Can dogs eat biltong? Biltong is a type of dried meat popular in African countries. This blog will explore how Biltong affects dogs and whether they should be fed to them regularly.
Further Reading: Can dogs eat beef jerky
What is Biltong?
Biltong is a generic name for cured, air-dried strips of meat. The word biltong comes from the Dutch bil (rump) and tong (strip), which describes exactly what it is: a strip of meat cut from the rump or other cuts near the rear quarter of the animal.
In South Africa, people use beef, ostrich, kudu, impala, whatever is available locally that requires minimal cooking. When I experienced my first taste of Biltong in 1986, when I arrived in Namibia from Scotland via Zimbabwe, I was hooked immediately!
It reminded me very much of ‘Boucan,’ a form of wild boar meat that has been marinated with salt and vinegar then dried in the African sun. I was lucky enough to come home with a biltong recipe and one big bag of biltong spices from my newfound friends in Namibia.
The word ‘Biltong’ is often incorrectly used when speaking about beef jerky or dried meat slices that are available in supermarkets and stores.
The difference between Biltong and Jerky is: Biltong is cut into thin strips after curing and drying, while jerky is thicker cuts of dried meat, normally sold in small pieces or as a whole stick.
It is not uncommon for the word ‘Jerky’ to be used when referring to both types of dried meat. According to Wikipedia, “In the USA it (jerky) refers almost exclusively to this style of dried, salted, smoked meat, particularly beef.”
Biltong has been around for centuries and can be made from all kinds of different meats: beef, ostrich, kudu, etc. The first step is to cut the meat into strips against the grain and remove as much fat as possible. This is done either immediately after slaughter or once the animal has been cooled down by placing it in a refrigerator.
The next stage is to marinate the Biltong using vinegar and spices such as peppercorns and coriander seeds.
After marinating overnight, the Biltong needs to be hung up on special frames that allow airflow all around so that it dries properly over about three weeks. At this stage, the Biltong will weigh only one-third of its original weight at the start of the drying process.
Can dogs eat Biltong?
There are different kinds of Biltong available on the market. Some types can be eaten by dogs, while other types may not be safe to feed your dog. The main reasons why it is important to know precisely what kind of Biltong you are feeding your pet are due to three factors:
1) There are lots of preservatives used in the manufacturing process that are harmful to pets if consumed in large quantities.
2) This type of cured meat contains a lot less moisture compared to regular meat meaning it will contain more salt and therefore increase the risk for kidney problems. Dogs with heart, lung, and liver conditions should avoid this type of food as these conditions cannot handle too much salt intake.
3) There is always a chance that different spices added to the Biltong may be harmful to dogs. These include but are not limited to garlic powder, onion powder, chili pepper/powder, or sage.
Before feeding your dog any kind of Biltong, you should always check the food label for ingredients and recommended daily amount guidelines.
If your dog eats Biltong without any problems, it is fine to feed him on a regular basis, but like with many healthy options such as fresh meat and vegetables, make sure that at least one day in every week he gets something else such as his dry food (ideally rolled oats).
This will ensure that your pet gets all the nutrients needed from their diet and won’t be getting too much salt via the cured meat, which can lead to problems.
It is also important not to give your dog too much Biltong until you have established how his body reacts to the spices and preservatives added.
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Biltong Effects on Dogs?
Although a great source of protein, Biltong can be dangerous for dogs. The best option is to make your own dog treats. Instead of giving them the processed meat you find in pet stores, invest in some chicken and make them yourself at home.
Biltong effects on dogs are that it has a ton of salt and preservatives, which aren’t good for their health. So when they eat too much of it, their blood pressure rises, and it will affect their liver, kidneys, and other internal organs from processing this kind of food properly.
Dogs with heart conditions should avoid eating Biltong as well because their heart cannot handle a lot of salt intake or high amounts of preservatives found in cured meats such as this one. Biltong for dogs can have a lot of garlic or onion powder which is harmful to their health.
So what are the benefits of giving your dog Biltong? For one, it’s a healthy source of protein.
Dogs can eat this cured meat without any problems. When you make it yourself at home, you know exactly what is in there and that there are no chemical preservatives or harmful additives added.
They will get all the nutrients they need from eating Biltong daily, but be careful when feeding them too much because, like with people, if they consume too much salt/preservatives, it can harm their health in the long run. Just one meal of Biltong won’t do any damage at all, so don’t worry about that!
To avoid negative side effects, just give your dog real food ingredients such as chicken or rice instead so they get the nutrition they need while avoiding dangerous chemicals found in processed meats.
Further Reading: How to Cook Beef jerky for dogs Recipe 2021
How Much Can My Dog Eat?
A dog can eat around 1-2 teaspoons of Biltong before you should stop feeding it to them. You don’t want to give them too much, or else they might get sick from the salt and preservatives found in this type of food.
Keep an eye on your dog while he is eating it for the first time just in case anything strange happens, but because your pet will love the taste of Biltong, there shouldn’t be any problems at all if they are given a reasonable amount each day.
Just make sure that’s really what they are eating! The best way to ensure your animal friend is getting something healthy instead of sweet snacks or other meats with harmful chemicals/preservatives is by making it yourself at home, so you know exactly what goes into it.
Homemade Biltong for Dogs?
Just like with humans, homemade is always better. This way, you can ensure they are eating healthy and not just consuming processed foods that will harm their health in the long run. Dogs don’t care what they eat as long as it’s delicious. And this type of meat is certainly something your furry friend will love!
The best thing to do is to buy some beef or lamb mince which you mix with spices such as salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and whatever else you want to mix together. Then place your mixture inside a jar or container and leave it there overnight so all of these flavors can soak into each other.
After 24 hours, take out the container and serve Biltong for dogs by cutting up pieces of it into a bowl for your pet. They will surely be excited about this type of treat!
Another thing you can do is to take out a piece of Biltong and place it inside a pot so you can boil it until the red color from the meat has been soaked away.
This way, your dog won’t have to eat something that’s too spicy for their taste! Just leave it in there until all the blood has evaporated and there is no longer any pinkish-red color left.
The great thing about making your own Biltong for dogs or other pets at home is that you know exactly what goes into it because you made it yourself with real food ingredients instead of consuming harmful chemicals found in commercial meats, which other factory-made products contain. Your dog will thank you for this treatment once they taste how delicious it is!
And remember, just because your pet loves the taste of Biltong doesn’t mean you should overfeed them too much of it, or else they could get sick from all that salt and preservatives found in cured meats. Just a small amount each day should be enough to make your furry friend happy!
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Biltong vs. Beef Jerky: Which is Healthier?
Both beef jerky and Biltong can cause problems with dogs’ health if given in large amounts since they both have garlic powder which can harm their digestive system. Both types of meat are high in protein, but there are some things within the ingredients that might not be safe for dogs to eat.
Biltong is dried meat that contains salt, pepper, and garlic powder. The dangers of Biltong exist within the ingredients, as it contains a lot of salt and preservatives such as potassium sorbate, which can be toxic for animals.
Beef jerky is another type of dried meat that your dog might enjoy, but it comes with its own problems, too, since garlic powder is used in this type of food just like Biltong.
The problem with beef jerky isn’t only the garlic powder found inside the meat, though, because other chemicals also come into play, such as sodium nitrite and sodium lactate which have been linked to liver damage.
My dog ate Biltong what should I do?
If your dog has eaten Biltong, it is best to call your 24-hour Veterinarian for advice. Biltong contains salt, which can be dangerous if the animal has too much of it in its body. If you are worried about taking your pet to see a vet, then there are some things that you can do at home; just make sure they are comfortable and have enough water with them.
You will need to monitor your dog for any signs of distress such as vomiting, diarrhea, muscle tremors, seizures, or more severe cases of lethargy. It is also important to note what Biltong was consumed by the animal so that the veterinarian knows how much salt was given to them. Lots of water should be given to the animal to help flush out any excess salt.
Further Reading: Can dogs eat beef jerky sticks?
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Frequently asked questions
Q: Can dogs eat beef jerky?
A: Beef jerky is not recommended for dogs unless they are eating human-grade beef jerky, which has been cooked at a high enough temperature to kill bacteria. The major concern with dogs eating beef jerky is the garlic powder used in manufacturing. Garlic can be dangerous for dogs because it destroys thiamine which is also known as vitamin B1. This is incredibly important for dogs because it impacts their nervous system and heart function. If your dog eats too much garlic, then you should take him or her to see a veterinarian straight away.
Q: Will beef jerky hurt my dog?
A: If your dog starts to vomit or have diarrhea after eating beef jerky, then you should take them to see a veterinarian immediately.
Q: Is Biltong good for dogs?
A: Biltong is not considered to be healthy for dogs due to the preservatives used in manufacturing, such as salt and potassium sorbate. This can cause health problems for animals if they consume too much of these chemicals.
Q: Can my dog eat Biltong made with venison?
A: Yes, it is fine, providing that there are no additional preservatives added into the mix which could harm your pet. Venison is actually one of the best meats that you can provide with because it has a very low-fat content which makes it excellent for dogs that are trying to lose weight.
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Q: What other meats can dogs eat?
A: Other good meats for dogs include lean chicken, turkey, and tuna fish. It is best to avoid giving your dog pork, though, as this has a high-fat content which isn’t good for their health.
Q: Is dried meat good for dogs?
A: It is fine for dogs to eat dried meat; the only time you have to be cautious with this is when garlic powder is added into the mix. Garlic can be dangerous for dogs because it destroys thiamine which is also known as vitamin B1. If your dog eats too much garlic, then you should take him or her to see a veterinarian straight away.
Q: Is beef jerky bad for dogs?
A: Beef jerky isn’t necessarily bad for dogs, but it does include a lot of salt and preservatives such as potassium sorbate, which can cause problems if consumed in large doses. The main concern with beef jerky, though, is the garlic powder used in manufacturing; garlic can be dangerous for dogs because it destroys thiamine which is also known as vitamin B1. If your dog eats too much garlic, then you should take him or her to see a veterinarian straight away.
Q: Can dogs eat dried meat?
A: Dogs can eat dried meat, but you need to make sure that it has been cooked thoroughly; otherwise, there could be bacteria inside the product; this would potentially impact animals’ health if eaten over an extended period of time. Salted meats are bad for dogs because they contain a lot of salt and potassium sorbate preservatives, so it is best to avoid these completely.
Q: Is Biltong a healthy snack?
A: Biltong is fine for dogs to eat; however, it does include a lot of preservatives such as salt and potassium sorbate. These can be dangerous if consumed in large quantities because they destroy thiamine which is also known as vitamin B1; this has an impact on your dog’s nervous system and heart function. If you suspect that your dog has eaten too much Biltong, then you need to take them to see a veterinarian.
Further Reading: My dog ate meatloaf with onions in it What should I do?
The Bottom line: Can dogs eat Biltong?
Biltong is fine for dogs to eat, but you need to make sure that it doesn’t contain garlic powder which can be dangerous if consumed in large amounts.
It is best to avoid giving your dog jerky as well because it includes a lot of salt and potassium sorbate preservatives; these can become toxic when combined with Biltong as they destroy thiamine which is also known as vitamin B1.
Always monitor how much dry dog food or jerky you give your dog so that you know exactly what has been eaten.