What Age Can Puppies Have Pigs Ears? Safety Concerns

Pig ears are the preferable choice of many dog owners to feed their canines since the treat is tasty and offers great entertainment.

However, the major concern is: What age can puppies have pig ears

The food has some benefits accompanied by its potential risks.

There is an age limitation for dogs to consume pig ear treats, and some notes to follow to safely give it to your furry friend.

Let’s dig into the article right now to find out!

What Age Can Puppies Have Pigs Ears?

what age can puppies have pigs ears

Can puppies eat pig ears? Yes, they can if they are more than 6 months old. Before that, consuming pig ears can be harmful to your pup.

Though this popular treat is safe for dogs, you should give it in moderation.

Remember, it’s just a special treat but not the main meal for a source of nutrition.

Can teething puppies have pig ears? As long as they reach the minimum age of 6 months, you can feed them with small pieces at the beginning.

When your dogs are fully mature (around one year old), they can attempt the treat. However, you should be careful with any stomach distress symptoms.

Pros And Cons Of Giving Dogs Pig Ears 

The debate of what age puppies can have ears is always a hot topic, as many dog owners love the benefits the treat brings but are also concerned about its disadvantages.

The part is chewy, making it very suitable for canines. They can enjoy the snack and clean their teeth at the same time.

Therefore, their mouth does not have a bad smell as well. It’s also a great reward of relaxation for your puppy.

However, the main negative point is that the treat has high-fat content, leading to stomach upset, diarrhea, or vomiting if consumed every day.

Thus, you should feed with a limitation of 1 to 2 pieces for some first weeks. Then if you see your dog has no strange reaction, you can increase the frequency.

How Often Can Puppies Eat Pig Ears? 

Can puppies have pig ears? Yes, you can serve it to your puppy following the rule that the amount consumed should not exceed 5-10% of its daily caloric intake.

In short, the frequency depends on the dog’s age, size, and level of activity. 

Smaller canines usually require the treat less often than larger ones.

As your pup grows bigger with potential weight fluctuation, you should be attentive to the dog’s weight to make proper adjustments.

3 Health/ Safety Concerns With Pig Ears For Puppies

can 12 week old puppies have pig ears


Are pig ears safe for pooches? Not always!

The first concerned issue is the treat can contain many harmful bacteria. It’s a waste of pork products.

No matter if it’s dehydrated pig ears with high quality, if the production process is not under sanitary conditions, the food can be harmful to dogs (and humans as well).

The most common and notable pathogen is salmonella. Though it’s possible to cure salmonella infection symptoms in humans, it’s not necessarily true for dogs.

Especially when you have a puppy, his weak immunity may not be strong enough to fight against any bacteria.

Choking Hazard

Choking hazard is one of the factors making people wonder if pig ears are safe. Like cow ears, the product is made of chewy and dried meat.

It’s more difficult for the dogs to break it down by its teeth and shallow it.

Some puppies enjoy the chewing process, while others are attracted by the taste and scents of the treat and gobble up everything.

Since the product is hard and brittle, removing it is a real challenge if it’s stuck in your pup’s throat.

You can try the Heimlich maneuver for your dogs to rescue him.

Yet, I highly recommend protecting your puppy before a bad situation happens by feeding the treat only when they are more than 6 months old.

Cuts And Scratches

Can puppies chew on pig ears? Those who reach the age of 6 months old can have treats.

But due to its brittle property, it can create cuts and scratches in the pup’s mouth (the gum lines, to be specific), affecting its dental health.

The wound is similar to those you sometimes see on your dog’s leg and may not harm big canines. However, it can lead to serious situations with puppies with weak immunity.

Bacteria gather the most inside the dog’s mouth and can attack the cut anytime, causing infections.

Even though the scenario is not dangerous, as a dog lover, I think you may not want to hurt your puppy.

So, you’d better wait until your pup becomes an adult before feeding the treat.

So, again, can 12-week-old puppies have pig ears? The answer is no since they are too small and can face all the above risks negatively affecting their health.

Safety Tips For Feeding Pig Ears

Though it’s a wag-worthy treat, since there can be some health concerns when feeding, you should follow some rules to ensure your dog doesn’t need to suffer from any negative symptoms.

It may not be suitable for smaller breed dogs as they often face gastrointestinal upset when consuming the treat.

If your dog has a sensitive gastrointestinal tract and follows a low-fat, novel protein or hydrolyzed diet, I don’t recommend you take a risk in this case, even if your pup will love to chew the snack.

Some common alert signs that you should stop giving this chew toy to your pet include gas, vomiting, diarrhea, bloody diarrhea, or even pancreatitis, causing the dog’s stomach to gurgle and it won’t eat.

Talk to your vet immediately if you notice these symptoms.

How To Prepare Pig Ears For Dogs

can 8 week old puppies have pig ears

Cleaning, Blanching

Get a fresh piece of pig ears from a local butcher shop and start the cleaning process. Since this part usually comes with covered hairs, you should perform the blanching.

You can skip this step, but it’s better to do so.

You should boil water, blanch the ear inside for 30 seconds and submerge it in ice water. The skin’s top layer will be softened so that you can pull it off together with the hair.

Preparing Raw Pig Ears

You can choose to cut the piece into squares, slice it into strips or just leave the whole part dehydrated.

Note that it will take longer for the entire piece to get dry than the smaller ones.

Place the pieces into the dehydrator rack and wait around 24 hours for the smaller pieces to dry. For the whole ear, you may need to wait up to 3 days or more if it’s thick.

Your oven may also be an option for drying. It takes 2 hours for small pieces and 5 hours for whole pieces to dry. If the final product is hard and difficult to bend, it means it’s done.

Drying & Hydrating

Use the paper sack to store the final treat. Don’t use plastic as it holds moisture, softening the content and causing mold and spoiling.

You can wrap the treat in paper and freeze it for indefinite use.

Some Cooked Pig Ears Recipes For Dogs 

Here is a homemade recipe for your reference:

  • Step 1. Buy a piece of raw pig ear
  • Step 2. Preheat the oven (300F). Wash the piece carefully. Use scissors to cut the attached bones and cartilage.
  • Step3. Cut the piece into strips.
  • Step 4. Coat the strips with olive oil.
  • Step 5. Bake the ingredient for 4 hours and let it cool down.


Can 8-Week Old Puppies Have Pig Ears?

No, they are not suitable for puppies of 8 weeks old. You’d better wait until your pup is 6 months old to offer the treat.

Are Pig Ears And Rawhide The Same?

No, they are not the same. Pig ears chews are a dehydrated part of a pig, while rawhide chews are pieces of industrial leather that have been leftover. 

Sometimes, they may look like pig ears and are packed with the stated ingredient, rawhide.

What Are Different Types of Pigs Ears for Puppies?

The treat has 3 common types, including:

Smoked pig ears

Can puppies have pig’s ears that are smoked? This type is said to be safe for puppies from 3 weeks old, but it just should be an occasional snack but not the whole meal.

You should look for fully-cooked varieties and check the production date on the package carefully before buying.

Raw pig ears

This variant can be consumed by dogs over 6 months old.

Puppies may find it difficult to manage due to the bone structure and can face potential choking hazards, yellow diarrhea, and stomach upset.

Boiled or roasted pigs ears

Can puppies eat pig’s ears? If it’s boiled or roasted, it can be an option for your 6-month-old pup.

Roasting and boiling kills bacteria, yet ensure your dog has no sensitive stomach or allergies before giving the treat.

The Takeaway

What age can puppies have pig ears? The general answer is after 6 months old. Since the treat contains high-fat content, it should be given in moderation.

People keep discussing the pros and cons of the products and if they should give it to their pups.

If you vote for the advantage and want a reliable source of protein and other nutrients, follow our tips to prepare and feed the treat to your dog.


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Hi I am Mitchell. Dog Growth is a blog about dog caring and training where I share my experiences to my community. Hope you enjoy it!

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