Can dogs eat beef jerky? This question is one that many dog owners ask, but few people know the answer to.
Beef jerky can make a great snack for humans, but can it be healthy for our canine friends too?
In this blog post, we will go over the pros and cons of feeding your pet beef jerky and help you decide if this food is right for your pup.
Possibly. It depends on the source of the jerky. Before you let your dog enjoy this delicious snack make sure that it’s sodium free and not full of hidden ingredients that could harm them.
What is beef jerky made from?
Beef jerky is a type of snack food that can be made from beef by marinating it in salt and spices before drying.
It has an intense flavor but also lasts for long periods so you don’t have to worry about going hungry when no one else will buy your snacks.
This technique was first used by Native Americans who used this process as the only way they knew how to preserve their game meats, like deer or buffalo.
Commercially produced jerky is made by cutting beef into thin strips and marinating it in a curing solution which helps to dry the meat out and also prevents bacteria from developing.
Typically large amounts of salt are used to dehydrate the meat and this is often combined with sugars, flavourings and other ingredients to give the meat distinctive flavours and textures.
Can dogs eat beef jerky?
One of the key things to think about when considering giving any type of food to your dog is the level of salt and other artificial additives.
Jerky of almost all types contains a high level of salt, as well as some sugar and other additives.
If you had an older dog who was suffering from heart disease or kidney problems then giving beef jerky would not be a good idea because the sodium can aggravate these conditions.
Jerky is also processed meat which means it has been cooked at a very high temperature for hours on end.
This will have denatured the protein in the meat so much that even if your dog didn’t react badly to it initially, they may do later down the line when their immune system gets weaker with age.
The big problem with giving jerky to a dog is the level of salt and, unless you can find salt free jerky, which is possible, you should avoid giving jerky to your dog.
Is it safe for dogs to eat beef jerky?
This is totally dependent on the type of jerky that you choose. The danger of feeding commercially produced jerky to a dog is that of salt levels.
If your dog consumes too much salt, such as in the amounts found in some jerkies, then he can become very ill, very quickly.
Added to this many forms of jerky contain things such as garlic, spices and artificial flavours – all of which, in their own right, are harmful and bad for dogs to eat.
Why do some people feed their dog beef jerky?
Although jerky may not be great for dogs, dogs do enjoy it and many owners use jerky as a treat or as a reward when training.
Many dog owners produce their own jerky using a dehydrator to dry the meat.
These dehydrators are widely available and are easy to operate, using no salts or additives to produce the jerky and resulting in a treat that is organic and safe for their dog to eat.
There is also a wide range of organic jerkies available that are produced with no sodium or other additives and, just like the home made option, these are safe for dogs to consume.
Are jerky pet treats safe for dogs to eat?
Jerky pet treats are not something that should be given to dogs on a regular basis.
Although many types of jerky can be safe for consumption, some brands contain unhealthy ingredients and additives which can cause stomach problems in both humans and animals.
In 2015 the American FDA reported on illnesses and deaths of over 6200 pets that had occurred as a result of them being given jerky treats that had been manufactured in China.
Athough their findings remained inconclusive the view was taken that jerky based treats had led to some of the illnesses and deaths that had been reported to them.
You can see their findings in this report (Source: FDA)
With this in mind it is worth remembering that jerky treats can be dangerous for dogs if they are not of the right quality and it is important to read what ingredients have been used in their production.
Dogs should only eat jerky pet treats that are labeled as being made from 100% beef or turkey, with no additives whatsoever.
Can I give my dog teriyaki beef jerky?
No. Just like the other processed jerkies this product contains soy sauce, salt, spices and other flavourings.
It is not safe for dogs to eat beef jerky made with these ingredients, even if it has been cooked or dried.
Suitable dog jerky treats
SKIPPER’S Dry Fish Skin Jerky Cubes -100% Natural Gently Air Dried Fish For Dogs Treats
SKIPPER’S Dry Fish Skin Jerky Cubes are made with only the finest quality ocean whitefish, air dried and gently smoked to perfection. SKIPPER’S Dog Treats contain NO additives or preservatives.
SKIPPER’S treats have an irresistible aroma and taste that will keep your dog coming back for more! SKIPPER’S is a natural product that contains no chemicals or artificial ingredients.
SKIPPER’S products are made in the UK with over 100 years of experience in the pet food and fishing industries.
These jerky treats are an ideal choice for dogs. They are 100% natural with no additives or preservatives and are dried slowly to ensure that as much ‘goodness’ is retained as is possible.
Dogs love these treats – they are ideal for reward based training or simply as a treat for your dog.
K9 Gourmet Treats – Dog Jerky – 100g per pack – 100% Natural
K9 Gourmet Treats Dog Jerky is 100% natural and healthy treat. It is made of premium topside beef, which is air dried to perfection.
This dog jerky has NO Sugar, Salt, Gluten, Additives, Colouring and Preservatives. It is a great alternative for dogs that are sensitive to grain or gluten in their diet. This dog snack can be given as a reward or training aid for good behaviour.
Dogs love this beef jerky treat and it is 100% natural with no additives or preservatives. This dog snack can be given as a reward for good behaviour or training aid.
Dogs are carnivores, meaning they need a diet that includes animal protein.
Beef jerky is not considered an appropriate food for dogs because it contains too much salt and sugar.
Since most brands of beef jerky also contain preservatives such as nitrates (which may cause abdominal pain), this can lead to stomach upset or other digestive issues in your dog or more serious complications.
If you still want to give your dog something like jerky then make sure that you choose one that is specifically for dogs, that is organic and contains no sodium or other additives.
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Last update on 2023-09-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API