Can Dogs Eat Raw Pork?

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

My dog Ace 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.

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

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.

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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.

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.

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.


Raw dog food Ebook

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.

Is raw pork safe for dogs to eat?

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?

Related posts:

Raw chicken necks for dogs

32 thoughts on “Can Dogs Eat Raw Pork?”

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      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.

  1. 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

  2. Voice of reason

    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.

    1. Hey voice of reason

      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.

      1. Lindsay Stordahl

        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.

    2. 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

    3. 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.

    4. 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…

    5. 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

    6. The sad fact is that men in lab coats have been wrong for years about so many things and oddly enough the lab coat doesn’t seem to make them ethically pure as the drive snow either. That doesn’t mean to me that I ignore everything they have to say, but I take it as I do all things with a grain of salt.
      My concern would be whether the particular make up of pork would be less than desirable for my dogs. Swine are scavengers and their fat is a particularly unhealthy type, since it is layered on the outside of their bodies. I don’t eat pork myself and wonder if I should feed it to my dogs.
      Chicken is so full of hormones that it is probably not healthy for humans, but I think that will be my raw food of choice. Since it is not burger I can simply throw it in the frying pan killing any bacteria on the outside, then pick out the bones after it cools and feed it to them mostly raw.

    7. Yes, I do have “proof” that feeding my animals raw food is better than a cooked diet. It comes from the Highest Authority available,… God. Up until 1860, when a man in Ohio saw street dogs eating grain biscuits and created the first commercial ‘dog food’, ‘raw’ all they ate.
      One look at a raw-fed dog / cat and you will plainly see that raw is what they thrive on. The stunning improvement of my animals when they were taken off a (grain free) cooked kibble diet was proof enough for me.
      Why would you think that man’s monetary-focused ideas would supersede the design of the Creators?

    8. Raw feeding is not a fad and maybe you should educate yourself before you wrote this comment. I have done tons of research in this before I started my dogs in the raw diet and nothing is proof enough than seeing what it does right before your eyes.

    9. ruthanne allman

      Someone better tell the coyotes and wolves in the world and animal at the zoo and Africa about this so they can cook their prey.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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?

    1. Lindsay Stordahl

      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.

  7. By Dr. Mercola

    Regardless of your spiritual beliefs, there may be good reason to carefully consider your decision to include pork as a regular part of your diet, because despite advertising campaigns trying to paint pork as a “healthy” alternative to beef, research suggests it may be hazardous to your health on multiple levels. One of the most potentially acute hazards is contamination with pathogenic bacteria.

    According to a surprising new investigation by Consumer Reports1, 69 percent of all raw pork samples tested — nearly 200 samples in total — were contaminated with the dangerous bacteria Yersinia enterocolitica, which causes fever and gastrointestinal illness with diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach cramps.

    Ground pork was more likely than pork chops to be contaminated.

    The pork also tested positive for other contaminants, including the controversial drug ractopamine, which is banned in many parts of the world, including China and Europe. The drug, which was found in more than 20 percent of the samples, is used to boost growth in the animal while leaving the meat lean. Worst of all, many of the bacteria found in the pork were resistant to multiple antibiotics, making treatment, should you fall ill, all the more problematic and potentially lethal.

    According to the featured report:

    “We found salmonella, staphylococcus aureus, or listeria monocytogenes, more common causes of foodborne illness, in 3 to 7 percent of samples. And 11 percent harbored enterococcus, which can indicate fecal contamination and can cause problems such as urinary-tract infections.”

    While Nutritionally Sound, Pork is Probably Still Best Avoided

    Pork is an arguably “healthy” meat from a biochemical perspective, and if consumed from a humanely raised pastured hog like those on Joel Salatins’ farm and prepared properly, there is likely minimal risk of infection. However, virtually all of the pork you’re likely to consume do not fit these criteria.

  8. I feed my dog both dry and raw including pork. But with pork more sparingly and depending on the cut I will cook it so he slows down i.e. bacon (seems to like it more anyway and I can eat it too ;). The dry food is more like a filler so I don’t over feed him and he doesn’t gorge himself. Also it’s good in case for some reason I can’t get him meat he still has something that he is used to and won’t upset his stomach.

  9. Voice of experience

    I have Akitas pitbulls Ridgebacks schnauzers and a German Shepherd all of which I have fed on a raw food including raw pork diet which I buy from Costco for the last 30 plus years on average my dogs live to be about 18 with the Akitas in their early twenties I have had the small dogs in the past they don’t do nearly as well they don’t get the extra life but they are happier on a raw diet but being a designer dog they are more susceptible to disease and parasite then I real dog is and on that note I also have chickens who also eat raw meat they also do fine produce great eggs and eat with the dogs

  10. A concern about feeding cooked meats is the fat. Cooked fat can cause pancreatitis in dogs. So as yummy as bacon sounds, it is a poor choice for dogs. If we compare our dogs to ancestral behavior and food sources, the dogs of long ago ate raw lean meats from prey that they hunted. Commercially raised livestock do not roam the great plains or forage for food. They are raised in enclosures and some don’t even see the light of day, so their muscles are not lean and they have more fat. I feed my husky/lab/rottie girl a raw diet, and supplement her calcium intake by feeding her chicken necks. She’s thriving. I am a bit leery about bigger rib bones because she’s able to eat them in possibly larger chunks and I’m worried about being a choking hazard or an intestinal obstruction. I think I’ll stick with the smaller chicken necks. She does love those. Thanks for all your insight and stories.

  11. It’s funny how people thinks it’s bad for dogs to eat raw meat (which is what they eat for thousands of years in the wild) their saliva is antiseptic that’s why the wild canines can eat rotten remains or dead animals whit no problem. Domestic gos hasn’t change that. They lick their wounds to keep them clean to be healed. The best you can do is feed your dog with raw food, go, buy meat, and give it to them, simple like that. Just research to do a balanced diet.

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