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Beef jerky is one of my favorite snacks. I often find myself eating a bag while my dog sits staring at me, trying to get a bite.
This leads me to think about whether or not my dog could enjoy some beef jerky with me.
To find the answer, I called up my father, Dr. Littlejohn, to get his expertise on the matter.
So can dogs eat beef jerky? No, dogs should not eat beef jerky. Beef jerky usually contains corn syrup, salt, sugar, soy sauce, garlic powder, honey, and other spices. These can all be harmful to your dog if consumed in large quantities, especially garlic powder, which is toxic to dogs.
In this article, you’ll discover:
- When beef jerky is good and bad for dogs to eat
- The 3 dangers associated with dogs eating beef jerky
- What to do if your dog eats a bag of beef jerky
Let’s dive in.
Table of Contents
Can Dogs Eat Beef Jerky?
Beef jerky is a dried, tough, and chewy meat usually made from lean cuts of beef. It’s typically flavored with salt, sugar, soy sauce, and spices.
While beef jerky can be a delicious and healthy snack for humans, it’s not so good for dogs. That’s because most beef jerky is high in salt, sugar, and spices, which can harm dogs if consumed in large quantities.
In addition, many beef jerky brands contain garlic powder, which is toxic to dogs. So, it’s best to avoid giving your dog any flavors of beef jerky. Finally, due to the high salt content, dehydrated meats are generally a no-no for dogs.
Can Dogs Eat Teriyaki Beef Jerky?
No, dogs should not eat teriyaki beef jerky.
While some argue that a bit of teriyaki beef jerky can’t hurt, it’s important to note that store-bought teriyaki beef jerky contains many unhealthy ingredients. Some of these include corn syrup, salt, and sugar.
Plus, the teriyaki sauce used to make these flavors is made with soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic (sometimes onion), honey, and other spices.
These can all be harmful to your dog if consumed in large quantities. In particular, garlic and onions are considered unsafe by veterinarians and poison control organizations.
Related Reading: Can Dogs Eat Roast Beef? Health Benefits & Dangers
3 Major Dangers Of Dogs Eating Beef Jerky
There are 3 significant dangers in feeding beef jerky to your dog.
1. Unhealthy ingredients
Although every beef jerky brand has slightly different ingredients, most include corn syrup, soy sauce, high levels of salt, and sugar.
Not to mention all the spices used and added ingredients to make the teriyaki sauce, some of which use onion and garlic.
Here are some risks for your dog with some of these ingredients:
- Too much salt can cause dehydration and an electrolyte imbalance.
- Sugar can lead to weight gain and diabetes.
- Soy sauce contains a compound called purine which can lead to health problems in dogs, including kidney stones and bladder crystals.
- Garlic and onions are toxic to dogs and can cause anemia when too much is consumed.
Some dogs may be allergic to soy or wheat, which is often used in store-bought teriyaki sauces.
If your dog is allergic to either of these ingredients, it’s best to avoid giving them any teriyaki beef jerky.
Symptoms of an allergy in dogs include:
If you think your dog is having an allergic reaction to beyond meat, it’s essential to take them to the vet right away.
Like with anything, you should never overfeed your dog. Dogs may experience digestive issues, including diarrhea and vomiting if you do.
Not to mention all the issues explained by some of the ingredients in this beef jerky.
Suppose you want to give your dog some teriyaki beef jerky. In that case, it’s best to make a healthy homemade version using lean cuts of beef and avoiding any unhealthy ingredients.
Can Dogs Die From Eating Beef Jerky?
While it’s unlikely that your dog will die from eating beef jerky, it’s still possible.
As mentioned before, store-bought beef jerky often contains unhealthy ingredients that could prove fatal in some instances when consumed in large quantities.
Related Reading: Can Dogs Eat Corned Beef Hash? Dangers + Tips If They Do
My Dog Ate Beef Jerky What Do I Do?
If your dog happens to eat a bag of beef jerky, don’t panic. The chances of them getting sick are relatively low but keep an eye out for any symptoms.
Dogs most at risk of issues after eating beef jerky are small dogs. This is because they can develop sicknesses from a small number of human foods due to their size. Large dogs like Golden Retrievers, Great Danes, or Labradors are unlikely to be phased after eating a bag of beef jerky.
They may have diarrhea or vomiting, but to get really sick, they need to consume more than one bag of beef jerky.
On the flip side, medium to small dogs like Frenchies, Chihuahuas, and Maltipoos can get sick from a small number of human foods. In fact, Dr. Littlejohn says it’s one of the most common reasons for patients coming to see him in the clinic.
Small dogs can easily develop pancreatitis from eating human food. Unfortunately, most owners don’t realize even small amounts of human foods can trigger issues with small dogs. Clinical signs of pancreatitis include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, decreased appetite, and lethargy. If your dog is showing any of these signs, it’s important to contact your vet.
In addition, when it comes to teriyaki beef jerky, you should contact a vet immediately if there’s onion or garlic in the ingredients.
Signs your dog ate too much onion or garlic is:
- Pale gums (white color)
- Garlic/onion breath
- Fast breathing
- Elevated heart rate
- Reduced appetite
If the ingredients don’t contain onion and garlic, your dog will likely be OK. However, they may still experience mild vomiting or diarrhea due to gastrointestinal distress.
The severity of their symptoms after eating a bag of teriyaki beef jerky will depend mainly on the size of your dog and the amount they ate.
Due to the high salt content, they may also appear more thirsty and, thus, urinate more.
Contact your vet immediately if they show severe symptoms or have lasted longer than 24 hours.
Is Any Teriyaki Beef Jerky Good For Dogs?
To make teriyaki beef jerky, you require teriyaki sauce.
Teriyaki sauce usually contains harmful ingredients for your dog, so you will need to use different ingredients to make a healthy version.
So if you want to give your dog some healthy homemade beef jerky, you’ll need to:
- Remove any bones
- Use lean cuts of beef
- Trim off any visible fat
- Skip the salt, sugar, and usual spices
- You can use pineapple juice, apple cider vinegar, ginger powder, and fish sauce as optional ingredients to improve the flavor
As long as you avoid using any harmful ingredients, you can make a healthy beef jerky treat for your dog.
Other Frequently Asked Questions
Can Dogs Eat Jack Link’s Teriyaki Beef Jerky?
No, dogs should not eat jack link’s teriyaki Beef Jerky because it contains a large amount of salt, soy sauce, citric acid, garlic powder, sugar, spices, and fats.
These ingredients can cause gastrointestinal distress and are toxic to your dog if consumed in large quantities.
Can Dogs Eat Turkey Jerky?
Turkey jerky is a bit healthier for dogs than beef jerky, but it’s still not the best snack for them. That’s because turkey jerky is also high in salt, sugar, and spices.
Plus, many brands of turkey jerky also contain garlic powder. So, it’s best to avoid giving your dog any flavors of turkey jerky.
Can Dogs Eat Beef Jerky Sticks?
Beef jerky sticks are just as bad for dogs as beef jerky. They’re also high in salt, sugar, and spices. Small amounts would be okay if the beef jerky sticks were plain without any added spices.
They are still high in sodium, which can cause dehydration or salt toxicity in dogs. So, avoiding giving your dog beef jerky sticks is best.
Can Dogs Eat Peppered Beef Jerky?
No, dogs should not eat peppered beef jerky. The pepper can irritate their digestive system and cause stomach upset. In addition, peppered beef jerky is high in salt, sugar, and spices like other forms of beef jerky.
Can Dogs Eat Pacific Gold Beef Jerky?
No, dogs should not eat Pacific Gold beef jerky. This beef jerky brand is especially high in salt, sugar, and spices. It contains roughly 640 mg of salt per serving! This is far too much for dogs and can lead to salt toxicity.
Dogs should only consume about 100mg of salt daily, depending on their weight.
Can Dogs Eat Natural Beef Jerky?
If natural beef jerky was low in sodium and didn’t contain any spices, flavors, or sugar, then it would be okay for dogs to eat in small quantities. However, most natural beef jerky is high in salt and spices. So, it’s best to avoid giving your dog natural beef jerky.
Can Dogs Eat Spicy Beef Jerky?
Spicy beef jerky is the worst type of beef jerky for dogs to eat. That’s because, in addition to being high in salt, sugar, and spices, it also contains capsaicin. Capsaicin is the chemical that makes peppers spicy and can be harmful to dogs.
In small quantities, capsaicin may cause stomach upset or diarrhea. So combined with the high salt content, it’s an awful combination for dogs. It’s best to avoid giving your dog any spicy beef jerky.
What Happens If A Dog Eats A Bag Of Beef Jerky?
Suppose a dog eats a regular-sized bag of beef jerky. In that case, dogs may experience some mild gastrointestinal distress, such as vomiting or diarrhea.
The severity of a dog’s symptoms will depend on their size and the amount of beef jerky in the bag.
Due to the high salt contents, they may also appear more thirsty and thus, urinate more.
If they show severe distress symptoms or symptoms have lasted longer than 24 hours, contact your vet immediately.
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