Seriously, are pig ears bad for dogs? Have we been wrong all along in feeding these classic dog treats to our best friends? Holy crap, am I slowly killing my dog with these things?! So many questions – let’s chew on this topic a bit more…
So, are pig ears bad for dogs? Pig ears can be bad for dogs. Like all hard dog chews, pig ears can cause choking and intestinal blockages. This can happen if your dog swallows his treat in large pieces. Pig ears are also high in fat, so they often have a greasy coating. This can upset your dog’s stomach and cause him to put on weight.
Pig ears are a natural farming by-product that comes from the flap of a pig’s ear. This part of the ear is mainly cartilage, so this makes the perfect chewable treat for dogs. But dog owners should remember that some pig ears are better than others. Many pig ears can contain harmful chemicals. These chemicals preserve the pig ear and make it last longer. But the best pig ears are 100% natural, so there is no need for additives. Experts recommend buying your pig ears from a US manufacturer. These treats are much safer because they are subject to strict quality control.
Why Are Pig Ears Bad for Dogs?
Health officials from the US advised that dog owners should avoid buying pig ears for their pets. In September 2019 there was an outbreak of salmonella that came from pig ears for dogs.
The outbreak spread across 35 states and infected 143 people. The infected pig ears came from various suppliers across the US.
There were also several different strains of salmonella detected. Dogs who chewed the infected pig ears became unwell. Their owners also came into contact with the bacteria through handling the treats. CBS News reported that 33 of the people affected required hospital treatment. Some reports say that 4% of all pig ear dog treats contain traces of salmonella.
If your dog is an aggressive chewer, a pig ear may not be the best treat to choose.
Dogs that chew their treats hard and fast will devour a pig ear very quickly. This may mean your dog misses out on most of the benefits of this treat. This could also mean that your dog swallows large pieces of the pig ear. There could then be a danger of the large pieces becoming stuck in the digestive tract.
Pig ears can sometimes lead to behavioral problems.
These treats can be very popular with dogs. The tempting bacon flavor of the pig ear can sometimes prove too delicious! Dogs can guard their precious treats from other dogs and humans. This instinctive behavior can lead to unwanted aggression. This can be especially dangerous if there are children around.
Pig ears are high in fat. This can cause your pet to vomit or have diarrhea if they have a pig ear too often.
If you give your pet too many pig ears, this could cause them to gain weight. If your dog becomes obese, this could lead to many health issues. Diabetes, liver problems and osteoarthritis are the most common problems.
Some dog breeds are more prone to obesity than others. It is advisable to limit the number of pig ears you give to these breeds. Or you could select a healthier treat, such as frozen carrots or sweet potatoes.
Pig ears could also be bad for your dog if he suffers from pancreatitis. This disease affects a dog’s pancreas and the effects can last a lifetime. Food with a high fat content can aggravate pancreatitis. Thus, pig ears are not a healthy choice for dogs with this condition.
Are Pig Ears Good for Dogs?
Pig ears can be good for dogs because dogs have an instinctive need to chew.
Pig ears are almost always popular with dogs. This is because of their natural delicious pork flavor.
Giving your dog a pig ear to chew on keeps them occupied, and it also relaxes them. A pig ear treat can also discourage your dog from chewing other things, such as your shoes!
Many people believe that pig ears are good for your dog’s teeth.
Pig ears are hard to chew, so as your dog is chewing, the thick cartilage scrubs his teeth clean.This aggressive chewing helps to get rid of tartar and plaque. Regular chewing of pig ears is also good for your dog’s gums.
This means his breath will stay fresh. A benefit for you, finally! 🙂
Pig ears are a safe option for softer chewers and older dogs.
Pig ears are much easier to chew than some other treats. This means there is less danger of broken or fractured teeth. So pig ears can be safely enjoyed by a larger number of dogs than treats made from rawhide.
Pig ears can be good for dogs because they are a natural treat.
If you choose the right brand, pig ears can help keep your dog healthy. Some brands, such as Brutus & Barnaby do not contain any additives, so you know exactly what your dog is eating.
Pig ears have many nutrients.
They are high in protein, which helps keep your dog’s immune system healthy. They are also a good source of vitamins. Pig ears are rich in vitamins A, B and C. They also contain Calcium, Iron, Zinc and Magnesium.
How Can I Reduce the Risks of Pig Ears?
Pig ears may not be as risky as some dog treats, but there are still some dangers. One of the main dangers is contamination from salmonella.
Experts say you can reduce the risks of salmonella by keeping pig ears away from human food. It is also advised that you buy your pig ears from a trustworthy manufacturer. (Preferable from the US.)
Another risk associated with pig ears is their high-fat content.
So, like most dog treats, it is important not to feed pig ears in the place of your dog’s usual food. This is because all good dog food should provide a balanced diet.
Treats such as pig ears should not be part of your dog’s daily diet. This is because pig ears are high in protein and fat. A dog’s body can only handle so much protein, and too much fat leads to many health problems.
If your dog is an aggressive chewer, you can reduce the dangers of blockages by choosing a tougher treat. If you do feed your dog a pig ear, observation can help reduce the risks. Watching your dog while he is chewing means you can look for signs that he is choking.
Pig ears differ from other chewable treats because they are not as long-lasting. Rawhide and dental treats are tougher than pig ears. These treats generally take much longer to eat.This chewing-action works to clean your dog’s teeth. But pig ears often take an aggressive chewer only a short time to eat. So there may be less dental benefits. But the softer consistency of pig ears can also be an advantage. Experts say that treats such as rawhide are more dangerous than softer treats like pig ears. If rawhide breaks into pieces, this could cause intestinal blockages. It is possible that pig ears could also cause blockages, but this is much less likely.
Studies show that pig ears do not easily break down in a dog’s stomach. Because they are mostly made from cartilage, only 14% of the pig ear gets digested in the dog’s stomach. But once it has moved to the intestines, 90% of the pig ear gets digested. This study showed that pig ears are much more digestible than some other dog treats. For example, rawhide treats only got 7.5% digested in the stomach and 50% in the intestine.