For most of us, beef jerky really is delicious, particularly when it is marinated in soy, chilli and spices. You may thing this is a great snack for your dog but can dogs eat beef jerky? Read on to find out.
But… dogs generally have quite a bland diet and their stomachs don’t do too well with a change in food. Dogs are not accustomed to salty and spicy food. Not only this some spices and flavorings can be dangerous for dogs making them very sick or be potentially fatal.
Beware Of Commercial Pet Jerky
You will find pet jerky available at your pet store or supermarket however, be wary of some brands and their countries of origin. The US Food and Drug Administration investigated over 5000 complaints on pet illness and death thought to be linked to eating pet jerky
About 60 percent of the reports are for gastrointestinal illness and about 30 percent relate to kidney or urinary signs. The remaining 10 percent of cases involve a variety of other signs, including convulsions, tremors, hives, and skin irritation.
The investigation found that most illnesses were linked to pet jerky products made in China. Majority of complaints involve chicken jerky (treats, tenders, and strips), but others include duck, sweet potato, and treats where chicken or duck jerky is wrapped around dried fruits, sweet potatoes, yams, or rawhide.
The products were tested, however the investigation did not find a specific root cause although analysis found the following in many of the products:
- Metals and elements (eg arsenic, lead, cadmium…)
- Dye agents
One good outcome from this investigation is a collaboration between FDA and the relevant Chinese Authorities. The FDA are working with the Chinese to better understand pet food safety, US requirements and have hosted of Chinese scientists at veterinary research facilities to better understand these.
I would still recommend buying locally sources and made pet jerky. Be wary of the product origin and the source of ingredients if possible .
How To Feed Your Dog Jerky
Jerky is not part of a dogs balanced diet for dog. Only give jerky as a treat and watch your dog for any adverse effects afterwards including lethargy, diarrhea, vomiting and excessive drinking. If your dog shows signs of illness, see you vet as soon as possible and also report the illness to the FDA’s Safety Reporting Portal or by phone to your local FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinator.
Here is a good video from the FDA on Jerky Pet Safety
So, Can Dogs Eat Beef Jerky?
Simple answer is Yes, dogs can eat beef jerky, as long as it is sourced or prepared correctly.
Why would you want to dehydrate meat for dog treats?
- Tasty dog treat
- Will take your dog longer to eat it (maybe)
- Dogs love the chewiness
- Gives your dog’s jaws and teeth a work out
- Dehydrating preserves the meat to last longer
- Clean and try to use as treats
I actually prefer to make my own dog jerky and it can be very quick and simple.
Homemade Beef Jerky For Dogs
Drying Using A Dehydrator
Drying Using A Oven
Storing Homemade Jerky
Tips for Perfect Jerky
Beef jerky is a really healthy treat for your dogs. Use as a reward or healthy snack and feed in moderation.
Consult your vet before feeding your dog specific foods. Some food may not be suitable for all dogs particularly those with serious health conditions.
Dehydrating works for many meats and food. Try dehydrating doggy snacks using chicken, fish, fruit and vegetables.