Pork is delicious whether you’re roasting a pork loin, frying up some pork chops, or shredding a pork roast for Taco Tuesday. You’ve been taught to carefully store, thaw, and prepare your pork to eliminate the risks of foodborne illnesses. No matter how tasty it is cooked, raw pork is a prime breeding ground for bacteria that can make humans very ill. While you’re scouring your kitchen surfaces after preparing raw pork, the idea that it’s safe for your dog to eat probably has crossed your mind before you decided it probably isn’t safe. If you’ve been shooing your dog away from raw meat, you’ll be relieved to know that when the necessary steps are taken, raw pork and its pieces are not only safe for your dog but actually good for them, too.
Is Raw Pork and Its Friends Safe for Dogs?
Evolutionarily speaking, dogs thrive on a diet of fresh, uncooked meat. Because our pets are domesticated, though, we feed them a diet of commercially prepared and balanced dog food because it’s accessible and good for them. The popularity of feeding dogs a raw diet is on the rise, and dog owners are spending a great deal of money providing their dogs with raw meat. Raw pork is a readily available meat that is typically included in a raw diet. Pork is good for dogs as long as it’s fed in moderation. Pork is naturally fatty, so too much can lead to weight problems or even pancreatitis in dogs.
Nutritional experts say that it’s best to feed dogs the parts of pork that contain edible bones. If you’re giving your dog a raw diet, bones are essential, not optional. Because meat is high in phosphorous and bones are high in calcium, the combination of meat and 10 percent bones gives your dog the exact calcium:phosphorous ratio required nutritionally. Meat bones are safe for dogs if they aren’t cooked. Once cooked, the bones dry out and become fragile and brittle, splintering into sharp pieces that can damage the esophagus and intestines when they’re swallowed. The bones shouldalways be fed raw! When they’re raw, they’re still relatively pliable, meaning the dog can easily eat and digest them. It’s hard to imagine that bones are digestible, but canines have a very acidic stomach that’s designed to break down materials like bone. However, that stomach pH is only suitable for raw bones, not cooked.
When you give your dog raw bones, always monitor them. You should never give your dog bones that are small enough for them to swallow whole. The bone should be big enough that they have to break it down before they can swallow it. Don’t ever give your dog large marrow bones. These thick bones can easily crack your dog’s teeth if they chew on them hard enough.
Raw Pork Precautions for Dogs
Wild dogs don’t have exposure to foodborne illnesses like humans do, including parasitic infections. However, pork that you buy in the store is sometimes contaminated with a roundworm called trichinosis. This worm resides in the raw meat and is only killed when the meat is thoroughly cooked or frozen for three to four weeks before eating it. When a dog is infected with trichinosis, they develop muscle soreness or swelling of the eyelids. If the infection progresses, the symptoms will quickly escalate and the dog can get quite ill. Purchase your meat from reputable sources; avoid buying cheap meat. When you bring the meat home, freeze it for at least two weeks before you give it to your dog. This amount of time in a freezer will kill the parasite.
The Benefits of a Raw Diet for Dogs
Raw diets enthusiasts report that raw meat, bones, and organs are the best way to feed your dog. It can be expensive and time consuming, but when a raw diet is formulated properly, your dog will thrive. There are a lot of benefits to a raw diet. Their immune systems become more resistant to illnesses and disease (but a raw diet does not take the place of annual vaccinations). Owners who have switched their dogs over to a raw diet notice that their dog’s coat and skin become much healthier. Their coats will become glossy and soft, and some people claim their dogs shed less on a raw diet. You could notice your dog smells wonderful, too, and doesn’t have that odd “doggy smell” your dog typically gets between baths.
Their teeth are also much healthier. Domesticated dogs usually need annual dental cleanings to scrape the plaque and tartar off their teeth, but raw diets have been shown to decrease tooth decay and periodontal disease. It’s easier to keep them at a healthy weight, too, especially in more sedentary dogs. Their muscle tone is better, as is their energy. They absorb most of the nutrients found in meat, bones, and organs, meaning there’s less to clean up in the yard.
While raw diets have many benefits, you have to be willing to invest a lot of time and money in feeding your dog raw meat. It can be hard to give a dog the proper nutrition when you’re only feeding them raw meat, and some well-meaning owners have actually given their dogs nutritional deficiencies because they weren’t feeding enough of a variety of meat. When a wild dog is lacking in a certain nutritional element, their bodies signal them to find food that contains what they’re lacking. Domestic dogs don’t have this option, and dogs on an unbalanced raw diet will start to eat weird things in an attempt to end the deficiency. Before you start giving your dog raw meat, you should seek the advice of your veterinarian and possibly a canine nutritionist.
Fed properly, raw meat can be a fantastic choice for your dog. When you’ve done your research and decided you can be dedicated to a fairly intensive feeding process, you’ll quickly see the benefits in your dog.
Hi, I’m Jacob. I’ve been a professional blogger for over 6 years and in that time I’ve written countless blogs that have reached millions of people. I am a DVM by profession but all you need to know is that I LOVE DOGS!
SDO started way back in 2015 on a whim. I’d read a couple of dozen blogs online while searching for the best products for my pup and the amount of misinformation online from unqualified sources giving potentially harmful advice shocked me. Then suddenly it hit me, hey, I can do this too! And I can do this RIGHT! Without even knowing what a blog was or how it makes money. I jumped right in to share the years of knowledge I have of dogs with the world.
Within a few months I realized that people were reacting extremely positively to my blogs. My website had taken off and I would receive countless emails from happy dog owners telling me how my website was a God-send for them and their pups were doing so much better after they followed my advice. I would get so many questions as well, and in my attempt to consolidate and answer all the questions I would get from my readers, my blog has evolved to the website you see today. Over the years I encouraged my good friend Tina who is also a DVM to share her experiences and better guide the people who read us. By the Grace of God we now reach close a million people a year and we get such a warm feedback on how we have made life easier for new dog owners all over the globe.
As a dog owner only you would know the feeling you get when you come home at night and you pup is there at the door wagging their tail in sheer joy. The bond a person and their dog share can not be explained in mere words. Yet dogs are like children, and they need to be cared for and trained, and that’s why Smart Dog Owner exists, to give you the precise and exact information that you seek about your dog. No matter how minute that detail is, chances are we will be there to help you out! As someone who has raised 7 of her own dogs. Jacob will always help you out.