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Can I Add Raw Ground Beef to My Dog’s Food?

Close up of ground beef on a butchers tray

Raw ground beef can be very dangerous for dogs. It can cause diarrhea, vomiting and blood in stools. In some cases, it can lead to anemia and pancreatitis. Raw ground beef is not recommended.

But there any many people who believe giving your dog raw ground beef is a good idea.

You will find that there are differing views on this issue and both sides may have great supporting points. These arguments are worth considering when you are trying to make a food decision for your treasured family member.

Should dogs eat ground beef? Check out our post “Can I Feed My Dog Ground Beef?” to learn more.

Can You Give Raw Ground Beef to Dogs? The ‘No’ Argument

There is one side of the argument that says no you can’t. The advocates for not feeding your dog raw ground beef cite different health issues that can affect your pet. Here are their reasons for not supporting the feeding of raw ground beef to your dog:

  1. They can contract Salmonella and other gastric-type illnesses
  2. Your pet may have liver problems
  3. Kidney failure is a possibility
  4. Raw meat can be a source of cancer (rare)

Of course, these issues would be the product of feeding your dog large amounts of raw ground beef. Small amounts should not affect them at all. If your dog gets one of the diseases above from eating raw meat, then here are some symptoms to look out for:

  1. Diarrhea
  2. Vomiting
  3. Nausea
  4. Weakness high fever
  5. Lethargy
  6. Stiff neck
  7. Lack of coordination
  8. Sore muscles

Then even if your dog exhibits these symptoms, there is no guarantee that they got the illness from the raw meat. They could have gotten it from outside by trapping, killing, and eating a bird or other small animal.

Also, the fat found in raw meat, up to 30% in ground beef is not healthy for your pet.

Can You Give Raw Ground Beef to Dogs? The ‘Yes’ Argument

Black pug sitting with a metal dog bowl in his mouth

There are some great arguments supporting the idea of giving raw ground beef to your pet. Here are some of the main points that say it is okay to do this:

1. In contrast to human beings, dogs don’t develop heart disease as a result of consuming saturated fats.

2. The fat inside ground beef does have harmful effects but there are some fats in raw ground beef that are healthy for your dog and help provide them with healthy fur and skin.

The drawback is that ground beef may not have the daily requirement of those healthy fats (Omega 3)

3. Raw ground beef provides lots of nutrients for your pet- those nutrients include– B6, B12, B3, zinc, phosphorus, calcium, iron, and potassium. Cooking the beef does not remove any nutrients, it just changes them somewhat.

This addition to your dog’s regular food helps provide a balanced diet for your pet.

4. Gr Beef that has been grazed on grass has a lower fat content, as well as more antioxidants, than beef that has been fed grain. Vitamin A, E, and beta carotene support your dog’s immune system, and grass-fed beef has higher concentrations of these nutrients.

Is Cooked Hamburger Good for Dogs? Click here to learn more.

Do Dogs Prefer Raw or Cooked Meat?

Cubed beef in a metal dog bowl on a white background

This will depend on your dog and their personal preferences. But so far, it seems to be an equal preference with your pet probably liking both, a lot. You should not fail to get your dog to eat when meat is added to their diet. Doesn’t matter if it is cooked or raw.

The only way your dog will get sick from eating raw meat is if it is already infected with some bacteria. If the bacteria are not there, then your dog should not get sick.

But if you feed your pet too much raw meat, or they have a problem with fat, they still can get sick from other diseases. Some vets and dog trainers say you can feed up to 1/3 pound of raw ground beef per day per 20 pounds the dog weighs.

Plus, you can feed them raw beef every day but that is the maximum level, and those levels should not be maintained. Use some discretion in this issue and maybe only use raw beef as an incentive to get them to eat their regular dog food.

You still do not want your pet to get fat and too much beef can do that to them.

Some Final Words

Dalmatian eating from a metal dog bowl against a white background

The debate about whether dogs can eat raw meat or not is still raging on. The fact that there is much debate about this topic shows just how important this issue is. You have to first consider the risks and potential benefits of feeding your dog raw ground beef.

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Please note: We are not veterinarians and you use our advice at your own discretion. We always recommend that you consult your veterinarian whenever you have health-related conditions your furbaby is facing. With that in mind, as pet parents ourselves, we wish nothing but the best for your pet and their healthy and happy lives.