Reviewed By Joana Garrido DVM
Can dogs eat pork rinds? Opinions are divided, with some experts cautioning against it while others say it’s okay to give pork rides to dogs in moderation. We’ll explore the potential benefits and risks of giving your pooch this human snack, so you can make an informed decision.
What Are Pork Rinds?
Pork rinds or pork cracklings are crispy and savory snacks made from pork skin. The cooking process of this human food consists of:
- Boiling the skin
- Scraping off its fat
- Chopping it into bite-sized pieces
- Dehydrating the skin until all moisture has evaporated
- Deep frying it until puffy and crunchy
- Seasoning it with salt and spices
Apart from the U.S., pork rinds are popular in other countries. In Mexico and the Philippines, the snack is called chicharron.
On the other hand, it is referred to as kaeb moo in Thailand and pork scratchings in the UK.
Are Pork Rinds Bad for Dogs?
Pork rinds are not completely bad for dogs. However, they do carry some dangers if improperly prepared and shared with your furry friend such as:
1. Digestive Issues
Traditional pork rinds are loaded with fats because they are deep-fried in oil. Consuming high-fat food regularly or in excess can result in an upset stomach in dogs.
Short-term gastric symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach discomfort may occur.
In worst cases, some canines may develop pancreatitis, which is a serious and painful condition caused by the inflammation of the pancreas.
One of the unsavory side effects of eating pork rinds too frequently is obesity since they are stacked with calories and fats.
An ounce of pork rinds contains around 160 calories, and 56% of these calories come from fat.
This makes it easy for this snack to take up a large chunk of your dog’s daily calorie and fat intake.
If you often fail to make adjustments to his meal serving after feeding him pork rinds, be prepared for him to pack extra pounds.
3. Sodium Poisoning
Salt is essential in maintaining normal body processes in dogs. However, it can cause serious harm to their health if consumed in inordinate quantities.
A half ounce of plain pork rinds carries approximately 270 milligrams of sodium. Allowing your pooch to overeat of this human food can easily trigger sodium poisoning.
The most common symptoms of salt toxicity in canines are:
- Increased thirst and urination
Severe cases of this condition can bring up more serious side effects such as seizures, tremors, and eventually, coma. Take your dog to the vet right away if he displays these signs after eating pork rinds.
4. Allium Poisoning
It is common for pork rinds to be seasoned with onion powder or garlic powder to give them more flavor. These ingredients are toxic to dogs and can potentially induce life-threatening adverse reactions.
Without timely vet interference, allium poisoning can cause the development of fatal hemolytic anemia.
Do Pork Rinds Have Health Benefits for Dogs?
Pork rinds do provide a few health benefits to dogs, but they tend to be inferior compared to what other human food provides.
Pork rinds are low in carbohydrates and rich in proteins, which make up about 60% of their nutritional value. Proteins are critical for the healthy growth and development of the hair, muscles, tendons, and ligaments of canines.
The snack also contains a healthy fat typically found in olive oil called oleic acid. It is believed to help lower cholesterol, promote healthy skin, and prevent cancer cell formation.
In terms of vitamins and minerals, pork rinds have a few of them in small quantities. Dogs can acquire minimal amounts of vitamins A and B as well as calcium, iron, and magnesium from this human food.
How Much Pork Rinds Can a Dog Have?
Feeding your dog pork rinds should be done with great moderation. A few small pieces will do.
This human snack should only serve as an occasional treat for your dog once in a while.
Provide him with plenty of exercises to prevent fat from building up in his body and to keep him in good shape.
What Will Happen If My Dog Eats Pork Rinds?
If your dog ate a small amount of pork rind, do not worry. Chances are nothing bad will happen to him. However, it would be best to keep an eye on him in case he exhibits an allergic reaction to pork.
On the other hand, eating too much pork rind increases the likelihood of unwanted side effects. In this type of scenario, stomach upset may appear.
Fortunately, it is only temporary and will disappear after 24 hours. However, if your dog’s tummy trouble continues to persist, bring him to the vet. The same should be done if he shows signs of poisoning after eating pork rinds.
What Types of Pork Rind Can Be Shared with Dogs?
1. Can Dogs Eat Fried Pork Rinds?
No, dogs cannot eat fried pork rinds. As we have established earlier, excessive consumption of fatty food is linked to several canine health issues, such as pancreatitis and obesity.
2. Can Dogs Eat Plain Pork Rinds?
Yes, dogs can eat plain pork rinds. It is the best form of pork rinds to feed your pooch since it does not contain unhealthy seasonings.
We recommend going for the baked variety instead of the deep-fried one to avoid excessive fat content.
3. Can Dogs Eat Boiled Pork Rinds?
Yes, dogs can eat boiled pork rinds. Boiling is a simple way to make this snack canine-friendly. Skip using added flavorings to keep this human food safe for dogs.
4. Can Dogs Eat BBQ Pork Rinds?
No, dogs cannot eat BBQ pork rinds because of the ingredients used. This human food is often high in sugar and contains garlic and onions.
5. Can Dogs Eat Spicy Pork Rinds?
No, dogs cannot eat spicy pork rinds. The spiciness of the snack will cause an unpleasant burning sensation in your dog’s mouth and digestive system.
It will lead him to drink excessive amounts of water, which can lead to vomiting. Other forms of gastric distress may also appear such as flatulence, diarrhea, and abdominal pains.
6. Can Dogs Eat Dehydrated Pork Rinds?
Yes, dogs can eat dehydrated pork rinds, but ensure they are free from added ingredients, including oil and salt.
7. Can Dogs Eat Pickled Pork Rinds?
No, dogs cannot eat pickled pork skin because it contains high concentrations of salt and vinegar. The latter ingredient is highly acidic, which can upset your furry pal’s stomach.
8. Can Dogs Eat Smoked Pork Rinds?
No, dogs cannot eat smoked pork rind due to its high sodium content. Moreover, the smoking process generates carcinogenic compounds, which can harm your dog.
9. Can Dogs Eat Pork Scratchings?
Yes, dogs can eat pork scratchings. We have mentioned before that it is another nickname for pork rinds. Just be sure to cook them without oil and serve them unseasoned to your canine companion.
10. Can Dogs Eat Pork Cracklings?
Yes, dogs can eat pork cracklings provided using oil and other unnecessary ingredients are avoided when cooking this human food.
How to Make Pork Rinds for My Dog?
Now that you know the most ideal form of pork rind to share with your dog, why not try making it at home? In this way, you will not worry if this snack contains dangerous ingredients for Fido.
- 1 pound raw pork skin
- Preheat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Use parchment paper to line a rimmed baking sheet.
- Trim all of the fat on the skin with a sharp knife.
- Slice the pork skin into small cubes measuring about 1 inch by 1 inch.
- Place them in a single layer on the lined baking sheet a half inch apart so all slices will be cooked properly.
- Bake the pork rinds for about 1 or 2 hours until crispy and golden.
- Take them out of the oven and put them on top of paper towels to catch their grease.
- Let the pork rinds cool down for 20 minutes before feeding them to your furry friend.
Store leftovers in an airtight container or a ziplock bag. Refrigeration prevents spoilage for about 3 to 5 days. On the other hand, they can last for up to 2 months in the freezer.
What Can I Feed My Dog Instead of Pork Rinds?
There are countless healthier substitutes for pork rinds for dogs. These include gizzard and green tripe.
They are rich sources of protein and amino acids but with lesser fat content compared to pork rinds.
These types of meats are best fed to your canine companion raw to reap most of their health benefits. It also prevents choking risks, mouth injuries, and intestinal obstruction caused by cooked bones.
FAQs About Pork Rinds for Dogs
1. Can Dogs Eat Store-Bought Pork Rinds?
No, dogs cannot eat store-bought pork rinds made for human consumption. They are often deep-fried in oil and heavily seasoned with spices, which can make your canine friend sick.
2. Can Dogs Eat Pig Skin Raw?
Yes, dogs can eat pig skin raw. However, dog owners should always keep in mind sanitation protocols when handling raw meat.
After your dog’s mealtime, clean all the surfaces that came into contact with raw pork rinds, including your dog’s food bowl. Wash your hands thoroughly right after too.
These steps will keep you and your furry pal safe from contracting trichinosis, which is an illness brought on by the Trichinella spiralis larvae.
3. Can Pork Rinds Kill a Dog?
There is a low possibility that pork rinds will kill a dog. However, do not disregard the chances of it happening.
Eating large amounts of pork rinds containing a hefty dose of salt and onion or garlic powder may result in fatal poisoning in canines.
4. What Can Happen If a Dog Eats Pork Rinds Regularly?
Allowing dogs to eat pork rinds regularly will lead them to develop long-term health issues such as pancreatitis and obesity. Such ailments can negatively affect your dog’s quality of life.
Pork rinds are high in fat and often seasoned with harmful ingredients like onion and garlic powder. Store-bought varieties should be kept away from dogs. Plain, homemade pork rinds are the safest option.
Unlike pork rinds, certain human food should never be given to dogs because of the serious health risks they carry. Visit our Human Food section to find out which ones to avoid.