In the1960s sitcom "Green Acres," Fred Ziffel and his wife Doris have a son named Arnold. Only problem is, Arnold is a pig (a Chester White breed). But everyone in Hooterville treats him as Fred and Doris' son, inviting him to town meetings and understanding him when he grunts and squeals. In fact, Arnold repeatedly beats the local farmers at checkers, is working on a novel, plays the piano and is an accomplished abstract painter.
Pigs have long been known to be remarkably intelligent. If that's not a good enough reason to avoid feeding processed pig-ear treats to your dog (or for you to not eat pork products), here's another. The Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently updated info on the link between smoked pig-ear pet treats (apparently dogs love them) and human cases of salmonella. Not only can contaminated pig-ear treats make your pooch sick, but if Fido is infected and licks you or your child on the face, you can get sick, too. To date, pig ears have been linked to a "multidrug-resistant salmonella" outbreak in 35 states!
If you have pig-ear treats in your pantry, the FDA recommends disposing of them in a secure container so other animals can't access them. And, if your pig-ear-snacking pet seems to be getting sick, take it to a vet pronto.
Want great treats for your dog? Check out the info (and recipes) from the Cummings Veterinary Medical Center at Tufts University at vetnutrition.tufts.edu. Search for "treats."
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