Part of responsible dog ownership is feeding them a healthy diet. This includes knowing when it’s ok to feed them from your plate, and when it’s a bad idea. Some human foods are good for dogs in moderation, while others can be highly toxic.
Can you share your favorite cut of steak with your dog? What’s the skinny on beef fat? Is it safe for your canine companion?
Can dogs eat beef fat?
Yes, dogs can eat beef fat in moderation. Too much fat can have serious consequences for your dog. You’ll also need to consider how the beef was cooked, as some popular spices can be toxic to your pooch.
When considering whether to feed your dog beef fat, you should consider the nutritional value. Beef fat has about 140 calories per serving. It contains 18 grams of fat, and no protein or carbohydrates.
Despite its high calorie load, it does have some nutrients that are essential for both humans and dogs. It contains the Omega 3 ALA. This helps regulate cholesterol levels and contributes to healthy heart function.
It has a surprising number of benefits in dogs. These include brain health and neuroprotection, anti-inflammation, anti-aging, and detoxification. It may even lower the risk of cancer.
Choline is another nutrient found in beef fat. It helps with liver detoxification. It’s also a precursor to important neurotransmitters, including dopamine and acetylcholine. It is thought to help treat seizures and cognitive decline in dogs.
Even if your dog doesn’t have these issues, choline is important. Choline deficiency can cause a range of negative health effects, including fatty liver and muscle damage.
B vitamins are also necessary for your dog. Beef fat contains a good amount of B 12 and B 5. B 12 helps maintain a healthy nervous system, and also aids with hormone balance and energy. B 5 helps regulate enzyme function. It helps convert fat and protein to energy, and it can help treat depression and anxiety.
If you choose to feed your dog from your own plate or pan, you’ll need to consider what’s been added to it. Some spices that are popular for beef and steak can be toxic to dogs.
Garlic is a perfect example. It’s common to add some garlic powder when cooking beef or steak. Cloves or garlic or onions are also popular seasonings.
These are great for humans. Not only do they taste great, but they have health benefits as well. However, they are toxic to your pooch.
Garlic and onions are members of the allium family. These foods contain thiosulfate. This is harmless to humans, but it can be harmful or even deadly to dogs.
When dogs ingest thiosulfate, it causes oxidative damage to red blood cells, which leads to hemolytic anemia. In simpler terms, the chemical damages your dog’s blood cells, which leads to serious health consequences.
The symptoms of hemolytic anemia include pale gums, rapid breathing, lethargy, and dark colored urine. It will also cause gastrointestinal symptoms, or stomach upset. These symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and dehydration.
Can dogs eat steak fat?
I have to admit, steak fat is one of my favorite things. Each time steak is served at my house, everyone else passes me those choice cuts of meat. I chow down on them, happily but a little guiltily.
Can dogs eat steak fat? Should they be eating it?
Steak fat is a type of beef fat, so it has a similar nutritional profile as other types of beef fat. While it is high in fat and calories, it does have some nutrition and health benefits for your dog.
Can dogs eat raw beef or steak fat?
Yes, they can eat raw beef or steak fat, in moderation. The rules are the same as they are for cooked beef or steak fat, with one caveat. If your pooch isn’t used to raw meat, you’ll need to start with very small portions. This gives your dog’s digestive system time to adjust to the raw food.
Dogs Were Born to Eat Raw
Dogs evolved to live on raw meat. Their systems are designed to consume raw meat, and it may be the best way to keep them healthy.
Humans need to cook most cuts of meat to reduce the risk of food borne illnesses. Salmonella is a slight concern for dogs, but their stomach is more acidic than ours, which makes it unlikely for them to contract the bacteria.
Salmonella is more likely to be found in chicken, but can be present in beef as well. E. Coli is the other common foodborne illness. While it can cause humans to become very ill, it typically only produces mild stomach upset in dogs, if it causes any symptoms at all.
Is fat bad for dogs?
Fat is actually essential for dogs, in the correct amounts. It’s also important to know that not all fats, or even animal fats, are not all created equal. Some will be better for your pooch than others.
Why Do Dogs Need Fat?
Fat is converted to energy in your dog’s system during resting and light to moderate activity. It also slows down digestion, which makes your pooch feel fuller for longer. In this way, a moderate amount of fat can actually help your dog maintain a healthy weight.
Fat reduces inflammation in your dog’s body, and creates a heathy skin and coat. It’s also essential for absorbing some essential vitamins, including A, D, E, and K. These vitamins are fat soluble, which means they need fat to be absorbed by the body.
How Much Fat Do Dogs Need?
A dog’s body needs more fat per pound than a person. Dogs need at least 5%, and up to 20%, of it’s daily calories from fat. If you get 20% of your daily calories from fat, you’ll quickly begin gaining weight.
In certain situations, when a dog has very high calorie needs, like high intensity physical activity or nursing, dogs can get from 25-50% of their calories from fat. This is because fat is very calorie dense, so it can allow your dog to get the calories they need without eating an inappropriate volume of food.
How much beef or steak fat can dogs have?
How much beef or steak fat your dog can have depends on several factors. Instead of focusing on beef or steak fat specifically, it’s best to look at how much fat your dog needs in their diet.
There are some negative health consequences if your dog eats too much fat. It’s important to be sure your dog gets a balanced diet, which includes fat, protein, and carbohydrates.
Generally, 10-15% of your dog’s diet should be fat. Of course, you aren’t only feeding your dog beef fat. You may feeding them a commercial dog food as well. Dry dog foods typically contain the least amount of fat, with wet foods being higher in fat. Raw diets can have a very high fat content.
So, determining how much steak fat your dog can eat starts with a general overview of their diet. If they are consuming a higher fat dog food, then you’ll need to be careful about giving them extra fat.
If they are eating a prepackaged raw diet, they may already be getting more than enough fat. If you are feeding them a homemade raw diet, you’ll need to do some calorie counting.
Dogs Who Need More Fat
Puppies require more fat than adult dogs, because they are growing. Their diet should be at least 10% fat, and up to 25%. The higher range is probably best.
Very active dogs also require more fat and calories than dogs with an average activity level. These dogs can eat 25-50% fat. Keep in mind that this is for dogs who engage in intense physical activity. Sled dogs and those who spend nights hunting are a few examples.
Nursing mothers also need more calories and fat. They are eating for themselves and their puppies. Her diet should be at least 17% fat, and up to 25-30%.
Beef fat is safe in moderation, but too much fat can cause stomach upset. This occurs because, like humans, dogs have good bacteria in their gut. Too much fat can throw off the delicate balance of bacteria, which leads to gastrointestinal problems.
Some dogs have a hard time digesting some fats, which can also contribute to tummy troubles.
A diet high in fat or sugar can cause pancreatitis in dogs. The pancreas releases enzymes that help the body digest food. When it’s functioning properly, these enzymes become active when they reach the intestines. This allows them to break down food without damaging organs.
Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas. It causes the digestive enzymes to activate when released into the abdominal cavity. This can cause damage to the pancreas and surrounding organs, essentially digesting them.
The symptoms of pancreatitis include stomach pain, bloating, vomiting, and diarrhea. Fever and lethargy are also common.
Too much fat can also cause simple stomach upset. If your dog has bloody stools, swelling of the stomach, or a fever, pancreatitis is the likely culprit. If they are simply experiencing vomiting and diarrhea, it’s likely only stomach upset.
Too much fat or a high calorie intake can lead to obesity. Over half of the dogs in America today are either overweight or obese. Unfortunately, these extra pounds have serious health consequences.
Overweight or obese dogs have a higher risk of joint problems, diabetes, and high blood pressure. They also have a shorter lifespan.