Can Dogs Eat Raw Pork?

Is raw pork safe for dogs?


My dog ate a boneless raw pork roast for breakfast today.

He eats a diet of mostly raw chicken, but to add variety I also feed him raw pork, turkey and beef.

Pork is less expensive than many other meats so it’s a nice option to keep in his rotation of raw dog food recipes. (Learn more about raw dog food here.)

Due to hysteria, some people are afraid to feed their dogs raw pork or any raw meat at all.

The following are some common questions dog owners ask about raw pork.

is raw pork safe for dogs

Does raw pork carry a parasite that will kill dogs?

No. At least not in the United States.

Some dog owners are unnecessarily afraid of feeding raw pork due to a rare parasite called Trichinella spiralisis which was once more common in pork. The parasite causes the disease trichinosis.

“Many people associate pork with trichinosis,” wrote Dr. Laura Duclos for the raw dog food company Nature’s Variety, which uses raw pork in some of its products.

Trichinella in commercial pork products is virtually zero.

Trichinella in commercial pork products is virtually zero, she wrote. Human cases of trichinosis are rare, with less than 12 cases per year. Most of these cases occurred when people ate undercooked wild animals such as boar, bear or mountain lion.

The reason pork obtained a bad reputation was because in the early 20th century, pigs in the United States were fed garbage containing scraps of pork from slaughter houses, wrote Duclos.

This garbage also attracted rats, which the pigs also ate, wrote Duclos. Rats were the primary animals that spread infections to the pigs. Since then, the government has banned pig farms from feeding raw meat and garbage to pigs.

Just to be on the safe side, I always freeze raw pork for two weeks before feeding it to my dog as part of his raw dog food diet.

Freezing the meat will kill any trichinella parasites, according to Dr. Karen Becker on the web site She says to freeze all pork for three weeks, but I typically only freeze it for two.

Is raw pork safe for dogs to eat?

There is basically no chance of U.S. supermarket pork containing parasites. Plus, most pork is frozen before it’s sold, anyway. I’m just a worrier, so I freeze it again to be on the safe side.

Raw feeding is a work in progress and we all do the best we can.Raw dog food Ebook

Will my dog get sick from raw pork?

Most likely not. Dogs can eat raw pork.

A dog could get sick from eating raw meat of any kind, but the chances are low. A dog could also get sick from eating dry dog food. As long as your dog is healthy and the raw meat is fresh and introduced slowly, he should be fine. There are small risks to feeding a raw food diet for dogs, but I believe the benefits outweigh those risks for most dogs.

I can’t believe how many searches my site gets for questions like “Can dogs eat raw meat?” Are we forgetting that dogs and cats are designed for eating meat?

If you would like more info on feeding your dog raw, I’ve written an ebook to help. The cost is $9 and it goes over everything you need to know about raw feeding.


Will a dog choke on pork bones?

You should never feed cooked bones of any kind to a dog, because cooked bones become hard and sharp.

As for raw pork bones, it’s all about knowing your particular dog. Yes, it is possible for a dog to attempt swallowing a piece of bone that is too large, and this could be a choking hazard. Because of this, I do not feed my dog raw pork bones. Your dog may be different, which is why it’s important to supervise your dog whenever he is eating bones of any kind.

can dogs eat raw pork

Will pork bones break my dog’s teeth?

They could. Again, it’s about knowing your particular dog.

I do not feed my dog pork bones because I do worry about him breaking his teeth. The only bones I feed him are raw chicken and turkey bones. Since chicken and turkey bones are softer, he has no trouble digesting them, even if he swallows large pieces.

Why can’t I just feed my dog cooked pork?

You certainly can, but never feed cooked bones.

Although raw meat is generally more nutritious for dogs than cooked meat, cooking the food is the next best thing.
How about you? Do you feed your dog pork?

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19 Readers Commented

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  1. GizmoGeodog on May 13, 2013

    I, like you, have fed raw pork with no problem at all

  2. Anne on May 14, 2013

    My puppy had pork side ribs for breakfast. She chomps through those bones with such gusto.

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on May 14, 2013

      Hi Anne. Thanks for sharing that. I haven’t fed my dog pork ribs. I worry he might chomp down on them too hard, but maybe I will slowly let him give the ribs a try at some point.

  3. Jesse on March 3, 2015

    I have a ridgeback x staffy, she eats whole raw pig legs, toe to elbow bones and all no problems. As previously mentioned it’s all about your dog

  4. Voice of reason on July 16, 2015

    No one worried about bacteria in raw meat ? Have any of you raw meat proponents produced a single scientific study that shows raw meat is better, safer, healthier than cooked meat? Love to see the data rather than rely on your feelings that this is a good idea. After all, many people had the feeling and were convinced that the earth was flat. Get my point? Why not cook the meat you feed your dogs? Oh that’s right, wolves don’t cook their meat so your toy poodle should eat like a wolf because they both have 4 legs and a tail…that’s your scientific study, your data, your proof. Some post – “My dogs eat raw meat and bones with no problems.” Well my uncle smoked 2 packs ciggies a day for 60 years, no problems at all, that is until the lung cancer from smoking progressed to where it killed him. Please educate yourself before you jump on every fad that comes down the pipeline.

    • Hey voice of reason on August 2, 2015

      Domesticated dogs share 99% of their DNA with wolves. That is, a Mastiff, a Husky, a Corgi, a Yorkie–whatever common breeds come to mind. That was concluded years ago through a scientific study by an evolutionary biologist from UCLA. The change from wolves occurred 130,000 some odd years ago, so quite recently in evolutionary terms. The breed variations are largely a result of the last 300 years. I’d trust that science before I’d trust your logic.

      Bottom line, people read these sites and fora to get as much information as possible about how to do best by their pets. Which doesn’t include feeding cooked meat. For your own sake, stop trolling. You’re bad at it.

      • Lindsay Stordahl Author on August 3, 2015

        Yes, exactly. Feeding a dog raw is not for everyone, but for those who are interested it’s nice to present them with accurate information. Everyone has to decide for themselves.

    • Raven on December 28, 2015

      Raw feeding is not a fad – Kibble is the fad . Think about it for one brief moment – what did dogs eat before kibble came along

    • Kellie on July 12, 2016

      I don’t own a toy poodle so maybe that’s why my wolf-dog eats raw food? He gets cooked meat when I buy something with hard bones in it (like beef neck) while I make bone broth. It’s not necessarily about whether raw is safer, healthier, or better than cooked. A lot of people blend raw/cooked, and that’s good. The point is getting off commercial kibble and away from garbage food. You can absolutely cook your meats and feed raw bones (or just calcium supplement instead) – but the raw diet is geared towards feeding your dog a higher quality diet.
      Also – there are nutrients in meats and organs that are heat sensitive. I’m sure you believe that raw veggies are better for humans than cooked, right? Because some nutrients die when exposed to heat. Same goes for important nutrients found in dark meats and livers.

      So yeah, stop trolling.

    • Fuggit on September 25, 2016

      Somebody is salty. If you want to hand feed your purse decoration chicken lips and frog legs that’s totally up to you. Stop being a snatch and let people do what works for them. You are obviously an uptight, squeak when you walk, holier than thou, enlightened soul who has a degree of some kind or other on their wall from a liberal learning center, who has let that piece of ” I jumped through their hoops ” paper elevate you into a new realm of elitist jerk-ism that you alone now occupy…

    • Murphys Dogs on October 22, 2016

      Bacteria harmful to you or harmful to your dog? I am immune compromised and have never gotten sick from handling raw meat whether it be for the dogs or for myself – clean up after yourself. And as far as bacteria harmful to dogs that may be in raw meat – dogs stomach make up is different than ours. What may make us sick usually wont make them sick. And raw is not a fad gee doubtful cavemen went to the local A& P to purchase food for their canine friends

  5. Barbara Rivers on September 2, 2015

    Thanks so much for sharing this info about raw pork! I had contemplated buying some, but wasn’t 100% sure about it. I’ll definitely follow through with your suggestion of freezing it for a couple weeks.

  6. Kathy on December 29, 2015

    I switched my 5yr old papillon from Orijen to raw about 2 months ago. I feed him raw pork at least once a week. Rib bones last week (he did fine) and I picked up a cheap tenderloin today. I am analysis in that I do still freeze it but only for 2 weeks. Oh and people who don’t smoke get lung cancer. If you breathe you can get lung cancer. Get your facts straight.

  7. Marcia on July 1, 2016

    Thank you for the information. I just switched to raw about a month ago. My dogs (Shelties) LOVE it! Working on getting all the supplements right. When I was feeding kibbles they liked the pork the best and was wondering if I could do it raw. Thanks again

  8. Andrew on October 6, 2016

    I am going hunting for the first time(assuming I even get one)..Feral Pigs/Wild Boar…What are the options with using large amounts of it as Dog Food?

    • Lindsay Stordahl Author on October 6, 2016

      I would research Trichinella spiralisis. It can apparently exist in wild boar, not in pork from supermarkets. I personally wouldn’t be comfortable feeding my dog raw feral pig/wild boar unless cooked. In reality, the chances of the parasite might be low, I just don’t know. I would research your area.