Can Dogs Eat Corned Beef? Here’s Why They Shouldn’t

Corned beef is a popular fixture in many American homes, and as it makes quite a tasty meal for us, dog owners are often left wondering if their furry friends can have a bite as well.

So, can you feed your dog corned beef? Dogs can eat corned beef in little amounts, and not as the main part of their diet. However, because of the high salt content typically present in corned beef, it is recommended that you totally abstain from feeding your pooch with corned beef.

Corned beef poses way too many health risks to dogs, hence you should try, as much as possible, to avoid giving it to your dog. This article tackles everything you need to know about corned beef, the possible repercussions of feeding this meal to your pooch, as well as healthier alternatives to corned beef that you can give to your dog.

However, before we go further, let’s take a look at why it is recommended that you avoid feeding your furry friend with corned beef.

Can Dogs Eat Corned Beef?

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While it is true that you can feed corned beef to your pooch, this should be done only on rare occasions, and preferably in tiny amounts. And if possible, you should completely avoid feeding your pooch with corned beef.

What’s Wrong With Corned Beef?

One of the major reasons we are strongly against feeding your pooch with corned beef is the nature of the ingredients used in formulating this particular food product.

When you take a close look at the constituents of a typical corned beef product, you’ll most likely find the major ingredients to be protein in the form of beef and sodium contained in salt.

Preparation of corned beef involves curing beef by allowing it to absorb significant amounts of ‘corns of salt’, before the addition of other spices.

And while this makes for a rather tasty meal for humans, it is best that you keep salt, and by extension, corned beef, away from your pooch for reasons that will be explained shortly.

There are several health risks associated with feeding your furry friend with corned beef, and these health risks are explained in detail in the next section.

What Happens If You Feed Your Dog With Corned Beef?

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Feeding your dog with corned beef can lead to dehydration, issues with the pooch’s digestive system, as well as medical emergencies such as salt poisoning.

As earlier inferred, the high sodium content present in corned beef can cause a myriad of medical issues for dogs. And some of the more common instances of medical issues caused by feeding canned beef to dogs include:

Digestive Tract Problems

Corned beef contains a considerable amount of fat, and by regularly feeding this to your pooch, you’re creating a fat deposit in the pooch. Excess fat in a pooch’s digestive system does no good and can lead to bacteria taking over such a dog’s digestive system, as well as medical conditions such as pancreatitis.  

Additionally, garlic, onions, and other spices that are typically used in preparing corned beef can induce stomach disorders, nausea, and a host of other side effects in pooches. And according to the American Society for The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, onions, and garlic, when fed in large quantities to a dog, can destroy such a pooch’s red blood cells!


Salt is known to have water extraction properties, and feeding large quantities of corned beef, with high salt content, to your pooch, can lead to such a dog becoming seriously dehydrated.

Even if you’re to give your pooch corned beef as a treat, it is advisable that you provide plenty of water alongside to counter the water-sucking effects of salt contained in the beef.

Salt Poisoning

As with humans, the high salt content in corned beef can pose issues for your dog. And continuously feeding your pooch with significant amounts of corned beef can result in salt poisoning for your furry friend.

Salt poisoning is often lethal and can induce symptoms such as lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, and frequent urination in your pooch. And if not promptly given the appropriate medical attention, these symptoms can be potentially life-threatening for your furry friend.

Heart-Related Issues

Incorporating corned beef into the diet of a dog with a history of heart problems is like laying down a death sentence for your furry friend, and should be avoided at all costs.

The salt contained in corned beef facilitates a higher water retention rate, while also allowing more water into the lungs, and these two instances typically put more pressure on the pooch’s heart.

What Can You Feed Your Dog Instead Of Corned Beef?

If at all you’re to feed your pooch with beef, healthier alternatives to corned beef for dogs include beef broth, raw or cooked beef.

Now that we’ve established that it’s relatively unsafe to feed your pooch with corned beef, there are several viable alternatives you can give your dog to provide the required nutrition for healthy growth.

That said, some of the commoner and healthier alternatives to corned beef for dogs include:

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Beef Broth

Beef broth is rich in collagens and glycine that help promote bone and joint health, as well as the detoxification of your pooch’s kidneys and liver. And as a result, beef broth makes for a great alternative to corned beef for dogs.

Beef broth can either be bought readymade at pet stores or prepared at home. But whether you purchase the broth from a store or prepare it in your kitchen, you should avoid onions and garlic.

Raw Or Cooked Beef

Rather than endangering your pooch’s life by feeding it corned beef, raw beef is a healthier meal choice, and is equally as tasty to pooches!

However, it has to be said that there’s a chance of raw, uncooked beef containing bacteria; Hence, to ensure you and your furry friend’s safety, it is recommended that you cook beef to a moderate temperature to kill off any bacteria that may be present, before feeding it to your pooch.

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