You love seeing your dog’s tail wag as they run towards you for a tasty treat. As a dog lover, that reward for good behavior is as exciting to you as your dog, since their excitement is evident. But finding the right treats for your dog can be tedious because many treats on the market have a long list of ingredients, and you want to keep your dog healthy.
So, can dogs eat beef jerky? Regardless of your dog’s diet, beef jerky that is made specifically for dogs to consume is a good treat. You might be surprised to find out that most dogs love beef jerky as they enjoy chewing on dried meat – plus beef jerky is loaded with protein that dogs love.
If you have spotted beef jerky in the dog snack aisles you may ask yourself what a beef jerky treat is and whether it is safe for our four legged friends to eat!? However, before giving your dog beef jerky, there are some caveats for which you should be aware.
What is beef jerky?
Beef jerky is the lean portions of meat that get cut into strips. Beef jerky treats are seasoned and dried, which prevents it from spoiling. In addition to other seasonings, salt prevents bacteria from growing on the meat as it dehydrates.
Can you feed a dog beef jerky?
As a snack for human consumption, beef jerky is excellent because it is high in protein and low in carbohydrates, making it a healthier snack option than cookies, candies, and chips. Those on paleo or keto diets find it a preferable snack because it is high in protein.
In addition to being high in protein, beef jerky is high in various minerals, including iron, vitamin B12, and zinc, which are great for the immune system and energy level support. It also has a long shelf life, making it easy for athletes and hikers to grab and go, and is handy when there is a chance of fresh food spoilage.
As mentioned above, seasons get added to give beef jerky flavor. In addition to salt, many manufacturers use brown sugar, soy sauce, sea salt, onion powder, beef stock, soy, wheat, habanero, teriyaki, pepper, garlic powder, and other additives when making beef jerky for human consumption.
All these toxic ingredients used in brands like Jack Link’s that make flavorful or spicy beef jerky snacks are harmful for dogs to consume.
Beef jerky treats for dogs
Beef jerky treats for dogs are also lean cuts of beef where the fat has been trimmed away. Therefore, to increase the shelf life, it is slowly dehydrated.
Beef jerky dog treats are made from by-products that the beef industry couldn’t use for human consumption. That includes the heart, lungs, and esophagus of cows.
Those by-products are a great source of nutrition for dogs. Also, no additional salt or flavorings get added during dehydration, which is toxic to dogs. You won’t find spicy beef jerky snacks for your pets since they are harmful.
Manufacturers such as Wag prepare beef jerky for dogs in thin strips, sticks, or small pieces that are ideal for different size dogs to chew.
Finding natural dog jerky treats
It is natural to want high-quality snacks for your pets.
Several manufacturers make dog beef jerky, but the ingredient lists are not equal. Finding a high-quality beef jerky for your dog is vital to their health.
In addition to highly processed foods being bad, salt used as a preservative in beef jerky is destructive to your dog’s digestive system.
Although small traces of salt are found in other dog foods and snacks, jerky typically uses high amounts that can cause sodium poisoning, excessive thirst and urination, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle spasms, fluid build-up, and other medical issues for your pet. Therefore, it is essential to avoid seasonings, especially salt, for your dog’s beef jerky.
Instead, opt to spoil your dog with a natural beef jerky made with hand-cut pieces of mouth-watering beef.
Several websites advertise and sell all-natural beef jerky for dogs, made with no preservatives, fillers, or seasonings. These sites and brands boast that their jerky is made with your dog’s stomach and wellbeing in mind.
In addition, most of these natural beef jerky sticks are made from ethically sourced ingredients, perfect for all-size dogs, and even suitable for dogs on a raw diet. Just make sure to check the contents as dog’s can not have too much sugar or too much salt.
Homemade beef jerky for dogs
Several dog owners have opted to make homemade beef jerky treats for their pets. Several recipes for beef jerky online call for using simple ingredients like 90:10 ground beef, a dash of cinnamon, and a little water, and either a dehydrator or oven will yield homemade jerky that your dogs will love.
As with most naturally made beef jerky’s, homemade jerky should be refrigerated to keep it fresh for your dog.
How much beef jerky can a dog have?
If it’s good, can there be too much of it?
When it comes to natural or homemade beef jerky treats, as long as your dog doesn’t show signs of illness, is not constipated, doesn’t have diarrhea, and isn’t vomiting, you can give them as much single protein source jerky as you want.
That is not to say that they should eat, and eat, and eat jerky. It means that as a snack, you know your dog’s limit. Keep in mind that we are talking about natural beef jerky treats here.
What happens if a dog eats beef jerky?
If your dog finds a way to get into your beef jerky treats, the ones made for humans and not dogs, even if they consume the entire bag, they should be fine. You’ll want to watch them to make certain that the beef jerky doesn’t cause diarrhea, vomiting, or constipation.
Remember, human jerky has spices and seasonings. As for store-purchased beef jerky that has fillers and ingredients that aren’t the best for dogs tummies, proceed with caution.
Benefits of beef jerky treats for dogs
Your dog works hard to be your friend; work hard to make him happy.
Although we see it as simply a snack, natural or healthy homemade beef jerky treats has several benefits for dogs. Some of those benefits include:
- Natural or homemade beef jerky treats for dogs are high-protein and low carbohydrate.
- The chewing of beef jerky treats encourages mental stimulation in dogs.
- The chewing of beef jerky treats will help improve your dog’s dental health.
- Beef jerky treats can be great for training dogs.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Is beef jerky better than another jerky for dogs?
No jerky is superior to others. Again, a natural or homemade jerky is best, but you also want a single protein jerky so that if your dog has a bad reaction, you know what caused it. Other popular types of dog jerky include turkey and chicken although regular beef jerky is often the most favored.
Do all dogs like jerky?
When it comes to food, dogs are like humans.
While most dogs like jerky, your dog may not. Whether your dog likes it or not may also depend on the brand, flavor, and your dog’s mood.
Can I give my dog undercooked or overcooked homemade jerky?
Undercooked meat is not healthy for your dog. Therefore, if you believe that it is undercooked, put it back in the dehydrator or oven until it is done. Overcooked jerky may be so well done that it becomes challenging and problematic for dogs. However, dogs have a better time chewing overcooked jerky and it will not upset their stomachs like undercooked jerky will.
Can I feed my dog Jack Link’s beef jerky?
Certain well-known shop bought brands such as Pacific Gold Beef Jerky and Jack Link’s beef Jerky may seem like they would make good treats for your dog should be avoided as they contain extreme amounts of sodium that are dangerous for your dog.
Even the ‘original’ flavors are made using garlic and onion powder and contain way too much salt for your dog’s body to handle.
As you have read, dogs do eat beef jerky. However, they should not be given the same beef jerky that is made for human consumption – this includes things like peppered beef jerky or teriyaki beef jerky. They contain too much salt and other toxic ingredients that are intended to make spicy beef jerky but will make dogs sick.
And, although there are lots of beef jerky brands on store shelves, it is important to look for a natural jerky or find a recipe to make your own plain beef jerky.