Why is pork getting a bad rep in raw dog food?
If you’re thinking of making the shift from kibble or homemade food to raw, naturally you will do a little bit of reading and online research. Only problem is, when you check online for raw dog food, you are bound to come across loads of links that claim raw meat can be deadly to your dog. And that will put the brakes on any plans you had of shifting to raw.
But click on any of those links and you will realize that they are all bark and no bite. These sensational headlines are hardly ever backed by any real evidence, and most of these claims are really nothing but myths.
The biggest myth of them all says that raw pork is dangerous for your dog. Apparently all pork has high levels of fat and is low in nutrients. There are also stories that say that pork can cause pancreatitis in dogs, and it contains a parasite known to be deadly to dogs. Any dog parent who is new to the world of raw will naturally get terrified of such information and will decide to stick to kibble, which is in fact worse news.
Fret not; there is enough accurate information out there that will disprove these myths and help you make a better, more informed decision. Here are the three biggest raw pork myths and the truth behind them.
Myth #1: Raw pork has exceedingly high levels of fat
Many people believe that chicken and lamb are the ‘healthier’ protein options for dogs, and pork is the ‘fatter, unhealthy’ protein. Yes, some cuts of pork, such as bacon, are higher in fat than others, but overall the pig, when trimmed of fat, is a lean and incredibly source of protein for raw fed dogs.
Pork chops, pork tenderloin and even a typical pork roast are all lean cuts, and astonishingly, they are often leaner than a skinless chicken thigh. Would you believe it that pork tenderloin contains fewer calories and has less fat than a skinless chicken breast?Who knew, right? And if someone told you that lamb is a healthier option than pork for your dog, tell them these numbers - 4 ounces (113 gms.) of ground, raw lamb has nearly twice the calories and nearly 5 times the fat of the same quantity of pork.
Another thing going for pork is the sheer number of vitamins and minerals it has. Pork comes loaded with niacin, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, and vitamin D. Yes, lamb too contains many healthy vitamins and minerals, but it has higher levels of sodium than pork. And lamb lacks Vitamin D, one of the key elements needed by canines to regulate calcium and phosphorous balance in the body.
Yes, pork can be higher in calories but this depends entirely on the type of cut you choose. Look for one that is healthy for your dog.
Myth #2: Raw pork contains a deadly parasite that can kill dogs
There was a time, long ago, when pigs were fed literally anything – dead animals, garbage, etc. Because of this they sometimes produced a toxin in their bodies called trichinosis. Since pigs don’t sweat, the body has no way of expelling the toxins. Their body is thus infected with this toxin and it can be transferred to whoever consumes the raw meat of an infected pig, mostly raw fed dogs.
This is all history. Today, pig farming is strictly regulated, and pig farmers are not allowed to feed their pigs just about anything. By law they are required to feed pigs safe, regulated animal feed which ensures pork meat is free from toxins. One hears of far few cases of trichinosis now.
However, as a raw dog feeder, if you still have concerns, you can freeze the pork meat for up to 3 weeks. This ensures all toxins are killed, making the meat safe for your doc to consume raw.
Myth #3: Raw pork leads to pancreatitis.
Blame the pancreatitis
of excessive fat consumption. This is more often than not a result of dogs being fed a lot of greasy table scrapes. Pancreatitis is also seen in dogs that are overfed on treats and foods, that are rich and full of fat.
If you ask any veterinarian, the most common factors leading to pancreatitis in dogs are:
- A high fat, low protein diet
- Other disease (Cushing’s syndrome, diabetes)
- Other drugs and toxins (antibiotics, insecticides)
- Genetic predisposition
Not only is this myth that raw pork can lead to pancreatitis
false, but it can mislead dog owners into believing that other foods might actually be better for their furry friend. Any diet that has excess fats can cause pancreatitis
, which is why it is important to know what proteins are being fed to the dog.
Finally, when you put myth versus reality, the verdict goes in favor of raw pork being a safe, lean and healthy meat to feed your dog on a raw food diet
Raw pork is a great, healthy option that is a source of all the nutrients your dog needs.