Should I Cook My Dogs Meat? (Solved & Explained!)

Dogs are susceptible to harmful bacteria like E.coli, Salmonella, Clostridium Perfringens, and more. Cooking your dogs’ meat is the best way of protecting your dog from getting sick from their meat.

Make sure you cook the meat at a safe temperature, ground meats should be cooked at around 160F, poultry at 165F, and red meats at 145F. These temperatures will make sure that all harmful bacterias are killed off.

Is Cooked Meat Good For Dogs?

Cooked meat is the mainstay of a dogs healthy diet. If you are no longer happy with commercial pet food, buying and cooking your own meat and making your own dog food is a creative solution to meet your dogs’ daily nutrition needs.

However, cooked meat alone is not going to meet all your dogs’ dietary needs. Be sure to add some healthy carbohydrates and vegetables to the mix too.

What Kinds of Cooked Meat are Good for Dogs?

Turkey, ground beef, steaks, and roast chicken are great for your dog. Just make sure not to season them, and do not give them any meats that are covered in breadcrumbs or deep-fried. Dogs have sensitive systems that are not accustomed to processing high levels of fat and oil.

  • Never serve raw meat to your dogs due to the bacteria. Although dogs can eat raw meat, on average those that do have shorter lifespans than dogs that eat cooked meat.
  • Avoid giving your dog bacon, or fatty cuts of meat
  • Do not give your dog any meat that is moldy, whether it is raw or uncooked
  • Cut your dogs’ meat into small manageable chunks. Meat on the bone is not recommended as bone fragments can get stuck in their throat.

Is Cooked or Raw Meat Better for Dogs?

This is a very good question that is still debated among dog owners and dog food manufacturers.

Dogs can eat some raw meat. Usually, muscle meat that is served on the bone, as uncooked bone is not as threatening to your dog as cooked bone that is easily fragmented. 

Dogs also enjoy raw livers and organ meats. These meats do deliver nutrition but run the risk of also delivering harmful bacterias into your dogs’ system. Cooked meat is a safer option. Not only does your dog get all the nutrients it needs, but it also has a significantly reduced risk of getting sick.

Therefore vets recommend cooking your dogs’ meat, and if you are going to make your own dog food, consult a canine nutritionist first.

Can I Feed My Dog Raw Chicken?

Due to an increased risk of developing salmonella, it is not recommended that you feed your dog raw chicken. 

Even the most experienced raw meat enthusiasts avoid giving their dogs raw chicken. While chicken is a common ingredient in most dog foods, it is always cooked before it is packaged.

What is The Raw Dog Food Diet?

The raw dog food diet is a diet that gives your dog all kinds of raw foods to eat, not just raw meat.

Raw foods that are common in the raw dog food diet are

  • Raw eggs
  • Raw muscle meats
  • Raw organ meats
  • Raw vegetables
  • Raw Apples and other fruits
  • Dairy

Raw dog food diets are highly specialized and should be supervised by an expert if you wish to start your dog on a raw-food-only diet.

Can I Give My Dog Raw Meat From The Grocery Store?

Contrary to common belief, you don’t have to buy direct from the butcher to feed your dog raw meat.

For the most part, raw meat that is suitable for your dog can be found in common grocery stores. However, it is up to you to read the labels, as grocery stores do stock cheaper meats that are lower in quality.

Can I Feed My Dog Raw Fish?

Never feed your dog raw fish. Raw fish can contain parasites that can find a new home in your dogs’ intestines. 

These parasites can also make their way to other members of the family, so feeding your dog raw meat can put others in danger of becoming sick, not just your dog.

It is also an unnecessary food to include in your dogs’ diet as dogs get everything they need from land meats.

Can I Feed My Dog Cooked Fish?

If you want to feed your dog fish, you can feed them cooked varieties.

Make sure the fish has been thoroughly cooked first, at at least 145F. That way all the potential parasites and bacteria have been neutralized and the fish is safe to eat.

Dogs are okay to eat whitefish, cod, hank, tuna, and salmon, they can also eat shellfish, which are a good source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids.

What Meats Should Dogs Not Eat?

Cooked or raw, dogs should avoid bacon, gammon, ham, or any meat trimmings. These meats contain high levels of salt and fat that are hard for your dog to process.

Avoid any processed meats or any meat that has had something added to them, like breadcrumbs or batter. 

Is Cheese Bad For Dogs?

Although dogs are sensitive to highly fattening foods, cheese, and other dairy products can be given to your dog in moderation.

A diet high in fat can lead to your dog developing pancreatitis. So fatty treats like cheese, yogurt, and milk are best left to special occasions and in very small quantities. Avoid ice cream entirely, as it contains a high amount of sugar that is equally as bad for your dog.

Can I Give My Dog Raw Treats?

Although giving your dog raw food isn’t the best diet for them, if you want to give your dog the odd raw treat it should not cause them much harm so long as you stick to commercial raw treats that have been processed by a reputable brand.

Dried raw meats are a good option. They have reduced moisture levels which deprives any bacteria of the water they need to survive. Dried raw meats also have fewer preservatives in them, making them the ideal raw treat for dogs.