Can I Give My Dog Beef Jerky?

Can I Give My Dog Beef Jerky?Beef Jerky is a snack that’s getting a lot of bad press. Premature dog deaths have occurred across the United States that have been linked to some beef jerky products. Is this type of people food really considered that unsafe for dogs?

The FDA has even weighed in on the dangers of feeding your pets this snack. Quite simply, it can be dangerous. Unfortunately, regular beef jerky is very similar to a typical dog treat. As such, people share this food with their dogs on occasion.

So let’s set the record straight right here, before you offer your dog any beef jerky snacks. Our opinion is very clear regarding this matter.

Can I Give My Dog Beef Jerky? Answer: No, see recent FDA information

Thousands of dogs have been sickened over the years and many have died!

If you want to give your four-legged friend some beef jerky, it should be naturally prepared if possible. There’s also an excellent grain-free product called Wellness Pure Rewards which is specifically made for dogs and is made in the USA. Commercial beef jerky products, especially those manufactured in China, are unsafe and even fatal. Even most higher quality kinds are often loaded with chemical treatments that may be toxic for canines.

Beef Jerky as Treats

Most dogs like the taste and chewy qualities of beef jerky. People have used this type of food as a treat or reward during training. If you still plan to use beef jerky, at the very least make sure it’s not the spicy kind. However, we don’t recommend any kind of convenience store beef jerky that’s intended for humans.

You can, however, sometimes remove spices by washing the beef under running water. But the process of making it may involve a curing and marinating technique. It may be impossible to get rid of all the spices.

Typical Jerky Ingredients

Beef jerky food treats are delicious because they’re loaded up with spices. The beef is treated with an intensely salty solution. Preservatives prolong shelf life. Onion powder, garlic powder and pepper may be included in the recipe, all potentially dangerous. Most people know these are harmful for their dogs but they’re sight unseen. These are all good reasons why it’s not a good idea to give regular beef jerky to pets.

Instead go with a safer beef jerky treat which is specially made for dogs. Again, you can also make homemade beef jerky so you’ll know exactly what ingredients go into the preparation of Fido’s dried meat snacks.

More on the Risks

Feeding your dog an uncontrolled amount of any type of meat products can cause stomachaches or worse. Even if everything goes relatively well, they may still experience increased gas or diarrhea.

A brand called Waggin’ Train Chicken Jerky Tenders, which is made by Nestle Purina in China, should definitely be avoided. There are several other brands which are also dangerous, be cautious. If you’re already dealing with such a situation, depending on the severity, your dog may need urgent veterinary care. This is especially true if the vomiting and diarrhea are uncontrolled.

Remedies for Upset Stomach

Dogs can be given an antacid to treat gas or stomach rumbling. Pepcid and Zantac are people medicines which are generally safe for canines suffering from mild gastrointestinal issues. Pepto-Bismol is also okay for dogs with mild diarrhea. Be sure to use a proper dose, as instructed by a vet, since dosage for humans and dogs can be quite different. Obviously, case of severe food poisoning should be addressed by a professional as soon as reasonably possible.

Conclusion on Beef Jerky

Dogs find beef jerky treats, most of which are made for human consumption, to be tasty but they should be avoided. At the very least, they contain high levels of salt and other harmful spices. Some brands, especially those made in China, have killed many dogs and seriously sickened thousands of others.

If you wish to use beef jerky as a treat or for training purposes, there are two better options. Make your own at home or purchase beef jerky treats that are made right here in the USA which are designed with dogs in mind.

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Eddie April 16, 2015

I gave up on pet store jerky treats. The chicken and duck treats are hard as a rock. My Pug tried to swallow them whole, choking on them every time. I threw them away and never looked back. We have a beef jerky store nearby that sells dog beef jerky which my dog loves. Actually, humans can eat the dog treats because they’re all natural and all beef. Of course, they are made without spices, for dogs.

My Pug, 3 1/2 years old, loves human beef jerky. I buy the original or traditional style that has as few spices as possible. She gets no teriyaki or spice-flavored human jerky. I don’t want to upset her stomach. She’s been eating small bites of jerky several times a day for more than a year now and has suffered no negative health effects from it. I plan to make my own jerky at home pretty soon so I can make sure they have only beef in them.

My pet dog is the daughter that I never had. She is spoiled like a 2-year old child, all day and night, she gets pampered. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I hope everyone’s dogs are safe. I am sorry to hear about the injuries and deaths to your furry family members due to eating jerky treats.

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Nikki December 16, 2014

I gave my dog 3 pieces of butterball turkey jerky yesterday. He was so happy, but today he is dead.

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Gigi April 15, 2015

I am so sorry for your loss.

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Javed November 24, 2014

We have an 11 year old Shih Tzu weighing 14 pounds. He has been eating chicken jerky treats, made in the USA not China, for several years now. Two days ago one half of the 3 inch long treat got stuck in his throat which we managed to pull out, in the process maybe scratching his throat. Since then he refuses to eat his normal soft food, but has drunk water twice a day. He does not have fever, is not vomiting and has pooped normal stools twice. Can we do anything to help him eat? Thanks for the help.

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Bridgett December 13, 2014

I’m guessing you gave him the jerky made for dogs. That stuff is hard and I could see how it would scratch his throat. Hopefully by now he has started eating again. But the only thing I could think of is to maybe try liquefying this food for a little while. If not, I’m hoping you took him to the vet.

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Marie October 19, 2014

Can homemade beef jerky made with soy sauce be harmful to my Saint Bernese dog?

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Max February 4, 2014

Could I give my dog home-made beef jerky?

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Terence February 18, 2014

Hi Max. You can give your dog homemade beef jerky. However, make sure that you monitor the ingredients that go into the preparation of the dried meat. No spices!

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