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What Meat Can Dogs Not Eat? Number 3 Will Surprise You!

As a responsible pet owner, you want to make sure that your furry friend is healthy and happy, right? Well, one of the most important ways to achieve that is by paying close attention to what they eat, especially when it comes to meat. You see, while protein is essential for a dog’s well-being, not all meats are created equal, and some can even be harmful to our four-legged companions. But don’t worry. In this ultimate guide, we’ll take a deep dive into the meats that your dog should avoid and give you some tips on the best protein sources to keep them in tip-top shape!

What meat can dogs not eat? 

1. Raw or undercooked meat

Avoid feeding your dog raw or undercooked meat, including poultry, beef, pork, and fish. Raw meat may carry harmful bacteria like Salmonella and E. coli, leading to potentially severe cases of food poisoning. Moreover, the presence of parasites in raw meat poses a threat to your dog’s health, making thorough cooking essential for their safety.

2. Processed meats

what meat can dogs not eat

Steer clear of processed meats like sausages, hot dogs, bacon, ham, and deli meats. These foods are often rich in fat, salt, and spices, posing risks of digestive upset, pancreatitis, and even fatal consequences in extreme cases. You should opt for healthier alternatives to safeguard your dog’s well-being.

3. Organ meats

If you feed your dog excessive amounts of liver, which is rich in vitamin A, it could be toxic to them. It’s also best to avoid giving them kidneys and spleen as they may contain heavy metals. So, to make sure your dog’s diet is balanced, it’s recommended to consult your vet to determine suitable portions of organ meats.

4. Fatty meats

Be careful with fatty meats like chicken skin, ribs, and some beef cuts, as they may be hard for dogs to digest. Eating fatty meats can lead to pancreatitis, which is a severe condition that affects the pancreas. You may want to choose leaner protein options to keep your furry friend’s digestive system and overall health in good shape.

Meats to be cautious with

1. Bones

Giving your dog cooked bones is pretty dangerous since they can easily break and hurt their insides. Instead, try giving large, raw marrow bones. Not only do they help with the dog’s dental health, but they also give them some mental stimulation. Just keep an eye on your best friend while they’re chomping down to make sure they don’t hurt themselves.

2. Game meats

You need to be careful when you’re thinking about feeding your dog game meats like wild boar or venison. These meats can have harmful parasites that could make your dog sick. If you do choose to give them game meat, ensure it’s cooked thoroughly and comes from a trusted supplier. This will help reduce your dog’s risk of getting sick and keeping them healthy.

What is the best meat for dogs?

Here are some good protein options for dogs, each with its own benefits and drawbacks:

1. Poultry (chicken, turkey)

Benefits: Poultry is highly digestible, readily available, and a rich source of essential protein and amino acids. It suits many dogs’ dietary needs.

Drawbacks: Some dogs may exhibit allergies to poultry, and its frequent use in commercial foods could lead to dietary imbalances.

2. Fish (salmon, herring)

Benefits: Fish is packed with omega-3 fatty acids, promoting skin and coat health. It’s easily digestible and an excellent protein source.

Drawbacks: While beneficial, fish may be costlier, and there’s a potential for environmental contaminants.

3. Lamb

Benefits: Lamb is easily digestible and offers a good supply of iron and zinc, making it a suitable alternative for dogs with poultry allergies.

Drawbacks: Lamb tends to be higher in fat compared to other meats, and it may come with a higher price tag.

4. Beef

what meat can dogs not eat

Benefits: Beef is a protein and iron powerhouse, often favored by dogs for its palatability.

Drawbacks: Some dogs may find beef challenging to digest, and it can be higher in fat content.

5. Kangaroo

Benefits: Kangaroo provides a novel protein source, ideal for dogs with allergies. It’s low in fat and rich in iron and zinc.

Drawbacks: Kangaroo meat might be less accessible than other options, and it could be relatively more expensive.

A few tips on feeding meat to dogs

Sharing food with your furry friend is a lovely experience, but you need to be careful about meat. Your dog’s health comes first! Follow these top tips to ensure they get the best meaty treat possible.

1. Cook it thoroughly

Firstly, prioritize thorough cookingno raw or undercooked meats! Whether it’s poultry, beef, pork, or fish, cooking all meats to an internal temperature of 160°F (71°C) is imperative to eliminate the risk of harmful bacteria such as Salmonella and E. coli. Allow the meat to cool before serving to prevent potential burns.

2. Choose wisely

When selecting meats, opt for lean cuts and trim away excess fat. This is crucial as high-fat content can be challenging for dogs to digest, potentially leading to pancreatitis. Consider choices like chicken breast, skinless fish, and lean ground beef for a healthier option.

3. Moderation is key

Moderation is key when incorporating meat into your dog’s diet, typically constituting 10-20% depending on their size and activity level. A balanced diet should take precedence, featuring high-quality kibble or wet food alongside fresh vegetables.

4. Bones on hold

Caution should also extend to bones, as cooked bones can splinter and cause internal injuries. Stick to safer alternatives like marrow bones from large animals or synthetic chew toys, always supervising closely during chewing sessions.

5. Seasoning no-no’s

Avoid seasoning your dog’s meat treats with ingredients like garlic, onion, and other spices, as they can be toxic to dogs. Opt for wholesome, unprocessed meats to ensure their safety. Additionally, be mindful of your pup’s individual needs; some may have allergies or sensitivities to certain meats. Introduce new types gradually, monitoring for any adverse reactions such as vomiting, diarrhea, or skin irritation.

6. Variety is the spice of life

To spice up your dog’s culinary experience, explore a variety of lean protein sources beyond the usual chickenconsider fish, lamb, or even kangaroo (in moderation) to diversify their palate and provide a broader range of nutrients.

Always consult your veterinarian for specific guidance tailored to your dog’s unique needs and health conditions. By following these guidelines, you can ensure they relish tasty and safe meat treats, enhancing their playtime and strengthening the bond you share. After all, a happy and healthy pup is the ultimate reward!


how to break food aggression in dogs

Knowing which meats are unsafe for your dog is super important if you want to be a responsible pet owner. It’s best to steer clear of any harmful meats and stick to protein sources that are good for your furry friend. By doing this, you’ll be helping to keep them healthy and happy. And don’t forget to chat with your vet about the best dietary options for your pup. Their safety is a top priority!

Last but not least…

Many readers have loved learning how to train their dogs based on scientific methods from a free workshop conducted by Dr. Alexa Diaz (one of the top service dog trainers in the U.S.) and Eric Presnall (host of the hit Animal Planet TV show “Who Let the Dogs Out”) at the K9 Training Institute. In the free workshop, you’ll discover:

    1. How to train your dog using body language rather than verbal cues
    2. The 3 key techniques that service dog trainers use to train dogs and how you can use them too
    3. The most important step that “normal” dog owners have been missing (this is very important to get your dog’s attention, and it works 100% of the time)
    4. How to stop bad behaviors like excessive barking, pulling on the leash, jumping, etc.
    5. Why a lot of dog owners are unable to establish the amazing bond that service dog trainers have with their dogs


Whether your dog is a puppy or an adult, this pre-recorded workshop will help you train them successfully. You may not want to miss the chance to learn these groundbreaking techniques. Here’s the free workshop.


  • https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/give-a-dog-a-bone-be-careful/
  • https://www.avma.org/sites/default/files/2020-10/AntimicrobialResistanceFullReport.pdf
  • https://www.k9magazine.com/meats-bad-for-dogs/
About us: Pet Chao is a community for Asian dog breed enthusiasts. Our goal is to keep you and your four-legged friend healthy and happy by providing valuable resources and fostering a like-minded community.

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