Pork rinds are a salty and crispy food made particularly for people, but have you ever wondered if you could feed them to your dog? Has she been checking up on you every time you reach into that bag and take a bite?
Is it okay for your dog to eat pork rinds? No, in a nutshell! Pork rinds are not a healthy food for dogs and should not be given to them.
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Pork rinds are a popular snack around the world; in Mexico, they are called chicharrones, and in the U.K., they are pork scratchings.
Pork rinds are made from pork skin that has been first boiled and scraped to remove any extra fat attached, so only the skin remains. The skin is then cut into smaller, bite-sized pieces and dehydrated until it is dry and brittle. The last step is deep-frying the skin until it is crunchy and puffed up and is typically seasoned with salt and pepper. They are also available in other flavors such as salt and vinegar, barbecue, and cinnamon-sugar.
Pork rinds are high in fat and protein, and they’re also carb-free, which will entice those who are following a low carb diet.
However, they don’t have much else to them. No vitamins or minerals; they lack fiber and are very high in sodium. The U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommends less than 2,300 mg of sodium per day, and 2 ounces of pork rinds sits at about half of the daily limit (1,040 mg).
There are also certain brands of pork rinds that include artificial colors and flavors, or ingredients like monosodium glutamate (MSG).
Pork Rinds and Your Health
The main concern with a diet high in pig rinds is that it promotes to weight gain due to their high calorie and fat content. Diabetes and heart disease can both be caused by being overweight. A high-sodium diet can raise blood pressure, which can lead to heart and renal problems, as well as stroke.
This isn’t to argue that eating pork rinds will make you sick, but their lack of nutritional value, combined with their high fat and sodium content, make them a snack that should be consumed in moderation.
In general, pig rinds are not a particularly nutritious snack for humans, but what about dogs?
Pork Rinds and Your Dog
We’ve established that pork rinds are only for people and aren’t the healthiest food, but what does this mean for your dog?
Anything manufactured particularly for humans should never be fed to your dog. Many of the components in our food are not only harmful to your dog, but may also be toxic.
The same elements that are harmful for people are terrible for your dog, so any high-salt, high-fat food is a bad snack for your dog.
The Downside of Pork Rinds for Dogs
We’re now going to break down the reasons why you should avoid giving your dog pork rinds in greater detail.
As previously mentioned, deep-frying is a part of the process of making pig rinds, which can cause stomach distress and diarrhea. If your dog is fed high-fat foods on a regular basis, he may get pancreatitis, a serious ailment that can lead to death if not treated.
Some signs of pancreatitis include:
- Extreme lethargy
- Severe dehydration
- Stomach pain
- Loss of appetite
- Occasionally collapse and shock
If your dog exhibits any of these symptoms, take her to the vet immediately.
Ingredients and Seasonings
Pork rinds are seasoned with a number of ingredients that are harmful to your dog. If you have spicy pork rinds, keep in mind that dogs are often hazardous to spicy meals. It can cause diarrhea, discomfort, and gas in your dog’s stomach, as well as excessive thirst.
If the pork rinds’ seasonings include garlic or onions, the dogs will be poisoned. These components, once again, can cause diarrhea, indigestion, and even anemia.
Pork rinds are strong in salt, as previously said, and if too much salt is harmful for humans, it’s even worse for dogs. Excess sodium can dehydrate your dog and lead to renal damage and sodium ion toxicity.
The following are some of the signs that your dog has consumed too much sodium:
- Diarrhea and vomiting
- Tremors and seizures
Take your dog to the vet as soon as possible if you notice any or all of these symptoms after feeding her pork rinds or another salty food.
Reaction to allergens
Pork is one of the meats that can cause an allergic reaction in dogs that have never eaten it before.
Some of the signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction include:
- Diarrhea and vomiting
- Stomach cramps and excessive gas
- Excessive scratching and licking
- Red and infected skin
- Bald spots and itchy skin
- Hot spots
- Ear infections
Keep an eye on your dog if she has consumed any pork rinds. Contact your veterinarian if you observe any of these symptoms within a few hours of her ingesting them.
Pork rinds aren’t the healthiest snack for humans, so it’s even worse when your dog consumes them. They’re heavy in salt and fat, which can lead to more serious problems including pancreatitis and salt poisoning. The seasonings on top of the unhealthy pork rinds may contain hazardous chemicals for dogs. Pork rinds should be kept away from your dog if she suffers from food allergies or has a sensitive stomach.
If your dog has no health issues and simply eats one or two treats every now and then, she’ll probably be alright, but wouldn’t it be better to be safe than sorry? Providing your dog with a food and snacks that she enjoys while also being helpful to her health is critical to keeping her happy and healthy.