Can Dogs Eat Pork? Is It Safe?

I still remember vividly a couple of years back, as I was preparing a dish with pork in it, my dog frantically ran inside the kitchen.

I chased her and got her out, but it was too late when I noticed she had already snatched a piece of pork, clutching it between her cute teeth! That time, I started to worry since I’ve never given her pork before. “Can dogs eat pork?”, I thought, so I scurried towards my phone to search for answers.

We all love our dogs to bits — whether they’re fussy and well-trained or hairy and friendly, when it comes to adding nutrition to their diet, we often assume that whatever is good for us must be equally ideal for them. But dog owners are frequently advised not to feed pork to their canine companions.

Let’s find out why!

Is Pork Harmful for Dogs?

Yes, dogs can eat pork, but it’s not highly recommended. Pork is safe for dogs to eat in moderation. However, like all meats, pork has its own set of risks and benefits that you should consider before feeding it to your dog regularly. Here are some of the reasons why:

  • Pork is high in fat and cholesterol. This can lead to obesity and heart disease.
  • It contains more than double the amount of purine than beef does, which can cause gout in dogs (especially when combined with kidney failure).
  • If your dog has an allergy or intolerance to pork, it could cause anaphylaxis (a severe allergic reaction) or other serious health issues for your dog.
  • Pork could also contain toxins. Many types of meat contain harmful bacteria that can cause illness in humans and animals. Pork is no exception, as it can contain salmonella and E coli. These toxins can cause diarrhea and vomiting in humans, but they can be fatal for dogs if they eat enough of it.

Things To Remember When Giving Pork To Your Dog

Here are some things to remember when giving your dog pork:

small dog looking at food
  • Remove All Parts: When you’re preparing the meal, make sure you remove all parts of the pig that are not edible. This includes fat, skin, bones, and organs.
  • No Bones: Don’t give your dog any bones from a pork roast or ham—these can splinter and become lodged in their throat or digestive tract.
  • Lean Meat Only: If you’re going to feed your dog pork make sure it’s lean meat only, and not fatty cuts. These can cause digestive issues like vomiting or diarrhea, which could also lead to dehydration.
  • Feed Your Dog Moderately: Don’t feed your dog pork every day, as it can lead to pancreatitis and other health problems. Most parts of pork contain lots of fat, which can lead to weight gain if you feed it too frequently, or in large quantities.
  • Always Cooked the Pork: Only give your dog cooked pork, because uncooked pork may contain trichinella parasites.
  • Allergies: Pork is a cause of food allergies among dogs, although chicken is also quite common. If your dog has never eaten pork before, try introducing it slowly by mixing it with his regular diet and giving him smaller portions at first until he gets used to it before increasing the amount more significantly.

Cook Pork Thoroughly

Is raw pork good for dogs? The answer is NO.

Pork can contain a virus called Trichinella spiralis that causes trichinosis, a parasitic disease in humans and other animals. When a dog eats raw pork, the parasite can reproduce in their intestines and migrate to their muscles, causing an infection called myositis.

Symptoms of myositis include diarrhea and vomiting, fever, fatigue, loss of appetite and muscle pain. Dogs who are infected with myositis can even develop heart failure.

While many dogs recover from myositis without medical treatment, it’s important to take your dog to the vet if they show symptoms of trichinosis. The vet will likely prescribe antibiotics to kill off the larvae before they do serious damage to your dog’s body.

So how to cook pork for dogs safely? It’s extremely important to cook the meat thoroughly to avoid food poisoning. As with any food, you should start by giving your dog a small portion of pork and waiting 24 hours to make sure that he doesn’t have any negative reactions.

Dogs Only Consume Plain Pork

Now that we have answered the question is pork ok for dogs with yes as long as it is cooked thoroughly, it is also worthy to note that serving plain pork to your dogs would be the best idea.

dog looking at the table waiting for food

Make sure that you’re serving your dog only plain pork without any other seasonings, spices, or flavor enhancers. This is one way to ensure that the meat is safe, and it can be given to your dog.

Another way to ensure that your dog’s food is safe is to serve him only plain pork that hasn’t been cooked or processed in any way. You can buy uncooked pork from the butcher or supermarket and cook it yourself at home by boiling it until it’s tender enough for your dog’s teeth to chew easily (about 45 minutes).

If possible, try to find a farmer who raises pigs on pasture rather than in confinement because this type of farming results in healthier animals with better quality meat.

Avoid Giving Pork Fat to Your Dog

While a small amount of pork fat won’t hurt your dog’s health, eating large amounts of it can result in obesity and other serious health problems. If you give your dog a little bit of bacon as an occasional treat, he’ll be fine—but only if he eats his regular diet as well.

Another reason why you should avoid giving pork fat to your dog is because it can cause pancreatitis in dogs. Pancreatitis is a serious condition that causes inflammation on the pancreas, which is located near the stomach.

The pancreas helps with digestion by producing enzymes that help break down food into nutrients that can be absorbed by cells throughout the body. If it becomes inflamed due to eating too much pork fat or any other kind of fatty food for that matter, it can lead to severe illness or even death if left untreated long enough.

How Much Pork Can a Dog Consume?

If your dog is a senior citizen or has any health concerns, it’s always best to check with your vet before introducing any foods into their diet, such as pork. I’m going to be honest with you: I really don’t recommend feeding your dog pork at all.

pulled pork on a wooden chopping board

There are some risks involved in giving your pups this type of meat. Some pigs are raised on farms that use antibiotics and hormones, which can make them dangerous for dogs to consume.

If this is something you’d still like to do for your dog—and I totally understand why—then I would recommend keeping it to a very small amount and serving it occasionally.

You should also make sure that the meat was raised without those kinds of medications and hormones, which you can ask your vet about, as well as the shop where you buy the meat.

Pork Meat Alternative That are Safe for Dogs

Here are some common pork meat alternatives that are safe for dogs:

  • Chicken is a great alternative for dogs who are allergic or sensitive to beef or lamb. It’s also a great option if your dog is on a vegetarian diet.
  • Lamb is another good alternative for dogs with allergies or sensitivities to beef or chicken. It’s also an excellent source of protein and iron, which can help keep your dog healthy and strong.
  • Beef is another great option if your dog has allergies or sensitivities to other meats like chicken or lamb. It’s also packed with protein, so it’ll keep your dog feeling full longer than other meats like fish would.

I wrote two posts about processed meat, and I really hope that you can find them helpful as well as you do some research on what you can feed your pups. Here’s an answer to can dogs eat sausage, and can dogs eat hotdogs.

Not to Bust Your Chops, But Here Are Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Can Canines  Safely Consume Pork Bones?

Pork bones are hazardous to your dog’s health because they can splinter and cause internal damage, which can result in a life-threatening situation.

If you still choose to feed your dog pork bones, they must be cooked thoroughly and inspected before feeding them to your pet. A good rule of thumb is that any bone that cracks when you try to break it should never be fed to your dog.

Can Dogs Eat Pork Chops?

Yes, pork can be part of your pup’s balanced diet. But just like humans, dogs need different nutrients than others in order to stay healthy and thrive.

raw pork slices on a chopping board with herbs

And while pork is a great source of protein and other nutrients, it also has some drawbacks that you should consider before deciding whether or not it’s right for your dog. Some pork chops also have bones in them, so be careful when feeding it to your dogs as bones could also be hazardous to our pups.

Can dogs eat pulled pork? Yes! It’s best to prepare it yourself, so you can monitor how much fat is in each serving (and minimize the amount). When choosing pulled pork for dogs, look for low-fat cuts with little seasoning added so as not to overwhelm their senses with flavors they aren’t used to yet.

Can I Feed Raw Pork to My Dog?

Yes, you can, but I highly discourage it. Pork is a great source of protein for dogs, but only when it’s cooked—raw pork can contain parasites that can make your dog sick.

If you’re going to feed your dog raw pork, make sure it’s from a reputable source and seek advice from an expert about how much you should feed them. If you’re not sure whether or not your dog can eat pork safely, talk to your vet about whether or not it’s safe for them.

Is It Safe for My Dog To Eat Processed Pork?

While some believe that feeding their dog small amounts of processed pork is safe, I would say that it’s not worth the risk.

If you’re unsure about whether your dog should eat processed pork products, it’s best to err on the side of caution and avoid them altogether until you’re sure they aren’t toxic for your pup. Here is an article I wrote about a popular question can dogs have raw bacon.


So there you have it—can dogs eat pork? As it turns out, they can, but you should keep a close eye on them. You don’t want your precious pooch being sick on your watch.

If you’re going to give your dog pork, be sure to check in with a veterinarian first to confirm if it is safe or not to serve it to your furry friend. It doesn’t just depend on the meat type, it also has a lot to do with your dog’s size, age, and health status.

Stay tuned for more articles where I share my experiences in taking care of my dogs, and the things that I have learned along the way – and yes, this includes the things that they could safely eat! Until the next ones, see you around!

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Lovelia Horn

I’m a certified crazy dog mom, a physical therapist (for hoomans), writer, animal rescuer, and foster home provider. Together with my hubby Ryan, I’ve fostered and helped look for forever homes for over a hundred shelter dogs in the Southern Illinois area. I mostly work with Puppy Rescue 911, Inc., a certified animal rescue organization based out of Chester, IL (home of Popeye!)

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