How To Know if Pig Feet Are Safe?

Anyone who has owned a dog knows the struggle of finding a good chew toy. After all, nobody likes waking up in the morning to their brand new pair of sneakers shredded across the kitchen floor!

While pig ears are a typical doggie snack, what about pig feet? Many dogs can eat pig feet without issues, while others may experience stomach pain and discomfort. Because cooked bone poses a choking hazard, pig feet must be eaten raw.

In moderation, pig feet are an affordable addition to a dog’s diet. However, while pig feet can be a better option than rawhide, there are still better options.

How To Know if Pig Feet Are Safe?

Unfortunately, we can not make a blanket statement about all pig feet being safe for dogs to eat. Many factors should determine what is safe and what is not.

The Source

Not all pig feet are created equal, and where they originate can play a large part in the possible health effects they could have on your dog. Always look for brands sourced in the US, as these will contain more high-quality ingredients and are significantly less likely to house contaminants.

Ingredients

Avoid any added ingredients, especially seasonings. Your dog will enjoy pig feet without the need for additives. Additionally, seasonings such as onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and nutmeg are toxic to canines. Consuming these can cause nausea, vomiting, or even death.

Your Dog’s Breed

Smaller breeds are generally more sensitive than larger dogs and sometimes have more difficulty digesting their foods. Yorkshire Terriers, Poodles, Shih-Tzus, and Wheaten Terriers are just a few examples that may not fare well while eating raw meat. Once again, you should only give pig feed to dogs if they are raw, but that comes with risks.

On the other hand, pig feet are relatively small and may not be suitable for large dogs. If you think they could fit an entire pig foot in their mouth, do not give them one as it could be a choking hazard. Moreover, pig feet are high in calories, so they may not be suitable for dogs dealing with weight or heart issues.

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What Are the Benefits of Pig Feet for Dogs?

Pig feet can be healthy if you’re confident your dog’s stomach can handle them. However, raw food always comes with risks for humans and animals, so be cautious.

Chewing on a solid bone benefits your pet’s dental health and can help prevent decay and gum disease. It keeps your dog’s jaws strong, fights boredom, and helps ease stress and anxiety. Freezing pig feet before giving them to your dog can increase these positives.

Pig feet are rich in iron, zinc, vitamin b12, and other vitamins and minerals that contribute to a dog’s overall health. Of course, like everything, too much of it can be harmful. So, pig feet must be used only as a once-in-a-while treat and not be part of a daily diet. Roughly once a week (or every other week) is appropriate to allow your dog to enjoy this delicacy without worrying about overindulgence.

The Rest of the Pig

While humans find many meaty pig parts scrumptious, pork isn’t the best option for dogs. Of course, the pig’s feet are only one piece of the animal, which leaves us to wonder about the rest. What is safe and what is not?

Well, pork has a very high salt and fat content and is often too rich for a dog’s stomach to digest in large amounts. While a little piece here and there is fine, it’s not something you want to start adding to their regular diet.

Pig ears are a popular doggie snack that is safe and healthy for your dog when cooked or freeze-dried. They contain protein, ideal for aiding muscle growth and nourishing a shiny coat. Pig ears provide just as much, if not more, of the chewing benefits of pig feet and can last for hours without the risk of choking.

Another part of a pig that dogs can enjoy is the snout. The snout oozes with protein and collagen, and dogs love them. You can cook, smoke, or freeze-dry them; they are small enough for even tiny dogs to enjoy. Still, no matter which pig part you consider, remember to check where they are sourced and avoid those with unnecessary ingredients.

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Alternative Treats and Chews

There are dozens of options available that are safe, healthy, and affordable. You may need to go through a few to find what your pup enjoys the best, but the experience is part of the fun.

One of the most popular treats in the health-conscious pet world is bully sticks. They come in various sizes, perfect for dogs of all breeds, sizes, and ages. Moreover, they contain no bone, so they will not splinter. Honestly, you probably don’t want to know what they contain. Just remember they are more digestible than rawhide and are a much healthier option.

You can also use hooves or antlers as a chew. These are especially good for big dogs or heavy chewers but come in all sizes. Avoid giving these to young puppies as their teeth might not be strong enough. You should also ensure that the antler or hoof is smooth, not sharp or jagged.

Conclusion

In closing, whether or not it is safe for your dog to eat pig feet will depend on your dog. They are not inherently dangerous, but you have many things to consider before giving one to your pup. If you’re unsure, you should consult your vet and see what they think.

Whatever you give your pup to chew, you should never leave them unsupervised. The best way to stay safe is to keep them near and monitor for any signs of stress when chewing or eating pig’s feet. After all, your beloved dog deserves to be healthy and happy!

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Nadine Oraby

My name is Nadine; I am a passionate writer and a pet lover. People usually call me by the nickname “Joy” because they think that I am a positive and joyful person who is a child at heart. My love for animals triggered me to create this blog. Articles are written by vets, pet experts, and me. Thanks for visiting. Your friend, Nadine!

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