Is Beef Jerky Safe For Dogs?
Dogs will want to eat anything we are eating; it doesn’t really matter what it may be. Imagine how your dog might react if you’re eating beef meat and they can smell it. If you ever wondered, “Can dogs eat beef jerky?” you should know the best possible answer is - maybe. There are types that are safe for dogs, and there are types of beef jerky that contain ingredients dogs should not consume. Here’s what our nutritionists have to say about giving beef jerky to your dog.
Before we go into details about beef jerky’s safety, we need to understand what it is. Beef jerky is basically thinly cut beef meat that was dehydrated to prevent it from rotting. It usually includes a lot of salt, which prevents bacteria growth and keeps the meat safe and long-lasting. It was an excellent protein source for native Americans that traveled great distances. The interesting thing is that the earliest versions of dehydrated meat are thousands of years old. Some still debate where jerky actually originated.
The best possible answer anyone can give you is - maybe. The safety of beef jerky depends on the type you want to give your dog. The best possible choice for dogs is basic beef jerky. Many types contain spices and ingredients unsafe for dogs. Too much salt, spicy foods, black pepper, garlic, onions, and xylitol are not safe for dogs. Before you give any to your dog, make sure you read the ingredient list.
The best choice of beef jerky is - make it yourself at home. That is the only way you can be sure what ingredients were used for production. However, there are some store-bought options that can be safe for your dog. You must look for manufacturers from the United States, Canada, Western Europe, Scandinavia, Australia, and New Zealand. These countries have strict laws that forbid them from using low-quality ingredients. Some of the good store-bought options are;
- Rocco & Roxie Gourmet Dog Jerky Sticks
- Newman’s Own Beef Jerky Dog Treats
- Beef Heart Jerky for Dogs
- Full Moon All Natural Beef Jerky Dog Treats
Unfortunately, not all types of beef jerky are safe for dogs. As we already mentioned, some include ingredients that are not optimized for canine consumption. If you check manufacturer’s websites, they might claim their products are safe for dogs, but if you take one look at the ingredient list, you can clearly see they aren’t. Some of the brands you shouldn’t give to your dog are;
- Jack Link’s beef jerky
- Pacific Gold beef jerky
- Brooklyn Biltong
- Country Archer Jerky Co.
- Chef’s Cut Real Jerky
- Baja Jerky
We can put many more on this list, but the smartest thing you can do is read the ingredient list. If it includes marinating, too much sugar, spices, garlic, or onions - avoid it.
If you have enough time on your hands, the best possible choice you can make for your dog is to prepare their treats at home. However, preparing beef jerky is a lengthy process that will take quite a bit of your time. This recipe will take about 6 hours to complete. Check it out here. Plus, it will require a food dehydrator, which is not something all of us have at home.
Despite our best efforts, dogs can get ahold of beef jerky we’re keeping for ourselves. If that happens, the best thing to do is call your vet and ask for advice. Before you call the vet, make sure you read the ingredient list and keep an eye on things that might have a toxic effect on your dog. If you see something toxic, you can tell your vet what happened, and they can instruct you on what to do next.
The most likely reaction your dog will have is an upset stomach. They might experience abdominal pain, loss of appetite, vomiting, and diarrhea. You need to make sure your dog doesn’t get dehydrated, which means giving them plenty of water. If they ate beef jerky that contains a crazy amount of salt, you might need your vet’s assistance.
If you are adamant about giving your dog beef jerky, it would be best to prepare it yourself. Most store-bought options contain too much salt for safe canine consumption. Other ingredients can also be dangerous, so read the ingredient list before you share any with your dog. You can always choose the safe options we mentioned above.
World Dog Finder team