Can dogs eat raw pig feet? Raw dog food diets are controversial; however, if you are a dog owner then you have probably heard that some raw food is healthy for them. Let’s dive in and find out how pig feet can benefit your dog, how to properly prepare them, and where to buy them!
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Meet Our Guardian Livestock Dogs
We have three guardian livestock dogs that we love dearly. Sugar is a Great Pyrenees, Sadie is an Australian Shepherd, and Cloud is an Anatolian Shepherd.
We rescued Sugar from a shelter a little over 6 years ago. She is our third rescue dog. The vet was unable to determine her exact age but she’s around 8 or 9 years old. She’s always been our faithful protector and she takes her job seriously.
Then there’s Sadie. My sweet husband bought her as a puppy for our oldest daughter right before we moved to the farm but Sadie really just has eyes for him. She is 2 years old and still plays like a puppy. She’s learning from Sugar, though, and starting to protect the farm animals more and more as Sugar gets older and slower.
Last but not least, there’s Cloud. We also bought him as a puppy but now he’s 1 year old and enormous! But he’s a big teddy bear on the inside. Sometimes when he plays with Sadie he puts her whole entire head in his mouth! She loves it, though. He’s also learning a lot from Sugar and is starting to protect the farm animals.
Dog Food Basics: What We Feed Our Dogs
Our dog’s diet is mostly high quality dog food but we do like to give them occasional dog treats in the form of raw food from the farm.
First and foremost, I wouldn’t give our dogs raw food that I didn’t trust. Since we raise our own farm animals in a very healthy and natural way and harvest them ourselves or take them to our butcher, I don’t have any reservations about giving our dogs raw food.
Can Dogs Eat Raw Pig Feet?
The short answer is yes, your dogs can eat raw pig feet (also sometimes called pig trotters and pettitoe)! And other pork bones including raw meaty bones, pig ears, tail, and other parts of the pig. I’ve heard old-timers say that the only thing you can’t use on a pig is its squeak! Chicken feet are another favorite treat for our dogs but I always save the feet to make my chicken bone broth first. The dogs get them after my broth is made!
If you’ve been with me for a while then you know I hate to waste anything. We raised three homestead pigs last year (one American guinea hog and two Kunekune pigs) and took them to the butcher when they were a year old. While I was at the butcher, he asked what cuts we wanted and basic butcher questions. I can’t stand the thought of wasting anything that could be edible. So I told him that I wanted absolutely everything that he could give me…so he gave me the pig feet, head, tail, and almost everything in between!
Nutritional Benefits of Giving Dogs Raw Meat
In my opinion, giving dogs a balanced diet including raw food is healthy and natural for them. Any time the dogs run around and find a chicken has laid an egg within their reach, the dogs get excited and eat the eggs right away. Shell and all!
The benefits of raw food include shinier coats, healthier skin, cleaner teeth, and more energy. Raw pig’s feet and the pork meat on them are a great substitute for dog chews and chew toys. Plus they are a great way to keep your dog’s teeth clean! If you have a dog that loves to chew or gets bored easily, giving them a pig foot will keep them occupied for days.
Pig feet are also high in collagen. Feeding your older dogs extra collagen will help lubricate and strengthen the connective tissues between their joints. And that might help ease arthritis pain if they’re battling any joint stiffness!
Potential Risks of Giving Dogs Raw Meat
This post wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t at least mention the safety concerns associated with feeding your dogs raw meat. As I mentioned above, I wouldn’t give our dogs raw pigs feet that I wasn’t absolutely sure about.
Dog owners should be aware of the potential health risks of feeding raw bones and meat. One risk is that the bones could be a choking hazard. And although it’s more common in cooked bones, bone splinters might cause lacerations in the digestive tract and be detrimental to your dog’s health. Be sure to give an appropriately sized raw bone for the size of your dog. Also, if your dog has any jaw or teeth issues, it would be best to avoid giving them hard bones.
Another potential risk is small amounts of bacteria that might be present. If the raw meat is in any way rancid or looks funny, don’t give it to your furry friend. I know the raw food we provide our dogs is very clean and comes from very healthy animals that we raise ourselves. Our dogs have never had digestive system issues caused by harmful bacteria.
Also keep in mind that too much fatty foods can cause health issues like diabetes and being overweight. A raw diet including organ meat from internal organs and raw pork bones has a very high nutritional value. It’s best to consider your dog’s size, age, and activity level and try not to over-feed them. Try to limit the meaty treat or anything with a high fat content to no more than once a week. And if you see that your dog is gaining too much weight or starts to feel lethargic, it’s a good idea to scale back the amount of raw foods, as appropriate.
Where Can Pet Owners Buy Raw Meat
Overall, I think the benefits outweigh the risks and we choose to give our dogs raw food. And our veterinarian doesn’t have any complaints with our dog’s health! Our dogs are happy, active, and healthy.
If you think you might want to try feeding your canine friends more naturally, see what’s available at your grocery store or local butchers. Some grocery stores carry raw pig feet for southerners who want to cook them with a big pot of beans.
Also, call around to your local butchers and see what they have available. Where we live, the butchers will only process one type of animal at a time…and it’s usually a few weeks to a couple months long. In deer season (hunting season), they will only process deer. They also have individual months for processing cattle, goat, pig, and sheep. Since most people don’t want to keep every edible and usable part of the animal being processed, call the butcher and see if they have anything that you can buy or that they want to give away!
Azure Standard is another reputable source. See the link at the bottom of this post for their organic, frozen chicken feet!
But better yet, raise and harvest your own meat if you want to live more of a homesteading lifestyle. You can save the scraps that you don’t desire for human food and instead feed your dogs an alternative great source of protein! And you’ll feel better about not wasting the precious resources you have available.
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