Steak is perhaps one of the most popular foods out there and with good reason. Whether you like your steak salt-and-pepper simple or bursting with basting flavors, it is no doubt a nice treat to have every now and then. As a loving dog parent, your natural instinct is probably to share your steak with your pooch. But is it safe?
In a nutshell, dogs can eat steak as long as it is cooked. If you choose to give your dog a raw cut, you must ensure that it is from a trusted source where the meat has been thoroughly inspected and declared free from contamination.
When it comes to feeding dogs steak, it is all about moderation. In the sections below, you will see not only why giving your dog steak is ok but also what could go wrong if you give your pooch the wrong amount or improperly prepared steak.
Can I Give My Dog Steak?
Yes, you can safely give your dog steak. Dogs are obligate carnivores which means that they need a huge part of their diet to be meat-based, in which case steak fits the bill perfectly.
However, as with any other food, the best way to ensure that your dog gets the most out of steak in terms of nutritional value is to practice moderation. Here are some of these nutritional benefits that you can look forward to for your dog.
A good cut of steak is going to be mostly protein. Your dog needs this to build both structural and functional proteins. These include things like muscle fibers, hormones, digestive enzymes, and even the proteins on your dog’s fur that keep their coat healthy and beautiful.
Steak is also very rich in iron which is a mineral crucial to the survival and wellbeing of your dog. Perhaps the most important role that iron plays in your dog’s health is when it comes to the formation of red blood cells.
Iron also promotes a healthy immune system which every dog requires. This is particularly important for puppies, elderly pooches, and pregnant dogs.
Steak can also be a great source of healthy fats like omega-6 oils. These essential fatty acids have a lot to offer your dog in terms of health benefits. Perhaps the best understood of these benefits is improving coat health.
Furthermore, omega-6 oils help in promoting immune functionality as well as supporting general growth and development in puppies.
How Much Steak Should I Give My Dog?
The amount of steak that you can safely feed your dog depends largely on its size. The general rule of thumb, in this case, is that a dog that is approximately 20 lbs can have about ¼ of a pound of steak in a day.
You could also decide how much steak to feed your dog based on serving proportions. In this case, ensure the steak does not exceed 50% of their daily meal portions.
Is Steak Bad For Dogs?
When a steak is served in excessive portions or too frequently, it can cause serious negative health effects to the dog. Steak can also be harmful to your pooch when prepared or served inappropriately.
However, it is important to understand that the potential negative impact of steak on your dog’s health is conditional. For some perspective on some of these major risks, here are some of the ways steak can be bad for dogs.
Steak is rich in fats and sodium, which are two nutrients known to increase your dog’s chances of developing obesity. If your dog is already obese, you may want to cut back on the amount of steak you let your dog have.
It would also be best in such cases to exclusively feed your dog lean cuts that have much lower caloric values.
Toxicity From Harmful Ingredients
What’s a good steak without some garlic and butter or a nice red wine glaze? Let’s not even get started on the classic combination that is steak and onions. While all these arguably elevate the flavor profile of a steak, they make steaks deadly to your dog.
It is possible for your dog to suffer from poisoning after consuming steak prepared with these or other ingredients considered harmful to dogs. While this effect can be life-threatening for your dog, it is easily avoidable, especially if you are preparing your dog’s meal yourself.
Food poisoning is especially common if you give your dog raw steak. Meat is very popular among bacteria known to cause food poisoning, including Salmonella. It could also happen if you feed your dog undercooked steaks.
Some of the signs that your dog has food poisoning after enjoying a nice steak include:
- Abdominal tenderness with hesitation to handling
- Changes in mood
- Reduced appetite
Steaks can also harbor parasites like tapeworms which your dog may eventually end up suffering from. As is the case with food poisoning, this typically happens when the steak is served to the dog raw or undercooked. It is especially common with pork steaks.
Although rare, dogs can actually be severely allergic to meat. The most common of these allergies are triggered by meats like beef and chicken. However, other meats have also been known to potentially cause allergic reactions.
These reactions may manifest either with intestinal issues like diarrhea and abdominal pain or coat problems. The latter include itchiness, hives, redness, and general poor coat health.
What Kind Of Steak Can Dogs Eat?
You can feed your dog any steak that they are not allergic to. This includes steak from red meat sources like beef, mutton, goat meat, and pork. These options typically pack the most punch in terms of flavor and will be greatly appreciated by your doggy.
Can Dogs Eat Dry-Aged Steak?
If the dry-aged steak is prepared properly in terms of being unseasoned and properly cooked, you can definitely feed your dog dry-aged steak. With the texture, in particular, your dog is perfectly capable of tearing apart even the toughest and most well-done of steaks.
However, they probably won’t appreciate the flavor and texture profile as much as you would. So while it is a nice treat to have occasionally, it may not make sense financially to splurge like that.