Can Dogs Eat Beef Jerky | The Dog Effect

Can Dogs Eat Beef Jerky

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.

Can Dogs Eat Beef Jerky

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:

  • Bacteria
  • Pecticides
  • Metals and elements (eg arsenic, lead, cadmium…)
  • Antibiotics
  • 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

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 4 - 6 hours
Ingredients
  • 1 pound lean beef. Final quantity will be half to a third of the original weight depending on the dried consistency.
Drying Using A Dehydrator
  • Turn on your dehydrator to 160 deg F or 70 deg C
  • Paw
    Remove fat and slice the beef into thin strips approximately ¼” think
  • Paw
    Lay the meat strips directly onto dehydrator trays
  • Paw
    Check your jerky after 4 hours and until you get the consistency required.
  • Paw
    When you get the consistency correct, take the jerky out of the dehydrator and cool to room temperature 
Drying Using A Oven
  • Turn on your oven to 160 deg F or 70 deg C
  • Paw
    Remove fat and slice the beef into thin strips approximately ¼” think
  • Paw
    Lay the meat strips directly onto wire oven trays
  • Paw
    Check your jerky after 4 hours and until you get the consistency required.
  • Paw
    When you get the consistency correct, take the jerky out of the oven and cool to room temperature 
Storing Homemade Jerky
  • When completely cooled, place the jerky in an air tight container
  • Paw
    Jerky will last for up to 2 weeks at room temperature,  or 3 weeks in the fridge. 
  • Paw
    For longer storage, try vacuum sealing jerky 
  • Paw
    Keep the jerky dry, look for any mould or discoloring and throw it away if it looks or smells bad
Tips for Perfect Jerky
  • Paw
    I put meat slices directly onto the wire trays so that the meat gets air and heat on all sides. You can place on baking paper if you wish.
  • Paw
    If using an oven, put a tray or baking paper on the shelf below to catch any drips or juice.
  • Paw
    Jerky should be bendy and chewy rather than dry and splintery to avoid getting stuck or damaging your dog throat.
  • Paw
    Jerky should be dried all thew ay though the meat and will turn a darker color.
Can Dogs Eat Beef 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. 

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