Can Dogs Eat Beef Jerky?

We all know how much dogs love beef! This craving comes from their carnivorous wolf-like ancestors, who hunted to survive. Even though your Cadet won't need to hunt for their next meal, their instinctive desire for meat lives on! And while raw meat is no longer an appropriate or agreeable source of protein, there are a variety of cooked meats your dog can safely enjoy—depending on how they’re prepared.

When it comes to human food for dogs, there are all sorts of options you can share with your furry friend. But what about a packaged, seemingly simple snack like beef jerky? The short answer is yes, dogs can eat beef jerky…but not all kinds.

Is Beef Jerky Bad for Dogs?

Plain, unseasoned beef jerky is not bad for dogs. However, watch out for varieties with added ingredients. Onion and garlic, for instance, are common jerky additives that are toxic foods for dogs. Some beef jerky contains high levels of salt and sugar, which can lead to dehydration, vomiting, or gastrointestinal distress.

When treating your Cadet to beef jerky, opt for a natural, unflavored choice that does not have any added ingredients.

RELATED: Can Dogs Eat Liver? How to Safely Give This Treat

Can Dogs Have Homemade Beef Jerky?

Dogs can have homemade beef jerky, but only when prepared properly. Not only is it delicious, but it’s also high in protein and low in fat. Plus, the texture makes it naturally occupying and delicious.

Just thinly slice the beef, spread it out on a wire rack, and place in the oven for about two hours at 275 degrees. Freezing the meat for 5-10 minutes before cutting helps slice very thin pieces.

Of the many recipes available to make beef jerky for your dog, most are intended to make multiple servings and should be fed depending on your dog's weight and dietary needs.

 golden retriever eating Bully Hide Stick

More Delicious Beef Dog Chews

Although dogs can eat beef jerky (if it’s plain and unseasoned) in moderation, there are many other chews that offer the irresistible flavor of real beef! Here are some long-lasting options to keep your Cadet happy, busy, and satisfied while they chew.

Beef Treats — Naturally flavorful and highly digestible, real beef strips and beef sticks are great high-protein chews to indulge your dog’s natural cravings. Crafted with beef esophagus from the finest-quality cattle, these treats are a nutritious way to reward your dog while helping support joint health.

Bully Hide Sticks — If your dog loves bully sticks, they’ll love Cadet® Bully Hide Sticks! Made only with the highest-quality grass-fed, free-range cattle, these long-lasting chews combine the most digestible cut of rawhide available with 100% real bully stick for an irresistibly delicious flavor combination.

Beef-Flavored Stuffed Shin Bone — Take your dog back to their roots with a real shin bone stuffed with soft and savory beef-flavored filling! Stuffed shin bones are great for strong chewers and can be refilled with any spreadable treat.

Beef Hide Chips — A great occupying option for your dog, beef hide chips provide a tasty, long-lasting chewing experience with its natural beef flavor. Plus, the chip shape resembles beef jerky!

Perky for Jerky

Jerky can be a great source of protein, vitamins, and minerals for anyone—including your dog! They will love this occupying and savory snack. If you are buying it from the grocery store, be sure to check labels and ingredients to ensure all ingredients are safe for dogs. Just remember, while dogs can eat beef jerky, plain is always best!

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