Pig Ears for Your Dog? Are They Safe? What Are the Health Risks?

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If you’ve ever been to a pet store, or down the pet aisle in the grocery store, you’ve more than likely ran into a container of rawhides, and close by a container of pig ears. While they look and smell disgusting, some dogs really enjoy eating them. But, some dog owners have had a lot of trouble when it comes to pig ears. Some say that their dog has nearly choked on one, or the pig ear gave their dog some sort of sickness. While these may be true, pig ears aren’t entirely bad. They do give your dog something hard to chew on that can help with teasing or even just plan boredom.

Vets and dog owners agree that pig ears can be dangerous, much like rawhides. If your dog chews off a large chunk of the pig ear and swallows it, he could easily choke or have trouble using the bathroom as it could cause a blockage. Pig ears can cause digestive issues as they are not easily broken down. This may cause stomach issues include diarrhea and vomiting. Many dog owners would see this as a reason to stop giving their dog pig ears; however, not all dogs get digestive issues. Sometimes it depends on the dog and how big the pieces of pig ear are. Some dogs can tolerate pork while others cant.

While pig ears are enjoyed by a lot of dogs, it’s important that if you are giving them to your dog, you are around when he is eating it. Some big dogs can demolish a pig ear quicker than you’d ever imagine. At the same time, a smaller dog can easily chew off a little piece that could cause choking or intestinal blocking. It’s important that you watch your dog to make sure he is only taking small pieces at a time. With pig ears, moderation is definitely a must. They contain a lot of fat, much like rawhides, so if your dog is inactive and eating pig ears everyday, you may want to reconsider.

If you want to find alternatives to pig ears, go to your nearest butcher and request bones. Be sure that these bones were never cooked. This reduces the chance of bone splinters, especially from something like chicken. You can always find hard chew treats as well as toys for your dog to enjoy instead of pig ears. Take a trip to the pet store and see what you can find!


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