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Finding healthy but tasty treats for dogs can be a pain. My guide to the best pig ears for dogs may be able to help you find something special for your beloved pet.
Pig ear dog treats are a healthy choice, and they’re considered to be pretty safe for dogs. They’re full of protein and some other super ingredients and may help to maintain healthy teeth and joints. Finding treats that are not bad for dogs can be a minefield, but pig ears are a good treat for special occasions (but not all the time! More on that a little later in this article).
My dog is a cross between a Beagle and a Blue Heeler, and he loves pig ears. So I’m always on the lookout for decent brands. The question is, how can you find good quality pig ear treats? What should you be looking for, and how can you pick the best ones to suit the breed you own?
I’ll answer all those questions and give you some recommendations. If you want to know more, keep reading: we’ll start with my personal favorite, and then I’ll go into more detail afterward.
Bottom Line Up Front
If you’re in a hurry and want to know straight away which ones are the best, let me tell you: Brutus & Barnaby Pig Ears are my favorites. They’re not oily or crumbly, they’re a decent size for larger dogs, and to top it off, they’re made by a small family-owned company. In addition, I like that there are no added ingredients, so there’s no need to worry about stomach upsets.
The downside is that they’re pretty big, so smaller breeds will struggle to cope with them.
Best Pig Ears For Dogs – My Top Picks
Here are my top picks today in a nutshell:
- Downtown Pet Supply USA Pig Ears – these have different size options and are made using pigs from American farms
- Pawstruck Pig Ears – these are slow-roasted and are full of flavor without any artificial additives
- Nature Gnaws Pig Ears – this brand has a 5-step safety process, so you can trust that their treats are safe for your dog
- Brutus & Barnaby Pig Ears – my personal favorite, these aren’t oily or crumbly, and there are no added ingredients
- Happy Dog Place Large Roasted Pig Ears – these are consistently large and pretty decent in terms of pricing
How to Find the Best Pig Ears
Tasty, natural treats for dogs are sometimes hard to find. While pig ears are a good option for dogs, there are a few things I look out for when trying to find a new brand. Here are the main features to look for:
Pig ears come in different sizes. If you have a small dog, you’ll need to find smaller ears, as they’ll be easier to chew. On the other hand, medium to large dogs can get through small treats quickly, so they’ll need larger pig ears to keep them happy for longer.
If your dog gets on well with a particular treat, you can buy larger packages of treats. For example, sometimes you can get packs of 100, which is perfect if you have the space to store them. Other companies allow you to sign up with a subscription plan, so you can sign up and have them delivered to you, which makes life easier.
Some pig ears are particularly oily. This is annoying because the oil can leave marks on your carpets or furniture. Try to get pig ears advertised as ‘non-oily’ to avoid this.
Also, some pig ears are very crumbly. Again, this isn’t necessarily dangerous (if your dog is anything like mine, they will be pretty efficient at picking up any leftover crumbs) but can be annoying for you to clean up afterward.
Additives and Preservatives
I always try to look for dog treats with no artificial ingredients, additives, or preservatives. I don’t want to risk upsetting my dog’s stomach, especially if I’m giving him a new treat he’s never tried before.
Look for pig ears that are just that – pig ears and nothing else. That way, if they do have a bad reaction to them, you’ll know to avoid pig ears in general, rather than trying to avoid an additive or chemical that may be present in other treats.
Origin of Ingredients
Where possible, I like to know where the ingredients come from. Not all companies are transparent about this, so I like to shop with smaller businesses that clarify this information. I’d rather buy pig ear treats from American farms as a personal preference.
The last thing to think about is the cleaning process. I won’t buy treats for my dog that have been cleaned using bleach. You can get treats that have been cleaned using water only, which I prefer, as it’s less of a risk to my dog.
My Top 5 Pig Ears For Dogs
Here are my top 5 pig ears for dogs. I’ve tried to include a variety of sizes, so you should be able to find something that suits the breed of your dog. I’ve also included a list of pros and cons for each one, so you can quickly decide if they will work for you or not.
I have chosen these based on the following criteria:
- The quality of the pig ears themselves, including sizing and consistency
- The origin of the pig ears and the ingredients, including how the pig ears are cleaned and prepared
- The ethos of the manufacturer
In no particular order, here are my favorites!
Downtown Pet Supply USA Pig Ears
Downtown Pet Supply USA Pig Ears comes in different package sizes (from 5 to 105) and in 2 different size options: jumbo and junior. I like this as an option, as it means you’ll be able to tell what you’re getting and whether it’s appropriate for your dog or not.
These are good-quality pig ears from American farms only. The company is run by pet owners, which makes me feel that they are trustworthy when it comes to pet treats. The pricing is pretty decent, too, especially if you buy in bulk. They don’t add unnecessary preservatives to their products, either.
The pig ears themselves are good. They’re thick and enough of a challenge to keep your dog occupied for a while, but they’re not oily or greasy, so you won’t have to worry about grease marks on your furniture. The downside is that they’re a little crumbly, so you might be picking up some small pieces (if your dog doesn’t eat them, that is).
- Different size options
- No added preservatives
- All pig ears are from American farms only
- Not oily or greasy
- The pig ears are a little crumbly
Pawstruck Pig Ears
Pawstruck Pig Ears are available in different sizes. You can go for the standard pig ears, the sliced pig ears, or the ‘Bargain Grab Bag’ (a random mixture of different types. These may include some smaller pieces but could work for smaller dog breeds). You can sign up for a subscription plan, which I like. It’s one less thing to think about!
I like the story behind this brand. It came about when the CEO couldn’t find unprocessed treats for his dog. They don’t add any unnecessary ingredients to their treats, which makes me feel reassured.
These pig ears are great for dogs. They’re slow-roasted, have no artificial additives or flavors, and are nice and chewy. The sizing is pretty good. The sliced pig ears may be a better option if you have a smaller dog. They’re still thick but slightly easier to manage for small breeds. Some of the ears may have tattoos, which isn’t bad for your dog, but may put some people off!
- Different sizes available
- Can sign up for a subscription plan to make life easier
- Good, trustworthy brand
- Full of flavor as they are slow-roasted
- Some of the pig ears may have tattoos
Nature Gnaws Pig Ears For Dogs
Nature Gnaws Pig Ears are a good option. They don’t come in different sizes, but they do come in 2 different quantities (50 or 100). They’re pretty decent in terms of pricing, too, which is a bonus.
The brand is pretty trustworthy. They have a 5-step safety process, from sourcing raw materials to hand-packaging. They work with local farms, and they have a human-standard lab inspection process, so you won’t have to worry about harmful ingredients or bacteria. All the treats are washed using just water, so there’s no bleach involved in the process. They also donate any misshapen or too-small treats to dogs in need, which I love.
The pig ears themselves are good. They’re better for medium or large breeds (smaller breeds will need to look elsewhere, as the pig ears are just too big). They’re smoky and chewy, and dogs seem to love them. They’re also consistent when it comes to sizing, which is helpful.
- Trustworthy brand
- 5-step safety process with no harmful ingredients
- The brand donates any misshapen or too-small treats to dogs in need
- Good for medium to large breeds
- Consistent sizing of pig ears
- Not good for small breeds
Brutus & Barnaby Pig Ears For Dogs
Brutus & Barnaby Pig Ears are excellent and my own top choice. They’re consistently large and thick, suitable for bigger breeds, and they come in bags of 12, 25, or 100, so you can stock up if your dog loves them.
The brand is great. They create all-natural products, so there are no hidden additives or preservatives, and they hand-inspect all their treats, which I find reassuring. I like supporting family-owned businesses, too.
The cow ears themselves are great. They’re not oily, so you won’t have to worry about grease marks everywhere, and they’re not very crumbly either. They have a 100% money-back guarantee, so if your dog doesn’t get on with them, you can request a refund. The downside is they’re not good for very small breeds.
- Excellent quality
- Consistent sizing
- Good brand with all-natural products
- Not oily or crumbly
- 100% money-back guarantee if your dog doesn’t like them
- Not good for very small breeds
Happy Dog Place Large Roasted Pig Ears
Happy Dog Place Large Roasted Pig Ears are exactly as you can imagine. They’re big, thick, and ideal for larger dog breeds. They come in packages of 10, 25, 50, or 100, so you can buy in bulk if you want to.
I’d say the one downside is that the brand is not as transparent as it could be. It’s hard to tell, for example, where they get their pig ears from. The decent pricing may be more important to you if you’re on a tight budget, which is completely understandable. But if you like to know the origin of every treat, you may want to look elsewhere.
These pig ears are large and juicy, ideal for bigger dogs to get their teeth stuck into. They’re consistently sized as well, which is great. They’re not good for smaller dogs. If you have a dog that demolishes treats in seconds, these are the best ones to go for.
- Consistently large pig eras
- Different package sizing
- Good price point if you’re on a budget
- Great for larger dogs
- Not clear where the pig ears come from
- Not good for smaller dogs
Frequently Asked Questions
Answer: Pig ears are generally safe for dogs. They can be controversial, mostly because of a salmonella outbreak in 2020. This was a serious incident that involved the hospitalization of humans. However, these types of events are very rare, and they can happen in all sorts of products, not just pig eras.
Generally, pig ears are safe, especially if you go for pig ears with no added chemicals or preservatives. They’re boneless, so you don’t have to worry about that, but they can be crumbly, and small pieces may break off, which always creates a small risk, but most dogs manage this just fine. You know your dog (and their eating habits) best, so it comes down to a personal choice.
Answer: There are some great benefits of pig ears for dogs. These include:
Joint health. Pig ears are a good source of glucosamine and chondroitin, which are excellent for maintaining joint health.
Dental health. Pig ears are nice and chewy, ideal for strengthening your dogs’ teeth and jaws. They’re pretty easy to eat for puppies and elderly dogs alike.
Skin health. Pig ears also contain a lot of protein, which is essential for healthy skin and shiny fur.
Pig ears should be an occasional treat rather than a daily occurrence. They have a high-fat content, which is why dogs love them so much, but they’re not meant to be given every day for this reason.
Answer: Some pig ears are tattooed. Farmers may tattoo the ears of their pigs for identification purposes, and these tattoos remain even after the cleaning process. It won’t harm your dog, although it may feel a bit strange when you first see it!
Answer: If you don’t want to go for pig ears, there are some other options. Bully slices and bully rings are chewy and packed with protein, making them a good healthy choice.
If you have an aggressive chewer, you’ll need some strong, tough bones to keep them occupied for longer. Bones are tougher and will last longer.
To Sum Up
I hope this has helped you to find the best pig ears for dogs. I think it’s worth checking out Brutus & Barnaby Pig Ears. They’re a good all-rounder: large, tasty, and super safe for dogs. I like the company ethos, too.
If you have a smaller dog, you may want to check out Pawstruck Pig Ears. The grab bag comes in different sizes, so you may be able to find smaller ones that may be easier to manage. This is a good choice if you have more than one dog of different sizes, too.