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Can Dogs Eat Pork Rinds? Yes and No

Pork rinds are a tasty and healthy snack but can dogs eat pork rinds? In this comprehensive guide, we will cover everything you need to know about dogs and pork rinds.

Pug in front of many pork rinds.

Typically sold in gas stations and convenience stores, pork rinds are made from deep-fried pig skin. They’re ideal keto snacks because they’re high in fat and contain zero carbs. Plus, they’re crispy and flavorful!

If you ever find yourself wanting to share a rind or two with your furry friend, you might find yourself asking: can dogs eat pork rinds? Are they even safe for dogs? Let’s find out!

Can Dogs Eat Pork Rinds?

Pork rinds also go by chicharrones, crackling, scratchings, or, simply, pork skin.

Pork rinds are occasional tasty snacks for humans, but never feed them to your dog. Dogs can eat cooked pork, but pork rinds are loaded with all sorts of harmful ingredients, including fat, salt, and other seasonings (onion, garlic, MSG, etc.), similar to ham.

High-fat and high-sodium foods can cause pancreatitis, chronic inflammation, and hyperlipidemia in dogs. They can also cause obesity and kidney failure.

If you catch your dog eating a rind or two, it shouldn’t cause any harm. However, adding them to your dog’s daily diet is an absolute no-go.

Instead of pork rinds, feed your dog pork cuts. Pork meat is digestible and has a favorable amino acid profile. Moreover, it’s rich in thiamine, a mineral that’s essential in a dog’s cell function.

Pork rinds on a white background.

Are Pork Rinds Ever Safe for Dogs?

Pork rinds aren’t toxic or poisonous to dogs, but they’re super unhealthy.

If you don’t want to throw away excess pork skin, make dog-friendly rinds by boiling or baking them rather than frying. Make sure to trim the fat, meat, and gristle. Prepare the skin only and skip the seasoning. The occasional homemade treat shouldn’t be detrimental to your dog’s health.

On the other hand, store-bought pork rinds may contain toxic ingredients and seasonings that are harmful to dogs.

On top of that, pork rinds contain sinewy bits and pieces to make them tastier for human consumption. Unfortunately, these extra parts actually contribute to the snack’s fat content, making them even more unhealthy for dogs.

Pork rinds in a white bowl.

What Happens to a Dog Who Eats Pork Rinds Regularly?

A dog who eats pork rinds regularly may develop life-threatening health conditions. He may experience regular stomach issues (acute gastroenteritis), which may lead to eventual organ deterioration.

Symptoms caused by the overconsumption of fatty foods include the following:

  • Nausea
  • Lethargy
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Decreased appetite
  • Flatulence
  • Itchiness
  • Tear staining
  • Skin disorders

Can Dogs Eat Raw Pork Rinds?

No. Dogs should never eat raw pork rinds. Dogs shouldn’t eat raw pork full stop, as it may contain the parasite trichinella spiralis.

Trichinella spiralis, otherwise simply known as pork worm, causes a type of roundworm infection called trichinosis. If left untreated, a dog with trichinosis may experience myalgia, severe diarrhea, and anorexia.

Pork rinds on a plate next to limes.

Final Thoughts

Pork rinds are unhealthy for dogs. They’re high in fat and salt, which may lead to pancreatitis and other serious issues if consumed in excess. Even as an occasional treat, never purposely feed your dog pork rinds. If you must, create a dog-friendly treat by baking or boiling raw pork rinds in your home.

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