pig ear on cutting board

Now more than ever, pet owners worry about the health of their dogs and how different treats, foods, and toys can impact their furry companions. Being a conscious pet owner who cares for your dog’s health is wonderful, but it can sometimes be confusing to determine which products are safe and which are not. Often, the answers aren’t completely clear and will depend on your dog’s breed, age, health conditions, and more.

You’ve probably heard conflicting information about how safe pig ears are for dogs. Pig ears are often given to dogs, especially to larger breeds, but you may have heard some people say they are dangerous. For the most part, pig ears are a safe treat for dogs. This doesn’t mean there are no exceptions, but generally, they are okay for your dog to gnaw on and eat.

Are Pig Ears Safe for Dogs?

For most dogs, a pig ear is a suitable and safe treat. Unlike bones that can splinter, pig ears are mainly cartilage that is easier to gnaw into pieces. Many of these items are natural, but some may have added ingredients. It’s best to look at the specific pig ear to ensure there are no artificial additives, especially if you’re on the more cautious side.

Benefits of Pig Ears For Dogs

While you know now that pig ears are a pretty safe treat to give your dog, this doesn’t’ necessarily mean that they benefit your dog. Some treats that are safe for dogs aren’t necessarily beneficial to them, but there are actually a few benefits to serving pig ears to canines.

For one thing, they can help clean off the plaque on your dog’s teeth, but they don’t help with bad breath. Secondly, they can provide some nutritional benefits as they usually have high protein content.

great dane eating pig ears
Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Potential Risks of Pig Ears

While most dogs can eat pig ears without issues, some might react with side effects, such as diarrhea. You can avoid disrupting your dog’s digestion by offering small pieces at first and seeing how your dog reacts.

Pig ear treats can also pose a choking hazard. Smaller dogs might have a hard team eating the ear and swallowing the pieces, but they generally do better with pig ears than with bones or rawhide. The best way to keep your dog from choking on a pig ear is to supervise them while they chew it and throw away the last section of the product.’

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for a safe treat for your dog to chew, a pig ear could be a great choice. Pig ears are generally safe and can even be good for your dog. Just make sure you watch your pet for any troubling symptoms after they consume one and research each pig ear product you find.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock