Can Dogs Eat Pork?

Can Dogs Eat Pork?

Author WDF Staff


If you ever prepared any meat or barbecue at home, you probably noticed your dog hanging around, hoping something might fall on the floor. Most owners know that most of their dog’s food is meat, and we naturally assume that all meats are safe for our dog to eat. There is a grey area when it comes to dogs and meat, and giving your dog pork is the same story.

Most of us assume pork is safe for dogs; in fact, many dog foods have lamb, duck, or chicken in them, so why wouldn’t pork be safe right? Well, the right answer is not a plain yes or no. Here is what you should know about giving your dog pork.

Is pork safe for my dog?

Generally, dogs can eat pork, but only under certain conditions. The safest way to give your dog pork is if it is cooked. There should be no seasoning or other things we love putting in our food to make it taste better. Spices can be extremely toxic to dogs, and they shouldn’t even get a tiny bit of it. Humans love preparing pork with lots of salt, garlic, onions, chili powder, or nutmeg. That is something that should never be given to dogs.

sliced pork

Industrial dog food

Some industrial foods include pork, and that is another safe way to give your dog pork. That food has been appropriately treated, and all nasty bacteria and parasites are killed. It can be a valuable source of protein and healthy fats if given moderately to your dog. 

Check out the best available dog foods - Best dry dog food.

Can pork be bad for my dog?

There are some cases where pork should be avoided and not given to your dog. Keep in mind that plain, cooked pork is the only safe option to give your dog. If you prepared it with seasoning - don’t give it to your dog.

One of the most popular things to add to pork is BBQ sauce. That is another example of what should be avoided. BBQ sauce is rich in salt, sugar, and other toxic things like garlic and onion, which can destroy your dog’s red blood cells and cause kidney failure. If you suspect your dog got their paws on pork with BBQ sauce, keep a close eye on them and notice any symptoms they might show. If they start acting unusual, call your vet because it is a medical emergency.

marinated ribs

Can dogs eat raw pork?

You should avoid giving your dog raw, untreated pork. Raw or undercooked pork is not safe for humans nor dogs. Untreated, raw, or undercooked pork can contain a dangerous parasite, trichinella spiralis, whose larvae reside in the infected animal’s muscles. The small larvae are invisible to the eye, and they can be neutralized with high temperatures. That is why it is so important to properly cook the meat.

Humans and dogs can get infected with this parasite, and usually, humans have worse symptoms than dogs. Dogs with a great immune system can develop subtle symptoms, and they typically include:

There is another popular meat people love giving dogs. Check out this article - Raw chicken for dogs.

Can dogs eat bacon?

Bacon is forbidden for dogs. It might smell great and taste even better, but its high fat content and high salt content can be dangerous to dogs. If your dog eats too much fat, such as bacon, they can develop pancreatitis, which is deadly.


Is ham safe for dogs?

This is another resounding - no. Both ham and bacon are proven carcinogens, and the World Health Organization has confirmed the link between them and cancer. Ham has an incredibly high salt content, which is not safe for dogs. Too much salt can cause a dog’s stomach to twist on itself, and that condition is known as bloat. If not treated immediately, it has a high mortality rate. You can read more about bloat here - Bloat in dogs.

Are pork bones safe for dogs?

Raw bone might be safer for dogs, but generally, you should avoid giving your dog raw bones. It can also be tempting to toss your dog a bone from the piece of meat you just finished, but that is also not a good idea.

Cooked bones become a lot softer, and there is a chance they can break into tiny, sharp pieces. They present a choking hazard and can cause perforation in your dog’s gastrointestinal tract. That is a severe injury that will require surgery to fix. Plus, there is a high probability there are leftover spices on that bone that your dog really shouldn’t ingest.

Here is another interesting article about human foods. Check out this article - Healthiest human foods dogs can eat.

What is the safe alternative?

If you want to introduce additional things to your dog’s diet, there are many safer alternatives than giving your dog pork. If your dog is not allergic to chicken, you can provide them unseasoned, cooked chicken meat, which they will love.

Instead of giving your dog a pork bone, think about getting them a dental bone that won’t split and present a choking hazard. We all want what’s best for our dogs, and there is no reason you should take any risks with your dog’s health. Before you decide to introduce anything new to your dog’s diet, talk to your vet and ask their opinion and advice.

World Dog Finder team

World Dog Finder Logo