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Can Dogs Eat Raw Pork? Everything You Need to Know

No, dogs cannot eat raw pork as it could harm your dog’s gut health. When consumed, raw or undercooked pork meat causes trichinosis, a disease caused by a parasitic worm that affects the gastrointestinal system of dogs. Raw pork has trichinella parasites which infect both dogs and humans with poor and weak immune systems. 

What is Pork?

Pork is a culinary name for pig meat. As a delicacy that is devoured worldwide, pork has a history dating back to 5000 BC. It is eaten both as fresh or in preserved form. Smoked Pork, Ham, Gammon, Bacon, and sausages are some preserved forms of pork.

Nutritional Value of Pork

Since pork meat is high in protein, vitamins, and minerals, lean pork is a wonderful addition to a healthy diet. A 100 gram of pork contains 242 Kilocalories.

Energy242 kcal
Fat27.92g
Protein13.32g
Vitamin B60.464mg
Vitamin B120.70 μg
Choline93.9mg
Vitamin C0.6mg
Vitamin D53 IU
Calcium19mg
Copper0.073mg
Iron0.87mg
Magnesium28mg
Phosphorus246mg
Potassium423 mg
Sodium62mg
Zinc2.39mg
Water57.87 g
Cholesterol90mg
Carbohydrates0
Sugar0

Is Raw Pork Safe for Dogs? 

Eating raw pork is not safe for dogs due to the parasite trichinella spiralis larvae. The pathogen causes a parasitic infection known as trichinosis. Some of the risks that your dog is subject to while eating raw pork include:

  • Lethargy 
  • Muscle inflammation
  • Elevated or high temperature and fever
  • Stiffness
  • Pain
  • Diarrhea

In some cases, your dog might not display or show any of these symptoms. However, whenever you realize that your dog has fed on raw pork, contact a veterinary professional to attend to it. Further, dogs shouldn’t eat the fat on pork; many have portions of fat even after they’re cooked. This fat is difficult for dogs to digest and can be a precursor to some serious illnesses. 

It’s important to note that any dog food and diet involving uncooked meat could present this risk.

Why is Raw Pork Harmful to Dogs?

Raw pork is harmful to dogs since it contains some parasites, bacteria, and viruses that can cause stomach upset and severe health issues. Noticeable symptoms start only after one or two days and continue for eight weeks. Also, the high-fat content in pork is indigestible by dogs. This high fat can cause cholesterol in dogs leading to obesity and other cardiac illnesses. Hence, it is better to check on other alternative supplements with the same nutritional values as in pork meat.

How Much Raw Pork To Feed Your Dog?

Raw pork is toxic for dogs to consume. In addition, consuming raw pork can trigger too many health issues, which can be fatal. Hence, it is better to keep raw pork away from your pet. 

What if my Dog Ate Raw Pork?

Suppose your dog eats raw pork for the first time or exhibits allergic symptoms after consuming raw pork. In that case, look out for the following signs:

  • Indigestion
  • Stomach upset

Presence of dangerous parasites when uncooked: An uncooked pork product is hazardous for the consumption of both humans and canines. This is because it harbors parasites, viruses, and bacteria, such as: 

  • Trichinella spiralis larvae 
  • Salmonella 
  • E. coli (Escherichia coli) 
  • Suid herpesvirus 1 
  • MRSA (Multi-Drug-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus) bacteria resistant to antibiotics 

Each of these listed parasites can cause allergies or chronic illness in dogs which must be prevented. In addition, watch out for common signs of trichinosis caused by the larvae of the Trichinella roundworm present in raw or undercooked meat. Suppose a pork product is raw or undercooked. In that case, it is dangerous for canines since they may contain trichinella parasites that can cause pain, vomiting, upset stomach, diarrhea, and other minor health issues.

Trichinosis 

When an animal (or human) eats meat tainted by the trichinella larvae, the acid in the stomach breaks down their outer shell releasing the fully-grown roundworms. These parasites may then move from the stomach into the small intestines to mate and lay eggs.  

There are a variety of symptoms linked with trichinosis. Any noticeable signs of infection are likely to begin within 1-2 days of eating raw pork. These include: 

  • Fever 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Fatigue 
  • Vomiting 
  • Nausea 

After about 2-8 weeks, there would be an onset of the second set of symptoms. These include: 

  • Achy joints, muscle pain, and stiffness 
  • Itchy skin 
  • Headaches 
  • Chills 
  • Constipation 
  • Cough 
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Swelling of the eyes and face 
  •  

If your dog experiences any of these listed symptoms within 24-48 hours of eating raw pork, get in touch with your nearest vet immediately. While a mild case of trichinosis may go away on its own after a few months, conditions like fatigue, weakness, muscle pain, and diarrhea can last much longer. In severe cases, a dog may lose its coordination ability or develop heart or breathing-related problems. If left untreated, it can even result in death.

High in fat: In comparison to chicken or beef, pork is high in fat. This means it can be challenging for your pet dog to digest. Hence introducing excessive pork in your dog’s diet can lead fat to build up and cause health issues like inflammation, digestive problems, and pancreatitis. Watch out for common signs of pancreatitis within the first 24-48 hours.

Symptoms of pancreatitis include: 

  • Stomach pain 
  • Prolonged vomiting
  • Prolonged diarrhea
  • Dehydration 
  • Lack of appetite 
  • Depression 

This is why pork is not recommended as a primary protein source of dogs. Instead, leaner proteins are a better bet. 

Treatment for Trichinosis In Dogs 

The treatment for trichinosis infection is an antiparasitic and an anthelmintic drug  to get rid of the worms. However, your vet would first recommend conducting some confirmatory tests – blood, urine, and stool analysis tests. 

A sample of the muscle tissue would also be taken for dogs that display more severe symptoms, which would suggest that the infection has spread to the muscles. 

Alternatives for Raw Pork 

Chicken is an excellent source of protein to add to your dog’s diet – it is easy to digest and full of essential vitamins, minerals, fats, and amino acids. Veterinarians recommend feeding your dog unseasoned and boiled chicken whenever your pet needs a boost of energy! Some of the other healthy alternatives include:

  • Canned Tuna 
  • Canned Salmon 
  • Roasted chicken 
  • Beef liver 
  • Tripe 
  • Turkey 
  • Lamb
  • Sliced banana 
  • Sliced sweet potato 
  • Sliced apple without seeds and skin 
  • Sliced carrots 
  • Broccoli 
  • Watermelon 

 Frequently Asked Questions 

Can Dogs Eat Cooked Pork? 

Yes, dogs can eat cooked pork, as long there are no additional fats, oils, seasonings, spices, or condiments added to it. Pork is safe for dogs if fed in moderation as it is much higher in fat than proteins like chicken and turkey

Can Dogs Eat Pork Bones? 

No, pork bones are comparatively very brittle and fragile than beef bones, and hence they do not make a good treat for your dog. This holds true even if the bones are cooked. Furthermore, if your pet dog breaks off a part of a pork bone, it can obstruct their airway and lead to choking. So give a pass on the pork bones for your pet dog. 

Can Dogs Eat Preserved Pork?

No, it would be best not to feed your dog preserved pork such as ham or bacon as it contains too much salt and fat. In addition, the ingredients may cause pancreatitis and, in severe cases, lead to death.

Final Thoughts

Raw pork is not good for human beings as well as pets. It is a general tendency for human beings to get tempted to feed their dogs what is served on the table, and it’s suggested you check on this. It is better if the raw pork is stored in a place where dogs cannot reach. As pets cannot communicate, it is our responsibility to take utmost care of them. Sorry, my furry friend. Raw pork is not a suitable choice for you.

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