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Why Is There No Pork Dog Food? Vet-Approved Explanation

Rachel Giordano

By Rachel Giordano

woman feeding her dog

Vet approved

Dr. Maxbetter Vizelberg Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Maxbetter Vizelberg

DVM (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Pork is a staple here in the United States. People love to barbeque, and pork is usually on the menu, especially during holidays like Memorial Day, Labor Day, and the Fourth of July. When it comes to our canine fur babies, you usually don’t see dog food with pork as part of the ingredients. This begs the question: Why is there no pork dog food? Is pork bad for dogs?

Pork used to be considered bad for dogs, but over time, there is no sufficient evidence that supports this. What’s more, it’s not that pork is bad for dogs but rather how it’s prepared, and that’s where the real danger lies. Some dog food brands are actually adding pork to their recipes because it contains a sufficient amount of protein for dogs, as well as amino acids and thiamine, which is used in cell function.1 However, you rarely see it in dog food because humans love pork, and because of this great love, there is not much left for our canines.

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Can Dogs Eat Pork?

Dogs can eat pork as long as it’s cooked thoroughly, has no spices or seasonings, and it’s a lean cut of meat to cut down the fat content. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), people often season pork with seasonings that are toxic to dogs, such as nutmeg, onion powder, and garlic powder. Barbeque sauce is also heavily used with pork, and the ingredients in the sauce itself can be toxic to dogs.

pork meat on wooden board
Image Credit: matka_Wariatka, Shutterstock

Why Can’t I Feed My Dog Raw Pork?

Raw or undercooked pork is not safe for either humans or dogs because you run the risk of contracting a parasite infection known as trichinosis. This is more common in humans rather than in dogs, but dogs can still develop unpleasant symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, upset stomach, fever, lethargy, inflamed muscles, pain, and stiffness.

Can I Feed My Dog Pork Bones?

We do not recommend feeding your dog bones. Some people love to give their dogs bones, and some dogs may never have an issue. However, it is not advised to give your dog bones because the bone can splinter and cause serious injuries to the intestines and esophagus. If this happens, you’re looking at an emergency situation. Bones can also cause mouth and tongue injuries, as well as choking.

Is Pork Safe to Give to Dogs Every Day?

Even though some pet food companies are adding pork to some of their recipes, pork should really only be given in moderation. Chicken is easily digestible for dogs, and unless your dog has a chicken allergy, it’s best to feed a chicken-based diet instead of pork. Beef, turkey, duck, and venison are also excellent options for a protein source that can be fed daily.

senior beagle dog eating food from the bowl
Image By: Przemek Iciak, Shutterstock

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While it’s safe to feed your dog lean pork without spices or seasonings, it still should only be given in moderation. You should also consult your veterinarian before making a switch to ensure it’s safe to do so. Also, gradually introduce pork to your dog so that the digestive system can acclimate. It’s important to never give your dog processed pork, as processed pork contains a high content of salt.

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Featured Image Credit: RossHelen, Shutterstock

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