Why does pork make dogs sick?

Answered by John Hunt

Pork can make dogs sick due to the potential presence of the parasite called trichinella spiralis. This parasite is commonly found in uncooked or undercooked pork. When dogs consume pork that contains trichinella spiralis larvae, they can become infected with the parasite.

Trichinella spiralis is a type of roundworm that can cause a condition known as trichinosis. This parasite primarily infects animals, including pigs, which can then pass on the infection to humans and dogs if the meat is not properly cooked. It is important to note that trichinosis is relatively rare in dogs, but it can still occur if they consume infected pork.

The symptoms of trichinosis in dogs can vary and may not always be apparent. Some common signs include vomiting, diarrhea, fever, lethargy, and stiffness. However, it is possible for dogs to be infected with trichinella spiralis without showing any symptoms at all. This is why it is crucial to always cook pork thoroughly before feeding it to your dog.

Cooking pork at temperatures above 145°F (63°C) for a sufficient amount of time destroys the trichinella spiralis larvae, making the meat safe for consumption. It is important to ensure that the pork is cooked all the way through and that there are no traces of pink or raw meat left. This is especially important when preparing homemade meals for your dog, as it allows you to have control over the cooking process.

Feeding your dog properly cooked pork is generally safe and can be a part of a balanced diet. However, it is always advisable to consult with your veterinarian before introducing any new foods into your dog’s diet. They can provide specific guidance based on your dog’s individual needs and any underlying health conditions they may have.

Pork can make dogs sick if it is consumed raw or undercooked, as it may contain the trichinella spiralis parasite. Properly cooking the pork eliminates the risk of infection and ensures the meat is safe for your dog to eat. Monitoring your dog for any symptoms of trichinosis and seeking veterinary care if necessary is important for their overall health and well-being.