Get your knickers wriggling! Our dogs love pig ears because of their squeaky, meaty texture. But the question remains, how exactly do dogs benefit from pigs’ ears?
When given in moderation, pig ears can be a tasty treat that helps stimulate mental stimulation and provides a novel experience.
Are Pigs Ears Good for Dogs?
Dr. Julie Sanders, director of operations at Heart Paw, compares pig ears to ice cream and says that dogs enjoy them just as much. Moderation is the key when indulging in one’s guilty pleasures, which is why everyone has a few.
Sanders tells Daily Paws, “Pig ears are not bad, but they’re not healthy,” if used in moderation as a treat.
Sanders claims that pig ears are safe to give as a treat once or twice a month to most medium and large-sized dogs. Only on rare occasions, she suggests, should pig ears be included in the menu. To put it simply, this is not something you would eat every day. ”
There is a lot of fat and calories in pig ears, which can add up fast. Usually, a treat of 50 grams has just over 200 calories. Although it might not seem like much, even a small increase in caloric intake is helpful for dogs of all sizes.
Treats shouldn’t account for more than 10% of your dog’s daily calorie intake.
Sanders claims that an adult dog of 20 pounds requires only about 587 calories per day. A 200-calorie snack, she says, is more than 10% of a person’s daily calorie allotment. To keep the total calories in a single treat below 10%, a dog would need to weigh more than 50 pounds. ”
To keep your dog from gaining too much weight, you should calculate how many calories he or she needs every day and then only give a small amount of treats like pig ears.
Sanders suggests chopping pig ears in half, thirds, or quarters for smaller dogs and saving them for times when you know your dog will need to be distracted (such as when repair people are coming to the house or when guests are visiting).
What Are Pig Ears?
Pig ears are made from actual pigs’ ears, as the name suggests. Although the name may be confusing, these are a common treat for canines.
Skin, cartilage, and some muscle come together to form these delectable morsels, which are derived from the pinna, or ear flap. After being harvested and dried, pig ears can serve as a nutritious snack for your pet.
These tasty chews will keep you full for hours and are a great way to round out your diet. By giving your dog something entertaining (and tasty! ), you can reduce the likelihood of undesirable behaviors like chewing on furniture, excessive licking, and barking.
Your dog’s teeth can benefit from chewing on treats like pig ears, which can help remove plaque and tartar. I can’t think of any drawbacks at this time.
Pros Of Feeding Pig Ears
Due to their single ingredient, pig ears are a great treat for dogs with food sensitivities or special diets.
If there is only one ingredient, it’s easy to know exactly what you’re giving your pet.
You won’t have to worry about getting sick from eating pig ears if you purchase them from a reliable vendor.
Pig ears are a popular soft chew for dogs because they are made of cartilage, similar to that found in human bones. Pig ears are an excellent dog treat because they are long lasting and easy on the teeth.
Glucosamine and chondroitin, two compounds abundant in pig ears, have been shown to reduce joint pain caused by conditions like osteoarthritis. These ingredients are great for your skin, teeth, and gums.
Your dog will benefit from the high protein content (about 69%) in pig ears because it will help him keep his muscle mass and his coat and skin in good condition. You can get all the amino acids your body needs from them, which is why they are so beneficial.
The health benefits of giving your dog a product like pig ears to chew on are many. It all comes down to the dog’s size and chewing ability when determining how long they can enjoy a pig’s ear.
Some stores sell pig ears that have been sliced or cut into smaller pieces for dogs of all sizes and chewing abilities.
For both you and your dog, mental stimulation in the form of a healthy chewing habit is a win-win. Mental stimulation is especially important when combined with regular physical activity in preventing the development of bad habits due to boredom.
Puppy, senior, and injured dogs, as well as dogs of all ages, can gain a lot from some mental exercise.
They may be unable to perform strenuous physical activity, but they can at least keep their mouths and bodies occupied by chewing.
Pig ears are a great way to sate your gum chewing cravings and clean your teeth at the same time. The use of pig ears, in addition to routine visits to the veterinarian, can aid in keeping your dog’s teeth clean and disease-free.
Finally, pig ears are quite affordable, especially when bought in bulk, in comparison to other high-quality chews like bully sticks or cow ears.
Cons Of Feeding Pig Ears
High Fat Content
One major drawback to feeding your dog pig ears is the high number of calories they contain. A pig’s ear is a large, fatty snack. Moderation is key when enjoying sweets like these.
It depends on the size of the ear, but on average, one pig ear contains about 100 calories. Although it may not seem like much, for a small dog, that can be a significant portion of their daily caloric needs.
Avoid having your dog gain too much weight by only giving it pig ears once or twice a week, depending on its size.
The elevated fat content may also be problematic for dogs that require low-fat diets. You may want to look elsewhere for a protein chew if your dog requires a low-fat diet for medical or other reasons, as pork is not typically thought of as such.
Not Right For Every Dog
Although pig ears last for quite some time, they may not be the best treat if your dog is a destructive chewer. These canines benefit from tougher chews like bully sticks.
Some dogs might attempt to swallow their treats whole. Pig ears, if consumed whole, can cause choking or intestinal blockage.
Small dogs may have difficulty digesting even a sizable piece of pig ear.
Safely Feeding Your Dog Pig Ears
Pig ears, like any treat, should be given to your dog with caution. If you follow a few easy guidelines, you can give your dog his treat of choice without worrying about him getting sick.
Choose High Quality Products
Get your dog only premium pig ears that are totally free of any chemicals, additives, or preservatives.
To sum up, pig ears are a snack that calls for only one ingredient and no artificial flavors or preservatives. Make sure the treats you give your dog are from a reputable manufacturer or supplier if you want to give him the best.
Supervision Is Necessary
While your dog is enjoying his pig ear, keep a close eye on him to ensure he doesn’t get into any mischief.
Some canines may safely chew on their toys, while others might try to ingest the entire ear or even just rip off large pieces.
As was previously mentioned, your dog may experience a blockage in his digestive tract if he swallows the ear in its entirety or a sizable portion of it.
To prevent this, hold your dog’s ear firmly while he chews to show him that he shouldn’t try to swallow it whole.
After touching any part of a pig’s ear, you should wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. In 2019, the F.D.a. investigated claims of salmonella contamination in pig ears. The vast majority of the pig ears in question originated from foreign countries.
A total of 154 people got sick, but no dogs did. A dog’s digestive system can handle salmonella and other bacteria just fine if it’s in good health. Humans, on the other hand, have a much more delicate and easily disrupted digestive system.
Reducing your risk of infection by handling pig ears is as simple as washing your hands and disinfecting any surfaces you may have touched. It’s crucial if you have anyone in your household with a compromised immune system.
In addition to flavor, nutrients are preserved well when foods are baked or roasted.
What To Do if Your Dog Swallows a Pig Ear
Sanders says there is no need to take any immediate action, but he does recommend keeping a close eye on your dog if it eats an entire pig ear while it is still breathing normally. Eating pig’s ears won’t upset your stomach or cause a blockage because they’re easily digested. It’s unlikely, but possible, she says.
But if your dog is choking, Sanders says to act quickly to clear her airway and then take her to the vet.
There are a number of ways in which a pig ear could become stuck in your dog’s esophagus. Sanders cautions that while Fido will still be able to breathe, the condition is very distressing for him.
These are some of the signs that you may have an esophageal blockage:
- Continually trying to swallow
- Abnormal reflexes to eating or drinking that cause vomiting or gagging
- not being hungry
If you notice any of these, take your pet to the vet right away so they can clear the obstruction. According to Sanders, “watchful waiting” is more likely to be your strategy. You should listen for any wheezing or rumbling sounds coming from your dog’s stomach.
Sanders suggests taking your dog to the vet if he or she shows signs of not wanting to eat, throwing up, or having diarrhea.
Sanders, on the other hand, says that most dogs that eat a pig’s ear will just vomit it up later. (Therefore, it is highly unlikely to be detected in your dog’s feces.)
Are Pig Ears Safe for Puppies?
Sanders suggests waiting until your puppy is at least six months old before purchasing pig ears.
She claims that because puppies’ immune systems are still maturing, they are particularly susceptible to treat contamination. It also appears that puppies are marginally more susceptible to GI distress. ”
For a more secure reward, Sanders recommends freezing canned dog food, bananas, or nut butter in a KONG or other puzzle toy.
“ Teething puppies benefit greatly from the coldness of the stuffed puzzle toy and treat that you can freeze, and you have complete control over what your puppy is eating. ”
When to start feeding your dog pig ears is a question best answered by your vet.
How To Choose The Best Pig Ears For Your Dog
To ensure your dog’s health and safety, only give him or her the best treats. The finest pigs’ ears can be obtained from reliable retailers who use high-quality materials.
Country Of Origin
While some domestically produced pig ears may contain harmful ingredients like bacteria or preservatives, many experts recommend sticking with domestic imports.
If you want to buy single ears from a store instead of a set, it’s smart to ask about the source and how the store keeps them sterile.
If at all possible, you should seek out pork from pigs that were raised outdoors. Pork from animals raised on pasture is typically healthier than pork from pigs raised in a factory farm.
Pasture-raised pigs also have a greater Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio. Adequate consumption of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids is necessary for both cardiovascular health and a shiny coat.
The best pigs ears come from Central and South American farms.
Do not eat smoked or flavored pig ears.
These items probably contain chemicals or ingredients that could be harmful to your dog or cause stomach problems.
Some supermarkets may stock raw pig ears.
Raw pig ears are a safe and delicious treat for your dog, even if he is on a raw food diet.
It may be difficult to locate raw pig ears, so you may need to settle for cooked alternatives.
You need to go to the store and buy some chews. Find some pig ears and cook them in the oven or on the slow cooker.
These ears typically have a high quality and contain no harmful additives.