Dogs can eat beef jerky. However, there are some concerns about its safety and quality that you need to know about before buying beef jerky for dogs. Beef jerky is a type of meat stick.
It has been dried and cured with preservatives such as sodium nitrite, which helps stop the growth of bacteria and mold while also giving it a pink color (this is why it’s safe to assume all beef jerky sold in stores will be safe for your dog).
However, not every kind of beef jerky is good for your pup; we’ll go over both what makes some beef jerky dangerous for Fido and how you can choose good quality treats. Let’s take a look –
Can Dogs Eat Beef Jerky sticks?
There is no need to worry about whether or not beef jerky sticks can be fed to your pet. There are several types of beef jerky available, and none of them should pose a problem for your dog as long as they’re plain and without any added flavors.
The only ingredient you see on the label has been dehydrated beef. Some people try to feed their dogs these snacks as a form of food reward after training sessions, as it contains protein that will help fuel their pets’ bodies throughout the day.
However, some dogs have an intolerance to certain foods high in protein, so make sure you know what’s going into their system before giving them these treats freely. Beef jerky also contains fat which could lead to pancreatitis in some dogs that are prone to developing this condition.
The salt in beef jerky could also lead to urinary tract problems for your dog if consumed in excess, so make sure you know how much their system can take before feeding them another stick.
Further Reading: Can dogs eat beef jerky?
Beef Jerky for Dogs – What to Look For & What to Avoid
To answer this question, we first need to outline what makes some beef jerky bad for your dog. Beef jerky tends to be full of preservatives; sodium nitrite (also known as pink salt) is one of the most common. While these preservatives make it safe for your pup, they also tend to make it less healthy than other options.
This means you should always try and buy natural, organic beef jerky. There are several brands that sell all-natural or organic beef jerky (see below), but you can’t find them in your area. You can make your own beef jerky (just make sure it’s cooked thoroughly before serving to your dog).
Also, watch out for where the beef is sourced. If possible, buy beef that comes from grass-fed cows because their meat tends to be leaner and more nutrient-dense than meat from grain-fed animals.
On the topic of ingredients – avoid added sugars or corn syrup. These ingredients are found in many packaged treats and may not only cause your dog to gain weight but may also lead to liver problems down the road.
Now that we know what not to look for in quality beef jerky for dogs… What should you look for? Here are some key things you want to see on the labels
No added sugars No corn syrup Non-GMO
If you are looking for a specific flavor, we put together a list of the best dog treats we could find in every category. There may be other flavors not mentioned here, but these should all be safe and healthy options:
Best Beef Jerky for Dog Treats:
What Are the Benefits of Beef Jerky?
Beef jerky is a great option for your dog because it is high in protein and low in fats, carbohydrates, and sugars. This means that many dogs can benefit from beef jerky as part of their diet.
Since it doesn’t contain any fillers, your pup will be eating real food, which allows him to get all the necessary nutrients without becoming overweight or having digestive issues caused by excess carbs.
What are the benefits of giving your dog natural beef jerky? Let’s go over some examples:
High-quality proteins help with muscle growth, Helps maintain healthy skin & Low-fat coat content promotes healthy blood sugar levels. Helps prevent tooth decay Provides minerals such as iron and zinc Easy on the stomach compared to other treats Fewer calories than other dog treats.
However, it’s important to note that you should not feed your pup beef jerky as a meal replacement because it may not contain enough nutrients. If your dog is at an ideal weight and just needs some extra food in his diet, then beef jerky can be a good choice.
However, if he has any health problems such as pancreatitis or heart disease – please speak to your veterinarian before providing your dog with any new treat types.
Tips for Feeding Beef Jerky
Just like every other type of treatment, there are few things you need to keep in mind when feeding your pup:
Feed high-quality treats only (no fillers). Give small bites about the size of a pea – dogs have small stomachs. Feed no more than 10% of daily calories in treats.
Further Reading: Can Dogs Eat Corned Beef 
What Else Can Dog Lovers Get for their Pups?
Similar to beef jerky, dehydrated fruits are healthy, wholesome snacks that all dogs will love. These types of dog treats are also grain & gluten-free while being lower calorie – so they make a great option for your pup’s everyday snacking needs. Here are some healthy dehydrated fruit options you can give to any pup:
Overall, beef jerky is an extremely versatile option that you can use on its own or mixed with other types of dog foods and treats. Try it out for yourself! If you need recommendations on how much beef jerky to feed your pup or have questions about what brands are safe…
What Are the Sides Effects?
It’s unlikely that your dog will experience any side effects when given beef jerky. However, there are some common things you should watch out for:
Allergic reactions Reaction to preservatives (so make sure the jerky is preservative-free) Flatulence Diarrhea Swallowing pieces of the product (in this case, it would be better to give your pup soft/chopped beef jerky)
Are There Any Risks?
As with any other type of treat, you need to keep an eye on your pup if he has any health problems or has completed a course of antibiotics recently. Since meats can contain bacteria – especially pork and chicken products – it is safest to avoid beef jerky if your dog has any food allergies.
Also, make sure you know what the ingredients list says! Some jerky products (especially ones with added preservatives) can contain toxic chemicals like propylene glycol. If your pup has any health problems or could be pregnant, it is best if you avoid feeding them anything that may be harmful.
Further Reading: What canned food can dogs eat Best low-carbohydrate In 2021
Why Do Dog Treats Need Labels?
Of course, nobody wants their pup to become sick because of the treats they are eating. This is why no dog owner should just take a brand’s word at face value and assume that all treats are safe for dogs.
Marketing companies will do whatever it takes to sell their product… so this means there may be some ingredients in certain foods that aren’t listed on the label – even though they are actually in there.
But how can you easily tell what treats are good for your dog and which ones aren’t? Fortunately, the FDA now requires all pet food manufacturers to label their products properly – so you will always know exactly what goes into your pup’s food. Here are some examples of common terms used on dog treat labels:
Listed as “chicken” Contains chicken by-product Listed as “meat” Contains pork by-product Ingredients derived from corn & wheat Contain no animal protein at all (not even by-products)
How Much Jerking is Too Much For Dogs?
Now that you have a good idea of all the benefits of feeding your pup beef jerky, it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty – how much should you actually be giving them? Here are some general guidelines:
Dogs who weigh less than 20 lbs. can have up to 4 or 5 pieces a day Dog treats should not make up more than 10% of their daily calorie intake Limit treats if your dog has any health problems.
For example, let’s say you have a Chihuahua who weighs 8 pounds. Since he only has 1/16th of the body mass of an average-sized dog, this means he will need roughly half as much food and nutrients. So if a normal dog would eat 1851 calories in a day, your little guy would only need about 400 calories.
If you are feeding him beef jerky treats to make up 10% of this daily intake, this means your pup should get around 40 calories from the jerky – which is roughly 3-4 pieces total.
However, keep in mind that these recommendations are just averages and that every dog is different. If your dog eats more or less than average, it may be necessary to adjust these guidelines accordingly. Also, if you want to learn how much food your dog needs…
Further Reading: Can dogs have chicken broth with garlic?
How To Feed Dogs Beef Jerky Safely?
Now that you have hopefully decided to start feeding your pup jerky, it’s important to know how to do it safely:
As mentioned before, you should always avoid giving your dog raw and dried jerky treats (even the preservative-free ones). This is because these types of treats can easily become contaminated.
If that happens, there is a possibility that harmful bacteria like salmonella could get into your pup’s system. On top of this…
Raw meat (especially pork) can contain parasites like trichinosis. These parasites will make themselves at home in your dog’s intestines and start feeding off their body. Eventually, your dog will start showing signs of fatigue or even paralysis due to nutrient deficiencies!
Dried-out pieces of beef jerky are also choking hazards for dogs (and puppies especially) since they can easily become wedged inside their throats.
Pregnant dogs (or ones with health problems) should be fed treats sparingly. This is because too many of them can cause weight gain, which will make any preexisting condition even worse.
Remember, veterinarians don’t recommend feeding your pregnant dog any more than 1/8th the amount of food they would normally eat… and puppies are about half that amount.
Dogs who are still growing need to have their intake limited as well. The growth plates on bones are very thin, so extra nutrients can actually cause bones to grow abnormally large, which could result in a host of different ailments, including hip dysplasia.
On top of this, growth plates also do not completely dissolve until around two years of age, which means that your pup can quickly end up with bone problems down the road.
The good news is that feeding your dog beef jerky treats doesn’t have to be difficult. Since these are healthy, nutritious, and safe – it would be a shame not to give them to your pup!
Further Reading: Can dogs eat poppy seeds?
How to Make Dogs Jerky Treats?
Now let’s get straight into how to make dogs jerky treats… First, you should start with a sufficiently lean cut of meat. Leaner meats will have less fat in them – so they will be easier for your pup to digest. Best of all…
you’ll save money this way since fatty cuts are more expensive. For example, if the package says “80/20,” then that means 80% of the total weight is lean muscle, and 20% is fat.
However, you should avoid overly fatty cuts like “90/10” or “70/30” because they have a very high amount of fats! While this might sound appetizing to you… it’s not healthy for dogs, so stay away from these if possible. The other problem with using too much fat is that it will make your jerky treats greasy, which can result in dogs getting sick (if eaten in large quantities).
The next step (while optional) is to cut the meat up into thin strips… This isn’t necessary since most dogs won’t mind having one big piece instead of many small ones – but it does allow them to eat faster.
If you want to spice things up a bit, feel free to add in some things like garlic or parsley. These spices have been used for centuries by cultures all around the world because they are so beneficial… but if you want to keep it simple, then don’t worry about adding them!
Once you have everything prepared, put the meat in a refrigerator overnight… This is so blood clots will start forming on it, which will make your jerky treats last longer outside of a freezer.
If this step isn’t taken care of, then bacteria from the air could develop into something that makes your dog sick. After putting the meat in a fridge, let it sit there until morning and then remove it when no more blood has come out of it.
Now comes the important part: Cooking! If you were following our advice earlier by using a lean cut of meat… then this is going to be pretty simple.
All you need to do is make sure that the temperature of your oven never goes above 160 degrees Fahrenheit and that the total amount of time it needs to spend in there is between 90 minutes and 3 hours.
This will ensure that all parasites are killed off without cooking them too much, where they dry out and become jerky treats which can choke your pup if swallowed whole.
If you used a fattier cut, however, then things get more complicated because you’ll need to add water or broth before putting it in the oven. First, simmer your meat on low heat for 8 to 10 hours. Then remove it from the water, pat it dry with a paper towel, and put it in the oven for 90 minutes-3 hours at 150 degrees Fahrenheit.
The big advantage of this method is that you’ll end up with more flavorful jerky treats – but the downside is that they may not last as long on the shelf since there will be more moisture inside of them. Check Great Backpacking Food Ideas.
Further Reading: Can dogs eat kiwi Fruit?
Which Method Should You Pick?
If you are making beef jerky treats for your own pup… then we recommend using one of the first two methods since they are quick & easy. They aren’t perfect, though so let’s look at some other things you can do which will help ensure your dog gets healthy food:
First, you should only give your dog beef jerky treats after they have fully finished their meals. This is because some dogs will start gagging or being sick if you put the treats into their dry mouths beforehand. A better way to do this is to let them eat slowly so they can swallow more of it down and then give them a treat afterward.
Second, keep an eye on how much your pup eats in one sitting! Some people may want to tempt them with several pieces at once… but it’s actually better for their health if you drop the amount given gradually until they are used to getting just one per mealtime. As long as these conditions are met, then your dog should be perfectly healthy while eating “homemade” beef jerky treats.
If you are making them for other dogs, then it’s best to stick with the first two methods since they will be sure to love you. The other disadvantage is that your dog’s food may have already been cooked by the time it reaches supermarket shelves, so there won’t be any parasites or bacteria in it, to begin with.
If your pet store does not have fast processes, though, then it might be worth trying another one that “butchers” its raw ingredients… This way you can make sure everything has been cooked properly & safely!
Further Reading: Can dogs eat kiwi seeds?
*How to Store Your Homemade Treats*
The great thing about beef jerky treats is how easy they are to store once you make them. They should last between 6 months and 1 year if you place them in a dry, dark place with a moderate temperature of around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Room temperature is the best since it’s unlikely to freeze or melt if your home gets too hot or cold.
The only times this wouldn’t be possible are when you have a pup that loves beef jerky treats too much and eats them all within a month of making them… In which case, you can store them in the freezer for up to 3 months. A refrigerator should also work well enough as long as there is no heat coming from nearby appliances like air-conditioners!
Further Reading: Can dogs Eat curry Powder?
Homemade beef jerky treats aren’t actually that hard to make – but they do require some special attention during preparation and storage if you want to ensure your dog lives a long, happy life.
If you ignore these steps, then there is a good chance they will be sick or even die from the bacteria & parasites found in raw ingredients…
On the other hand, if you prepare, cook and store them properly with ” The Home Pet Chef’s Guide to Making Healthy Dog Treats ” then they should end up as strong as ever!
These treats are a great way of bonding with your pup since they love eating them so much. They also couldn’t be easier to make!
It’s worth mentioning that all dogs have their own level of healthiness since some may need extra nutrition regardless of what you do for them.
If this was not the case, though… then beef jerky treats would make a great staple for your pup’s everyday food whenever their favorite meals are not an option!