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Can Dogs Eat Raw Meat?

Can dogs eat ham bones? Dogs can eat raw, uncooked ham bones.
Most fresh meats are safe – but what’s the scoop on bones & organ meat?
Ah, meat.

Who doesn’t love the smell of bacon frying over the stove on a Sunday morning?

Vegetarians and vegans, probably.

But what about your dog?

Do you think he smells that bacon cooking on the stove and thinks,

“Oh, ew, pig meat. I’m going to throw up”?

The full “Can Dogs Eat That?” guide is 18,000+ words long. Download a free cheat-sheet of 12 safe & (surprisingly) unsafe human foods for dogs. PRO TIP:  Print. Magnet to your fridge. Keep your dog safe.

No, of course not. While I don’t claim to be a dog mind reader, I do have two eyes and am able to observe my own dog when I cook meat. He begins to lick his chops incessantly in order to keep his drool from escaping his mouth.

I take this to mean one thing:

He loves meat.

For the most part, dogs can eat all types of fresh meat. There are a few exceptions you have to be aware of, however.

For the most part, dogs can eat all types of fresh meat. Here are a few exceptions... Click To Tweet

Dogs can technically eat pork, but there is a slight risk of your dog contracting trichinosis. Trichinosis, an infection caused by roundworm, can infect pigs and then your dog.

If you feed pork to your dog, it is recommended that you freeze the pork for at least three weeks before serving, and then to cook the meat thoroughly.

Do not feed them raw pork.

On the subject of raw versus cooked meat, enter the soccer moms and their overbearing opinions. To clear up the frantic arm-waving and screeching of stay at home moms, I found some legitimate science for you.

A study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association cites raw meat as a risky thing to feed your dog as this can expose them to a variety of different pathogens.

Salmonella is one of the greatest risks when consuming any kind of raw meat, and despite the fact that dogs have a short digestive system, they’re still at risk from this.

They go on to say that most dogs fed a raw-based diet often have nutritional deficiencies that other dogs on a processed diet do not have (then again, those dogs are prone to other diseases due to their processed foods, but I digress).

And as with all meat, there’s probably going to be some bones.

Yes, bones. I knew we’d get there eventually.

The fact of the matter is that bones are hard things that are difficult to digest.

Luckily for dogs, they are more equipped to handle bones than we are. The acid in your dog’s stomach is more acidic than ours, and they also keep food in their stomachs for longer.

This goes a long way when it comes to softening up those bones.

When you think about it, wild dogs like wolves and coyotes are eating meat directly from other animals.

In their fervor to eat as much as possible, they’re probably going to ingest some bone bits.

Okay, but now I really want you to listen.

Well, technically not listen, but read this next bit without distraction.

I mean it!

DO NOT feed your dog cooked bones.

When you cook chicken wings or a nice Thanksgiving turkey, you’re also cooking the bones.

The bones become brittle and prone to fracture.

When they do fracture, they become sharp little weapons that I’m sure some prisoner somewhere used as a shank once.

Do you want your dog swallowing ninja stars?

I thought not.

Alright, that was an extreme comparison, but cooked bones really do pose a threat to the lining of your pet’s intestines.

If they don’t cut them up, they might become lodged in there, and then you’ve got a big problem.

For all bones, there’s a risk of large chunks getting caught in your dog’s intestines.

If you do give your dog a bone, make sure it’s not cooked and keep your eye on them.

Whether or not you want to feed your dog raw meat is up to you.

I get the feeling that it can be done right with the freshest, most natural meat.

And it needs to be a well-balanced diet, so again, be sure you know what your dog needs before you go nuts with it.

Check out our very own raw dog food diet guide to get started on the right foot.

Here’s a more complete list of all the good meats your dog can eat:

Never Feed Dogs These Meats ☠

  • Can dogs eat bacon? No. Bacon is not toxic to dogs, but please don't feed it to them.

    Can Dogs Eat Bacon?

    No. Dogs shouldn’t eat bacon.

    Bacon is extremely high in fat which can cause inflammation in your dog’s pancreas. This can lead to pancreatitis and make your dog very sick. Bacon grease is also terrible for your dog.

    On the whole, do not feed your dog bacon. If it a bit falls on the floor while cooking and your dog scarfs it up, don’t worry. Just don’t let it happen again.

    The good news? More heavenly sizzle for you!

  • Can dogs eat jerky? No. They don't need it.

    Can Dogs Eat Jerky?

    No. Do not feed your dog jerky because the risk is just too high.

    There are many different types of jerky and some have the potential to harm or even kill your dog. Recently, jerky treats imported from China have killed over 1,000 dogs.

    Jerky for human consumption is often seasoned or flavored using spices that might be harmful to your dog.

    They don’t need jerky, so why feed it to them?

Meats Safe for Dogs

  • Can dogs eat ham? It probably won't kill your dog, but there are much better meats for Fido.

    Can Dogs Eat Pork?

    Yes. Dogs can eat pork. There is a risk of contracting Trichinosis from raw pork, so it’s not advisable to feed them raw pork products.

    And be sure the pork is not seasoned with garlic or onion which are both toxic to dogs.

    Pork can also cause gastric upset in some dogs, with many reporting their dogs having allergic reactions to it.

  • null

    Can Dogs Eat Chicken?

    Yes. Dogs can eat chicken.

    Be sure the cooked chicken is not seasoned with garlic or onion which are both toxic to dogs.

    Dogs should not eat cooked chicken bones because they can splinter.

  • Can dogs eat raw chicken? Your dog can eat raw chicken, but make sure the meat is fresh and from a good source.

    Can Dogs Eat Raw Chicken?

    Yes. Your dog can eat raw chicken, but make sure the meat is fresh and from a good source.

    There is always risk of a bacterial infection from consuming raw meat, especially salmonella.

    To reduce the risk of harmful bacteria, freeze the raw meat for at least two days prior to feeding, and make sure to clean your dog’s bowl thoroughly after feeding them raw meat.

  • Can dogs eat beef? Yes.

    Can Dogs Eat Beef?

    Yes. Dogs can eat beef.

    Be sure the cooked beef is not seasoned with garlic or onion because they are both toxic to dogs.

  • Can dogs eat raw beef? Yes, Your dog can eat raw beef, but make sure the meat is fresh and from a good source.

    Can Dogs Eat Raw Beef?

    Yes. Your dog can eat raw beef, but make sure the meat is fresh and from a good source.

    There is always risk of a bacterial infection from consuming raw meat, especially salmonella.

    To reduce the risk of harmful bacteria, freeze the raw meat for at least two days prior to feeding, and make sure to clean your dog’s bowl thoroughly after feeding them raw meat.

  • Can dogs eat steak? Yes, but remove the bone.

    Can Dogs Eat Steak?

    Yes. Dogs can eat steak.

    There is a risk of bacterial infection from eating raw steak.

    If you cook the steak, be sure to remove any bones. Cooked bones can splinter inside your dog and lead to internal bleeding.

  • Can dogs eat steak? Yes, your dog can eat raw steak, but make sure the meat is fresh and from a good source.

    Can Dogs Eat Raw Steak?

    Yes. Your dog can eat raw steak, but make sure the meat is fresh and from a good source.

    There is always risk of a bacterial infection from consuming raw meat.

    To reduce the risk of harmful bacteria, freeze the raw meat for at least two days prior to feeding, and make sure to clean your dog’s bowl thoroughly after feeding them raw meat.

  • Can dogs eat lamb bones? Dogs can eat raw, uncooked lamb bones.

    Can Dogs Eat Lamb?

    Yes. Dogs can consume lamb and it is often an ingredient in dog food.

    If it is cooked, be sure to remove any bones.

    Cooked bones can splinter and cause internal bleeding.

  • Can dogs eat venison? Yes.

    Can Dogs Eat Venison (Deer)?

    Yes. Dogs can eat venison (deer meat).

    There is a risk of bacterial infection from eating raw venison.

    If you cook the venison, be sure to remove any bones. Cooked bones can splinter inside your dog and lead to internal bleeding.

  • Can dogs eat duck? Yes, but practice moderation.

    Can Dogs Eat Duck?

    Yes. Dogs can eat duck.

    There is a risk of bacterial infection from eating raw duck.

    If you cook the duck, be sure to remove any bones. Cooked bones can splinter inside your dog and lead to internal bleeding.

    Duck is also high in fat, so feed it to your dog in moderation.

  • Can dogs eat liver? Yes, in moderation.

    Can Dogs Eat Liver?

    Yes. Dogs can eat liver in moderation, but be sure the liver comes from a good source.

    Liver is an extremely nutrient-rich meat. It contains protein, fat, Vitamin A, copper, iron, niacin, phosphorous, and zinc.

    Eating too much liver can lead to an overdose of Vitamin A which could make your dog very sick.

    They key is to feed your dog liver in moderation.

  • Can dogs eat kidney? Yes - in moderation.

    Can Dogs Eat Kidney?

    Yes. Dogs can eat kidney, but should do so in moderation.

    Like liver, kidneys are packed with vitamins and nutrients.

    Too much kidney can lead to gastric upset.

  • Can dogs eat hot dogs? Yes, but rarely.

    Can Dogs Eat Hot Dogs?

    Yes. Dogs can eat hot dogs, but rarely, and as an occasional treat.

    Hot dogs have a high amounts of salt and fat and are not the healthiest food option for your pet. There’s not really any nutritional benefit in a hot dog for your pup.

    There are better treats for your dog.

Where To Next?

Can Dogs Eat…

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Can dogs eat that? The Ultimate Guide.

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