Many pet parents wonder if their dogs can eat ground beef. That’s a good question. Is ground good for dogs? Is it safe for them to eat?
We’ve put together some information to help you determine whether ground beef is safe for your dog. Let’s get started!
Can Dogs Eat Hamburger Meat?
Dogs and their wild canine cousins have been eating meat for thousands of years. And dogs do eat some human foods, including veggies and fruits; however, a dog’s diet is based on protein. Their major source of protein is meat, which also contains fat and other nutrients dogs need to be healthy.
Ground meat is used in many kinds of recipes, from hamburgers to tacos and more. And it’s relatively cheap to buy. But does all of this mean ground beef is safe for dogs?
In general, ground beef is safe for dogs to eat. However, there are certain ways the meat should be prepared to make it safer and healthier for dogs.
Should Dogs Eat Ground Beef Raw or Cooked?
Here, again, dogs have been eating meat raw for thousands of years. Their digestive tract has developed to enable dogs to safely eat raw meat. However, one of the downsides of raw meat is that it contains bacteria and other nasties that can make a dog sick. Yet, many people feed their dogs raw food, and they have healthy canine companions. So, it’s confusing—is raw or ground beef better for dogs?
We know that cooking ground meat kills bacteria and parasites that may be in the meat. So, vets generally recommend cooking the ground beef before serving it to your dog.
How Much Ground Beef Can a Dog Eat?
It’s best for dogs to have a balanced diet to ensure they get all the nutrients they need. Many pet parents feed their dogs commercially prepared dog food that’s been supplemented with the vitamins and other nutrients our fur babies need. Even so, it’s still good to give your dog additional foods that are healthy for him to make sure he has a balanced, varied diet.
When feeding your dog meat, he should eat between ¼ lb to 1/3 lb of meat per 20 lbs of your dog’s body weight. Meat provides a dense amount of protein, which means dogs don’t need to eat a lot of it.
So, if you’re mixing ground meat with commercially prepared dog food, it’s necessary to reduce the amount of ground beef your dog gets. His dog food usually has a lot of protein, so you can reduce the amount of ground beef to keep your fur baby from getting too much protein at one time.
Is It OK to Mix Ground Beef with Dry Dog Food?
Yes! However, remember that your dog doesn’t need as much ground meat as the calculation above. And it’s also necessary to reduce the amount of dog food if you give the dog extra ground beef. This will keep your canine companion from getting too many calories in one meal. If he eats too much, your dog could become overweight or obese.
If your dog is a picky eater, adding ground beef to his meals may also spark him to eat more. However, before adding ground beef to your dog’s meal, be sure to rinse the ground meat under running water. This is a great way to remove the extra fat that’s sometimes in ground meat.
It’s also important to remember that sometimes dogs may not eat very much. This isn’t always an indication they’re bored or uninterested in their food. And the dog may not be sick, either. Some dogs occasionally go without eating, and that’s OK. Your fur baby may also not eat much for a couple of days because he has an upset stomach. That’s OK, as long as he doesn’t go without eating for days on end or show other concerning symptoms.
What Type of Ground Beef is Best for Dogs?
It’s best to choose the leanest ground beef for dogs. Try to find ground meat that’s 90% lean. Dogs do need some fat in their diet; however, they don’t need a lot of fat. This applies to all ground meat, including chicken and turkey.
In addition, the ground meat should not have anything added to it, including spices and other ingredients. Many of the spices we eat are toxic and harmful to dogs, including onion and garlic. So, be sure not to add anything to the meat, including salt and pepper. Dogs don’t need spices to enjoy their meat.
How to Cook Ground Beef for Dogs
Ground meat can be made in several ways. For starters, you can buy a lean beef chuck roast or other lean cuts and ask the butcher to grind them for you. Another way is to bring the meat home and grind it yourself. It’s also possible to buy ground beef that’s frozen.
Buying meat that’s already ground is OK, too. Just make sure it is at least 90% lean.
In addition, the meat can be cooked in a number of ways.
Boiling Ground Beef
To boil ground beef, just put the meat in a cold skillet and break it apart. Spread it around the pan, so the meat is more or less evenly distributed. Next, pour in water just to cover the meat. Heat the water and ground beef over high heat until the water boils. Then turn the heat down and allow the beef to simmer until the meat is not pink.
When the meat is cooked through, pour the contents of the skillet into a strainer and allow water to drain out. Then run the colander of cooked ground beef under running water to remove additional fat. Allow the meat to completely drain and cool before serving it to your dog.
Sauteed Ground Beef
Another method for cooking your dog’s ground beef is to sauté the ground beef with veggies. Use veggies that are safe for our canine companions, such as carrots or zucchini. Clean, peel, and cut the veggies before using.
In a large skillet, put in the ground beef with two teaspoons of olive oil, and add in the veggies. Allow the meat to cook until it’s no longer pink. When it’s finished cooking, pour the contents into a colander and strain excess fat as described above. Once the meat is cooled, you can add this to your dog’s food, including the veggies.
Summing It Up
Ground beef can be part of a healthy diet for dogs. Just be sure to cook the meat completely through and only add in veggies that are safe for dogs to eat.
If you have a picky eater, this may be a great way to get him interested in eating again! And if your dog eats everything, he will enjoy having a little ground beef added to his meals!