dog eating a delicious pig ears treat

Can Dogs Eat Pig Ears?

Pig ears? What could seem gross to you could actually be a delectable delicacy for your dog packed with nutritional benefits.

It’s safe to say that most pet owners know that keeping our dogs entertained is imperative to our sanity.

One way to keep dogs engaged is with food and toys. Are pig ears included in the long list of what you shouldn’t feed your dog, or are they something that’s safe and nutritious?

Let’s find out.

Are Pig Ears Good For Dogs?

Dog Eats Delicious Pig Ears as A Treat
Image by hazelw90 from Pixabay

Yes! Pig ears are a safe and healthy treat for dogs. They’re great dog chews for small dogs and yummy snacks for larger ones.

The safety of pig ears hinges on the treatment. There is a potential that your dog could contract salmonella and other bacteria if the pig ears aren’t treated correctly.

Pig ears are definitely better than rawhide, and they add additional nutrients to your dog’s diet and are a great source of protein.

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Pros of Feeding Dogs Pig Ears

  • They can keep your dog’s teeth clean (works as a dental chew to prevent dental disease)
  • They are softer than bully sticks and great for smaller dogs
  • Puppies and seniors can enjoy them
  • Most dogs love them! They can be a great training treat
  • Pig ears provide a ton of nutritional benefits
  • Pig ears keep your dogs occupied (mental stimulation)

Cons of Feeding Dogs Pig Ears

  • Pig ears are high in fat content
  • Avid chewers may get through them in just a few minutes
  • Unsupervised pig ear-chewing can possibly result in intestinal blockage or choking
  • Bacterial contamination if not treated right

Safely Feeding Your Dog Pig Ears

Dog Safely Eating Pig Ears
Image by Sanna Jågas from Pixabay

How can you make sure your dog is safe when you feed him pig ears? Here are some tips!

Make sure you trust where you’re getting it from

Check and read the label to make sure the pig ears for dogs are not coated with chemicals or made from rawhide.

Keep your hands clean

This second tip really goes for any time you feed your dog. Always wash your hands because you never know what you have on your fingers when you hand your dog treats.

Watch your dog

You should always supervise your dog when he’s eating a larger snack. This is so you can take action immediately if your dog chokes.

Make sure your dog can have the pig ear

Pig ears are generally a good snack, but they’re not for all dogs. Dogs suffering from pancreatitis or who are obese should avoid them. You can consult with your vet if you’re not sure.

How to Choose the Best Pig Ears for Your Dog

Person Carefully Feeding Dog the Best Pig Ears
Image by Omerlavon from Pixabay

How do you choose the best pig ears for your dog? There are a couple of things to look out for.

Where does it come from?

Unfortunately, where the pig ears come from really matters to your dog. Not every pig ear from a foreign country is a potential threat, but it’s always best to choose a domestic or local brand. It’s just less likely for the pig ears to contain preservatives and you are probably more familiar with food and label laws in your country to understand if what’s on the package is really what’s inside. If possible, choose pasture-raised pork (not factory farmed).

How is it made?

How are the pig ears made and cooked? If possible avoid a pig ear that’s been smoked or contains additional flavors. These are all additives your dog doesn’t need. Not only could they pose harm to your dog’s health over time, but they can also cause upset tummies. Baked pig ears or slow-roasted ones are the best.

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What about raw?

Raw diets are all the rage right now among many dog owners, and while we can see the benefits, we’d steer clear of pig ears, hooves, and whatever part of an animal that hasn’t been properly packaged or treated.

There is a higher risk of bacterial contamination with raw anything, and on top of that, raw pig ears are difficult to find. That being said, if you’re more comfortable with raw and know that the source is trustworthy, then raw pig ears can have nutrients too!


What you feed your dog is one of the biggest conundrums as a dog parent. New reports are coming out every year negating ones in the past, so what’s a pet parent to do? When in doubt, always stick to fresh (or raw) food, double-check labels, and know if your dog’s health situation allows for a certain snack or ingredient. Pig ears are a great treat, but they aren’t for every dog.

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