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Is beef good for my dog?

Is Beef Good For Dogs?


Beef is a great source of protein and a staple in many dog diets. Not only is it delicious, but it also provides many health benefits for our furry friends. In this blog post, we'll take a closer look at the health benefits of beef for dogs, why it's important to include it in their diet, and how to introduce beef safely. 

Benefits of Beef For Dogs

With a few best practices, lean beef can be a fantastic addition for your dog as part of a well-balanced diet. As a complete protein source, beef contains all the amino acids your pup needs for muscle growth, repair, and overall health. Beef boasts an impressive nutritional profile, containing essential nutrients like iron, selenium, zinc, and B vitamins. 

While too much fat in the diet can lead to health problems, healthy fats can help with nutrient absorption. Essential fatty acids in beef fat, especially omega-3 and omega-6, contribute to a shiny coat and healthy skin. 

Not to mention, most dogs find the taste and smell of beef very appealing, making it a great way to add variety to their meals. 

Here’s a deeper dive into some beef benefits for dogs you need to know: 

Protein, Amino Acids, and Taurine

Beef is an excellent source of protein and amino acids, which are essential for building and maintaining strong muscles. That's why beef is the first ingredient in our best-selling Beef & Sweet Potato Kibble. Beef is also a great source of taurine, an amino acid that is important for heart health. Taurine is especially important for dogs because they are unable to produce it themselves. In addition to the naturally occurring taurine in beef, we supplement all of our kibble recipes to reach the ideal amount of taurine for heart health. 

Healthy Fats

Beef is also a great source of healthy fats, which are important for maintaining a healthy coat and skin. The fatty acids found in beef, such as omega-3 and omega-6, also help maintain overall health by reducing inflammation and promoting a healthy immune system.

Vitamins and Minerals

Beef is packed with vitamins and minerals that are essential for maintaining good health. It's a great source of vitamin B12, which is important for healthy brain function, as well as iron, which helps prevent anemia. Beef is also a great source of zinc, which is important for healthy skin and a strong immune system.

Digestive Health

Beef is a highly digestible protein source, which means it's easy on your dog's digestive system. This is especially important for dogs with sensitive stomachs or those who are prone to digestive issues. In addition to using only easy-to-digest ingredients, our kibble recipes contain a patented probiotic to further support digestive health. 

Weight Management

If your dog is overweight, beef can be a great addition to their diet. It's a high-protein, low-carbohydrate food that can help your dog feel full and satisfied while maintaining a healthy weight. Consult your vet to find the perfect portions and weight loss plan for your dog if you think they may need to slim down. Not sure your dog is a healthy weight? Head over to our blog post written by a certified veterinarian on the topic. 

Can Dogs Eat All Types of Beef?

The short answer is no; dogs can’t eat all types of beef. While there are commercial beef-based dog foods available, it’s important to know what’s safe and what to avoid before feeding your pup beef. 

Raw Beef

It’s best to avoid feeding your furry friend any raw meat or meat products. Technically, dogs can eat raw beef, but there are a few risks dog parents should keep in mind: 

  1. Bacterial Contamination: Raw meat, including beef, can contain harmful bacteria like Salmonella E. coli and Listeria. These bacteria can make your pup unwell, leading to symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, and dehydration. Raw beef can also contain parasites like roundworms and tapeworms, which can get into your dog’s intestines and cause digestive issues. 
  2. Nutritional Imbalance: On its own, raw beef doesn’t provide all the essential nutrients for optimal health. Getting a balanced intake of vitamins, minerals, and other important nutrients can be difficult. 
  3. Choking Hazard: Large chunks of raw meat can pose a choking hazard. 

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AMVA) discourages feeding dogs raw or undercooked animal-sourced protein (including meat, poultry, and fish). There’s a concern not only about the risk to animal health but also to humans. 

Beef Bones

While giving bones to your pup can seem like a natural treat, it’s best to avoid feeding your dog bones. Cooked bones should be avoided as the cooking process can make bones brittle and splinter easily. The sharp fragments from the bones cause choking, internal injuries, and blockages to your dog’s digestive system, which will mean an emergency trip to the vet. 

Raw bones still have risks, as large bones can get stuck and put your dog at risk of bacterial infection. It’s also important to consider your dog’s age and breed, as puppies and senior dogs may not have strong enough teeth to handle raw bones safely. Instead, try a safe alternative to bones and rawhide chews, like our Dental Chews. They are suitable for dogs of all ages, easy to digest, and help fight tartar and plaque buildup. 

Ground Beef

Cooked, unseasoned ground beef, in small amounts, is a safe occasional treat for dogs. Make sure to cook the meat to a safe temperature of at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit. This will kill harmful bacteria that could make your pup or family sick. 

While seasoning can make your meal more appetizing, it can be harmful to dogs. Salt, spices, onions, and garlic are toxic to dogs and should be avoided. Cooked ground beef for dogs should be completely plain. Keep in mind that high-fat foods can cause digestive issues in dogs, so try to remove as much fat as possible. Boiling helps remove fat while retaining the natural flavors of the meat. 

So, how much beef should I feed my dog? 

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to how much beef to feed your dog that applies to all breeds, ages, and sizes. Cooked, lean, and ground beef can be a treat in moderation, but variety is important. Most high-quality commercially prepared dog foods already balance dogs' nutritional needs. If you choose to prepare your pup’s food at home, it’s best to consult your vet for guidance to make sure you can meet your dog’s nutritional needs.

Corned Beef

Corned beef is a big no-no for dogs because it has a really high salt content and other ingredients that are not dog-friendly, like sugar and spices. 

The curing process to produce corned beef involves a lot of salt. Dogs can’t handle high levels of salt in the diet, as excessive intake can lead to: 

  • Dehydration 
  • Vomiting 
  • Increased thirst and urination 
  • Salt poisoning (severe cases) 

Corned beef and other canned beef feed sold as human food contains a much higher salt content compared to most specifically formulated dog food. 

Beef Jerky

Although it can feel like beef jerky would be a good treat for your dog, again, it’s not really the best option. Beef jerky made for humans usually contains a lot of salt and ingredients like seasoning, spices, and sometimes preservatives and additives. These ingredients can be harmful to dogs. As jerky is dried meat, it can be tougher to chew and digest, especially for older dogs or pups with dental problems. 

But don’t worry; there are dog-safe alternatives, so you can still give your dog a beef jerky-style treat but with a dog-friendly formula. 

Forget those human jerky treats with hidden salt and mystery ingredients; our drool-worthy Beef Jerky Tenders and Beef Jerky Bites are made specifically for dogs. They are developed with lower sodium content than jerky products made for humans. Plus, they’re delicious and healthy to fuel your dog’s adventures! 

Beef Bone Broth

Beef bone broth is a nutritious stock made by simmering beef bones with water for an extended time (more than 24 hours). Beef bone broth for dogs can be a good way to encourage hydration, especially for pups who either don’t drink enough water or refuse food. The flavor and aroma of beef bone broth can encourage dogs to lap it up. 

You can make beef bone broth at home, but remember to avoid any ingredients not suitable for dogs, like onions, garlic, or anything toxic to dogs. Opt for a dog-safe recipe or a commercially made broth for dogs. 

For a fuss-free alternative with the full flavors of beef broth, try our Beef Bone Broth Biscuits. We also use beef bone broth in our Beef & Chicken Homemades and Beef Pate recipes! You won’t find any corn, wheat, soy, or filler in our beef food for dogs, just real, high-quality ingredients. 

Why is Grass-Fed Beef Better than Grain-Fed Beef for Dogs?

The best beef dog food for your furry friend depends on their specific needs and preferences. When it comes to beef for dogs, grass-fed beef tends to offer several advantages over grain-fed or “regular” beef: 

  • Omega-3 Powerhouse: Grass-fed beef typically contains higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids, essential for maintaining a shiny coat, healthy skin, and joint health in your furry friend. 
  • Vitamins and Minerals Boost: This type of beef is often richer in certain vitamins and minerals, supporting overall health. 
  • Leaner Option: Grass-fed beef usually has lower levels of saturated fat than grain-fed cattle and is often raised without antibiotics and growth hormones. 
  • Superior Taste and Texture: Many claim grass-fed beef has a superior taste and texture compared to beef from grain-fed cattle. Some pet owners believe that pets prefer the taste of grass-fed beef, making it a more enticing option for picky eaters who normally turn their noses up at bland dog food. 

Overall, grass-fed beef can be a valuable addition to your dog’s diet. It’s always important to choose high-quality sources of protein and prioritize a balanced diet for your pooch. For an easy alternative that’s sure to result in a wagging tale and a happy tummy, our beef kibble recipe uses grass-fed beef as the number #1 ingredient. The tasty formula is a complete and balanced meal with just the right blend of protein, fat, carbohydrates, and essential nutrients to help dogs thrive. 

Can I Feed My Dog Cooked Beef Every Day?

As long as you stick to the safe types of beef, cooked beef can be given as treats or meal toppers. But it’s generally not recommended to feed your dog only cooked beef every day. Your pup needs a complete and balanced diet for optimal health and energy levels. While beef is an excellent source of protein, it alone doesn’t have the carbohydrates, fiber, and other essential vitamins and minerals your pooch needs in large enough quantities. 

Meat-only diets, whether beef, chicken, or pork, are not enough for dogs. Meat lacks things like calcium, vitamins, and fiber. A lack of calcium in the diet can be dangerous for dogs, as low calcium levels can lead to weak and brittle bones. Cooked beef can be a complementary part of your dog’s diet, alongside high-quality dog food that contains all the nutrients your pup needs to thrive. 

Choosing the Right Beef for Your Dog

When it comes to choosing beef for your dog, it's important to look for high-quality, lean cuts of meat. Lean beef cuts, such as sirloin or round, are a great choice because they are low in fat and high in protein. Avoid processed meats and ground beef, which often contain added fats and preservatives. 

So, is beef dog food good for dogs?

Unless your pup doesn’t tolerate beef well, a beef dog food formula can be a great addition to your dog’s routine. There are many great options available, such as our Grass-Fed Beef Dog Food and Grain-Free Beef Paté Wet Dog Food. Fuel their adventures with real ingredients that even the pickiest of dogs will love. 

Don't feel like cooking? Try our new Beef & Chicken Homemades wet food pouches. Jinx recipes use only high-quality lean beef, so you can rest assured your pup is getting what they need. 

It’s a good idea to introduce new food to your dog’s routine slowly. This gives your dog's digestive system a little time to adjust and minimizes the risk of tummy troubles. A slower change also gives your pup the time to develop a taste for the new food. A good rule of thumb is to transition your dog to new food over 7-9 days. If you notice any signs of digestive upset, slow down, and even consult your veterinarian if you have any concerns. 

In Conclusion

Beef is a nutritious and delicious food that provides many health benefits for dogs. From building strong muscles to maintaining a healthy coat and skin, beef is an important part of a balanced diet for dogs. Just be sure to choose high-quality, lean cuts of meat and avoid processed meats and ground beef. Your furry friend will thank you for it!


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