Who doesn’t love a bit of pork from time to time? Getting the right pork cut takes you in for quite a treat, and pork rinds are the best snack. Dogs also love pork because of its crunchy and salty taste. However, can dogs eat pork rinds? An even better question is, should dogs eat pork rinds?
Dogs can eat pork rinds; you might even find that your pup enjoys this salty treat. However, dogs should not eat pork rinds under any circumstances.
What are Pork Rinds?
These snacks are beloved worldwide, with different names in different countries. They are known as pork scratchings in the UK, while Mexicans mostly know them as chicharrones. No matter what you call them, pork rinds are delicious and take any dish to the next level.
They are made using boiled and scraped pork skins. The procedures involve removing any fat attached to the skin to leave only the skin. Once the fat is removed, it is cut into smaller pieces. The bite-sized pieces are then dehydrated until the skin becomes dry and brittle.
Deep frying comes after the dehydration process. This is done until the skin puffs up and becomes crunchy. It is then seasoned heavily with salt and pepper. Pork rinds also come in multiple flavors, like barbecue, vinegar, and cinnamon sugar.
This delicious snack, however, doesn’t have much to offer. It is a high-fat food with plenty of protein. It is also carb-free, so it can be great for those observing a no-carb diet. Aside from this, pork rinds don’t contain any fibers, vitamins, or minerals and have high sodium content.
Depending on the flavor you buy, you can also find pork rinds with MSG, artificial flavors, and colors. They offer no nutritional benefits to humans, and they also put you at risk of weight gain, heart disease, and diabetes. So, as unhealthy as pork rinds are to us, what is their effect on dogs?
Pork Rinds and Dogs
The important thing you should consider as a dog owner is being cautious when feeding dogs human food. Most food made for humans contains unsafe ingredients for dogs.
The ingredients used in pork rinds put your dog’s health at risk. Even worse, pork rinds are high in fat and salt, making them harmful to dogs.
Why Pork Rinds are Bad For Dogs
As we have seen, pork rinds don’t have much going on for us. The same reasons why they are not healthy for humans are similar to dogs. Below are some of the reasons why pork rinds are bad for dogs:
Too Much Fat
Pork rinds go through deep frying to bring out their crunchiness. Deep-fried foods are not safe for dogs because of the high levels of fat or oil used in frying. It can also cause diarrhea and stomach upsets in dogs.
Moreover, constantly feeding your dog deep-fried foods puts them at risk of getting pancreatitis, which can be fatal to dogs when it goes untreated. Some of the symptoms to identify pancreatitis include:
- Severe dehydration
- Loss of appetite
- Stomach pain
- Extreme lethargy
- Occasional collapse and shock
Not only is pancreatitis itself dangerous, dogs suffering from these symptoms go through severe pain. Surely, this is not worth letting them enjoy temporary happiness from a single snack.
Some dogs might have pork allergies, leading to dangerous allergic reactions. You should avoid feeding your dog any pork meat if they have an allergy. It is always best to start with a very small portion whenever feeding them something new. This lets you gauge whether they can eat the food or not and helps you identify their allergies.
Symptoms that can help you identify an allergic reaction include:
There are many more symptoms of allergic reactions. Look for changes in your dog‘s behavior, health, and bowel movements. This can help you see their reaction to the food and gauge whether they can have it again or not. As much as possible, however, keep your dog away from pork rinds, whether they have allergies or not.
High Salt Content
Pork rinds use a lot of salt. High salt concentration in foods is bad for humans and might be even worse for dogs. High sodium levels can cause severe dehydration, contributing to sodium-ion poisoning and kidney damage.
Symptoms to keep an eye on when your dog eats too much sodium include:
- Diarrhea and vomiting
- Tremors and seizures
If you see your pup showing any of these signs after eating salty foods, a visit to the vet is necessary. This gets them the needed help to prevent the symptoms from getting worse.
Harmful Seasonings and Ingredients
You always need to pay attention to whatever you feed your dog as a dog owner. You want to stay away from seasonings and harmful ingredients. For example, onions, spicy pork rinds or pork rinds flavored using artificial flavors can be toxic to your dog.
Doing this can lead to stomach upsets, flatulence, diarrhea, and pain. Spicy foods can also cause dehydration, making your dog drink more water than they should, leading to bloating.
What Happens if Your Dog Accidentally Eats Pork Rinds?
You cannot be with your dog all the time, and they might take a bite out of some leftover food. There is no reason to worry if this is the first time they eat pork rinds unless they have a pork allergy.
Occasionally eating pork rinds doesn’t put your dog at high risk, although they may become dehydrated. However, put such foods in areas they cannot reach.
Pork rinds are not healthy for humans, making them even more unsafe for dogs. Their high salt and fat content is dangerous to your dog, putting them at risk of salt poisoning and pancreatitis.
There are also toxic seasonings and food allergies that endanger your dog. While your dog can eat a few pork rinds once in a while, it is best to avoid them altogether.