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Thread: Opinions on pig ears?

  1. #1

    Opinions on pig ears?

    I've never used pig ears as snacks/chew toys for my dogs before. My husband just bought a couple to try. Just curious what everyone here had to say about them.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Midwest USA
    My boss (head vet with 30+ years in practice) says pig ears are 'doggie junk food' full of salt, preservatives, and likely to cause obesety (which can lead to diabetes), and possible allergies to the ingredients. Imported pig ears can harbor somonella which is harmful to people and animals.

    Here is what a pet nutritionist says about pig ears...

    In most cases, pig ears are no problem for a dog; however, there is not one kind of "pig ears". The product is not considered a nutritional product or food if there is no nutritional statement made on the product. Therefore, it is not regulated like a food by AAFCO although clearly they are "consumed" by the dog.
    Some contain a very high percentage of fat and should not be fed to overweight dogs or those intolerant of fat. If the dog swallows a piece too big, they have caused esophageal and small intestinal obstructions, and have to be retrieved by a veterinarian.

    Pig ear products imported into the USA may and have carried in Salmonella, and kids have been become infected with the microbe after handling the pig ear product. So be forewarned ....

    Here is information about her company and her credentials...

    Founded in 1989 by Dr. Rebecca L. Remillard, Veterinary Nutritional Consultations, Inc., is an independent consulting business for professionals in the practice of veterinary medicine, for individual pet owners seeking advice, and for companies selling nutritional supplements and pet foods.

    VNC makes independent nutritional evaluations and recommendations to companies on existing and potential products and also informs them of new scientific developments in veterinary nutrition. VNC receives no revenues from pet food or supplement sales

    Dr. Remillard holds a B.S. and M.S. in animal science from Purdue University and the University of Maine, and in 1983 she received a Ph.D. in animal nutrition from Colorado State University. In 1987, she earned a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine and became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Nutrition in 1991. She completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Surgical Nutrition at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1993. She has been the Clinical Nutritionist at Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston, a major metropolitan referral hospital serving more than 50,000 dog and cat cases annually, since 1993.

    Dr. Remillard is founder and president of Veterinary Nutritional Consultations which has been incorporated in Massachusetts since 1993. There are fewer than sixty individuals in the world with the combined qualifications of a PhD in animal nutrition, a DVM, and Board Certification by the American College of Veterinary Nutrition. Her interests primarily lie in the area of nutrient utilization as altered by disease processes. She continues to train veterinary students, interns, residents and provide continuing education to practitioner on the subject of canine and feline nutrition. In 2004, she was an invited guest speaker at seven veterinary schools in Japan.

    She served on the Executive Board of the American Academy of Veterinary Nutrition ( between 1999 and 2005. Concurrently, she has served on the Executive Board of the American College of Veterinary Nutrition ( since 2000; culminating as chairperson until 2006. She is considered a legal expert in the field of clinical pet nutrition, has conducted numerous clinical studies at several universities in the actual use of nutritional pet products, and has authored more than 45 publications in the field of nutrition for veterinarians. She has co-edited two editions of a major nutrition textbook, Small Animal Clinical Nutrition, for veterinarians and veterinary students. Edition IV has been translated into five languages for worldwide distribution.

    Dr. Remillard has extensive relationships with professionals in veterinary medicine. She speaks annually at national and international veterinary conferences on the topic of nutrition. She has been conversing regularly with veterinarians worldwide as a Nutritional Consultant on the Veterinary Information Network since 1997, and therefore has a wide network of resources and experiences in the practice of veterinary clinical nutrition.

    RIP Dusty July 2007 RIP Sabrina June 2011 RIP Jack 2013

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Dogs love pig ears. But I don't. They can get stuck in the back of the dog's throat. When I was younger, we had a St. Bernard and my dad gave her a pig ear. She loved it, but it got jammed in her throat. My dad had to stick his hand in her mouth, down her throat and pull it out...needless to say, she never got another pig ear!! Please if you give your dogs them, watch them real close as they are eating it. Good luck and be careful.

    "The dog represents all that is best in man." Etienne Charlet

  4. #4
    You couldn't pay me money to feed pig ears to my dogs, rawhide either. No way, no how.

    Thanks Jess for the great sig of my kids!

    I love you baby, passed away 03/04/2008

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Binghamton, New York
    pig ears can be very dangerous! mine dont get them andnever will JMo.

    I didn't slap you, I just high fived your Face!
    I've Been Boo'd!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    North East Ohio
    I give mine pigs ears.
    They only get them when I am home and watching them.
    They both eat them slow and chew them up good (if they didn't I would give them to them)
    I'm sure it also has to do with the size of the dog. My dogs being German Shepherds, are bigger dogs and IMO would have less of a chance choking than a smaller dog eating one.
    I know they are "doggie junk food" but hey.. I give myself snacks once in a while too!!
    ~Angie, Sierra & Buddy
    **Don't breed or buy while shelter dogs die!**

    I suffer from multiple Shepherd syndrome

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    central valley in California
    If you look at some of the pig ears you will see a coating, or droplets of fat,I used to give my boyz pig ears and then I noticed that awhile after they would have diarrhea. I also agree about getting stuck in the throat and causing damage, NO TO PIG EARS! Joann

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Virginia US
    My dogs love pig ears- but its not worth the problems so they do not get them- except once in a blue moon ( hasn't been a blue moon in a long time).. also- since I feed raw, I do not want the gut to slow down the digestion of the raw- .. And pig ears do- ..

  9. #9
    Glad I asked here! Most of what I could find searching on my own was pretty positive, but I didn't quite trust it because most of the websites either sold them or had links to sellers.

    I am still thinking that I may let my big girl try one under close supervision after the beagles go to bed, but I'm not sure.

  10. #10
    Pigs ears aren't neccessarily good for dogs.. they are just dangerous since they are so big and then a dog could have an obstruction easily, just like with rawhides. I watched on the new show on Animal Planet --
    E-vet Interns, things your pets swallow and one of these 2 black labs that are sisters ate a whole 2 lb. bag of pig ears. the dog was given I don't remember what it was called to make her throw up and she was fine. Mine only get pig ears once in awhile and that is once in a blue moon. just like twice a year they get them. they don't get rawhides often, either. I just give them dog biscuits for treats or canine carryouts.
    Krista- owned by Rudy, Dixie, Miagi & Angel

    Rocky, Jenny, Ginger Buster & Tiger .. forever loved & always in my heart..

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Northern Canada
    I give them out as special treats to some of the dogs. Earle and Paxil can't handle the fat in them, so they get other chewies. The dogs love them and I've never had a problem with them. They really are doggy junk food though so I don't give them out often.
    If you are lucky enough to find a way of life you love, you must find the courage to live it.
    --John Irving

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    indianapolis,indiana usa
    I don't give the pups pig ears very often, but they both love them.
    In fact it's the only treat that Smokey won't give up to Maggie, no matter
    how much she begs him.
    I've Been Boo'd

    I've been Frosted

    Today is the oldest you've ever been, and the youngest you'll ever be again.

    Eleanor Roosevelt

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Mine get pig ears and they love them.

    "Did you ever notice when you blow in a dog's face he gets mad at you?
    But when you take him in a car he sticks his head out the window." -- Steve Bluestone

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Riding my bike somewhere...
    The only way my dogs would get pigs ears is if they were given as a gift. I do not/will not buy them.

    They do no good for my dogs, although they do enjoy them, there are hundreds of healthier treats that the enjoy just as much.

    ~Kay, Athena, Ace, Kiara, Mufasa, & Alice!
    "So baby take a axe to your makeup kit
    Set ablaze the billboards and their advertisements
    Love with all your hearts and never forget
    How good it feels to be alive
    And strive for your desire"

    -rx bandits

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Sophist
    I've never used pig ears as snacks/chew toys for my dogs before. My husband just bought a couple to try. Just curious what everyone here had to say about them.
    I agree with the Catlady post on the information posted about possible fat vs diet problems for diabetic, and for that matter dogs with past pancreatitis problems. They are probably loaded with salt which again could cause problems in some dogs with prior health problems. Healthy dogs with no prior problems should be ok if not given in excess. But for dogs with prior health problems you'd need to consult with your Vet.

    As someone noted below if a dog ate a whole bag of pig's ears, or swallowed a lot of rawhide it might cause obstruction problems. But one pig ear? Probably not. I'm assuming the pig ear is not that large. My previous Golden/Lab mix would consume 1/2 of an 11" rawhide bone in a single night if I allowed her to- she could really work a rawhide bone over quickly, mostly the long stem part. Never had any problems when it occured. But I wouldn't want a toy breed dog try the same thing. My current two get raw hide chips every morning. They expect to receive them! The moment I head towards the bag, it's woo-woo-woo and bark time, followed by running up the stairs and waiting at the top of the staircase. It's either that or I later find a phone book shredded on the floor. The one knows how to get back at me.

    Per rawhide I've always tried to look for American or domestic rawhide. I've seen mold and the like on S. American rawhide all too often.

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