Which Kinds of Meat Are Best For Dogs?

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Eating meat is obviously very natural for dogs.

It’s a fact that carnivorous canines thrive on juicy protein-packed animal flesh. Whether you have chicken, turkey, lamb and beef…

Can I Give My Dog Some Meat?Meats are way superior to kibble!

But which types are best for dogs? And is cooked or raw the way to go?

A juicy topic!

Be Selective When Feeding Your Dog Meats

Raw or under-cooked meats tend to provide the most valuable protein.

Rest assured, sharing is caring! Just avoid adding any spices.

A Meat To Avoid

Many would disagree but pork is the least desirable type of meat (this applies to dogs as well).

The reason?

It is fairly rich and also prone to parasites. Trichinosis, in particular, is a very dangerous roundworm.

So regardless of how you serve it, pork generally isn’t great for dogs.

It also happens to be a tough meat to fully digest. That means no pork chops or baloney (bologna)!

The good news:

Most other meats are appropriate for your dog to eat.

Pro Tip: Match meat consumption with the dog’s caloric needs. Take their level of physical activity into account.

Raving About Raw

Cooked meat is viewed more favorably than raw, but try to let go of personal preferences when it comes to your dog’s diet.

Medium-well or well-done is not optimal. Cooked meat is not what your dog would be eating in the wild.

Some of the best flesh to feed? Raw!

Pieces of uncooked steaks and other types of choice beef (straight from the butcher).

Also, read up on fat as well as bones!

The Safest Meats

When it comes to your dog, safety is a big concern.

A potential for parasitic disease and sickness is very real. Either raw or cooked:

Feed fresh meat!

Quality beef, turkey and lamb are recommended. These are particularly excellent choices for serving raw meat.

One more thing…

Avoid giving raw fish. It may contain flukes (a parasite that can harm your dog’s liver).

It’s Not So Easy

As we said, raw meats offer many merits. Your dog can surely benefit from such a diet.

Realistically though, it’s a difficult routine to stick to. This is especially true long-term.

You see…

Food prep and the carnivorous commitment isn’t so convenient. And feeding pure meat is expensive compared to conventional dog foods.

Honestly, an occasional slab of fresh meat is more realistic.

Select Dog Food

A mostly meat diet clearly compares favorably to cheap conventional dog food.

It never makes sense to buy low-grade pet food.

Get a quality brand — one that offers lots of valuable meat protein.

Be sure to choose one with high protein and antioxidants (but minus lots of grains).

The Bottom Line

Owners who feed their dogs fresh meat are smart to do so.

Chicken, beef, lamb, turkey and most other animals are A-OK. But avoid uncooked fish and pork altogether.

How to provide a dog with a special protein-packed meal?

Undercooked or raw!

For most folks, a premium dog food is a consistent and convenient choice for providing meat protein.

What Do You Think? Have Your Say Below…

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49 thoughts on “Which Kinds of Meat Are Best For Dogs?”

  1. Have an American German Shepherd whom is very picky about eating. He does eat both canned and cooked chicken. What other types of food can we feed him? I feed him raw steak, but cannot remember if he liked it or not.

  2. The only thing I feed my dog is fresh meat. He won’t eat it raw so I cook meat for him twice a day, every day. Lamb seems to be his favorite so that’s what I mostly feed him. I run it through a blender and make patties and fry the meat in olive oil. The same for beef!

    Regarding chicken, I boil and then shred it by hand and blend in some extra virgin olive oil. I don’t have tons of money, but I do have tons of love for my dog. He is a mini Poodle and my constant companion (making me laugh several times every day).

    He is 11 years old now and still has all his teeth and no dark runny matter under his eyes. He chases a tennis ball the same as he did when he was a young dog. To date he has no hip or back problems that I’m aware of. His vet always comments on how good he looks and what great shape he’s in and I attribute this to his diet.

  3. I watch for sales on meat and can get it at less than a $1.00 a pound (except beef). Considering I don’t know what’s in dog food, is it really better or all that good for our dogs? I feel like anything fresh and natural is better. Dog food is cooked so much that it can’t be all that healthy. I say go natural to go healthy.

  4. My son has a 3 year old German Shepard and she is on a raw meat diet. He feeds her large pieces of chicken. She swallows it whole (in seconds). I cut it in pieces when I feed her, but he says that she can handle whole pieces. Should I be worried?

  5. I feed my dog moose meat steak, roast and ground beef. Every other day I give boiled chicken. She rarely eats her dry food. Is this sufficient or is there such a thing as too much beef for a dog?

  6. I give my Staffy 400 grams of diced beef that’s fried, medium too well done, once a day. I also leave dry food for him, but he will only pick at it through the day if he’s real hungry. Is that okay? Should I give him something else?

    1. Apart from beef (muscle meat), serve heart and liver with veggies and some fruit in the correct amounts. Supplementing with bone meal (for dogs, not the garden type) is necessary to ensure enough calcium and phosphorus. Feed eggs and sardines a few times a week to make up for other deficiencies. It’s best to add hemp oil when feeding beef.

  7. I give my dog beef which is 5% fat. I also feed carrots, broccoli, beans, 1 teaspoon of ginger, cod liver oil, powered hemp, sweet potato and half a cup of whole meal rice. It’s mixed with 1 egg with half the shell because it has calcium.

    This lasts him 3 days with some Royal Canine dog nibbles thrown in. He loves it and his coat is lovely. There are lots of veggies you can give to your dog. Meat does not always have to be raw, as long as there isn’t too much fat content.

  8. Can I just purchase organic clean beef for my dog? Vital essentials frozen raw patties are super pricey, but they sell you on that it includes more of the cow than just the meat. Can I ask my butcher to make me the same mix?

  9. I gave my dog chicken, rice and Beyond Kibbles for years. She is now clearing her throat and coughing up foam.

    I changed to beef, but it did not help. Now I”m just giving her beef and canned meat. I’ll see if that’s the ticket.

    1. Sounds like what we just went through with our puppy. It started as foam. Then, she stopped being able to digest her food. She had been on salmon and rice then chicken and rice.

      She ended up really sick. I discovered she is allergic to rice. We got her completely away from rice, corn and gluten 10 days ago. She almost immediately stopped throwing up. I hope this helps you.

  10. My dog doesn’t like hard dog food and will eat Cesar sometimes. I have been giving her some raw meat that I put into a crock-pot with added beef salt-free stalk. Sometimes I add veggies. Is this alright?

  11. Can Chihuahuas choke on large pieces of raw beef if they are fed large pieces of raw beef? To me it seems unlikely that a natural omnivore would choke on beef. I cut the beef in pieces when I give it to my dog just to be sure.

  12. Elizabeth says:

    I give my two Maltese cooked steak and chicken breast in a pan with vegetables. They will eat it but when I tried the ground steak raw, added to it, my dogs went crazy happy. The meat is all-natural with no antibiotics.

    It takes such a short time to do this and they are worth it. I also add all-natural kibble because it has some added vitamins.

  13. My husband hunts. We have a lot of wild pig meat. Is it safe and healthy for dogs to eat if we cook it thoroughly? One of our dogs has to have a grain-free and gluten-free diet and we thought this might be a great option for him.

  14. I have the pleasure of owning an Akita. She is just over 2 years old. Every 4 days she gets raw chicken wings daily as well as salmon or tuna with rice and veggies. She has lamb mince, sweet potato and carrots with broccoli. Every dog is different and Akitas are not allowed beef.

    1. Hi Frank. I had never heard of Akitas not being allowed beef. I tried to Google it and found nothing. Could you tell me the reasons for them not being able to consume beef? Also, the consequences if any? Thanks in advance!

  15. I give my little dog lots of fruits and vegetables with barley or rice. He seems to like that, but I can only eat boiled chicken because of a disease I have.

  16. My Boxer is either spoiled or she just doesn’t like dry dog food. We feed her the best dry dog food, which is very expensive, but she won’t eat it alone. So, I put a 1/4 cup of hamburger with it. Is this good for her? We’ve tried several dry foods.

  17. Can my dog have cooked domestic (not wild) rabbit?

    1. Yes, your dog can eat cooked rabbit and rabbit bones too.

    2. Never give your dogs cooked bones!

  18. If you care for your dog just feed appropriate raw food, including quality beef, or cook their food and add some vegetables for fillers with some calcium.

    1. Hi Stefen. I feed my dogs a good brand of dried food with the occasional carrot or peanut butter. My dogs love to eat and beg for food all the time but we only give them breakfast and dinner.

      Am I doing something wrong? My dogs, mostly my German Shepherd-Husky mix, are really fat too and no matter what we do they won’t loose weight. Any suggestions?

      1. You might try feeding them less volume. My 17-year old, 7 pound Chihuahua gets 1/4 cup of food a day, and my 11 year old, 10 pound Pomeranian gets 1/3 cup a day. When they’re finished they act like they’re still starving, but I know they’re not. My vet says they are both in perfect body condition.

  19. Well, I can confirm lean steak gets demolished. I hope they know how much it cost, spoiled dogs!

    1. I have a Jack Russell. I have found that leg quarters of chicken are an inexpensive food $0.35 -$0.45/pound. I take the fat off before boiling it. Additional fat is removed while deboning it. It is served with dry food 50/50. He is 5 and in great health.

  20. I gave my dog cooked hamburger, cold from the fridge. He had diarrhea shortly after. Could the hamburger have caused it? He ate it right after he woke up in the morning. He is a 5 pound Yorkie.

    1. When I take my Chihuahuas to McDonald’s, for a plain hamburger with nothing on it, they also get diarrhea. But yet, my mom gave our family Cocker Spaniel only baked hamburger his whole life, every night and he was fine!

    2. Raw meat and kibble digest differently. The transition to raw food should be done after one day of fasting. The tummy needs a little time to adjust.

    3. It could just be the change in giving him something different. My 6 pound Chihuahua and 7 pound Papillon both get diarrhea with a change in food!

  21. My hubby has caught some raccoons. He skinned then and has baked the meat. He wants me to feed it to my dog. I make her food using beef, turkey, chicken, eggs and rice with sweet potatoes as well as greens of all kinds. I need to know if I can use the raccoon meat cook in her feed.

    1. Racoon is the stinkiest critter you’ll ever roast. Just the thought of smelling that cooking makes me ill. Your dogs will be in heaven.

  22. Avoid pork at all costs because of the potential for bacteria. It’s best to feed your pet dog raw beef but ensure the meat is taken from the freezer, not meat that’s been thawed for an unduly long time. If possible, feed beef brisket because the bones in it do not break into sharp fragmented pieces which may injure internal organs.

    1. There are no bones in a brisket, unless you mean feeding a dog a whole quarter cow. I’ve cooked hundreds of full clods and briskets and nary a bone in any of them. I’m not gonna give my mutt good brisket though. They can have a bite, a taste but that’s about it.

  23. If I cook a pork roast, well done with no seasonings, can my dog have just a little to taste?

    1. Just a taste is, of course, fine. I’m sure it’s delicious as well.

    2. I wrap my dogs medicine in a tiny piece of deli ham, followed by another piece, just because her med tastes gross and she spits it out. It’s been the only way to give her Imodium while she’s having diarrhea.

      After 5 full days of this, and 2 days on Imodium, today was the best day for her stools. They are still runny but not every single hour like this week, just every few hours. When she did go outside, mostly it was a false alarm.

  24. I give my dog Eden kibbles which are rated as one of the best. But she refuses to eat them without chicken, the only meat she likes. I have had to resort to mashing cooked chicken to the kibbles in order to make it stick. I’m worried that she could be having too much chicken. Sometimes I give her green beans and garden peas for a change.

    1. Try getting someone else to feed the dog without you in the building and without chicken mixed in. Your dog knows it’s got you under their thumb. But if a new person provides food, the dog will have no way of making a complaint and it will just eat what’s available.

      1. If I’m not around, my dog won’t eat period. She’ll go two or three days without anything if it means waiting for me to come back.

        Fortunately, my dog likes her dry food. She gets eggs, chicken, beef and rice as additions to her diet.

        She absolutely refuses to touch anything that’s straight up raw. But she’s very happy with medium rare cuts of lamb and beef steak.

        1. I think your dog must really love you a lot to not eat for 2 or 3 days if you are not around. That is wild. I also like the way your dog eats. I cannot stomach or rationalize feeding pure raw meat. It just does not register with me. I don’t see it for domestic Rover in the back yard.

          If I ever get my 2 dream dogs, I will feed them a high quality dog food and mix in some well-done or medium-well or medium rare clean meat cooked in extra virgin olive oil with a teeny bit of salt. I think the dogs will love it. Keep making your dog happy!

  25. I am braising some meat marinated/cooked with red wine vinegar. Is this meat, the way it’s prepared, safe for dogs? I ask because dogs cannot have grapes or alcohol and I’m curious if this is also a problem.

    1. Never give your dog chicken bones. They can cause internal damage and more. Lean towards the brisket because it has tough bones that don’t break and shatter like chicken bones. Also, never give your dog pork because it’s not very healthy and could cause disease from pesticides in the meat.

  26. Raw lamb, pork or venison are at a higher risk for Toxolplasmosis which is a parasitic disease that sometimes exists in raw meats and can be passed on to your dog.

  27. I give my dogs bones of chicken and other meats as well as fat trimmings. They seem to be really healthy and they enjoy it.

    1. You should not give dogs chicken bones. They shatter and can choke the dog. Hard bones from mammals are okay.

    2. Chicken bone and pure fat are the two worst things from an animal you can feed a dog. Your dog could choke on the bones or they’ll wind up with pancreatitis, especially smaller breeds. It’s a painful condition that leads to death much of the time. Malamutes and other Eskimo dogs process pure fat but even then you don’t want an overweight pooch.

    3. Chicken bones are very bad to feed to your dog. Choking is possible or they could shatter and damage your dog’s internal organs.

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