Can Dogs Have Beef? 

Beef has been used as the main protein in many commercial dog foods for decades, and most of the time it can be very beneficial to our four-legged friends. But you might be wondering if raw or cooked beef is better, or if certain parts of the cow can be given to your dog safely. There are many benefits to beef, but it’s better to know the dos and don'ts before we start feeding it to our pups. 

We’ve broken down each type of beef you may come across when looking for good dog foods and treats, to give you a better idea of what will work for your pup. 


What are the benefits of beef for dogs?

There are plenty of benefits for dogs when you put beef in their diet. It's an excellent source of protein, which will help your dog build muscle, and it contains enough fat that your pup will feel satisfied and full after eating. Beef also contains many nutrients and minerals that will help keep you dog healthy, including: 

  • Zinc - immune cells require a steady supply of zinc, so by consuming more your pup’s immune system will be much stronger. 
  • Iron - carries oxygen in your pup’s red blood cells, giving them more energy. 
  • Selenium - vital for the correct function of your dog’s metabolism, and also important for the prevention and treatment of cancer.
  • Vitamins B3, B6 and B12 - these vitamins help with your dog’s brain functions, the breakdown of fatty acids, and the creation of red blood cells. 

Can dogs eat cooked beef?

Cooked beef can be a solid part of any healthy dog's diet, and you’ll find it included in many commercial dog foods. You’ll likely only face issues if your dog is allergic to beef, or if you try to introduce it too quickly. Otherwise, beef has many benefits to your dog's health, as we’ve explained above. 

When preparing beef for your dog, make sure to use a lean cut, leave it unseasoned, and don't bother with a steak sauce. You can roast it, grill it, or pan fry it, but remember to get its internal temperature to at least 62 degrees celsius to ensure it is cooked throughout. 

Can dogs eat corned beef?

Dogs shouldn't eat corned beef, whether that’s on its own or as a special treat. It has an incredibly high salt and fat content, being a form of cured brisket, and is usually seasoned with other spices that can, at best, give your pooch an upset tummy.  

Ingesting corned beef could lead to a number of health issues for your pup, including salt poisoning and gut problems, so should be avoided. If your dog manages to get its paws on a significant amount, the best course of action is to contact your vet. 

Can dogs eat cooked beef bones?

Giving your dog any type of bone has been subject to much debate. Some vets warn against bones, because there are numerous risks associated with them. If they are to be given, then they should be raw and then taken away after 10 minutes or so. You should also supervise your dog the entire time they are chewing. 

Cooked bones, including beef bones, however, are generally agreed to be bad for dogs. The act of cooking softens the bones, increasing the likelihood that they will splinter, which could cause blockages somewhere in your pet’s gastrointestinal tract. 

Can dogs eat beef jerky?

Like corned beef, jerky can contain high amounts of salt and other seasonings that are harmful to your pet. But, if it doesn't contain any of these things, or additional additives and preservatives, then it should be safe for your dog to eat. So most jerky made for humans will be a no-go, but if it’s jerky made specifically for dogs then they should be fine. 

If you’ve got time, homemade jerky is the best option because you can control exactly what goes into it (and what doesn’t), and avoid any harmful ingredients. 

Can dogs eat raw beef?

Raw beef contains harmful bacteria that are killed off after it’s been cooked. If left raw these bacteria stay on the meat, and can potentially make your dog ill. Most vets advise against giving your dogs raw beef for this very reason.  

But it isn’t just your dog that could become ill. The bacteria on raw beef can be picked up by you or a family member. This could be when you handle it, if your dog licks you after they’ve eaten it, or when you pick up their faeces afterwards. If you’re immunocompromised then this risk is even greater. 

Can dogs eat raw beef mince?

Beef mince carries the same risk as any raw beef for dogs. It’s best to cook mince for your dog, following the same steps as with other types of beef - unseasoned, pan fried, grilled, or baked. 

Turning beef mince into a burger and then cooking it for your dog should be carried out with caution. When a steak is cooked, the bacteria is killed off because only the outside of the meat has come into contact with the outside world. With mince there is no inside and outside of the meat, so you need to make sure it's cooked completely through, at least medium well, to kill off any harmful bacteria. 

Finding healthy beef dog food

Commercially available dog foods that offer named meats are always going to be better for your pup than those that don’t. Read the ingredients and see how many minerals, nutrients, and vitamins are contained within. This will help you decide what’s best for your dog. 

Pets Love Fresh cooks our meat at low temperatures for a longer time to ensure all bacteria has been removed, but the great taste remains. Our Simply Beef recipe contains 62% human grade British beef mixed with beef heart and liver, both rich in iron. Order our taster pack today and let your pooch try out our high quality food for themselves. 

 

Shop our taster packs for dogs and puppies.