat very much at one time.
3. Does Pork give dogs diarrhea?
In most cases, pork shouldn’t give your dog diarrhea. If it does, it’s probably because there was too much fat, you gave your dog too much pork in one sitting, or there was some kind of seasoning used on the pork product that caused the reaction in your dog’s GI tract.
4. How do you cook pork for dogs?
You’ll start by getting a completely plain cut of pork – no seasoning, no salt, and no extra ingredients. You will then need to remove any fat that’s obvious to the naked eye, cutting it away so that it doesn’t get cooked with the rest. From there, you’ll simply cook the pork thoroughly, cut it up, and give your dog only a small portion at each sitting. Even after cooking this way, you’ll need to monitor your dog to make sure that he or she doesn’t get sick.