Can dogs eat raw pig feet is a question that I get asked quite a bit, so it’s about time I answer it here on the blog!
The short answer is yes, dogs can have raw pig feet.
They’re also known as pork trotters and are classified as raw meaty bones in raw feeding.
That’s great news because pig feet are an inexpensive cut of meat.
However, there’s a few caveats you should be aware of.
That said, here’s what this blog post covers:
- What’s in raw pig feet?
- How to feed raw pig feet to dogs
- Types of dogs raw pig feet are best for
- How much bone is in raw pig feet (2 tables in oz and g)
- What to feed raw pigs feet with
- When to cook pig feet
- Where to buy raw pig feet
Can Dogs Eat Raw Pig Feet?
What’s in Raw Pig Feet + Benefits
Besides bone, there’s mostly cartilage, ligaments, tendons and fat in pig feet, and very little meat.
As is the case with all feet, they’re rich in glucosamine and chondroitin which are important for joint health.
Since pig feet require quite a bit of chewing, they’re great for oral health:
- help scrape away plaque and tartar
- provide a jaw muscle workout
Feeding Raw Pig Feet to Dogs
First things first, if you buy farmed raw pig feet you can feed them right away if you want.
If you get your hands on wild raw pig feet you should freeze them for 3 weeks prior to feeding.
Frozen pigs feet thaw quickest if you place them in a bowl with cool water.
You can also let them thaw on a plate or inside a container in the fridge, but that’s going to take longer than doing it with the water bowl hack.
Types of Dogs Raw Pig Feet are Best for
Raw pigs feet are a fairly large cut of meat, so that’s something to be aware of when you’re trying to figure out if your pup(s) can have it.
Keeping that in mind, they’re not a good raw meaty bone for toy breeds and also not for small dogs. I wouldn’t offer them to Chihuahuas, Shih Tzus, Dachshunds and similarly sized dogs.
They are, however, great for medium to large and extra large dogs. So your Beagles, Bulldogs, Labs, GSDs and Great Dane type dogs.
Yes, Feist mixes like my pup Wally can have them too!
Since they’re very rich in fat, they’re not a great raw meaty bone for overweight dogs and those who’ve been diagnosed with pancreatitis.
How Much Bone is in Raw Pig Feet?
Raw pigs feet are about 30% bone and 70% cartilage, fat and some meat as I already pointed out.
They weigh anywhere between 8-16oz depending on the size of the pig they’re from.
The tables below show the ratio of bone vs meat on a pig foot depending on its size, both in oz and grams (for my non-US readers!).
This is helpful information when you’re figuring out how to include it in your dog’s weekly raw dog food allowance:
|8oz pig foot||10oz pig foot||12oz pig foot||14oz pig foot||16oz pig foot|
|meat, cartilage, fat||5.6oz||7oz||8.4oz||9.8oz||11.2oz|
|200g pig foot||250g pig foot||300g pig foot||350g pig foot||400g pig foot|
|bone||60g bone||75g of bone||90g bone||105g bone||120g bone|
|meat, cartilage, fat||140g meat||175g of meat||210g bone||245g bone||280g meat|
For example, an adult dog who weighs 50lbs and is fed at a 2.5% maintenance percentage eats 1.25lbs = 20oz per day.
Here’s a quick refresher on how to do that math:
Divide your dog’s target body weight = 50lbs by 100. Multiply the result = 0.5 with the maintenance percentage = 2.5.
So 50/100 = 0.5x 2.5 = 1.25lbs = 20oz (16oz = 1lb).
Of that, (s)he has the following daily requirements:
- Muscle meat, 70% = 14oz
- Raw meaty bone, 10% = 2oz
- Secreting organs, 10% = 2oz (5% = 1oz liver, 5% = 1oz other secreting organ)
- Plant matter, 10% = 2oz
If you feed a whole prey diet including entire prey animals, you probably don’t include plant matter and can disregard the 10% plant matter allowance. Instead, up the muscle meat allowance from 70% to 80%.
So for the 50lb dog, an 8oz pig foot that has 2.4oz of bone content covers that dog’s daily bone allowance.
But what if the pig foot you have for that 50lb dog weighs more and has considerably more bone?
No worries, you can balance your dog’s raw dog food over the course of about 7-10 days.
So if you feed more bone one day, just decrease the bone allowance the next day or skip it entirely.
Just make sure that your pup gets the amount of bone they need over the course of a week-ish.
What to Combine Raw Pigs Feet with For a Raw Meal
Since raw pigs feet are fatty cuts of meat and rich in calories, I would combine them with lean cuts of meat.
So rather than adding ground pork or pork trim to the pig foot, go for lean cuts of:
- turkey, chicken or beef (no skin on the poultry)
For the secreting organs, how about some chicken liver and beef kidney.
As far as plant matter, try some (cooked and puréed) spinach, carrots or red beets, kelp powder and (soaked and ground) almonds and chia seeds.
Check out this blog post for more information on veggies, fruit, nuts & seeds in raw dog food.
How to Cook Pig Feet for Dogs
OK, let me clarify that I don’t suggest you ever cook raw meaty bones you intend to feed your dog(s)!
Cooking changes the bone density and makes bones brittle where they splinter easily. That’s how they can do some damage inside your dog’s body.
So please only offer your dog RAW pig trotters!
However, you can use raw pig feet to make a yummy batch of bone broth.
You can also let your pup have half of a raw pigs foot and then use the other half for doggie bone broth.
Check out my bone broth recipe here.
Where to Buy Raw Pig Feet for Dogs
You can find raw pig feet at butchers, many grocery stores as well as ethnic grocery stores.
As far as online retailers, I’m aware of the following ones that carry raw pig feet:
- Rebel Raw Pig Feet (Atlanta, GA)
- Answer’s Pet Food Fermented Raw Pig Feet Halves (use their store locator to find retailers close to you)
- Farmer’s Fresh Meat & Grocery Pork Feet (Houston, TX)
If you’re aware of any pet food retailers who sell raw pigs feet, please let me know and I’ll add them to this list!
You can either leave a comment at the end of the blog post or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I hope this answers the question can dogs eat raw pig feet?
As I explained, raw pork feet for dogs are a good raw meaty bone for medium to large and extra large dogs.
They’re inexpensive to source and consist of about 30% bone. The rest is mostly cartilage and fat which makes it great for joint health and oral health.
However, it has very little meat.
Since it’s more on the fatty side of things, raw pig feet are not a good idea for overweight dogs and those who suffer from pancreatitis.
My pup Wally weighs around 38lbs and gets raw pig feet occasionally, about once every other month.
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