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What Ground Meats Can Dogs Eat?

Square bowl full of browned ground meat

When it comes to ground meats, a dog can eat anything from lean beef to chicken and lamb.

Some dogs can be picky eaters. Getting him or her to eat is often a chore but with the right selection of ground meats, you may have solved your problem. The key is to not overfeed your pet the following ground meats.

One of the best ways to introduce a new food into your dog’s diet is by mixing it with something he already likes like kibble or canned food. For example, you can add some ground meat to a meal of kibble or canned food. If you want to make it more interesting try making it into patties or hamburgers. You can also cut up raw ground meat and mix it in with his regular food. The important thing to keep in mind is that any kind of meat should never be given in large amounts at one time or for extended periods of time as it can lead to upset stomachs and other digestive issues.

Also, make sure there is no seasoning in the meat. You will not be doing your pet any favors if you add any salt, pepper, or other spices. Everything on this list needs to be cooked and served plain if your dog is going to eat it.

Is it ok for your dog to eat meatloaf? Check out our post “Can Dogs Eat Meatloaf?” to learn more.

Ground Meats Dogs Enjoy and Can Eat


Ground pork in a white bowl

Pork is a very tasty meal and one that dogs enjoy. Like all other ground meats, it is easy to prepare, and your dog won’t care if it is boiled, fried, steamed, or barbecued. As long as it is plain, they will be happy.


  1. Healthy for your pet
  2. Tasty and has a good flavor plain
  3. Easy to cook and prepare
  4. Lots of nutrients
  5. Can be hypoallergenic


  1. Needs to be fully cooked
  2. Raw pork is not good to feed your dog
  3. Too many parasites and bacteria in raw pork
  4. Lots of fat


Ground beef in a square metal pan

Beef is always a good meat choice for dogs. This is a very healthy meal to serve your pet but just do not overdo it. Watch out in case your dog is allergic to beef.


  1. Can be eaten raw or cooked
  2. Lots of good protein in beef
  3. Good for both their skin and coat
  4. Get higher levels of energy
  5. Can be mixed with dry dog food


  1. Raw beef can carry bacteria and other germs
  2. Can lead to health issues including obesity
  3. Can contain too much bad fat
  4. Can lead to an unbalanced diet and bad health

Treat your dog with this “Easy Dog Meatballs” recipe.


Ground chicken on a wooden plate on a picnic table

Like beef, you will find chicken as the main ingredient in many dog food options. It is healthy meat to feed your pet whether ground or not. But make sure to cook it first to keep your pet healthy.


  1. Good source of protein
  2. Can be fed to your dog on a daily basis
  3. Lacks fats and oils that upset dog stomachs
  4. Easy to digest
  5. Can be fed to your dog once or twice a day


  1. Raw chicken has bacteria and germs etc., that can harm your dog
  2. Bones need to be removed to protect your pet
  3. Can only be stored in the fridge for one or two days
  4. Shouldn’t be served with its skin on the meat


Ground turkey on butcher paper isolated on a white background

Just like chicken, this is great ground meat to feed your dog. It is easy to digest and is great when your pet suffers from diarrhea. Also, like chicken, never serve it raw to your dog.


  1. Safe to feed your dog if served and cooked plain
  2. Comes with key nutrients to help keep your dog healthy and strong
  3. Has fewer calories, sodium, and fat content than beef
  4. Leaner than ground chicken
  5. Has a calming effect on dogs and soothes their stomachs


  1. Do not serve with the skin, the skin has fats, etc., harmful to your pet
  2. Do not feed with bones as they can cause your dog harm
  3. Has to be served solo and plain, with no additives like seasoning, onions, or garlic
  4. It may have too much fat in the ground turkey content

Can dogs eat canned beef? Click here to learn more.


Ground lamb on butcher paper resting on a small cutting board

This meat has been a part of different dog food options for decades. It is very healthy meat for your pet as long as you do not overfeed him or her. Also, make sure to cook it well and leave out the seasonings.


  1. Good for dogs with sensitive stomachs or other meat allergies
  2. High in protein
  3. High in amino acids and good dietary fats
  4. Lamb meal carries less water than other lamb options
  5. Rich in iron


  1. Needs all bones removed before cooking and serving
  2. Cannot be served with its skin. Too much fat content in skin
  3. Can cause an allergic reaction
  4. It may take a while to cook

Honorable Mention


Salmon fillets isolated on a white background

This fish is great for dogs. It is high in protein and Omega-3 fatty acids. But never give your dog raw or undercooked salmon. This fish does have the neorickettsia helminthoeca parasite, which causes salmon poisoning disease.

The salmon needs to be fully cooked to be healthy for your pet and you can put a small slice of this fish and cook it on your grill next to your piece. Once done, just break the meat apart so it looks like ground salmon.

Some Final Words

Butcher cutting up meat next to the meat display

Ground meats are great for dogs to eat. Plus, it is helpful to you as you do not have to do much to get these ground meats ready for your pet. In most cases, you need to cook all these meats above medium-well.

That way all the germs, etc., are killed off and the meat is safe for your pet. You can mix and match or alternate these meats to keep your pet interested in their dinner time.

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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.