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Can Dogs Eat Beef Jerky: Yes, But When?

It’s very common that we share our meal with dogs when they’re roaming around. But it goes under consideration when you are sharing beef jerky. 

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

Can dogs eat beef jerky?

You can feed dogs beef jerky if it’s served without any additives like salt and spice. Rather than opting for store-bought beef jerky, you should feed your dog homemade beef jerky. 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 always not the case.

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

While the meat stick won’t hurt your dog in any way, beef jerky can. Beef jerky is not similar to meat sticks. In fact, they contain different ingredients.

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

Not only that but a variety of spices are also used to add flavor to it. Such spices are not good for your dog’s health and may lead to several complications.

3 Possible Complications From Eating Beef Jerky

There are several risk factors that 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 size of the serving is larger than recommended.

One must always break down the beef jerkys into smaller bits before feeding the dogs. 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 back to their normal state once the consumption of beef jerky was stopped.

Bacterial Contamination

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

Bacterias containing Salmonella can develop illness in dogs that have a weak immunity system. Young puppies and older dogs are the most vulnerable to contracting such bacterias. 

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. Simply by switching to dog-specific beef jerky, you can avoid all the aforementioned illnesses for dogs.

How does it work?

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

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 that you have total control over the ingredients.

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

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

When making beef jerky yourself, you can avoid additives that can be harmful to your dog. In this way, your dog gets to 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 huge 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 have learned about the harmful effects regular beef jerky can have on your dogs. We also learned about beef jerky that 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 of beef jerky-

Fish Skin Dog Treats

They have an abundance of omega-3, a healthy fatty acid that reduces blood pressure. Free from any 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 an enjoyable treat for dogs. They come in larger 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.


Question: Can dogs eat scrambled eggs?

Answer: As long as they are cooked properly, dogs can eat eggs, cooked anyhow you want. Just make sure that you don’t add any extra additives like spice, salt, and butter with the egg.

Question: Is beef jerky raw meat?

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

Question: Can dogs drink milk?

Answer: 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 really want to feed your dog with beef jerky, go for the dog-specific option. 

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

Thanks for reading this article. Have a great day!