Is Jerky Safe for my Dog to Eat?

Three Minutes
Apr 23, 2022

Happy National Jerky Day! Celebrated every year on June 12th, Jerky Day is a fun holiday recognizing a delicious snack that many — sometimes even including our dogs — enjoy. But when it comes to jerky pet treats, is jerky actually safe for your canine friend to eat?

Let’s break down what pet jerky is made of, whether your dog can eat it, and what store-bought or homemade options are best. 

Best Pet Jerky Treats

Consider speaking with your vet about the best products for your dog before making a purchase and sharing with your pup. Whichever product you choose, remember that jerky treats should not make up the bulk of your dog’s diet.

To keep your dog healthy, he or she needs to be fed a balanced, nutritious diet consisting of a dog food that’s appropriate for his or her size and age (again, your vet can help guide you in selecting the correct food for your pet). Jerky should be reserved as a special once-in-a-while treat. 

As always, keep an eye on your dog to make sure he or she is tolerating their food and treats. Always watch for signs and symptoms your pet may be ill. For example, symptoms of Fanconi Syndrome can include: 

  • Excessive thirst
  • Excessive urination
  • Weight loss
  • Decreased appetite

If your dog is exhibiting these symptoms or any other abnormal or concerning behavior, hold off on any more jerky treats and speak with your vet immediately. You can also make a report with the FDA’s Safety Reporting Panel if you believe your dog has gotten sick from a jerky pet treat. 

DIY At Home Treats

In addition to purchasing jerky pet treats at the store, you might choose to make your own pet treats at home. There are dozens of pet treat recipes you can find online. For example, you can make jerky treats using:

  • Chicken (breast or thigh)
  • Flank steak (a lean cut)
  • White fish or salmon (remove any bones using tweezers)

If you don’t have a dehydrator, you can use your oven and set it on its lowest setting. You can also make a low-sodium marinade for the meat. Be sure to follow a recipe with a guide on how to make the marinade and how long to cook your meat to get it dried out.

Remember, before you get started at home, make sure to check with your vet before using a recipe found online so that you know it is safe for your furry friend to consume once completed. 

If done safely and with veterinarian approval, homemade pet jerky treats can be a fun activity that will result in a delicious snack both you and your dog can enjoy! 

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Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances.

1 Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions.