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Can Dogs Eat Beef Jerky?The (Truth) About This Delicious Food

Can Dogs Eat Beef Jerky?The (Truth) About This Delicious Food
Beef jerky. Dried meat beef jerky on wooden chopping board on wooden background. Dry meat, rustic country style. Delicious meat eating.

When it comes to snacks not many people can resist the allure of beef jerky. But what about dogs? When the packet rips open, you might notice two beady eyes begging for a share in the deliciousness. So what do you do?

Though it is tempting to share things with your beloved pooch, you must demonstrate restraint when it comes to food. There is a difference in beef jerky made for dogs and that made for humans. And it is not hard to believe that human beef jerky can have a negative effect on your dog’s health.

The reason for this is simple, humans and dogs are different species, and their bodies have different requirements for staying healthy. Beef jerky for dogs, unlike jerky for humans, is free from spices, preservatives, and salt, which are ingredients that can make your dog sick. Thus it is wise to only feed your canine with treats that are specifically made for dogs.

This article will help you understand your furry friend’s diet and what kind of beef jerky treats it can have safely.

Can Beef Jerky Kill Dogs?

The answer is ‘No’.

But this doesn’t mean that human beef jerky is good for your pooch. Ingredients like onions, garlic powder, black pepper and such spices, along with preservatives, and salt are added to beef jerky for humans. Treats containing these are not good for your dog as they can upset it’s stomach, causing vomiting or even diarrhea.

The biggest issue with beef jerky for humans is that it has a high sodium level. As you must know, having a high salt intake is not good for dogs. These high levels can lead to sodium poisoning, as well as causing uncontrolled thirst and urination, eventually resulting in health conditions such as vomiting, muscle spasms, diarrhea, increased heart rate and fluid build-up, which might even cause its death.

If you want to give your dog a beef jerky experience it would be best if you opt for dog beef jerky treats that are plain and unsalted pieces of dried meat. The best dog beef jerky is a pure, single sourced, and has a naturally dehydrated protein (venison, elk, bison, or beef) which your dog can chew to his heart’s content without fear of it being a health risk.

It helps to know that beef jerky for dogs is a regular sized thin-sliced cut of meat that is actually great for cleaning teeth and an especially great treat to give to smaller sized dogs.

Beef Jerky vs. Regular Dog Food

Contrary to what you might believe, dog treats available in the market usually don’t contain high quality whole muscle (steak cut) meat. The dog food normally contains a type of mince (called beef MDM), and wet dog food contains SOY that is artificially modified to resemble beef (Textured Vegetable Proteins- TVPs).

It should also be noted that beef in dog food is more often than not ‘false advertising’, where they sell a mix of ‘low quality’ by-products that pass off as meat by meeting the minimum protein requirements.

The standard beef jerky fed to dogs as a doggy treat is a rectangular cut of meat that is usually from the trachea of a cow. Since it is muscle meat in its entirety, it is a better choice for your dog than most MDM-based dog food available around. Such uncombined meat forms are also easier to evaluate in terms of quality as they can’t be mixed with scraps of poor quality meat.

To summarize, it is suggested by many vets that dog owners to supplement the dog food they give to their canine friends with dog beef jerky treats to ensure sufficient protein intake.

beef jerky safe for dog

Is homemade beef jerky a better option for your dog? 

Beef jerky treats are a delight for dogs because unlike many doggy treats in the market it has nothing added to it. Store made beef jerky usually has some kind of preservatives added to increase its shelf life. Some dog food brands have received negative reviews from customers who claim that their produce caused their dogs to get sick. As there are not many dog food regulations in place, many brands have gotten away with using sub-par ingredients in making dog food.

The fact that many dog food brands claim an all rights reserved policy when it comes to releasing the ingredients they’ve used in their products, many dog owners have chosen the option of making homemade dog treats to ensure that their dog stays healthy and happy.

Homemade jerky is a great way to show your dog that you love it because the treats are not just super tasty, but you can also know exactly what they contain. This allows you to make certain that your beloved furry pal only gets the very best.

Thus, when it comes to the question that ‘can dogs eat beef jerky’, one surefire way to ensure that your furry bud can join in the jerky dogs club is if you prepare the jerky by yourself.

Is Dog Jerky Safe for a Human? 

Of course, you can help yourself to a dog jerky treat, but I don’t think that your dog would like that! It would want to eat all of its treats by itself! A Chinese factory owner Luke Qin did not shy away from publicly snacking on one duck jerky treat just to prove that it was fit for human consumption.

Though it is okay for a human to sometimes consume a dog treat, doing so isn’t recommended. This is because dog treats do not undergo the same health and safety regulations that human food undergoes, thus might not be very safe for human consumption.

Is Beef Jerky Bad for your Dog’s Heart? 

As mentioned before, beef jerky dog treats aren’t bad for your dog, rather beef jerky made for human consumption has ingredients that can harm your pooch. Dogs that consume high sodium levels that are in the beef jerky made for people are thus more likely to suffer from an increased heart rate.

How bad is beef jerky for human health?

Consuming too much of any good thing can be bad for anyone, may it be a pooch or a person. Beef jerky is no different.

Beef jerky consists of saturated fats, thus having a lot of this tasty treat may lead to a less savory outcome. When a human being consumes too many saturated fats they run the risk of Type 2 Diabetes, as well as developing heart diseases caused by high sodium and cholesterol levels.


So when it comes to the question that can dogs eat beef jerky, you have seen that the answer is straightforward. As jerky made for human intake usually contains ingredients that can cause harm when dogs eat them, it is important that your pooch only eats beef jerky that has been made for canine consumption.

One way to ensure healthy treats for dogs is when owners choose to make their dogs eat only those treats that have been prepared at home. This helps pet owners keep track of what foods their canines are consuming and helps keep the pets healthy.

Though beef jerky that is made for dogs is good for your pooches, it is important that it’s consumed in moderate amounts. Your dog will love you for all this care and attention!

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Hi, everyone! My name is Mathew Barham and I’m the editor in charge here at M-Dog. I’m currently based in Northampton, Pennsylvania, where I live with my beautiful wife, two amazing kids, and four rowdy rescue dogs. Growing up, my parents had a huge backyard and lots of animals. So my entire life, I was surrounded by pets that I cared for deeply. When my wife and I moved into a bigger place, I knew that I wanted to do the same for my family. That’s when we went to an animal shelter and fell in love with the most adorable little rescue pup. Since then, our family just kept growing, and we couldn’t be happier about it.