Our canine friends go baffled seeing the meat of chicken, fish, and beef. Sometimes, we eat beef jerky, and we see our dogs making puppy faces just to get a bite from them. But ban dogs have beef jerky?
Although beef jerky is not the beef we regularly eat, it is safe for dogs. When we say beef jerky is safe for dogs, we mean the unseasoned and plain beef jerky, not the regular one that we eat. Even if it is plain beef jerky, dogs should eat it in small quantities as they can’t escape its fats and sodium.
This article will relate to some safety concerns about dogs eating beef jerky.
Table of Contents
What Is Beef Jerky?
Jerky is a Quechua word, meaning dried or salted. When we say beef jerky, we mean dried beef or salted beef. Beef jerky is like smoked beef, prepared with spices and seasonings. Some market-based beef jerky contains brown sugar as a sweetener, and some have artificial sweeteners.
Usually, people eliminate the moisture-laden air from the beef by using fans, heater elements, and so on. To eat beef jerky, we don’t need to make any extra preparations. Just cook some of the jerkies and store it in a container. Then you can eat this dry meat whenever you want.
Can Dogs Have Beef Jerky?
Most vets deny offering beef jerky to dogs as it is processed and contains several ingredients. Such as onion, garlic, spices, black pepper, salt, etc. It means the risk associated with eating beef jerky for dogs relies mostly on its ingredients. If we take out the ingredients, beef jerky is not that bad for dogs.
For example, if you prepare beef jerky with zero ingredients by simply smoking it, this can be a nice treat for our paw friends. We just need to be cautious about the quantities and their health concerns.
Is Beef Jerky Good For Dogs?
Unseasoned and plain beef jerky can do good for dogs. For example, beef jerky contains 30% iron, 10% vitamin B6, 12% magnesium, 16% calcium, 66% protein, and 7% fibre.
With iron, you can expect a good haemoglobin level in your dog. On the other hand, vitamin B6 will promote your dog’s brain health, and magnesium will promote his muscle health. With calcium, beef jerky can offer healthy bones to dogs, and its protein can improve their cell growth. Although the amount of fibre in beef jerky is less, your dog can have good bowel movements from eating to some extent.
One of the main benefits that beef jerky gives is its fine taste. The amino acids found in animal protein, like beef jerky, can attract any dog and make their day.
Can Beef Jerky Be Bad For Dogs?
Compared to the benefits, beef jerky has more side effects for dogs. Such mishaps are mostly inevitable when dogs eat it in large amounts. In general, a dog shouldn’t have more than 100 grams of sodium. Meanwhile, a single piece of beef jerky contains 400 grams of sodium. We know sodium is bad for dogs; it can increase their blood pressure, resulting in restlessness and dehydration.
Along with sodium, beef jerky is high in saturated fats and cholesterol. It means eating too much of it can cause heart disease in dogs. Besides, too much fat can inflame dogs’ pancreas, resulting in pancreatitis.
A 100-gram serving of beef jerky has around 410 calories. Hence, eating it in large quantities can put weight on dogs. If he is already overweight, he can become obese.
How To Choose Beef Jerky For Dogs?
We humans prefer beef jerky that has a good taste. This taste comes from the onion powder, garlic powder, sweeteners, and other ingredients used in them. Unfortunately, all these ingredients are toxic for dogs. That’s why you must offer plain, unsweetened, and unseasoned beef jerky to dogs.
Whenever you buy this beef for your dog, check out its ingredients. Choose the product that has a lower sodium level, i.e., less than 100 grams. Also, avoid ingredients like soy sauce and spices, as they increase the sodium content of foods.
Some products of beef jerky contain brown sugar, and some products contain xylitol. Remember not to choose a product with xylitol. It is because this artificial sweetener is not good for dogs, even in small amounts. Also, try not to choose a product that has brown sugar, as it increases the fat content.
The best thing would be to prepare the beef jerky for your dog yourself. This will give you the satisfaction of knowing that this treat doesn’t have any harmful ingredients. Just make a couple of slices of the beef and place the slices in the oven. Let it heat to 275 degrees for two hours. Don’t add any ingredients; keep the meat completely plain.
When Can Dogs Have Beef Jerky?
We are making plain beef jerky for our canine friend. It doesn’t mean that we can escape its sodium content. The sodium is still present in the meal. That’s why serving beef jerky to a dog with high blood pressure will be a bad idea. Also, avoid it for dogs who are dealing with dehydration. It is because beef jerky raises blood pressure, which will result in more dehydration.
The cholesterol level is going to be present in unseasoned beef jerky but in small amounts. Hence, dogs with heart diseases should not eat beef jerky at all.
As said earlier, beef jerky has many calories, which can be the reason for dogs to gain weight. Hence, overweight or obese dogs should not take this treat.
Even if your dog doesn’t have heart issues, high blood pressure, or is not overweight, you can’t offer beef jerky to him directly. Take his vet’s permission first before introducing any human food to him.
Frequently Asked Questions: Can Dogs Have Beef Jerky?
Can dogs eat beef jerky every day?
Eating beef jerky every day is similar to eating too much beef jerky in a day. This can be harmful for dogs, as its fat content and sodium content can increase their weight and blood pressure.
How much beef jerky can dogs have?
Since beef jerky has high amounts of sodium and fat, it should be less in quantity for dogs. Small breeds can have one bite of it, medium breeds can have two bites, and large breeds can have up to four bites.
Can beef jerky kill dogs?
Eating plain beef jerky in moderation won’t harm dogs. But if they eat beef jerky that has several ingredients like onions, garlic, sweeteners, etc., this can be life-threatening for them. This especially happens when consumption is high.
What should you do when dogs eat too much beef jerky?
When your dog eats too much beef jerky, he will probably vomit and have watery poop. In that case, you must let him throw up and afterwards offer him water to drink. Meanwhile, inform his vets about the symptoms that he is showing.
Since beef jerky contains some unhealthy elements, we may think, Can dogs have beef jerky? The answer is yes; they can have beef jerky in small amounts if they don’t have dehydration, heart disease, high blood pressure, or are overweight. Apart from all these, what matters is their vet’s approval.
Anyway, while preparing the beef jerky for your dog, cut it into small, bite-sized pieces. This will eliminate the risk of choking hazards for dogs. Also, don’t add any extra ingredients, like salt and spices, to it.