Ham hocks are not a safe food for your dog and should not be given to her, even in small amounts. The bones, high levels of sodium and high fat content make it an unhealthy selection for a balanced dog's diet, whether she's an adult or puppy.
The Dangers of Fatty Foods
Giving your dogs table scraps and other foods that have a high fat content put your dog's health in serious risk. Fatty foods can cause a host of health problems, including weight issues and pancreatitis, in which the dog's pancreas becomes inflamed and could cease to function properly.
The Dangers of Cooked Bones
Bones, especially cooked bones, have a high likelihood of splintering when a dog tries to eat them. This can easily become a lethal problem if your dog swallows the bone. The splinters could puncture internal organs and cause internal bleeding, vomiting as a way to dislodge the bone splinters if they become lodged in your dog's digestive system and a host of other issues. None of these symptoms should be taken lightly, and if you suspect your dog has swallowed a bone, this should warrant an immediate call to the vet.
Sodium is one of the primary ingredients used to preserve and flavor the majority of smoked foods, meats in particular. A sodium imbalance in your dog's diet can lead her to have weight problems in the future and in the short term can cause vomiting, diarrhea and lethargy. Salt poisoning can be lethal and should be treated as an urgent medical situation which requires immediate veterinarian care.
Not Safe For Dogs
Not only is it not suggested that you give your dog smoked pork hocks, it isn't safe and could lead to serious and potentially life-threatening health problems. If your dog has ingested a smoked ham hock, especially if they might have swallowed part or all of the bone, seek immediate medical attention through your local vet or animal hospital.
Based in Lexington, Ky., Christina Root has worked as a blogger, writer and freelance consultant since 2009. As a mother, animal lover, natural alternative medicine enthusiast and a student of all things, she loves learning and sharing with others.