Can Dogs Eat Pork? Is Pork Safe for Dogs?

So, you love grilling and cooking pork, and your pup is always patiently waiting beside the grill or table every time?

You may be wondering since they are carnivores, can dogs eat pork? If so, how much should you give them, what types of pork should you treat your pup with, and are bones OK?

Read on to find the answers to these and other common pork-related questions dog parents often ask.

Can Dogs Eat Pork – Is It Safe?

In reality, there is no clear yes or no answer to whether it is safe to feed pork to dogs.

The first thing to know is that pork can be safe or not so safe for your dog, depending on the way you prepare it and the quantities you feed it.

As a whole, plain pork without any spicy rubs, seasonings, or other ingredients added is OK to be fed occasionally to dogs.

It is essential to remember that some of the commonly used spices and ingredients we use for barbecuing and cooking can be toxic for canines. Some of the potentially hazardous ingredients to avoid include onion, garlic, oils, seasonings, nutmeg, and other spices.

BBQ sauce and BBQ rubs can be dangerous or harmful for dogs due to the spices, the abovementioned ingredients, and high salt and sugar levels.

If your pup gets a hold of some pork with BBQ sauce on it, make sure to keep an eye on it for any adverse reactions, such as vomiting, diarrhea, and others.

Is it OK to Feed Dogs Raw Pork?

Consuming raw or undercooked pork is unsafe for humans and canines alike. This is due to the potential bacteria and parasites such as Тrichinella spiralis, which can cause a trichinosis infection.

The parasite and its larvae usually reside in the muscles of the pig. So, the only way to ensure that the meat is parasite-free and safe to eat is to cook it up to the recommended safe internal meat temperature for pork. According to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service, this temperature should be at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit.

This parasite is more dangerous to humans than canines. But still, you should watch your dog for signs of trichinosis, especially those with other health issues or weaker immune systems, where they can be more severe. Some of the common symptoms include:

  • Upset stomach
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Fever
  • Pain and stiffness in the muscles
  • Muscle inflammation

How Much Pork Can I Safely Give to My Dog?


As with any other new human food you add to your dog’s diet, first consult with your vet, and if you get an OK, start by feeding it very small amounts first. Watch for possible negative reactions, such as digestive issues or allergic reactions.

Some dogs may have allergies to meat such as pork, lamb, or rabbit. Signs of allergy can be sneezing, difficulty breathing, hives, or in extreme cases, anaphylaxis, which requires emergency vet care.

Another potential danger of feeding dogs with too much pork is that the high-fat content of the meat can cause flare-ups of the pancreas and lead to pancreatitis and indigestion.

What About Giving my Dog Pork Bones?

Yes, dogs love bones and will enjoy chewing on pork bones. But keep in mind that once the meat has been cooked, the bones dry out and become brittle. This poses a danger of the bone splintering up into sharp pieces, which can cause damage to the pup’s esophagus or its intestines and internal organs. Bones are also a potential choking hazard.

While undercooked bones are less likely to splinter, there is still a risk of this occurring. So, it is best to avoid feeding your dog with pork bones. Instead, you can treat your pup with an edible dental dog bone.

Related: Can Dogs Eat Bones? Which Ones They Can and Can’t

Is it Safe to Give my Pup Bacon, Ham, or Other Preserved Pork?

The short answer is – no! According to the WHO, such processed meats can contain carcinogens that can cause cancer. Plus, while delicious, bacon has very high fat and sodium content, which can be detrimental to the stomach and pancreas of your pet.

Consuming large amounts of high-fat foods can lead to potentially fatal pancreatitis in dogs.

Ham too has a high sodium content which will dehydrate the dog, lead to increased thirst, and thus increases the risk of “bloat” in canines.

Bloat is caused by gas, fluid, or food filling and expanding the dog’s stomach. Excessive water drinking can cause this often fatal condition, so you should abstain from feeding your pup with any salty processed pork such as bacon or ham altogether.

What Can I Give to my Dog Instead of Pork?

Chicken is a safer and healthier alternative to pork when it comes to canines. It is easier to digest and contains beneficial vitamins, amino acids, minerals, and fats.

If you want to add some chicken to your dog’s diet, make sure that it is boiled to a safe temperature without any added potentially toxic seasoning and ingredients.

In fact, vets often recommend that dog owners feed their pups with plain boiled chicken when they have gastrointestinal problems.

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