Beef is loved in many parts of the world but nowhere is it loved like in the United States. As a matter of fact, according to the USDA, Americans consumed over 21% of the beef consumed in the world in 2020. Americans also love their dogs, and many American dog owners like to share their beef with their dogs.
Small dogs, especially, can have issues eating a solid piece of beef, but should a dog eat beef mince? If they do eat beef mince, is it better for a dog to eat the mince raw or cooked? Let’s examine the ins and outs of dogs eating beef mince.
Can dogs eat cooked beef mince?
Dogs normally have no problem whatsoever eating beef. It is a wonderful source of protein that most dogs adore, but should you feed your dog beef mince? Read on.
What are the dangers of beef mince?
The main danger of beef mince or ground beef versus a piece of solid beef like a steak or part of a roast is summed up in one word — bacteria. It’s for the same reason it is recommended that humans don’t eat hamburgers rarer than medium-well.
When you are talking about a solid piece of beef, only the outer edges and top and bottom have been exposed to the air and thus, to bacteria, and so, it is fine to eat a steak medium-rare or rare but only if it is seared on the outside to kill the bacteria. When you are talking about beef mince or ground beef, each tiny piece has been exposed to the air and thus, to bacteria, and so, at least for humans, it’s not really safe to eat a burger that’s rare to medium.
Having said this, your dog’s body can probably handle bacteria better than a human, as dogs possess that ability. So, it’s probably fine to feed your dog beef mince, but should you cook it?
Should you cook your dog’s beef mince?
Dogs can eat cooked beef mince or ground beef with no issues in most cases, but there are a couple of things you should consider. For one, you should cook your meat one of two ways. Either cook it quick making sure you don’t overcook it, leaving it around a medium-well, or cook it low and slow for a long time.
No matter which way you decide to go, you should ensure the meat is tender and not tough and tasteless. Something else you should consider is that you should prepare your dog’s mince without seasonings, spices, or people foods, as some can be toxic to dogs like onions and garlic, and others can simply upset your dog’s stomach.
You, however, can prepare vegetables that dogs can eat like sweet potatoes and serve with your dog’s mince. The most important thing is that your dog’s beef mince is fresh.
An organic diet of fresh meats like beef, lamb, chicken, turkey, rabbit, and quail; fresh vegetables like peas, carrots, and spinach; and fresh fruits like blueberries can help your dog thrive. A fresh-cooked organic diet is good for your dog’s heart, coat, eyes, and digestive system, and it promotes fresh breath and boosts their energy.
If you have time to prepare this type of diet for your dog, that’s wonderful, as you can cook for yourself at the same time (just remember not to season your dog’s portion). However, if you are too busy or if you are not handy in the kitchen, there are numerous fresh dog food delivery services that deliver fresh, organic dog food to your door.
These services work alongside dog nutritionists to create formulas based upon each dog’s breed, age, weight, body composition, activity level, and allergies. With this system, they are able to calculate the right number of calories your dog needs.
The AKC (American Kennel Club) recommends Ollie, a fresh dog food delivery service regulated by the USDA (US Food and Drug Administration). Ollie offers an array of recipe, portion, and delivery schedule options.
Can dogs eat raw beef mince?
More and more people nowadays are feeding their dogs a raw dog food diet. With a raw diet, there are more options. Raw dog food can be something you make yourself at home with muscle meat, organ meat, or bone (whole or ground), raw eggs, fresh vegetables and fruits that are safe for dogs, and some dairy products like yogurt.
Dog owners who have changed to a raw diet boast their dogs have healthier skin, a shinier coat, better dental health, improved digestion, and increased energy. Many vets argue that dogs living inside homes with small children or people whose immune systems are compromised are not candidates for raw dog food diets.
The reason for this is that, while dogs can handle bacteria better than people, they can still transmit the bacteria. So, when they lick small children on the face and mouth or even the hands after eating raw meat, it is believed that they transfer dangerous bacteria to them. The same is true of the immunocompromised.
So, even in a home without these at-risk groups, you must be meticulous in every aspect of your handling of raw dog foods (beef mince). Know, also, that dogs having cancer, pancreatitis, or other illnesses may not be able to handle raw dog foods (beef mince).
For these reasons, the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) is against the unregulated feeding of raw dog foods due to the risk to both dogs and people. Still, many today strongly disagree, and the sheer number of people ordering raw organic foods for their dogs shows it.
Can dogs eat frozen beef mince?
Sure, your dog can eat beef mince that’s been frozen, as long as it was fresh when it was frozen, and it has stayed frozen. Can they eat it while it’s still hard-frozen? That may be a different story. I guess it all depends on how hard your freezer freezes its contents.
If your dog can bite into the frozen beef mince, they shouldn’t have any adverse effects from eating it that they wouldn’t have from raw dog food. While heat kills bacteria and viruses, freezing only renders them dormant. Once the food is thawed, the viruses and bacteria become active again.
If frozen beef mince or ground beef has thawed out. Use it within 24 hours. Under no circumstances should you refreeze beef mince that has thawed out.
How much beef mince is too much for a dog?
It’s best for your dog to get a balanced diet of not only beef mince but other meats, as well as various vegetables and fruits and some dairy products. Since many dogs have allergic reactions to grains, it is probably the best choice to feed your dog a grain-free diet, and that is why dry dog foods are not used as often these days.
Another way to ensure that your dog is getting all their necessary nutrients is by slowly changing up their diet from time to time. By doing this, you expose them to different vitamins and minerals in the various foods you offer them.
If you feed your dog only beef mince, lamb mince, ground chicken, ground turkey, or any other meat, you should only feed them up to 1/3 pounds of meat per 20 pounds that they weigh per meal. For instance, if your dog weighs 40 pounds, you can give them up to 2/3 pounds of meat per meal, but if your dog only weighs 10 pounds, you should only give them up to 1/6 of a pound per meal or around 5 tablespoons.
While this doesn’t seem like a lot of food, meat is packed full of nutrients, so not much is needed. Still, since you should really feed your dog a varied diet, you should probably cut that figure down and supplement it with dog-safe foods that are also rich in nutrients like sweet potatoes, spinach, and blueberries.
Some recommend a diet consisting of 67% meat and 33% fruits and vegetables, while others recommend up to 90% meat and 10% vegetables and fruits. There is not a ratio etched in stone. It’s up to you as a dog owner to decide what’s best for your canine companion.