Can Dogs Eat Raw and Cooked Pork Bones? Are They Safe or Dangerous?

While pork bones appear to be the perfect size for your dog to chew, most veterinarians advise against giving your dog pork bones as a chew toy.

The reason for this is that pork bones pose a significant choking risk to dogs and can cause severe problems with your pet’s internal digestive system. 

Shetland Sheepdog chews a pig bone
A Shetland Sheepdog chews a huge pig bone

However, dogs often consume food they shouldn’t, and even if you didn’t actively feed your dog pork bones, he might accidentally get a hold of some, leaving you wondering if you need to worry.

In this article, we will look into why pork bones are not good for dogs, the downsides of sharing these bones with your dog, and what to do if your dog does get hold of some bones.

Why are Pork Bones Bad for Dogs?

3 pork bones on the wooden table
Three big pork bones on the wooden table

Pork bones can be dangerous for your dog regardless of form, primarily because of the choking risk and the possibility of internal damage they pose.

As we will explain below, there are some serious risks associated with feeding pork bones to your pup.

1. Choking

Due to dogs getting their hands on bones, vet visits increase around the holidays. Even though some bones, such as pork bones, look like they would be perfect chew toys for your dog, they are not.

Your dog may choke or suffer intestinal blockages if they eat them.

2. Damage to the Esophagus

While pork bones may seem like a delicious treat for your dog, they can actually cause serious damage to its esophagus.

The bones, especially when chewed into sharp pieces, can splinter and puncture your pet’s digestive tract, leading to pain, bleeding, and difficulty swallowing. 

3. Intestinal Blockages

As well as getting stuck in your stomach, pork bone fragments can also get stuck in your dog’s small intestine or colon.

Your pet could suffer from extreme constipation or colon damage, which is excruciatingly painful. An enema or surgical removal of these pork bones may be required.

4. Damage to the Intestines

Chewing on cooked pork bones can be dangerous to your pet. After cooking, pork bones become softer, which means they are more likely to splinter or break into sharp pieces.

Small pieces of pork bone can cause damage to the stomach and intestinal lining.

Raw Pork Bones vs Cooked Pork Bones

Pork bones in the basket
Close-up shot of pork bones in the basket

Sadly, most forms of pork bones are not safe for your canine to consume, regardless of whether they are cooked, raw, or even prepared, especially for dogs.

Can dogs eat pork bones raw?

No, raw pork bones are not recommended for dogs due to bacterial infection. Raw pork bones can be contaminated with several pathogens, including salmonella, E. coli, and listeria.

Also, while uncooked pork bones have a lower chance of splintering or cracking, they still might do so when your dog chews on them.

Your pet might attempt to swallow small pieces of pork bones, which could lead to choking, damage to the esophagus and intestines, or intestinal blockages.

Can dogs eat cooked pork bones?

No, never feed your dog cooked pork bones, as they are dangerous to your canine. Cooked pork bones become brittle and easily break into small sharp pieces, and can cause choking or blockages.

Pork is also unhealthy for your pet as it’s exceptionally high in fat and salt. A lot of fat in your pet’s eating routine could cause obesity or pancreatitis, while an excess of salt will increase your pet’s thirst or lead to sodium ion poisoning.

Can Dogs Eat Pork Ribs and Pork Chop Bones?

Golden Retriever dog eating lamb bones
Young Golden Retriever dog eating fresh lamb bones on the balcony

If you are keen on feeding your dog some pork, instead, veer away from the bones and stick to the meat itself. Please keep it in tiny amounts, cutting the pork into small pieces while removing all fat.

Also, don’t add any additional spices, fats, or oils that are bad for your dog. 

If you want to give your dog bones to chew on, it will be best to offer him large raw lamb or beef bones.

Can Dogs Eat Pork Bones in Specific Amounts?

Jack Russell Terrier dog eats a bone with meat
Jack Russell Terrier dog eats a bone with meat outdoor

Pork bones should not be readily given to your dog due to the health risks they pose to your pet.

If your pet manages to get hold of a pork bone that falls on the floor before you can pick it up, it may not do him any harm, but you should keep a close eye on him for any sign of choking, blockages, or poisoning and consult your vet if necessary.

What Should I Do If My Dog Ate a Pork Bone?

A man and female veterinarian examining husky dog
Siberian Husky dog being examined by a male and female veterinarian in the clinic

Take the pork bone away immediately if it’s possible for you to get the pork bone before your dog ingests it.

However, if your pet has already swallowed the pork bone or eaten any part of the bone, you will need to monitor him closely for any sign of distress.

Your dog may be able to pass the pork bone through his digestive tract without any issue, but eating a pork bone could lead to a choking risk, damage to the digestive tract, and intestinal blockages.

If you observe your dog is experiencing excessive drooling, vomiting, irregularity in bowel movements, and lack of appetite, he may suffer from an intestinal blockage. 

Consult with your veterinarian immediately to find out the best course of action for your pet. Your vet will require clarification regarding the number of pork bones your canine ate and what sort of bones they were.

You can show your vet any evidence if there is any left.

Don’t attempt to treat your dog at home. Heed any guidance your vet gives you, as they are best positioned to determine the best course of action for your dog.

It can be to continue observing or proceed with endoscopy or surgery.

How Do I Prevent My Dog From Eating Pork Bones?

Despite realizing you shouldn’t feed your dog pork bones, our pets sometimes get hold of food they shouldn’t eat.

Store any pork bone in a spot far away from your pet to guarantee that he can’t get to it, such as the fridge or an exterior lockable dustbin. 

Additionally, ensure that every one of your kids, relatives, and representatives knows not to feed pork bones to your pet.

What Other Dangerous Meat Should You Avoid Feeding Your Dog?

A Tibetan Spaniel dog smells bacon on the table
A hungry Tibetan Spaniel dog smells bacon on the table – Image source

While your dog can eat plain, cooked pork, it’s not the best protein source for him. This is true, especially if it is given with pieces of bone.

That said, let us give you some examples of other meats that can pose a danger to your dog’s health.

  • Raw chicken: While chicken is a good protein source for your dog, serving it raw may cause food poisoning due to harmful bacteria such as salmonella. Additionally, chicken bones can splinter and cause choking or intestinal blockages in canines.
  • Bacon: Bacon is usually high in fat and salt. Excess fat in your dog’s diet can cause pancreatitis, an inflammation of the pancreas. Too much salt, on the other hand, can lead to dehydration and sodium poisoning. 
  • Ham: Similar to bacon, ham is loaded with salt and fat. Not only does it pose the same risks as the former, but it is usually prepared with loads of preservatives, which are high in nitrates and nitrites. These preservatives are sodium-based and excessive sodium may cause life-threatening health consequences such as seizures and coma.
  • Hotdog: Most hot dogs are a type of cured and cooked sausage that typically consists of beef, pork, or poultry. These are not recommended for dogs mainly because they are usually high in fat and salt. In addition, many hot dogs contain seasonings such as onion and garlic powder, which are toxic to dogs. 

Are There Any Health Benefits of Pork Bones to Your Dog?

A dog got a chew bone treat
A dog got a huge chew bone treat – Image source

Despite the dangers mentioned above, a few pet owners contend that there can be advantages to giving your canine bones.

Gnawing on bones can help prevent plaque buildup on your canine’s teeth and gums, promoting better dental cleanliness.

Bones offer calcium and different minerals that can assist with fulfilling your canine’s hunger. Dogs that consistently chew bones have also been found to lick and scratch less, and bones can likewise keep your pet engaged.

That said, there are better bones to give your dog to achieve the above benefits rather than pork bones.

What are Safe Alternatives to Pork Bones for Dogs?

A Golden Doodle dog chewing celery stalk
A Golden Doodle dog sitting outdoors while chewing celery stalk – Image source

Does your dog love to chew, and you want to provide him with the benefit bones can offer without the risks? Then you should consider feeding your dog some of the below options as an alternative to pork bones.

  • If you want to feed your dog bones, you could give him the hollow, non-weight-bearing bones of birds. Chicken and turkey necks, and chicken wings, are softer and so can easily be ground up by your dog’s teeth. They are also an excellent source of calcium and phosphorus. 
  • Big raw lamb and beef bones won’t be a choking hazard for your dog, and chewing on these bones can help clean your dog’s teeth and prevent gum disease. The marrow inside these bones can also be a delicious treat for your dog.
  • Celery is a great alternative to pork bones. The crunchy texture of celery acts like a toothbrush to keep your dog’s teeth clean and promote blood flow to the gums, while the fiber in this vegetable will promote good digestive health.

What’s the Verdict? Can Dogs Eat Pork Bones?

As discussed above, your dog will not benefit from consuming pork bones as it can pose more harm than good to your beloved pet.

Consuming pork bones can cause choking, intestinal blockages, as well as esophageal and intestinal damage. Hence, to free your pooch from these situations, keep pork bones away from his reach at all times.

Assuming that your canine has accidentally got into your garbage and consumed a few pork bones, it’s advisable to talk with your vet, as he will instruct you on the best course of action concerning your dog.

Has your pet, at any point, eaten pork bones? If it’s not too much trouble, please share your experiences in the comments beneath with the goal that we pet people can learn from one another.

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