Can Dogs Eat Beef Jerky? Everything You Need to Know

can dogs eat beef jerky

Dogs love to turn their noses to anything – especially if it’s chewy, looks good, and smells meaty. A bit like beef jerky, really. But can dogs eat beef jerky? Is it safe? And what do you need to consider before feeding your dog beef jerky?

In this article, we’re going to answer all of your questions about how to feed this yummy food to your pup safely.

In Short – Can Dogs Eat Beef Jerky?

It really depends on what kind of beef jerky you give your dog. Overly processed beef jerky treats or spicy beef jerky can contain ingredients that could be harmful to dogs.

However, homemade and plain beef jerky can be a yummy and healthier treat for pups. It’s certainly a good tool to use in training sessions.

The thing to remember is that beef jerky should be fed to dogs plain and in moderation. Even too much of a good thing can have negative side effects for dogs.

Is Beef Jerky Good for Dogs?

Plain beef jerky is safe for dogs. The problems come when you feed your pooch too much or seasoned beef jerky. Seasonings such as spices, onions, garlic, and salt are toxic to dogs and can cause some serious issues.

If your dog does eat seasoned beef jerky get in touch with your vet right away. Monitor them for signs of poisoning (vomiting, sickness, lethargy) and follow your vet’s advice.

So what about plain beef jerky? Is that good for dogs? Well, just because it’s not bad for dogs doesn’t mean it’s necessarily good. Dogs should be getting 90% of their daily calories and nutrients from canine-specific food and 10% can be healthy treats and extras.

Although plain beef jerky can be a good source of protein and it’s certainly better than other meats such as pepperoni, there are some healthier options you could be giving to your pooch. These include:

dog waiting for snack

Can Dogs Eat Beef Jerky Dog Treats?

It’s safe to give your dog jerky treats if they’re plain and formulated for pups. Even though they’re yummy and dogs will go crazy for them, it’s important to feed beef jerky in moderation and as part of a healthy and balanced diet.

Can Dogs Eat Teriyaki Beef Jerky?

Dogs shouldn’t eat Teriyaki Beef Jerky. It might contain potentially toxic ingredients for dogs. This type of seasoned beef jerky will probably also contain high levels of salt, preservatives, and other additives that your dog is better off without. If eaten in high quantities, your pup could suffer from salt poisoning.

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, if you want to feed your dog beef jerky, make sure it’s plain.

Can Dogs Eat Peppered Beef Jerky?

Again, it’s best just to give your pooch plain beef jerky. Whilst black pepper is safe to give dogs, shop-bought peppered beef jerky may contain other added ingredients that could potentially be toxic to dogs.

Giving Dogs Beef Jerky

There are lots of ways you can add beef jerky to your pup’s diet if you wish to. One of the best ways is to give it to them as a snack or reward for good behavior. Dogs will love the smell, taste, and texture of beef jerky so it can work as an excellent motivator.

Something else you could try doing is hiding small pieces of beef jerky in a fun snuffle mat or interactive dog toy. Dogs will love to ‘hunt’ for the yummy-smelling treat and it’s an excellent way of honing their natural instincts.

It’s also really important to cut up beef jerky into bite-sized chunks. If you have a small dog, it’s extra important as larger pieces of beef jerky could be a choking hazard.

beef jerky

How Much Beef Jerky Can Dogs Eat?

Moderation is key whenever you’re feeding your pup. You can give your pooch the odd bit of beef jerky for them to chew from time to time, but it shouldn’t make up a large portion of their diet. Eating beef jerky regularly could lead to weight gain or other issues such as an upset stomach.

So, Can Dogs Eat Beef Jerky?

Yes, it’s safe to give your furry friend plain beef jerky in small amounts. The smell and yummy taste make it a good (and very motivating) treat during training sessions too. Just remember that dogs should be getting most of their nutrients and calories from pup-formulated dog food that’s appropriate for their age and lifestyle.

They can have occasional snacks but they need to be plain and given in moderation.