Dogs aren’t precisely vegetarians, and they’re definitely not vegans.
They love meat — but can dogs eat steak? You might have wondered about this as you flipped a juicy steak on the BBQ.
Well, let’s roast this topic a bit and see what kinds of steak are super beneficial for your pooch and which ones are best to avoid.
Can Dogs Eat Steak?
If cooked properly, your dog will enjoy the occasional piece of steak just as much as you do.
However, if you are just introducing steak to your dog’s diet, it’s wise to speak with a vet first.
Also, keep in mind that steak doesn’t just mean beef.
You can use any red meat as long as you trim the fat and remove the connective tissue.
Is Steak Good for Dogs?
Yes, steak is very good for dogs if cooked and served properly.
It contains high protein levels, vitamins B6 and B12, zinc, iron, potassium, selenium, phosphorus, and niacin.
Your dog needs all these nutrients to function properly.
Some cuts of steak are also rich in monounsaturated fats, which can protect against cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Nutritional Benefits of Steaks
There are many reasons why steak is suitable for your dog.
The most important of these reasons include:
- High levels of protein which will boost energy and help repair muscles and tissues in the body;
- Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, which improve skin and contribute to a shiny coat;
- Zinc, selenium, iron, phosphorus, and niacin, which assist with healthy thyroid function, increased metabolism, and more;
- B vitamins which reduce stress and improve immunity, healthy bones, and teeth;
- Coenzyme Q10 is an antioxidant that protects cells from oxidative damage.
You can give your dog steak as a treat, but make sure the fat has been cut off first.
Is Steak Bad for Dogs?
Steaks can have some downsides for your dog, too: high amount of calories and high-fat content.
Extra calories are not good for your dog because they increase your dog’s risk of obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol in aging dogs, and heart and kidney diseases.
While steak is good for your dog in moderation, too much can cause health issues — especially if you give them fatty pieces.
Can Dogs Eat Different Kinds of Steaks?
Different types of steak are loaded with various nutrients that are good for your dog.
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As mentioned above, all types of red meat are recommended — but the way you cook them can make a big difference.
Can Dogs Eat Raw Steak?
Raw steak is not good for your dog — it can be fatal.
Raw steak can contain Salmonella or Listeria or other harmful bacteria.
If dogs eat raw steak that has been contaminated, they could become quite sick.
Raw steak is most likely to cause bacterial infection because it hasn’t been exposed to heat. While dogs are less likely to be affected by raw meat pathogens, it is still possible for them to become ill. And they can pass it on to people.
Salmonella poisoning is especially possible coming from minced beef steak meat.
Symptoms of Salmonella Poisoning
You should be aware of the symptoms of salmonella poisoning because it can make your dog very sick.
Your dog might experience:
- Loose stool
- Loss of appetite
If it is not treated, salmonella can develop into a serious infection.
Salmonellosis is a zoonotic infection — which means that it can be passed on to humans.
Symptoms of salmonellosis in humans are similar to the symptoms suffered by dogs.
Can Dogs Eat Rare Steak?
A rare steak is still too dangerous for your dog to eat!
The reason is that even if the outside of the steak isn’t raw, this doesn’t mean that it’s safe.
Steak can have harmful bacteria inside, which won’t be killed by cooking the meat rare — so salmonella poisoning is still a risk.
Salmonella is especially dangerous for older dogs, puppies, and sick dogs.
If your dog has a compromised immune system, it is imperative to avoid this type of meat.
Furthermore, salmonella can be passed on to humans through handling the meat and contact with the pet.
If your dog eats rare steak, they can make you sick too!
It’s best to stick to a well-cooked steak.
Can Dogs Eat Cooked Steak?
As long as the steak is well-cooked, it is safe for your dog to eat.
A well-cooked steak does not contain any harmful bacteria, and cooked meat doesn’t cause salmonella poisoning in dogs.
Furthermore, a well-cooked steak offers many health benefits for your dog:
- Adding lean protein to their diet
- Giving them essential vitamins and minerals
- Improving their coat condition
However, don’t cook it too much or burn the steak — this can become dangerous. Charred meat is carcinogenic. If you give it to your dog regularly, it will increase the number of free radicals and put your dog’s health at risk.
While well-cooked meat is safe for your dog to eat, you need to make sure that all fatty parts are cut off first. Your dog should only eat lean meat. If you let your dog eat cooked steak with a fatty part, you’re putting them at risk from weight gain, obesity, and heart disease.
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Additionally, don’t put spices on the steak. If you let your dog eat steak with spices, it can be harmful or downright toxic to them.
Salt can be bad for your dog’s health, so avoid cooking the steak with salt. And by no means should you put onion or garlic because they are toxic to our furry friends!
Symptoms of Salt Toxicity
If your dog eats too much salt, they can become very ill.
Symptoms of salt poisoning include:
- High body temperature
Salt toxicity can even cause a pet’s death. If you notice the above symptoms, and especially if tremors occur, call the vet immediately.
While many people enjoy eating chips with steak, it is not a good idea to feed them to your dog because of the high-salt, high-fat content.
Can Dogs Eat Steak Fat?
It’s not advisable to give your dog fat or gristle from steak.
These parts of the meat aren’t suitable for dogs because they can cause:
- Indigestion and diarrhea
- Weight gain
- Increased risk of pancreatitis
Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas. It’s a very painful disease, and it can cause serious health problems for your dog, including general body inflammation.
In addition, steak fat also contains many calories, which could affect the weight of your dog. It is especially not recommended for dogs with hyperlipidemia or cardiovascular diseases.
If you want to give them a treat, stick to lean meat or chicken wings — and avoid steak fat altogether!
Can Dogs Eat Steak Bones?
Raw or cooked steak bones can be dangerous for your dog.
FDA highly recommends not to give dogs raw meat bones because they can cause more damage than you think!
There are many reports of dogs having choking accidents after eating raw meaty bones because the meat gets stuck in their throats.
Proponents of BARF (Bones and Raw Food diet) claim that raw bones are safe to eat, and this is somewhat true, but let’s dive a little deeper.
Raw steak bones are indeed safer than cooked steak bones, but it depends on the size and type of bones you give your dog.
Cooked steak bones are easier to split, which can lead to broken teeth and choking. They can also cause perforation of the colon or throat because they are sharp and brittle.
You have to be very careful when giving your dog any bones. If you suspect that there’s a bone stuck in your dog’s throat or if he shows signs of intestinal obstruction, go to the vet immediately. It might be best though to avoid bones.
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How to Prepare Steak for Your Dog?
Can dogs eat steak? Yes, but in moderation. Just follow a simple procedure below.
Cook Steak for Your Dog
Make your dog’s steak as nutritious as possible by cooking it in the oven or on the grill.
Pat the steak dry and add oil to the cooking pan. When the pan is hot, cook the steak in the center for approx. 5 mins, then flip over for another 5 mins.
The USDA recommends cooking ground beef at a minimum 160°F to reduce the risk of salmonella poisoning. If you have a meat thermometer, take care not to overcook the steak.
Let the steak cool before serving it to your dog.
Cut Steak for Your Dog
It’s very important not to serve your pet a whole steak.
This is because dogs don’t have a natural need to chew meat, and it’s better not to put too much stress on their jaw when eating. Furthermore, their digestive system won’t get overloaded with smaller chunks.
Cut the steak into smaller pieces before serving it up! If you’re serving your dog a small portion of steak, use it as a food topping.
For a regular meal, feed your dog steak that is well-cooked and chopped into small chunks. Remove bones and excess fat because they are hard to digest, and bones could break the dog’s teeth.
You could also make a treat for your dog! Simply use the scraps from making a stew, but without any seasoning.
Precautions with Raw or Rare Steaks
Raw and rare steaks are dangerous for both you and your dog.
The problem with raw or rare steak is that it might contain harmful bacteria like Salmonella or E. coli, leading to food poisoning.
This can cause serious health problems for you and your dog.
First off, make sure you wash your hands after handling raw meat to avoid spreading any bacteria.
Secondly, don’t touch other food, surfaces, or your mouth while handling raw food.
Last but not least, clean and disinfect all surfaces that were touched by the raw meat. Also, wash the dog’s bowl after they have finished. Don’t let your dog lick you after the meal, and don’t let them lick open wounds either!
Dogs can eat steak if it is given in moderation and cooked well.
When cooking for your pup, avoid fatty parts of steaks because they could lead to cardiovascular diseases and obesity.
Ideally, steaks should be medium- to well-done to avoid harmful bacteria (no need to get them charred, though).
Forget about feeding them steak bones because they are a choking hazard and can hurt your pooch.
With all that said, you and your furry companion can kick back and bite into that juicy, delicious, nutritious piece of meat!