A lot of dog food and treats advertise that they are made with beef, which makes you believe that the meat is safe for your dog. There are however many types of beef you could cook at home and be concerned about whether it’s safe to feed your pet. Do dogs consume beef in all forms, or are certain types better than other types? We asked some experts to discuss their opinions and advise us on the best way to eat beef and what to stay clear of.
Can Beef be considered Good or Good For Dogs?
Beef is a great protein source that has been utilized in pet food products that are commercially available for a long time. It also has a range of nutrients, including Vitamin B12 and B6 zinc, selenium, and niacin. It also contains phosphorus, iron, riboflavin, and choline.
“Most pet food manufacturers employ the services of veterinary nutritionists to ensure that the products they make are balanced nutritionally and appropriate for the dog’s diet,” explains Julia Herman, DVM, education and outreach veterinarian at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.
In the United States, beef products are commonly used in pet food since pets do not have any medical reason for eliminating beef from their diets, for example, the presence of an allergic reaction to foods. Herman advises us that “It is essential to speak with your veterinarian regarding any nutritional concerns related to your dog’s diet, including your dog’s medical history as well as any diagnostic tests required.”
Can Dogs consume all Types of Beef?
While beef products are often included in commercial dog food, there are some kinds of beef that you might be thinking twice about prior to feeding your pet.
Consuming raw meat for your dog or meat products of any kind must be avoided. “While dogs are technically served raw meat, they do have a few hazards to consider,” Herman says.
The first step is Herman states that by itself raw beef is not enough to offer a balanced diet for your pet. While pet owners may have heard about the success of making a homemade raw diet be sure to talk with your vet or a veterinary nutritionist to make sure that your dog is getting all the nutrition before altering your diet.
In addition, dogs that eat raw beef are at a greater risk possibility of spreading bacteria such as Salmonella and E. coli that can make your pet or the entire family sick, particularly if your family members suffer from immunocompromised conditions. “Many organizations, such as that of FDA, CDC as well as the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) have identified valid concerns about food safety for people who feed raw diets for their animals,” Herman explains.
Also, owners should exercise caution when feeding steak slices with bones or bones to their pets. “Dogs are able to chew and break pieces of bone that could cause an obstruction in the intestine or intestinal trauma that could be life-threatening, and/or require surgery to rectify.”
Although it may appear as an ideal food for dogs giving your pup bones is not a good idea. Bones cooked in a pot should not be eaten because they are more likely to break than raw bone, which puts your pet at a higher risk of injuries. Also, raw bones could expose your dog to the risk of contracting a bacterial illness from Salmonella, Listeria, or E. coli.
Unseasoned, cooked ground beef is safe to feed pets in tiny quantities. To make sure that the meat is safe to consume cook the meat to an appropriate temperature, at a minimum of 160°F to remove harmful bacteria that can cause your pet to get sick. Utilize a meat thermometer to make sure that the meat attains a safe temperature for cooking.
Herman recommends against adding spice or salt to ground beef because it could make dogs sick. Garlic or onions specifically are poisonous for dogs, and too much salt could cause dehydration. Herman further states that foods with higher fat content could create nausea, diarrhea, and more severe illnesses such as pancreatitis. So, in order to eliminate as much fat as you can and reduce gastric upset Herman advises simmering the beef in water.
Corned beef is not a good choice for dogs and must be avoided. “Corned beef has a significant salt content, compared to other special-formulated dog foods. Certain dogs may experience an increase in thirst and urination. other dogs may exhibit more severe symptoms such as diarrhea or vomiting or even salt poisoning” Herman explains.
Beef jerky for humans isn’t the ideal option for dogs too, since it might contain ingredients and spices that are dangerous for dogs.
There are however options that are safe for dogs if you would like to treat your dog to the same snack. “There are jerky options available designed specifically to be used by dogs,” Herman says. “These products are designed with lower sodium levels than the jerky brands designed specifically for humans.”
Bone broth is prepared from the roasted bones and other vegetables, simmering them for over 24 hours and then straining the liquids out. This delicious liquid is rich in collagen as well as various minerals that seep from the bone in the soup.
Linda Simon, MVB, MRCVS consultant vet at FiveBarks states it is true that broth made from beef “is an excellent choice for dogs that are thirsty or refusing food.” Your dog could be benefited, for instance following a dental cleaning as they may suffer from soft gums.
When you, along with your vet decide that it is beneficial to feed your dog with bone broth, you can purchase the broth already prepared or make it yourself to make sure there are any additional seasonings or ingredients which could cause harm to your dog.
How to Give Your Dog Beef
Beef is a known protein source in all kinds of dog food products, from canned food to kibble to treats. “The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) mark on the food can let owners know if the diet has been evaluated and is safe and balanced,” Herman says.
A few rules and guidelines to ensure your dog is fed safe beef include:
- Do not feed your dog scraps of tableware which can cause stomach problems as well as weight gain.
- If you intend to feed beef cooked at home to your dog, consult with your veterinarian first before feeding it in small amounts, and ensure that fat is taken out.
- Wash your hands prior to or after you feed your dog when they are feeding them treats, or washing dishes for your pet.
- Consult your vet regarding your pet’s diet and health prior to changing the diet they’re eating.