Can My Dog Eat Raw or Cooked Pork?

We get asked about pork… A LOT. It’s great that dog owners are concerned about what they are feeding their dog and want to make sure it’s safe and healthy for their beloved pet. The main questions we get asked are: Can my dog eat raw pork? Can my dog eat cooked pork?

The simple answer is: YES.

Why Do People Think Raw Pork is Unsafe?

There is some truth to this idea that raw or undercooked pork is not safe to eat. Pork CAN contain a parasite called trichinella spiralis larvae. They are a tissue-dwelling type of roundworm (that is also found in humans, by the way). This parasite can cause an infection called trichinosis. Trichinosis causes the same symptoms most worm-infestations do, including: diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal pain. It can also cause lethargy, fever, muscle inflammation and pain, and stiffness. Pigs and bears are the animals most common to get it, and they get it from eating other meat infected with the parasite.

Humans are more likely to get the parasite than dogs.

So, this is where the idea that pork is not safe came from. BUT WAIT!!!

In Australia, our pork is considered free of the parasite trichinella spiralis larvae, and therefore one of the safest porks in the world.

Also, it should be noted that even in countries where trichinosis has been a problem, it is much less common now than it used to be. In the 2000’s the United States had just 12 cases per year of infection in humans. And remember, it’s more common in humans than dogs.

Therefore, raw pork is no more dangerous than any other meat, especially here in Australia.

What About Cooked Pork?

Cooking kills any parasites, so you really don’t have to worry about trichinosis at this point, even if your meat comes from outside Australia.

Yet, some still shy away from Pork meat – cooked or raw – saying it is fatty and salty. It’s considered a “junk food” to some. But is it really?

High in Fat

While bacon definitely keeps the fatty bits because that’s what make it taste so good when it’s fried up, trimmed pork (like what is used in commercial dog food), is high in protein and low in fat. This can be said of raw pork as well – just trim off the fat or choose a leaner part of the pig (stay away from the belly and side areas, which has the most fat). Pork shoulder (sometimes called pork butt) is fairly lean meat. Pork tenderloin, pork chops and pork roast are also considered lean cuts. In fact, they are often leaner than a skinless chicken thigh!

As another example, pork is much leaner than lamb. In 120 grams of minced meat, pork has 162 calories and 6.4g of fat versus lamb with 319 calories and 26.45g of fat. Interestingly, lamb also contains more sodium than pork, so it really doesn’t deserve the reputation of “junk food” meat.

Pancreatitis

Another “scare” with pork is the thought that it can cause pancreatitis. Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas and is a serious condition. Symptoms include vomiting, bloating, abdomen pain, diarrhea, loss of appetite, lethargy, dehydration and fever. It can be caused by many things; these are the most common:

· Obesity (overfeeding)

· High fat, low protein diet

· Tumours

· As a secondary problem to another disease, such as Cushing’s or diabetes

Some dogs are also genetically predisposed to pancreatitis. ANY DIET that has too much fat can be a factor in causing pancreatitis in dogs. As we mentioned above, pork can actually be quite lean, leaner than other meats. And, if you are feeding a Stay Loyal feed, you know our foods are balanced to give your dog the right amount of protein and fat.

If you are going to feed raw, just remember to trim off the fat or look for leaner cuts, especially if your dog already has pancreatitis, to prevent a flare up. Even for a healthy dog, trimming that fat is a good idea so they don’t get overweight.

Benefits of Pork

So not only is pork safe to feed your dog, raw or cooked, it has a lot of health benefits! Pork is an excellent source of many vitamins and minerals including niacin, potassium, magnesium, vitamin D, and phosphorus. This mix of vitamins and mineral is important as Vitamin D is essential to canine health – it helps with the absorption of calcium and in the balance of calcium and phosphorus in the body.

Pork also has a great amino acid profile, with all the essential amino acids your dog needs regenerate healthy muscle and tissue.

So, go ahead, feed your dog some pork – he may love it! And it’s a great alternative protein for those with allergies to chicken and beef.

loyalfood
Not just another dog food company. With our mission to improve the health and happiness of dogs all over Australia through enriched nutrition and continued education of caring dog owners, our priority is helping you care for your dog. Check Us Out!

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11 Comments

  1. Can you tell me how long my Husky puppy (now 6 months old and growing like a mushroom!) can remain on your large breed puppy biscuits, and when do we change to an adult formula.

    1. Hi Marissa, So we recommend switching to our all life stage Chicken lamb and fish when your dogs rapid growth slows down. For huskies i’d say that’s about 9 months of age. We also recommend moving towards adult portions at this time.

  2. Dear stay loyal team , thanks a million for the info on raw and cooked pork , you have clarified a question iv always had ,about feeding my Bichon Frise pork , I was always hesitant and apprehensive, I only feed my dog human grade fresh raw meat of any kind , is raw fresh chicken ok too ? much appreciated, Helen

    1. Yes Fresh raw chicken is fine too although it does have possible salmonella issues but this is rare.

  3. Thanks do much for this great article Robert, so very helpful: you do a fantastic job informing and educating the public, helping us to do our very best for our furry friends! Stay safe and well, Joy

  4. Can you help please I have Shetland sheepdog with dry flaky skin problem.
    Any ideas on how to fix this problem. Always scratching and chewing paws
    Thanks.

    1. Hi Myra, With itchy dogs it can be any 1 or 3 things of 101 possibilities. I say the same to everyone, start with looking at diet and what you use to wash your dog and how often you wash. Food affects them from the inside and washing the outside.

      The basic feeding guide i suggest for itchy dogs is Stay Loyal Chicken, Lamb and Fish and raw meaty Lamb bones ONLY.
      This combination works well. So no treats or anything else. Strictly no beef or roo as these red meats can heat the body up and help bad microbes to grow causing the itchiness. The Meaty bone and Stay Loyal combination is outlined in detail in our feeding guide which you will get, in your emails, when you purchase.

      If your dog has a yeasty smell and its strong, i also suggest Malaseb wash and Zinc supplementation.
      You can get the zinc from the chemist or supermarket for humans. The dosage rate is 5mg per kg bodyweight per day. So, a 20kg dog can have up to 100mg of zinc per day. Feed the zinc in the evening a few hours after the meal.

      Important Notice- Lately we have noticed a big rise in dogs itching that are on the 3 month flea and tick treatments. People don’t suspect these because dogs usually start itching on the second or third dose. If your dog is on one of these products and has started itching 3 to 12 months after the first dose, I would suggest you suspect it as a possible contributor to the itch. Because these are long acting products, they could stay in your dog’s system for 6 months or more, it will take months for it to leave your dog’s system and months for the itch to stop. Your next question is, what should we use then…Try not to use anything for months if there are no ticks and fleas in your area. If you have to use something, I use Advantix and it works for my dogs.

      I Hope that helps you.

  5. Thank you Robert for your ongoing VERY informative messages, I found this one on PORK very interesting indeed, stay well in these difficult times cheers Lawrence.

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