3 min read

Can Dogs Eat Pork?


By Alex Olsson

Published: 05/10/2024, edited: 06/14/2024

Reviewed by a licensed veterinary professional: Dr. Linda Simon, MVB MRCVS

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Who doesn't love a sizzling slice of pork? From succulent pork chops to crispy bacon, pork is a savory, delicious favorite on many dining tables. It’s a high-in-protein staple that can be paired with so many other favorite foods, and its flavor often keeps us coming back for a second helping. But when those puppy-dog eyes stare at us from beneath the dinner table, we have to wonder: is pork okay for dogs to eat, too?

Let's look into the world of pork and find out if it's a treat your furry friend can enjoy, what types are safe, and the best ways to prepare it for your dog.

Can dogs have pork?

First and foremost, yes, dogs can eat pork! But, there are some important considerations before feeding the meat to your dog. While pork itself isn't inherently harmful to dogs, the way it's prepared and the seasonings make all the difference.

Plain, cooked pork can absolutely be a good protein source for dogs — but certain preparations and types of pork can lead to digestive issues or even pose choking hazards. 

Can dogs eat cooked pork?

Cooked pork can be a good treat for dogs, just as long as it’s plain and free from seasonings, oils, and spices. Garlic, onions, and other seasonings can be toxic to dogs, and oils and fats can cause digestive problems.

When preparing pork for your dog, always make sure it's fully cooked through, since raw or undercooked pork can carry harmful bacteria and parasites such as tapeworm (the same goes for feeding pork to humans, of course). So, the answer to ‘can dogs eat raw pork?’ is a definite ‘no’. 

Pork chops for dogs

Can dogs eat pork chops? Yes, they can! If you cook them plainly, they’re a healthy treat for dogs. Pork chops provide protein and essential nutrients, but be cautious of the bone. Pork chop bones can splinter easily, potentially creating a choking hazard or causing internal injury if your pup happens to swallow a rogue piece of bone.

Can dogs eat pork bones?

This one’s a no, unfortunately. Pork bones, both cooked and raw, aren’t recommended for dogs. Like we mentioned earlier, cooked bones can splinter and break, leading to potential choking or internal damage, such as a gut perforation. And raw bones can carry harmful bacteria, which can lead to food poisoning — it’s best to stay away from these altogether.

How about pork rib bones, can dogs eat those? Same here, sadly — pork rib bones shouldn’t be given to dogs. They pose similar risks as other pork bones: they can splinter easily, causing choking or damage to the digestive tract. If your dog loves chewing, opt for safer, dog-friendly chew toys instead.

Can dogs eat pork rinds?

Since these typically tend to be very high in fat and salt, pork rinds aren’t recommended for dogs. The high sodium levels can make it hard for your pup to digest this food, which can lead to problems like obesity, sodium poisoning, and even pancreatitis. It's best to skip giving pork rinds to your dog entirely and stick to some plain, cooked pork. 

Is pork good for dogs?

Pork can definitely provide some nutritional benefits to our furry friends when cooked plainly and served in moderation! It’s an excellent source of protein, which supports muscle growth and repair, and offers essential nutrients like B vitamins and minerals.

Something to consider when feeding pork to your pup is to monitor their behavior after they’ve tried some of this new food — just because it’s okay for them to eat, doesn’t automatically mean that it’ll sit well with your pup’s dietary preferences. If they seem to be struggling with digesting it, or just seem unwell, skip it for now and talk to your vet for advice. 

But just remember, your dog's primary nutrition should come from their regular dog food, which is balanced to meet their specific needs. Pork as a treat, like any human food, should be treated as an occasional treat or supplement, not a dietary staple. If your dog's food is made with pork or boar, this is absolutely fine.

Picking the right food for your pup can be tricky. For help, check out our article for tips on picking the right dog food, or head over to our partners at Dog Food Advisor for advice on the best types of food for your dog. 

What else can your pup eat, and what foods should they avoid? Find out if your dog can eat tomatoes, fruits, pasta, chicken and more with Wag! 

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