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Can Dogs Eat Beef Jerky: Yes, But When?

Now you might be thinking a little extra about feeding beef jerky to dogs.

Commonly, we share our meals with dogs when they’re roaming around.

But it goes under consideration when you are sharing beef jerky.

Can dogs eat beef jerky?

Rather than opting for store-bought beef jerky, you should feed your dog homemade beef jerky. You can feed dogs beef jerky if it’s served without additives like salt and spice. Carefully put the ingredients in the beef jerky before feeding it to your dog.

We’ll discuss this topic more elaborately in this article.

Take a few minutes to read this article.

By the end of this article, you’ll know which type of beef jerky is safe for dogs.

Can Dogs Eat Beef Jerky?

Some might argue that there is nothing wrong with feeding beef jerky to your dog. And they won’t be exactly wrong with their statement. However, that’s not always the case.

You might think that beef jerky is similar to those meat stick treats for dogs. If that’s the case, then you’re wrong!

Beef jerky is not similar to meat sticks. They contain different ingredients. While the meat stick won’t hurt your dog, beef jerky can.

Yes, the primary ingredient of beef jerky is beef. And dogs can eat ground beef. We mostly overlook the preservatives used in beef jerky to store it without refrigeration. 

Additionally, a variety of spices are also used to add flavor to it. Such spices are unsuitable for your dog’s health and may lead to several complications.

3 Possible Complications From Eating Beef Jerky

Several risk factors can be associated with the consumption of beef jerky. Some of the possible complications your dog may face from consuming beef jerky are-


There is always a minuscule possibility of choking hazards when dogs are fed chewable treats. This possibility increases manifolds if the serving size is more significant than recommended.

Before feeding the dogs, one must always break down the beef jerky into smaller bits. The dog should be closely supervised.


When the thyroid hormone levels increase abnormally, this condition is called thyrotoxicosis

A rare surge of thyrotoxicosis has been reported among dogs that consumed beef jerky.

Dogs with thyrotoxicosis usually face weight loss, frequent urination, nausea, diarrhea, and many more symptoms.

The dogs reverted to their normal state once the consumption of beef jerky was stopped.

Bacterial Contamination

Beef jerky is usually thoroughly cooked, dehydrating the meat of moisture. Like raw meat, dehydrated meats also create an ideal environment for bacteria contamination.

Bacterias containing Salmonella can develop illness in dogs with weak immunity. Young puppies and older dogs are the most vulnerable to contracting such bacteria. 

You can feed lima beans to dogs with bacterial contamination in their digestive system. High dietary fiber foods can flush out the bacteria inside the digestive system.

Is There Any Dog-Specific Beef Jerky?

Luckily, there is a way for dogs to overcome the health risks of eating beef jerky. By switching to dog-specific beef jerky, you can avoid all the illnesses above for dogs.

How does it work?

Compared to regular beef jerky, this particular beef jerky has fewer ingredients. In addition to that, the dog-specific beef jerky also lacks spices and other additives. These ingredients don’t trigger any adverse reactions in dogs. 

Check out these dog-specific beef jerky brands that we recommend:


These beef jerky brands contain the fewest ingredients, making it safe for your four-legged friend.

Is Homemade Beef Jerky Better for Your Dog?

What makes homemade beef jerky great is your total control over the ingredients.

Store-bought beef jerky uses preservatives and other additives, making it dangerous for dogs. The beef jerky usually bought from the store doesn’t consider health standards for dogs. And they are not meant for dogs anyways. 

Dogs can’t digest salt, garlic, and spices. So their body will eventually reject foods containing those ingredients, resulting in nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

You can avoid additives that harm your dog when making beef jerky. In this way, your dog can enjoy a tasty treat, and you stay worry-free.

When Should I Avoid Feeding Beef Jerky to My Dog?

You should never feed beef jerky to your dog if it has overweight issues. Overweight dogs run a considerable risk of growing thyrotoxicosis.

Some dogs are allergic to beef and other foods containing similar ingredients. Avoid feeding them beef jerky, as doing so might trigger their allergic reaction.

If your dog has an underlying illness, don’t feed beef jerky to the dog. The same applies to dogs that have a less-than-ideal immunity system.

3 Alternatives to Beef Jerky for Dogs

Earlier, we learned about regular beef jerky’s harmful effects on your dogs. We also learned about beef jerky, which is made specifically for dogs. 

By now, you might be wondering if there are any alternatives to beef jerky for dogs. Well, we’ve got some perfect beef jerky alternatives for you!

Here are some dog food options that you can pick beef jerky-

Fish Skin Dog Treats

They have an abundance of omega-3, a healthy fatty acid that reduces blood pressure. Free from harmful ingredients, these treats possess similar benefits to beef jerky.

Dental Chews

Dental chews can be a very healthy treat for your dog’s teeth. According to the list of VHOC, dental chews are accepted as a proven remedy for plaques.

They are also less smelly compared to fish skin dog treats.

Beef Tendons

These have similar nutritional benefits to beef jerky and are enjoyable dog treats. They come in more significant bits and take a long time to chew down.

Beef tendons can be a great treat for larger dogs. But, for smaller dogs, you must cut the pieces into smaller bits.


Can dogs eat scrambled eggs?

As long as they are adequately cooked, dogs can eat eggs, cooked anyhow you want. Ensure you don’t add extra additives like spice, salt, and butter to the egg.

Is beef jerky raw meat?

No, beef jerky is not raw meat. It’s fully cooked meat that contains a minimal amount of moisture. So it’s not ideal for preserving for a long time.

Can dogs drink milk?

Yes, milk is a safe and healthy drink for dogs if provided in moderation. However, milk contains fat, and too much milk in your dog’s diet can make it obese.

Bottom Line

Now you know whether or not dogs can eat beef jerky.

If you want to feed your dog with beef jerky, go for the dog-specific option. 

Consult a vet if your dog exhibits any adverse reaction to beef jerky.

Thanks for reading this article. Have a great day!