Can You Feed Dog Food To Pigs?

Pigs are known to eat almost anything that is not rotten, but can they eat dog food? Dogs and pigs are very different animals, so I had to research the internet and use my own experience to find out.

Pigs are omnivores, and whilst you can feed them dog food, it is high in salt & protein and could contain pork products. Dog food also varies in price and quality and is a lot more expensive than standard pig feed, also there is a melamine toxic food issue and dog food is not designed for pigs.

Doing my research I saw a lot of pig owners have fed their pig’s dog food and they were fine but I will speak about why you shouldn’t feed your pigs dog food.

Also, I speak about what foods pigs can and cannot eat, read on to find out what.

To know if shavings or straw is better for your pigs see my post here.

Why You Should Not Feed Your Pig Dog Food

Dog and cat food contain a lot of salt and when combined with a lack of fresh water this can kill your piggies! Whilst some people do feed their pigs dog food(see this forum) this doesn’t mean you can feed your pig just anything. To see if your pig can be healthy on a vegan diet check out my post.

Pig food is designed to provide pigs with all the essential nutrients and vitamins that a pig needs to build a strong healthy immune system, with healthy bones and organs that let it become the best pig it can be. Combined with proper exercise your pig should have the ideal life

Dog food is designed for dogs not pigs, so the pigs are lacking the pig specific nutrition it needs to thrive, would you feed your dog pig feed? Then why would doing the opposite make any sense.

Pigs have very specific needs compared to a dog and they are very different animals, and whilst they can eat dog food it is not ideal for them

What Foods Should You Not Feed To Pigs?

  • Apple and Pear Seeds
  • Cassava
  • Wild mushrooms
  • ​Potatoes
  • Kidney beans or Lima beans (raw)
  • Rhubarb
  • Foods Rich In Vitamin A
  • Parsnips, celery, celery root, and parsley
  • Castor Bean
  • Tomato leaves and vine
  • Rape, Cabbage, Turnips, Broccoli, Kale, Cauliflower, Mustard (roots and seed
  • Fava Beans

The following foods are “toxic” to pigs but just because your pig eats one of them doesn’t mean it is deadly, you should avoid high carb, high sugar food but these aren’t toxic as much as they aren’t the best for your piggies.

Maybe your pigs are eating foods toxic to them so they are not growing, to know why your pigs are not growing and what to do about it see my post.

Why Your Should Not Feed Your Pig Apple & Pear Seeds

Both apples and peer seeds and the kernel(stone) of apricots and peaches contain amygdalin that can release cyanide in the stomach causing discomfort and illness. For safety remove the seeds from these foods feeding them to your pigs.

The pain caused to your pig by the hydrogen can even be fatal for your poor piggies! Whilst the age and size of your pig will affect how damaging the seeds are, a 300lbs(136 kg) older pig needs to eat a lot more seeds than a 150Lbs (68kg) younger pig.

Why take the risk of feeding your pig seeds that are bad for them? Ingesting one seed will not harm the pig but the more seeds they eat the higher the risk goes up if your pig shows signs of discomfort after eating a seed that it should be treated as a health emergency for your pig

Your pig needs to eat a massive amount of seeds in a small period of time for a health risk to occur, if your pig is eating apples upon apples and whilst chewing the seeds then this can cause the issue. Remember it is most fruits with seeds that cause an issue, so please be wary.

Why Your Should Not Feed Your Pig Cassava

Cassava contains cyanide which is toxic to both humans and pigs, you can cook and process it consume the vegetable and destroy the toxin but Cassava could contain more toxic than anticipated and needs to be prepared which makes it a bad food choice for pigs

Why Your Should Not Feed Your Pig Wild Mushrooms

The Death Cap mushroom and false parasol are deadly funguses that are highly toxic when injected, one mushroom contains enough poison to kill a small pig or an adult human. They are common throughout the USA and grow near oak trees, during late summer to early winter after a good rainy season.

You wouldn’t eat the deadly death cap mushroom, would you? So why would you let your pig eat it? The death cap mushroom is responsible for 90% of mushroom deaths worldwide! There are no statistics for pigs but I imagine the statistics are similar.

Symptoms from the death cup will take 6-24 hours after the indigestion of mushrooms, these could stop for 1-2 days suggesting you or your pig have recovered but by this point, serious liver damage has happened, and your pig could suffer liver failure many days after they ate the mushroom.

Mushroom Poisoning Symptoms

  • Violent stomach pains
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

If you have any suspicious of eating poisonous mushrooms please seek immediate medical attention, and bring a mushroom sample for the hospital to identify, the sooner treatment happens the better it will be for you and your pigs.

The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) is your best resource for any animal poison-related emergency, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you think your pet may have ingested a potentially poisonous substance, call (888) 426-4435. A consultation fee may apply.

For more information on identifying poisonous mushrooms please check this post out.

Why Your Should Not Feed Your Pig Potatoes

Potatoes contain toxins called glycoalkaloids and green potatoes parts should not be eaten by people or pigs. The highest levels of toxins are found in potato sprouts and potato peels, glycoalkaloids can cause severe stomach pain and even death in pigs, especially when not cooked.

Potatoes have different toxins depending on the type as over 200 types are sold in the USA, potato seeds are sprayed with herbicides every week for their entire growing season to stop plants growing near them. Sounds toxic right?

As Pigs whilst smart do not know green potatoes parts are bad for them, so always place your potatoes in a sealed area of high above on a shelf away from pigs reach.

Potatoes only contain solanine which can cause diarrhea nausea and heart failure. One study suggests that doses of 2 to 5 mg/kg of body weight can cause toxic symptoms, and doses of 3 to 6 mg/kg of body weight can be fatal!

To be safe I would not feed your pigs any part of white potatoes, especially when it is raw, and whilst cooking can destroy solanine when frying it is NOT removed by boiling. Better to be safe than sorry right?

Why Your Should Not Feed Your Pig Rhubarb

Do not feed your pigs Rhubarb, it contains natural oxalic acid, the highest amount is found in the Rhubarbs leaves but the entire plant is toxic. Oxalic poisoning causes heart attacks, pains, headaches, vomiting comas, cramps, and muscle twitching.

Why Your Should Not Feed Your Pig Raw Kidney Or Lima beans

Various beans contain toxins called lectins, the highest concentration is found in red kidney beans, but also is Lima beans. Even four or five raw beans can cause severe stomach ache, vomiting, and diarrhea for your pigs, they must be boiled before feeding to pigs.

To destroys the lectins toxin you must soak the beans for a minimum of 5 hours and then boil them no less than 10 minutes, they must not be cooked in a slow cooker as this may not destroy the toxins.

Why Your Should Not Feed Your Pig Foods High In Vitamin A

Excessive Vitamin A in the pig’s diet can cause pathological changes in the pig, and with older pigs that were exposed to more than 25,000 iu/kg in the feed, this causes growth plate changes, this is why pelleted diet is preferred to pigs as any vitamin given in excess can cause negative effects.

Selecting a pelleted diet for your pig just makes things easier as good manufacture goes to extreme lengths to ensure the best vitamin and mineral mix for your pigs.

Always speak to a nutritional expert when feeding a pig a natural diet as an expert can tell you what foods are best, and what amount your pig needs for a balanced healthy diet, it’s the exact same thing for people to!

Pig Symptoms Of Excess Vitamin A

  • Shortened Bones
  • Severe cases of OCD.
  • Dipped pasterns in breeding stock.
  • Lameness.
  • Piglets born with growth plate changes.
  • Bent legs at the growth plate.

Sadly there are no treatments to pig Vitamin A overdose the changes are permanent, the only treatment is reduce your pigs exposure to Vitamin A.

Vitamin A is highest in liver and fish oils, and milk and eggs, which is why pigs should not be given these foods in exccess.

Feeding pigs pelleted feed with vegetables makes sure your Pigs feed will not go past the maximum aount of Vitamin A which makes life so much easier!

Understand that if your pigs have specific genetics issues, especially involving the liver they will be at a higher risk of Vitamin A becoming a toxic level, this will cause the symptoms mentioned or stop the liver functioning or even causing your pigs to die from liver failure.

To see more food than is potentially toxic for your pigs, please check this blog post out.

Dane McManis

Dane started learning about farming while volunteering on a farm. Now he and his wife raise chickens, pigs, and ducks on their small farm with their two little girls.

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