Care 

Pig Ears For Dogs: Are They Safe Or Dangerous For Your Puppy?


Think about Feed your puppy pig ears as a treat or snack? Maybe you just did and want to check that pig ears are safe for dogs? In most cases, pig ears are fine as a treat. But there are a few things to consider before feeding your pup a pig’s ear as a chew toy. There may be some too Better alternatives for a teething puppy or older dog in need of dental care.

Pork is something that humans and canines consume fairly regularly. Not many people care about the less palatable parts of the pig like the kidneys, liver, and ears. One way to consume as much of the pork as possible is to use it as an addition to our dogs’ daily menu. Our dog companions are far less picky than we are when it comes to food! Using these animal by-products as an ingredient in nibbles is one way to consume these nutritious parts of a healthy animal carcass.

Of course, some bits can also be added as a treat. Pig ears in particular seem to be growing popularity. They are increasingly used as packaged goodies in pet stores, and people are increasingly trying to make them at home using raw materials from a local butcher.

How are pig ear treats made?

Pig ears dog treats are usually blanched and baked.

When it comes to chewing, most products are baked or dehydrated. Blanching can also be included as a processing step. This is when a quick bath of boiling water is used to remove the tiny hairs that are on the pig’s ear.

This hair won’t harm your dog, but removing it will result in a cleaner end product. Most commercial pig ear products do not add anything during or after processing. The crunch and taste of the ears themselves are enough to create an extremely tantalizing treat!

Can i make my own

Pig-eared treats are sold everywhere and are easy to find. If you still want to prep pork ears at home, make sure you collect fresh ears from a reputable butcher. Remember because you will be Working with a raw meat productAll touch-sensitive surfaces must be properly disinfected.

Some people want to feed their dog the raw product, but doing so can put them at risk for digestive problems and possible food poisoning. Additionally, raw-fed dogs can carry and excrete the harmful bacteria found in their food. For this reason, raw feeding is generally not recommended, especially in households with vulnerable or immunocompromised people.

It is best to boil your pigs ears before feeding them. Your dog probably won’t have a thing for boiled or raw anyway! At home, you can prepare the ears in a similar way to what you would do at the trading company. The first time you bring them home, wash them thoroughly to remove any remaining dirt and debris. Blanching serves as an additional cleaning step and to remove small hairs. The ears can then be baked or dehydrated at a recommended amount Minimum temperature of 160⁰F.

Are Pig Ear Treats Healthy For Dogs?

Bernese Mountain Dog eating pig's ear
While there are healthier treats out there for your pup, pig ears can provide protein and other nutrients.

According to the USDAA boiled pig’s ear contains 29 g protein, 15 g fat and 64 g water. It also contains a number of nutrients like iron, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus. This varies between manufacturer and cooking method. In general, however, they are high in calories, around 264 calories each. Pig ears should be viewed as a treat, not part of the diet. While they provide some staple foods, the calorie count is too high for them to be considered healthy.

Pig ears should therefore only be given as an occasional reward unless you are working with a board certified nutritionist to develop a balanced diet that specifically includes pig ears. Only 10% of your dog’s daily calories should come from an unbalanced source, e.g. B. Pig ear chewing. Your veterinarian can help you determine the total number of calories your dog will need in a day and how to include treats in the menu.

If you’re using a commercial product, you can check the packaging for the calorie count. If one isn’t available, or if you’re feeding on homemade chew, you can assume there are roughly 264 calories in one ear. You may be able to feed only half an ear to stay within your dog’s daily intake limit, or you may want to find a product that is tailored and portioned for dogs with lower daily energy needs.

Are they good for cleaning teeth?

There is some evidence that teeth appear cleaner after a hard chew. However, tartar can still linger under the gumline. There is no clear evidence at the moment that the use of treats can prevent periodontal disease. The only exception are treats made specifically to improve dental health. The best way to make sure your dog’s pearly whites stays clean and shiny is to brush regularly with a dog-friendly toothpaste.

Are Pig Ears Safe?

Dane chews on the pig's ear
There are a few risks to be aware of when feeding your dog’s ears.

Pig ears are considered safe for dogs. However, there has been some controversy over their use in recent years. Feeding your puppy ears is a personal choice. However, there are a few things to consider before feeding them to your dog, including intestinal blockages, higher fat levels, and salmonella.

Intestinal blockages

When feeding pig ears as a crispy chew toy, dogs should be supervised during their play session. Pig ear chews are very hard and break easily into pieces. This means there is a risk of suffocation and intestinal obstruction. When you notice your dog excessive salivation or repeated coughing During a gaming session, it is likely that some treatment has gotten stuck somewhere in the mouth or esophagus. This is an emergency and you should see your veterinarian immediately.

Even if a large piece can get into the stomach, the connective tissue and skin on the pig’s ear are not easily digested and may not be able to break down without first being chewed. It has been reported that dogs with pig ears stuck in their stomachs and require surgery for treatment. If your dog chews pig’s ears regularly, you know how to do it Recognize signs of constipation further down in the gastrointestinal tract. This includes vomiting, diarrhea, changes in appetite, or abdominal pain. If you find that your dog isn’t chewing on their pig’s ear before swallowing, an alternative chewy candy is likely a better choice for playtime.

Salmonella contamination

As with many products on the market, there will be recalls from time to time. The The last recall took place in September 2019 get in response to people sick of salmonella poisoning after handling pig ears. The treats were sent in from abroad and were infected with salmonella, which was transmitted to people in the household either through direct contact with the ear or through the dog.

Situations like these are good reminders to always wash your hands after handling your dog’s food or treats. There is always one Contamination potential when handling a meat product, especially one that is stored at room temperature. The Food and Drug Administration works closely with veterinary drug manufacturers to prevent dangerous pathogens from being found in our dogs’ foods and treats.

You can check the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website a full report and the list of products involved in the last recall. To stay up to date on callbacks, you can Use the FDA website for safety alerts.

Pig ear fat content

There is concern that the high levels of fat in pig ears could lead to pancreatitis in dogs. Certainly some dogs seem very prone to this. You may experience vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pain after eating a pig’s ear. This is probably more likely if your dog is small or has a sensitive stomach.

It can be more common if your dog already has high-fat or prone to pancreatitis. However, any dog ​​can react negatively to pig ears. Watch your dog closely, especially if it’s their first time to have one. The high fat content and number of calories can also contribute to obesity. This is already a growing problem for pet owners in the US.

Do Pig Ears Make Good Chew Toys?

Poodle chewing pig ear
There are other ways to chew that may be safer, especially for smaller dogs or puppies.

It is true that most dogs will love to have something to chew on. Dogs explore their world with their mouths. To have something to satisfy that need to explore is significant to prevent the chewing behavior from being directed towards furniture. If your canine companion needs to be left alone for long periods of time, a chew toy is a great way to prevent boredom and reduce separation anxiety.

Puppies are notorious chewers too! They will chew on anything they can get their teeth on. This is especially the case when their adult teeth come in and try to relieve the pain that comes with it. Chew toys are definitely something that you will want to have available for your dog. Stick to toys that will not break or be swallowed during unsupervised play. Toys too is not accompanied due to the high number of calories in pig ear chews. That way, you no longer have to worry about adjusting them to suit your diet.

Is Rawhide a Better Alternative?

Rawhide is very similar to pig ears. It is also made up of the thick connective tissue of beef hides. For this reason, rawhide chewing must be administered with the same care as pig ears. Dogs should be monitored for signs of asphyxiation or intestinal obstruction. To reduce this risk, some rawhide products are now being made with multiple layers compressed.

You can find it sold as a compressed rawhide. It is less likely to break into small pieces, which can create health risks. Rawhide has recently come under fire for the chemicals with which it can be treated. Making rawhide in the US and checking the package for hidden extras is one way to reduce that risk if you plan to feed rawhide to your dog.

Some lower risk alternatives are chews that crumble or dissolve easily after ingestion. Additional benefits of using these goodies are that they generally contain fewer calories than natural products. Some are even made in “weight loss” formulas to make them easier to fit into your pooch’s diet.

Other healthy alternatives

There are several other chew-oriented alternatives that can offer your pup some nutritional benefits. Some items we recommend are diced zucchini or sliced ​​sweet potatoes. You should make sure these are all large enough for your puppy to swallow after a chew session.

You can also freeze them and thaw them lightly so your pup can chew for a while instead of devouring them as a real treat. Some dog owners will freeze large pieces of pineapple or watermelon and give their pup something to chew while he soothes the gums.

Final thoughts

Pig ears are not the healthiest treatment for your dog and can cause problems like blockages and pancreatitis. you can also pose a risk to humans. It is therefore important to follow all hygiene practices, e.g. B. washing hands after handling. However, if you are looking to give your dog a pig’s ear, make sure it is from a reliable source. You must also supervise your dog during the treatment period. Don’t let your dog have one more often than weekly because of the high calorie count.

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