Can Dogs Eat Beef Jerky? All You Need To Know

Who doesn’t love beef jerky? And that includes Dogs too. But Can Dogs Eat Beef Jerky? Dehydrated strips of lean meat that have been smoked or maybe marinated lightly by delicious spices – the perfect snack for non-vegetarian human beings. Therefore, it’s only natural that our dogs want some too.

Well, the short of it is that dogs can eat beef jerkies, but not always, and certainly not all types of beef jerkies. This article answers some of the most pondered questions about feeding beef jerky to pet dogs! Keep reading to give your dog the right kind of snack without hurting its health and body!

Can Dogs Eat the Same Beef Jerky that Humans Eat?

The answer to this question is a two-part one. If you buy the beef jerky from your neighborhood supermarket, you simply can’t feed it to your furball, and we’ll explain why.

To begin with, large-scale manufacturing of beef jerky is done keeping in mind the taste preferences and the human body in mind. Therefore, multiple ingredients in these beef jerky are extremely unhealthy for your pet dog.

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Ingredients like salt, garlic flavoring, sugar, xylitol, hot spices and artificial flavoring, onions, hot peppers, and so on are common in the store-bought versions of beef jerky.

In dogs, excessive salt consumption can cause sodium ion poisoning, but excessive sugar consumption can cause diabetes, weight gain, and even pancreatitis.

As we said, these versions are produced to appeal to the human taste and also be a convenience item in their life; therefore, they are not really healthy or suitable to include in your pet dog’s diet.

If, however, you make your own beef jerky in your home kitchen, your dog might just be able to enjoy the flavorful delicacy every now and then. However, this is only the case if you make your beef jerky devoid of any additional flavoring and ingredients.

In fact, it’s safe to say that beef jerky in the right quantities can be healthy for your pet dog. If the Beef Jerky is plain and dry meat, it is simply dehydrated meat that is safe to consume by dogs.

Plain dried Beef Jerky beef is a good source of protein, and our dogs need a well-balanced diet that offers not only macronutrients like protein but also other micronutrients. As a result, homemade Beef Jerky might be a beneficial addition to their diet.

One thing you must remember is that moderation is crucial, as it is with most foods. Therefore, make sure your pet dog indulges in beef jerky treats in restricted quantities.

How Much Nutrition does Beef Jerky Pack?

The first thing to understand about the health benefits or demerits of beef jerky for your dog is that the word jerky is an adaptation of a Quechuan word that literally translates to dried and salted meat.

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Therefore, traditionally, beef jerky is produced from lean beef strips that have been marinated in a variety of sauces, spices, and other ingredients. Before being packed for sale, it then goes through a series of processing steps, including curing, smoking, and drying.

Generally, beef jerky is a high-protein snack made from lean meat. Therefore, it is also low in fat and packed with nutrients.

With rich proportions of minerals such as zinc, folate, iron, phosphorous, potassium, choline, copper, manganese, molybdenum, selenium, magnesium, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin B12, beef jerky is, more or less, a complete animal-based source of nutrition.

But, as we mentioned, beef jerky can only be good for your dog when devoid of flavor, additives, and chemicals!

Health Benefits Of Beef Jerky For Dogs

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If prepared in the right way, beef jerky can be extremely beneficial for your pet dog. Here are some of the benefits that feeding your dog with the right kind of beef jerky can confer on his overall health.

Stimulation of your pet dog’s mind

Beef jerky can be your best friend when training your dog using techniques of positive reinforcement. When practicing positive reinforcement, you can use beef-jerky as ‘high-value’ treats for your pet dog.

This is especially helpful in reinforcing difficult-to-learn behavior and genuine successes in your training journey. Needless to say, positive, fear-free training is critical for your puppy’s long-term behavior, as well as for mental stimulation and cementing your special link.

Larger beef jerky chews are also a terrific method to provide mental stimulation, and if your dog has something to chew on, they’ll be less inclined to chew on your shoes or furniture! Chewing is a natural behavior in dogs that are thought to help them reduce tension.

Maintenance of your pet dog’s dental health

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If you think about it, chewing on something that is fairly difficult to chew and requires repetitive motion of the jaws can be a great dental cleanser.

This is even more applicable when talking about beef jerky since chewing on it also allows the meat to scrape the tartar and plaque off your pet dog’s teeth. Much like a toothbrush would.

And the greatest advantage of this is that it cleans your pet dog’s teeth while helping it enjoy the taste of the meat! However, there aren’t any scientific studies that show that beef jerky treats are useful in lowering plaque and tartar levels.

This isn’t to say they aren’t useful. All it means is that they shouldn’t take the place of regular veterinary exams and other tried-and-true oral hygiene techniques like regular toothbrushing with pet-safe toothpaste.

Maintenance of your dog’s joints

Due to the presence of compounds like glucosamine and chondroitin, the building blocks of healthy cartilage, one of the many benefits of beef jerky treats is improved joint health.

Unfortunately, the amounts of these substances aren’t listed on any of these products, and they’re unlikely to be at the therapeutic levels needed to help dogs’ joints.

Dried Beef Jerky snack in white bowl.

If you suspect your dog has osteoarthritis (arthritis), schedule an appointment with your veterinarian for a diagnosis and treatment plan. This could include arthritic supplements that have been clinically proven to help pets.

Hypoallergenic treats for your pet dog

Grain-free or hypoallergenic claims can be seen on many beef jerky products. Allergies in pets, like allergies in humans, can be difficult to manage.

A small number of dogs are allergic to specific foods. Still, they are more likely to be sensitive to something in their surroundings, like fleas, pollens, or grass.

Despite the fact that most beef jerky products are made entirely of beef and are grain-free, the most frequent food allergies in dogs are to beef, chicken, dairy, and wheat, with some dogs reacting to multiple ingredients.

So, while beef jerky snacks may be appropriate for some dogs with allergies, they aren’t for everyone, and you should always consult your veterinarian or a veterinary dermatology specialist first.

Can Puppies Eat Beef Jerky?

Yes, puppies can eat beef jerky, but you must be careful when feeding it to them, and you should preferably consult your vet before you do. The reason is that beef jerky can present itself as a choking hazard for your pet dog.

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Therefore, even if you do feed it to your pup, you should feed it only when you can supervise it. If at all your dog does start choking, immediately consult your vet regarding how to administer first aid to your pup.

Are Beef Jerkies Safe For Dogs?

Yes, beef jerkies are safe for dogs but only and only when you feed beef jerky that is completely free of flavoring substances and chemical additives that are generally added to large-scale manufactured beef jerky sold as snacks for humans.

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Further, you should only feed beef jerky as a treat and not as a regular part of their daily diet.

Do Dogs Like Beef Jerky?

Most dogs will thoroughly enjoy beef jerky for the simple reason that it is a meat-based snack and appeals to their canine instinct and taste for lean meat. Further, since it is fairly chewy in nature, your pet dog is likely to enjoy the activity that goes into actually eating it.

However, this does not work as a thumb rule. You may find that your dog doesn’t particularly enjoy beef jerky.

Can dogs eat teriyaki beef jerky?

No, dogs cannot eat teriyaki beef jerky. In fact, teriyaki beef jerky is extremely unhealthy for your pet dog. The reason is that teriyaki beef jerky contains generous amounts of sugar and corn syrup.

Sugar and corn syrup, as a source of carbohydrates, is excessive when it comes to feeding dogs. Your canine companion absorbs the sugar in the form of carbohydrates from its main meal and does not require you to supplement its diet with any specific source of carbohydrates, like sugar.

Further, the high sugar content of teriyaki Beef Jerky can cause diabetes, obesity, dental problems, arthritis, and even pancreatitis if consumed frequently.

Can dogs eat spicy beef jerky?

Dogs absolutely should not eat spicy beef jerky. Foods that include spices and hot flavored additives are extremely harmful to dogs.

Can dogs eat beef jerky sticks?

Commercially available beef jerky sticks that you buy at your neighborhood retail store are not suitable to feed your pet dog. The reason is that these beef jerky sticks are often created by adding chemicals and flavors to improve their taste and increase their shelf life.

Some Beef Jerky sticks contain potentially harmful components such as garlic or onion powder, which should be avoided by dogs. If the Beef Jerky sticks have a lot of salt or sugar in them, don’t give them to your dog.

If, however, you are feeding homemade beef jerky sticks or completely unflavored beef jerky sticks, they might be good treats for your pet dog.

Can dogs eat peppered beef jerky?

No, dogs cannot eat peppered beef jerky. Pepper is an ingredient that can be unhealthy for your pet dog and can cause inflammation and irritation to your dog’s throat and digestive system. You should, therefore, avoid feeding it to your pet dog.

Can dogs eat jack link’s original beef jerky?

No, dogs should not consume Jack Link’s original beef jerky because it contains a lot of salt and spices that are hazardous to dogs, such as garlic powder.

Salt poisoning can occur when dogs consume too much salt in their food. While these flavors might appeal to your tastebuds, they are unhealthy for your pet dog.

Can dogs eat jack link’s teriyaki beef jerky?

No, dogs should not consume Jack Link’s Teriyaki Beef Jerky since it is heavy in salt, sugar, and fats. Jack Link’s Teriyaki Beef Jerky also contains wheat and soy components.

Therefore, you must keep this human treat away from your furball if they are allergic to either wheat or soy.

How Many Beef Jerky Can A Dogs Eat?

You should avoid feeding your dog large quantities of beef jerky. In fact, you should only feed your pet dog with beef jerky as a treat and not as a part of its daily diet.

How To Feed Beef Jerky To Dogs?

You should feed small pieces of beef jerky to your dog. Make sure that the beef jerky is completely devoid of flavoring and chemicals and that you feed your dog only when you can supervise it.

Does Beef Jerky Affect The Digestive System Of Dogs?

Anything that has been overly processed is bad for you and your dog, and jerky is no exception.

Cute Welsh Corgi Pembroke dog sitting in breast-band on white background and looking up, where woman hand holds beef jerky. Pretty pet of ginger and white color, training. Copy space.

Preservatives, spices, added tastes, or pepper in jerky will nearly always irritate your dog’s stomach. The most serious problem with feeding jerky to your dog is the high salt content.

The digestive system of a dog is extremely sensitive to salt. While only a small amount of salt is required for nutritional health, a high-salt diet can cause sodium overdose.

Salt poisoning can induce vomiting, diarrhea, muscular spasms, fluid buildup, elevated heart rate, and a variety of other symptoms – including death – in addition to excessive thirst and urine.

Therefore, while you can feed your pet dog beef jerky, it should be free of flavors and especially ingredients like salt and chemicals.

Final Thoughts About Feeding Beef Jerky to Your Dog

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Beef jerky, when fed the right way and prepared rightly, can be a great treat for your pet dog. However, overfeeding your pet dog with beef jerky can result in disastrous effects on your dog’s overall health. Therefore, you must practice feeding it to your dog in limited quantities.


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About the author

I'm Gulshan, a passionate pet enthusiast. Dive into my world where I share tips, stories, and snapshots of my animal adventures. Here, pets are more than just animals; they're heartbeats that enrich our lives. Join our journey!