Dogs generally feed on meat. That much is clear to everyone. But does that apply to all meat and in any form? Are there maybe even variants that are not good for dogs?
In fact, as a holder, there is nothing wrong with taking a closer look.
Dog ate raw meat – What meat can dogs eat?
With a few exceptions, dogs are of course allowed to eat meat – they even get most of the meats raw. But some are not suitable as dog food in the long term and others have to be cooked for safety reasons.
You have to be careful with bones anyway.
Can dogs be allergic to meat?
Dogs are quite often allergic to meat. Allergies are always directed against certain proteins and meat contains enough of them to cause allergic reactions.
However, it does not happen that a dog is generally allergic to meat.
Rather, a dog is allergic to a certain protein, i.e. only to certain types of meat. So if you already know that your dog is allergic to chicken, for example, you simply don’t give him any.
If that is not yet so clear, you have to find out what exactly your four-legged friend is allergic to. This works best with elimination diets.
Meat is an indispensable component of species-appropriate dog nutrition
Today’s domestic dogs do not differ much physically from their wild ancestors. In the course of their domestication by humans, they have only developed the ability to digest small amounts of carbohydrates, such as grains.
Wolves cannot do that. That means dogs have added something to the nutritional profile of their wild ancestors. However, they are still able to digest meat very well and to cover a large part of their nutritional requirements from it.
Meat is the most important source of protein in a dog’s bowl. Depending on the variety, it contains other important nutrients such as essential fatty acids and especially iron.
Raw meat or just heated?
Eating raw meat is perfectly the natural blueprint of a dog. Its digestive organs were developed by nature for precisely this purpose. There is nothing wrong with feeding raw meat.
The risk of becoming infected with salmonella or other pathogens, for example, is significantly lower in dogs than in humans.
This is not – as is often claimed – because a dog’s stomach acid is much more aggressive than that of humans. The pH is roughly the same, which is hardly surprising when you consider that a dog’s organs are also made up of vulnerable tissue.
Like humans, dogs also have gastric mucosa that must protect the stomach walls from the corrosive acid.
The digestive tract of dogs differs in other important ways in such a way that it can withstand bacterial contamination of the food much better. It starts with dogs not chewing their food but gobbling it up.
This significantly reduces the transmission possibilities before contact with gastric acid.
A large part of any pathogens present in the stomach is rendered harmless by the acid. But some bacteria or parasites survive the stomach acid undamaged and only attack the body in the intestines.
This is why the intestines in wolves and dogs are equally short. This also shortens the time it takes for food to pass through the intestines.
The chance of becoming infected through the intestines is therefore significantly lower than in humans or herbivores, whose intestines accommodate food for considerably longer before the digestive process is complete.
For these reasons, raw meat is significantly healthier for dogs than it is for humans.
Are bones dangerous to dogs?
If you try out small pieces of bone, you will find out with careful observation which bones your four-legged friend can handle well.
If you have the impression that he is trying to swallow bones in one piece, it may be better not to give him any.
Bones that have been heated are a hazard. Unlike raw bones, they can splinter or break with sharp edges and injure your dog. So if you want to give him bones, only raw ones.
The nutritional value of bones is beyond doubt. Bones are an important source of calcium and other minerals. But you can also buy ready-made bone meal in the feed trade, which is completely harmless.
Just be a little careful with the amount – too many bones or bone meal will cause painful blockages.
Pork can contain the Aujezky virus
Although pork is in principle also suitable as dog food, you should never give it to your four-legged friend raw. There is a viral infection that infects pigs and is also transmitted to dogs through contaminated meat.
All mammals except pigs die from the disease, which is also called pseudo-anger – based on the rabies-like symptoms. The disease is a reportable disease.
Transmission to humans is also possible. However, the course is milder in humans and does not necessarily have to be fatal.
The virus is not heat stable. Therefore, you can give your dog pork if it has been fully cooked beforehand. The Aujezky virus can also be found in the bones, which is why pig bones are always taboo.
If you want to leave leftovers from your meal for your dog, that’s no problem. Both pork schnitzel and pork goulash or preparations made from minced pork or pork strips will taste good.
Beef for dogs
Beef is the basis of most of the ready-made products on the dog food market for a reason. Beef is available almost always and in any form. In addition, it is relatively inexpensive. Your dog also likes the pieces that are usually offered in stores.
You can give him beef steaks, beef goulash, leg slices, or pieces of oxtail without hesitation. The innards of beef are also allowed in dog bowls regularly.
Beef liver in large portions can cause diarrhea.
Beef heart is pure muscle meat and has high nutritional value.
But the greatest joy for dogs is the beef stomachs. The smelly rumen – unwashed, with green content – is not only particularly popular with dogs, but also full of important nutrients. Most dog owners will feed him outside in the garden if that is possible.
You can also get chopped up the beef throat, udder, or head meat at feed-in specialist dog shops. This will save your budget and provide variety.
You can feed beef, beef offal, and beef bones raw. When it comes to sliced marrowbones, the right size is important. They must by no means be so large that the upper or lower jaws fit into the bone ring.
It happens again that vets have to saw free dogs whose teeth have jammed in the bone. You should also pay a little attention to how committed your dog is to licking the marrow bone.
Some dogs irritate their gums over a large area.
The sores go away on their own in healthy animals, but of course, it’s better if that doesn’t happen in the first place. If your dog tends to do this, you’d better only give him smaller pieces of marrowbone that he can’t gnaw for hours.
To keep him busy, it is better to give the dog a calf’s foot from the food store. He has to deal with it longer and no chance of getting injured.
Poultry and chicken for dogs
Chicken, turkey, duck, and goose are exactly what is very often on the menu of canids in the wild. That is why dogs are allowed to have poultry at any time.
Many keepers have concerns because poultry in particular is repeatedly associated with salmonella.
That’s not entirely wrong either, but salmonella is far less of a problem for dogs than it is for humans. Therefore, when preparing the feed, it is more important that you pay attention to hygiene in your interest.
This means that the food utensils and everything else you use, such as a cutting board or knife, should then be washed in the machine or at least as hot as possible.
Dogs are allowed to have all parts of the poultry. Most dogs are very fond of chicken or turkey schnitzel, which you would also prepare for yourself. These pieces are good as a light diet.
Cooked turkey or chicken breasts should only be given away in small rations because too much of it causes severe constipation.
The brisket of all types of poultry is high in cholesterol. This is usually not a problem for dogs, but if your darling has a high cholesterol level, you shouldn’t give him chicken breast all the time.
Poultry innards are wonderfully suitable as dog food. Chicken necks or even whole turkey stomachs are very popular with most four-legged friends.
Poultry bones are not a problem as long as they are raw. But most dog owners find it very uncomfortable to feed those tiny, pointed bones.
Therefore, it is best to remove the bones before feeding that you simply do not believe your dog can do.
In theory, it can digest a whole chicken with its feathers and beak – provided it is correspondingly larger than a chicken.
Horse meat for dogs
Opinions are often divided on horses and many dog owners have ethical concerns about feeding horse meat to dogs.
Quite a few horse owners keep dogs themselves and of course, the thought that one beloved pet will eat the other may not please everyone.
However, it is entirely in keeping with the nature of a dog or a wolf to hunt an animal such as a horse and to consume the prey if successful.
So, from a physiological point of view, it’s perfectly fine to give a dog horse meat as well.
Since horse meat is particularly low in fat, feed manufacturers have long recognized it as a useful component of diet food for dogs. Horse meat can also be a sensible alternative with regard to allergies.
Game meat for your dog
Even if venison ragout will rarely end up in dog bowls for reasons of cost, the game is generally well suited for feeding dogs. A restriction also applies to wild boar because of the Aujezky virus.
Because they too can carry the virus.
If you are preparing a venison goulash or a leg of venison, you can always cut off a few pieces for your four-legged friend. You can also give him this meat raw.
Small animals and rodents
Nothing matches a dog’s natural diet like small prey animals. Most dog owners experience over time with their dog that at some point they catch a hamster or mouse and swallow it whole.
From a nutritional point of view, there is nothing wrong with it in relation to the dog.
That’s why you can safely give him rabbit or hare meat. It is best to remove larger bones beforehand if you think your dog will not be able to cope with them.
Sheep and goat for the dog
Sheep and lamb or even a piece of goat procure themselves again and again so that the natural food chain does not have to be explained further.
Meat from sheep and goats or even heather sheep is very suitable for an allergy diet because most dogs have not yet been in enough contact with it to develop an allergy at all.
You can also give your four-legged friend all the pieces that you get in stores – as always, preferably raw.
Crocodile, kangaroo, camel, and ostrich have been rare in the food bowl so far. Nevertheless, these types of meat are becoming increasingly popular because, despite their comparatively high cost, they have one advantage: They are all hypoallergenic.
This means that if you have to feed someone who is allergic to meat, exotic meats are a real alternative.
But of course, you can also give your dog an ostrich steak or a piece of kangaroo fillet for his birthday if you feel like a little luxury.
Your dog can digest this meat well raw.
Jerky meat for dogs
You can find dried meat in every imaginable form in feed retailers. It has the advantage that it can be stored for a long time without any refrigeration or preservation, and dried meat in small pieces or strips is also very suitable as a snack for on the go.
If you want to keep your dog busy longer, larger pieces such as buffalo skin bones or ox pizzle are best.
Many dog owners like to give away pieces of dried duck breast fillet for Christmas.
How about sausages and cold cuts for dogs?
Of course, sausage is made from meat and a dog would argue that if it is allowed to have meat, then that must also apply to sausage and ham. But no, sausage preparations are not a problem for hygienic reasons when it comes to cooked or scalded sausage.
However, these products are usually very rich in fat and very spicy. Raw cold cuts such as ham or salami are unfortunately out of the question because of the risk of transmitting the Aujezky virus.
There is only one exception when it comes to sausage: liver sausage for medicinal purposes – if your four-legged friend has to swallow a tablet.
Fresh meat as dog food
Many dog owners prefer a diet based on raw meat for their dogs. The feed market has now also adapted to this and there are numerous ready-made dog meals made from raw meat in frozen packages.
You can find a complete menu with beef, sweet potato, and fennel in organic quality at Tackenberg, for example.
Of course, meat is an essential part of a healthy dog diet!
Meat in all imaginable forms is difficult to extract from a dog’s species-appropriate diet if this is necessary for special reasons.
As a rule, the following applies to all dogs: Meat is not only healthy and provides essential nutrients, but it is an integral part of a healthy diet.
Dogs are great at digesting meat and no one has ever seen a dog who doesn’t like meat.
A little sense of proportion is only advisable when feeding the elderly, who can develop health problems such as gout or high cholesterol levels if they eat excessive or one-sided meat.