Is Beef Jerky Safe For Dogs?
You’ve probably tried beef jerky yourself and noticed how your dog takes to it immediately after you open the bag. You’ve likely given your dog a few pieces of the dried, smoked meat. Do you know what foods are harmful to dogs? You might not know what foods are dangerous for dogs, so don’t share them with them.
What About the Dog Jerky That Killed a Bunch of Dogs?
Dog owners all over the country were shocked to hear that certain brands of dog jerky had caused death in their dogs. Different brands of chicken jerky specifically made for dogs have caused the deaths of thousands of dogs. The chicken was contaminated by glycerin and irradiation, and these dogs died from kidney disease. These treats will no longer be sold in stores, but this should warn you about purchasing cheaper dog treats.
Is Human Beef Jerky a Safe Snack for Dogs?
Yes and no. Beef jerky’s danger is not the meat or beef in it; it’s the spices used to flavor it. Although the variety of spices in jerky snacks can be very delicious and make humans and dogs salivate, some can make dogs very sick.
First, jerky has a high salt content. The salt solution is used to preserve packaged jerky, and it not only enhances the taste and keeps the jerky stable on shelves. This level of salt may not be healthy for people. According to the USDA, one-ounce beef jerky contains 590 mg sodium. A human should not consume more than 1500 mg of sodium per day, and three ounces of beef jerky will be enough to exceed that limit. A 33-pound dog should not consume more than 100 mg of sodium daily. A single ounce of jerky can be five times the healthy limit.
Jerky is not just a bad choice for dogs because of the salt. The spice in jerky is usually garlic and onion powders. These spices make food taste great but can make dogs sick. The Allium family includes garlic and onions. Allium plants can cause organ damage as well as damage to red blood cell membranes. Red blood cells can become damaged and are unable to carry oxygen efficiently throughout the dog’s body, and this causes difficulty in breathing. People mistakenly believe garlic and onion powders don’t pose as much danger as the natural form. However, because they contain extremely concentrated amounts of the plant, these powders can be more dangerous.
What about homemade jerky?
You can make homemade jerky for your dog, provided you don’t add any spices. To make homemade jerky, you don’t need any special equipment, and all you need is an oven. You can use whatever meat you have, or if your dog doesn’t like chicken or beef, you can use fish (salmon or trout) or beef liver. You can make your dog’s jerky from older meats that have been dried out in the freezer.
Before you filet, the meat, remove any excess fat. Fat is a good source of excess moisture, which slows down the process of dehydration. Then, cut the half-frozen meat into thin, long slices. You can use 1/8 to 1/4 inch slices if you have an oven, and it makes the jerky chewier if you cut it with the grain. For even cooking, the slices should be approximately equal in size and thickness.
Place the slices evenly on the oven cooling racks. To catch any drips, place cookie sheets underneath the meat. At 200 degrees, the meat should be cooked for 2 hours. For even baking, rotate the racks every thirty minutes. Different meat types take different drying times, so the cooking times may vary. When there is no moisture in the meat, you will have jerky. Bend a slice to test the readiness of the meat. If the texture is spongy, it hasn’t been dried thoroughly. It’s better to overcook than undercook!
Whether commercially prepared or professionally prepared, your homemade jerky will not go bad if stored properly. Keep it refrigerated or frozen to prevent it from going bad.
Although a few small bites of your dog’s jerky are safe, it shouldn’t become a routine. Making your jerky can be a great way to pamper your dog, and it’s quick and easy!