Can Dogs Eat Beef Jerky?

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Can Dogs Eat Beef Jerky

Beef jerky is a snack that is widely appreciated by most people. But before feeding a piece or two of beef jerky to your dog, it’s essential to know if dogs can safely break it down. Can dogs eat beef jerky? Or is beef jerky harmful to dogs? 

It depends on the ingredients. Dogs can have beef jerky provided that it is from a single protein source and doesn’t contain lots of sodium or some secret ingredients that could hurt your dog. 

This article will analyze the benefits and risks of serving beef jerky to dogs and help you determine whether or not this treat is suitable for your dog. 

Can Dogs Eat Beef Jerky?

Dogs can eat beef jerky; however, there are many things you should be wary of before offering some to your pet. 

Dogs can ingest sodium-free beef jerky in moderate quantities. Other beef jerky varieties that have extra spices, seasonings, and herbs must be avoided as they can leave your dog with digestive discomforts, diarrhea, and nausea.

Plain beef jerky is usually the most beneficial option because this jerky is just dehydrated meat. Dogs rely on the nourishment in each meal; nutrients, protein, and dried meat can be an excellent addition to their diet– though only in moderate amounts. 

Jerky treats for dogs have become more popular in the last few years. If prepared from premium beef, jerky can be a healthy treat for dogs. 

Based on some experts, beef jerky snacks can be lethal for your dog. Back in 2007, it was believed that out of 3000 dogs who got sick, 600 dogs died due to this snack. Several Chinese companies were condemned for the production of these products.

Dogs and Jerky

Benefits of beef jerky on dogs

Beef jerky is an excellent source of protein and has several vitamins and minerals. These include vitamin B12, fat, folate, copper, iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc, just to name a few.

Beef jerky can be a nutritious and valuable snack for your dog. The nutrients in the jerky help to boost the dog’s immune system. Other than that, it aids in recuperating, and reinforces the dog’s immune system. 

Beef jerky can likewise improve your dog’s dental care. This is because chewing the dried strips lessens tartar build-up and eliminates plaque.

Side Effects Of The Beef Jerky For Dogs

Now, let’s find out about the risks of giving beef jerky to your dog. For dogs with sensitive stomachs & digestive tracts, it is not suitable.

Since this beef jerky is not properly prepared, it needs a lot of time for absorption. A jerky meal is good only if your dog has a normal digestive system. It may lead to gut problems. Most of the dogs fall ill after ingesting beef jerky; it can typically lead to diarrhea, vomiting, and dehydration. 

Another factor to consider is the ingredients in beef jerky. Many beef jerky packages have seasonings that can harm your dog. They are usually marinated and cooked with a blend of flavorings and sugar substitutes. These recipes are generally made for human consumption. 

Beef Jerky has the following ingredients and flavorings that dogs must never eat:

  • High levels of sodium
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Xylitol (artificial sweeteners)
  • Nutmeg
  • Black pepper
  • Spicy flavors

Side Effects Of The Beef Jerky For Dogs

Garlic and onion are poisonous to dogs. They can’t handle hot spices because of their sensitive stomachs. These types of foods can quickly trigger continuous stomach pain. 

Although sodium is a vital component of a balanced diet, a high amount of sodium can turn into a health hazard. Too much salt leads to high blood pressure, heart disease, or kidney issues. 

The combination of mixed seasonings, high levels of sodium, and sugar substitute (xylitol) is evidence that beef jerky isn’t the most nutritious treat, particularly in large servings. Studies show that its additives can have lasting impacts on your dog’s health.

What to do if my dog eats Beef Jerky?

If your dog consumed too much Beef Jerky, he might suffer from the following symptoms:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Weakness
  • Upset stomach
  • Frequent urination 

Hypernatremia or sodium-ion poisoning is a life-threatening condition. Its known symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, decreased hunger, tremors, convulsions, dehydration, and behavioral changes. It can also lead to a lasting effect on the dog’s kidneys. 

Closely observe your dog and ensure that he has plenty of water nearby to prevent dehydration. If you believe that your dog ingested some Beef Jerky with poisonous ingredients, take him to the vet as soon as possible.

Things to do if dog ate Beef Jerky

Is homemade beef jerky a better option for your dog?

The benefit of homemade beef jerky is that you can have complete control over your dog’s intake. This enables you to make sure that your dog only receives what’s most suitable for them. Preparing homemade beef jerky snacks and leaving out spices, such as garlic powder, will keep your dog healthy.

Use whatever readily available meat you have, and if your pet can’t handle stuff such as chicken or beef, you can use beef liver, game meat, or fish. 

  • Place the meat in the freezer for about an hour for easier uniform slices.
  • If you don’t have a food dehydrator, you can use the oven—Preheat the oven to 150° F.
  • Slice meat into shreds, 1/8 to 1/4 inch slices are ideal.
  • Place meat slices in a single layer across the baking rack or on the food dehydrator racks.
  • Cook for about 4-5 hours or until completely dehydrated. The jerky is properly cooked when it bends and cracks though it does not break in half. Because dog jerky doesn’t contain any additives like salt, over-drying the jerky isn’t a terrible idea.
  • Store in an airtight container or resealable bags for a week or two.

Conclusion

Can dogs eat beef jerky? Not really. These treats are not suitable for your dog under any circumstances. Beef jerky is loaded with salt, fat, calories, and other harmful ingredients. Suppose you are very obstinate in feeding beef jerky to your dog, then the homemade ones are the best. 

Beef jerky is quite rewarding for your dog’s health; however, it has no place in your dog’s nutrition—as an ingredient or a snack. You can use several other alternative treats for your pet, like bananas, sweet potatoes, and apples.

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