Is beef jerky good for dogs? Absolutely! In fact, dog beef jerky has become the go-to treat for dog owners everywhere. It's nutritious, has a long shelf life, and dogs love the savory beef flavor. In this article, we'll take a deeper look at what is beef jerky and the benefits associated with this type of dog treat.
What is Beef Jerky?
Beef jerky consists of lean ground beef that's been cut into strips and dehydrated. By dehydrating the meat, it removes 99% of its moisture content – and without moisture, beef jerky isn't susceptible to spoilage like fresh beef. The strips can be given to dogs as part of their regular diet or as an occasional treat.
Of course, there are other types of jerky available for dogs as well. Chicken dog jerky, for instance, is a popular alternative that dogs seem to love. It's made using the same process as beef jerky, only with dehydrated chicken meat instead of beef.
Benefits of Beef Jerky for Dogs
Perhaps the greatest benefit of feeding your dog beef jerky is the nutritional value it offers. While other commercial treats are loaded in artificial preservatives and additives, beef jerky is all-natural. Aside from a few flavoring ingredients like salt, it only contains beef. Therefore, you can rest assured knowing that your dog is getting a protein-rich snack that's not filled with harmful ingredients.
Beef jerky also doesn't leave a mess. With some other treats, the dog may break up the treat into several small pieces, leaving behind a mess on the carpet. Beef jerky, however, doesn't have this problem. Dogs typically consume every little crumb, eliminating the need to go back over your floors with the vacuum cleaner.
Finally, beef jerky isn't loaded in fat. It's made using lean cuts of beef, meaning it's mostly protein with little fat. This is important because according to a report by CBS News, approximately 53% of dogs in the United States are obese.
Avoid 'People' Jerky
While beef jerky is arguably one of the best treats for dogs, you should choose beef jerky that's made specifically for our canine companions and not humans. While it may seem harmless enough, feeding your dog “people” jerky can cause digestive distress or even toxicity. This is because ingredients that are perfectly fine for us to eat may not be okay for dogs to eat.
Onion is one such example. Even though we can digest onions just fine, it causes anemia (destruction of white blood cells) in dogs. If you feed your dog regular jerky that was made with onions or onion powder, it could result in a trip to the emergency veterinarian.
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