There is no doubt that dogs enjoy human meals and food. The smell and tastes of many human foods appeal to dogs and you can be certain that at mealtimes your furry friend will be there to help.
However, not all human foods are good for dogs, but what about pork? Is pork good for dogs?
Pork is perfectly safe for dogs to eat as long as it is cooked and has not had anything added to it, such as barbecue sauces or similar. As long as you only feed the plain, white meat and avoid too much of the fat, your dog will enjoy pork as an occasional treat.
Pork is a highly nutritious and great tasting meat that dogs love and, when fed as part of a balanced diet, is a great choice for dogs.
The texture, taste and, most importantly, smell of pork is highly appealing to dogs and, just like cooked chicken, there are few dogs that will refuse to eat cooked pork.
As a meat that contains high levels of fat it should be fed sparingly to prevent weight gain.
Can dogs eat cooked pork?
Cooked pork is probably the best and safest way to feed pork to a dog. However you do need to think carefully about the type of pork that you feed.
Pork from a cooked joint or chop is fine for your dog as long as he only has the meat and minimal amounts of fat. You should aim to only feed the plain meat.
There are other pork products such as gammon and bacon that contain high levels of salt which has been used in the ‘curing process’, and these salt levels can be dangerous for dogs. At best your dog will have increased levels of thirst, at worst eating highly salted foods can result in dog fatalities.
The cooked fat of pork always tastes great, particularly if it has crisped up and many people and dogs enjoy it. However, the increased fat levels combined with salt mean that you should avoid giving cooked pork fat or skin to your dog.
Can dogs eat raw pork?
Yes, dogs can eat raw pork but should they really?
As they are carnivores dogs have little if any problems digesting raw meat and, if raw pork has been sourced from a healthy pig then it is unlikely that a dog would experience any ill effects from eating it.
The main concern with raw pork feeding to dogs is the quality of the meat and the animal that it came from. Pork can carry a form of roundworm known as Trichinella, which, if it is present in the raw pork, can infect your dog.
This worm can also infect humans which is why people are warned about the risks of eating undercooked or raw pork products.
If your dog does eat raw pork that contains this parasite, then he could end up becoming unwell and may need veterinary treatment.
So, although dogs can eat raw pork it is not really a good idea and pork should only really be fed if it has been cooked correctly.
Are pork bones good for dogs?
No, not really. Pork bones and those from poultry, such as chicken, are dangerous and should not be fed to dogs.
The biggest risk with these types of bones is that they very easily splinter into very sharp and jagged pieces which can cause choking and serious internal injuries.
The only bones that you should really think about feeding to your dog are raw bones that are not pork or poultry or cooked ‘knuckle style’ bones that do not splinter.
How much pork can a dog eat?
Whenever you introduce a new type of food to your dog’s diet it is important to do it gradually and to only give your dog small quantities.
Always watch for any adverse reactions such as stomach upsets and, if these occur stop feeding or reduce the amounts.
Don’t feed too much pork to your dog as it is a fatty meat that contains a type of fat the dog’s can struggle to digest.
Is preserved pork good for dogs?
Processed pork products such as sausages, bacon and others are not good for dogs.
They often have far too much salt for dogs to handle and frequently contain preservatives and other additives that can be harmful to dogs.
Processed meats, including pork are not great food choices for dogs.
Conclusion - Is pork good for dogs?
Pork is perfectly okay for dogs to eat providing that you feed the right type of pork and that it is cooked properly.
Avoid feeding processed pork products as they contain excessive levels of salt and consider the risks of raw pork carefully before feeding.