In addition to being perfectly safe for canines to eat, a raw meat diet is reportedly better for a dog’s overall health, including its stamina, skin, and teeth, than commercial or processed dog food.
However, raw diets are divisive among vets and vet nutritionists, and uncooked pork in particular is not safe for your best friend to eat.
Can My Dog Eat Raw Pork?
No. It’s possible that feeding your dog raw or undercooked pork could have serious consequences. Trichinosis, a disease caused by a parasitic worm that enters the body through the gastrointestinal tract, is among the most prominent dangers.
Is Raw Meat Good for Dogs?
This question requires a more nuanced response than just yes or no.
Your dog may not get the proper balance of nutrients from a diet consisting mainly of raw meat.
Puppies, who have complex nutritional needs throughout their development, are a prime example of this. The same holds true for senior dogs, who may have weaker immune systems and more delicate digestive systems.
Meat and carbohydrates can be made more digestible with the right cooking methods (just like Purina does with our dog foods). According to Purina nutritionist Karina Carbo-Johnson, MS, “dogs are able to use more nutrients from cooked food,” meaning that they can put that food’s nutrients to better use in producing energy, constructing muscle, and bolstering the immune system.
Your dog’s health may be compromised if you feed it a raw food diet (RFD). To live long and healthy lives, they require a diet that is both varied and complete.
Our experts advise that if you decide to use a commercially prepared RFD, you should make sure it was developed by a veterinary nutritionist.
To make sure your dog is getting all the nutrients it needs, pick a food that has been put through feeding trials, has an AAFCO statement of nutritional adequacy, and complies with guidelines set forth by the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA).
Is it Safe to Feed Dogs Raw Meat?
You and your dog are at risk for a variety of illnesses if you regularly feed either of you raw meat.
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the CDC have all issued warnings against feeding raw meat to dogs.
An FDA study found that this not only endangers your dog, but also you and your loved ones. Harmful bacteria such as Salmonella, Listeria, E. coli, and others may be present in raw meat.
When meat is cooked to an appropriate temperature, the bacteria that can cause illness are destroyed. Your dog is more likely to contract a food-borne illness or other bacterial infection if you feed it raw meat.
Further, you or your loved ones may come into contact with bacteria and contract a foodborne illness.
The risk of infection rises when you handle the raw meat, let the dog lick your face, clean up his feces, or come into contact with any contaminated surfaces.
We suggest consulting the safety guidelines published by the FDA, CDC, or AVMA if you decide to switch your dog to a raw food diet. If you follow these steps, you can reduce the likelihood of contamination and food poisoning.
Note that many therapy dog organizations, including Pet Partners, do not accept dogs on RFDs. This is due to the fact that the raw food poses an unacceptable risk to the people they have been trained to aid.
Are Raw Foods Good for Dogs?
While it’s not a good idea to give your dog raw meat, there are some raw foods, like fruits and vegetables, that are perfectly fine and even beneficial for canines.
Bananas, carrots, apples, and other fresh produce may all be well-received by your dog. Before eating or cooking with fresh produce, you should wash it thoroughly to remove any dirt or residue.
Grapes, raisins, garlic, and onions are all toxic to dogs, so avoid feeding them. Talk to your vet about good options for your dog’s specific needs if you’re not sure what to feed it.
Foods like these may be risk-free and healthy, but remember the 90/10 rule. This means a complete and balanced dog food should account for the bulk of your dog’s dietary intake (roughly 90% of its daily calories).
Treats, which can include both traditional dog treats and healthier options like fruits and vegetables, should account for the remaining 10% of your dog’s daily caloric intake.
Carbo-Johnson argues that reducing the calorie content of treats can help people avoid weight gain and digestive issues.
Their diet is more balanced and complete when it follows this proportion. Dietary deficiencies and excesses can result from either eating too many treats or not eating enough food.
What Is Trichinosis?
Trichinosis, also known as trichinellosis, is an infection caused by eating meat that has been infected with the larvae of the Trichinella roundworm and is either raw or undercooked.
Trichinella larvae develop in the muscle meat of infected individuals and are then consumed by carnivorous and omnivorous animals. Bears and other wild predators are more likely than domestic pigs to contract the infection.
Trichinella is a parasite that can cause serious illness by hiding out in your intestines or muscles. Acid in the stomach of an animal (or human) that has eaten meat containing trichinella larvae dissolves the larvae’s protective outer husk, allowing the mature roundworms to escape.
From there, the parasites travel to the small intestines, where they reproduce and lay eggs.
A new generation of worms emerges from the eggs, travels through the arteries to the muscles, and there “encysts,” or forms an outer shell while waiting to be consumed.
What Are The Symptoms of Trichinosis?
Trichinosis presents itself in a wide variety of ways. Within one to two days of ingesting raw pork, you may start to show symptoms of an infection. A few examples are as follows:
- A feeling of sickness or pain in the stomach
Two to eight weeks after a dog has eaten infected pork, a second wave of symptoms may begin. Among these are:
- Puffy eyes and a puffy face
- soreness and stiffness in the muscles and joints
- A skin itch
How much infected meat a dog has eaten directly correlates to the severity of trichinosis in that dog. Coordination issues, heart and respiratory problems, and even death have been reported in dogs with the disease. Without treatment, it can be fatal.
Within 24 to 48 hours of eating raw pork, your dog may begin to show the first signs of trichinosis.
Trichinosis can be self-limiting in mild to moderate cases, but the associated weakness, pain in the muscles, and diarrhea can linger for months.
How Does A Vet Treat Trichinosis In Dogs?
Even though trichinosis infections in your dog can cause serious complications, once diagnosed, treatment is easy. The worms can be eliminated with just one dose of an anthelmintic, a drug used to treat parasitic infections.
Your veterinarian will first conduct a urinalysis and blood test to look for an elevated white blood cell count that indicates infection with the worms. The worm can also be detected in the intestines by collecting a stool sample.
Muscle tissue samples may be taken from dogs whose symptoms are severe enough to warrant concern that the infection has spread to the muscles.
What Raw Meat Is Safe For My Dog To Eat?
In the canine nutrition community, this is a hotly debated topic. There is a school of thought among veterinarians and veterinary nutritionists that says it is never okay to feed your dog raw meat, and that it is also dangerous for you to prepare it.
However, there are many owners who believe that providing their dogs with a raw food diet is good for their dogs’ health. Animal proteins that are popular among raw foodists include:
Before feeding your dog raw meat, you should always check with your veterinarian.
Can My Dog Eat Cooked Pork?
Yes! Pork, provided it is cooked thoroughly and contains no added fats, oils, seasonings, spices, or condiments, is safe for dogs to eat.
However, if your dog needs to lose weight, pork might not be the best choice for feeding them on a daily basis because it is higher in fat than other animal proteins like chicken and turkey. Most dogs should be fine eating pork as a treat provided the amount is kept to a minimum.
Can My Dog Eat Pork Bones?
Pork bones are not a good treat for your dog because they are much more brittle and fragile than beef bones.
This holds true regardless of whether or not the bones have been cooked. A piece of pork bone that breaks off and gets stuck in your dog’s throat can easily cause them to suffocate.
They risk serious injury or death if they ingest a piece of broken, jagged bone, which can tear through the lining of the digestive tract.
Consult Your Veterinarian
Even though it’s not advised, you can choose to give your dog a raw meat diet if you’d like.
However, before making the switch to a raw food diet for your dog, you should consult with your vet.
A protein-rich formula is an alternative to eating raw meat.
If you are concerned about the ingredients in your dog’s food, you can find natural and grain-free varieties.