can i feed my dog beef jerky

So long as it’s a pure, naturally dehydrated, single source protein, your dog can chow down on as much beef, bison, venison or elk jerky his or her heart desires. The moral of the story is simple: yes, you can feed jerky to your dog. You just need to be sure it’s the right kind of jerky.

We’ve all done it. You’re out exploring with your best four-legged friend – camping, hiking, fishing or simply enjoying the outdoors – and you pull out a bag of beef jerky from your pack for a quick snack. As you chow down on some delicious meaty goodness, you mindlessly share piece after piece with your furry friend.

Alternatives to Jerky for Your Dog

So, unless you can find plain beef jerky, what can you do? There are alternatives to giving your dog your flavored jerky. Here is a recipe for homemade dog beef jerky treats.

Can Dogs Eat Beef Jerky?

If you’re looking for the most common, simplistic answer: NO. However, nothing in life – or in pet ownership – is that simple.

While any veterinarian’s knee-jerk reaction to this question is typically a resounding no, whether or not your dog can have beef jerky depends entirely on the jerky. Most people try to feed their dogs store-bought jerky, which is usually over-processed, contains added flavoring ingredients and is packed full of sodium.

Added ingredients, such as onion and garlic, are toxic to dogs and can severely disrupt their digestive system. While these flavorful extras may make your pooch drool, even small amounts can wreak havoc in terms of their short and long-term health.

As for sodium levels, unless you’re eating premium jerky with a lower salt content, they’re typically through the roof. The recommended daily sodium intake for people is around 1,500 mg, but dogs should not consume even one tenth of that – less than 100 mg per day, according to the Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources. To give a little perspective, one piece of beef jerky typically contains over 400 mg of sodium. So, while jerky in moderation is perfectly safe for us, the salt content alone is toxic for our four-legged friends.

Moral of the story? Store-bought beef jerky should never be used as a dog snack.

Other Harmful Beef Jerky Ingredients

As mentioned earlier, onions and garlic are popular ingredients used to flavor beef jerky. But these are also on the list of foods your dog should not consume. These are toxic to your dog. Large amounts of either of these vegetables can cause red blood cell destruction in your dog, resulting in anemia.

Here are some signs your dog has consumed too much onions or garlic:

  • Onion/garlic smell on their breath
  • Pale mucous membranes
  • Lethargy
  • Fast breathing
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Reduced appetite
  • Vomiting

So long as it’s a pure, naturally dehydrated, single source protein, your dog can chow down on as much beef, bison, venison or elk jerky his or her heart desires. The moral of the story is simple: yes, you can feed jerky to your dog. You just need to be sure it’s the right kind of jerky.

FAQ

Can you give a dog human beef jerky?

Beef jerky is generally safe for dogs to eat, provided that it comes from a single dried meat source and does not contain any additives or preservatives that may be unsafe for dogs. Beef jerky intended for human consumption may contain seasonings that, while safe for people, can be harmful ingredients for dogs.

Is beef jerky healthy for dog?

If you’re able to find plain jerky, which is plain dried meat for your dog, without the added salt, feel free to give it to your dog. Not only will your dog love it, but it can also be healthy for them. Dried meat provides them with a yummy, high-protein treat. Despite this, they should only have it in moderation.

What if my dog ate beef jerky?

Salt is a natural preservative for beef jerky and does wonders for taste. However, when your dog consumes too much salt it could lead to dehydration. A small piece of beef jerky shouldn’t do any harm (contact your veterinarian before sharing with your), but having too much could be bad for your dog.

What does dehydrated beef jerky do for dogs?

This slow, gentle process preserves vitamins and other temperature-sensitive nutrients much better than baking, cooking, and frying does. Air dried beef treats for dogs, therefore, are rich in vitamins and nutrients that build strong muscles, bones, teeth, and tissues.

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