Is it Okay to Feed Dogs Pig Ears?

Owners who cherish their dogs and enjoy their companionship may often feel the need to reward their canines with some special treats. Pig ears are perhaps one of the most popular and appreciated treats, but some owners have reservations about their safety.


Pig ears are--obviously--the ears of a pig. These dried, oven-baked treats are made of 100 per cent pork and are often sold at retail pet stores.


One concern about pig ears is that they are fatty products.This makes them poor choices for dogs that have weight problems or dogs that are prone to pancreatitis.


There have been reports of pig ears causing outbreaks of Salmonella in humans. It appears, however, that risks may be lowered by purchasing pig ears that are made and safety inspected in the U.S. and also by resorting to proper hand washing after handling them.


Just an any other food, pig ears need to be eaten in moderation to avoid stomach upset. Because some dogs tend to swallow large pieces, pig ears have the potential to cause a dog to choke. They also may get lodged in the intestinal tract, causing serious blockages.


Pig ears may provide dogs with a good opportunity to chew and relax; however, there are much safer chewing products available. It is important to always monitor your dog if you feed it pig ears.

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About the Author

Adrienne Farricelli has been writing for magazines, books and online publications since 2005. She specializes in canine topics, previously working for the American Animal Hospital Association and receiving certification from the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers. Her articles have appeared in "USA Today," "The APDT Chronicle of the Dog" and "Every Dog Magazine." She also contributed a chapter in the book " Puppy Socialization - An Insider's Guide to Dog Behavioral Fitness" by Caryl Wolff.