CVMA | Documents | Pig’s Ears Not Recommended for Dogs

Pig’s Ears Not Recommended for Dogs

October 23, 2012

Pig's ear treats have a high fat content and can be fattening, eventually leading to obesity. They can also cause stomach upsets in some dogs. Because they are high in fat, they can irritate the pancreas, causing pancreatitis in susceptible dogs. This results in vomiting, lethargy, abdominal pain, and diarrhoea.

Pig's ear treats can also be a source of Salmonella bacteria. The federal government recently issued a warning that pig's ear dog treats from a number of manufacturers were contaminated with Salmonella bacteria, which can cause diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and other serious long-term complications. Some pets that become infected may not show clinical signs.

These products can also be a risk to humans, according to the Health Canada warning. Transmission of the bacteria to humans can be via direct handling of contaminated product or handling of infected pets that may have become infected. For this reason, owners are advised to wash their hands thoroughly with warm water and soap after handling pig's ear treats. Better yet, consult your veterinarian about these products or avoid them altogether.