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Can dogs eat beef jerky? YES – but which type?

Beef Jerky enjoyed by Archie dog

I was stunned and flabbergasted when someone recently asked me if dogs can eat beef jerky.

NOTE this is beef jerky meant for dogs, not human beef jerky you buy at a convenience store that usually has a whole bunch of species and preservatives. Your dog should only eat DOG beef jerky dog treats. And yes we sell them but we currently have two types … for a reason ..

Buy beef jerky dog treats


Before you ponder what the difference in beef used in dog food and OUR dog treats is, it might be good to see them in action with our dog.

Regular beef jerky is a rectangular cut of thin MEAT, Good for teeth cleaning and occupying small and medium dogs. This is my dog Archie (12 year old spoodle) sorting some out.

Why beef jerky dog treats are better for your dog

If you really want to know what you are getting in your dog food, It is rarely quality whole muscle meat (steak) cuts. It usually is a form of ‘mince’ that they call (beef MDM) or in wet dog food they often get SOY that is artificially changed to look like beef (TVP’s).

Beef used in most commercial dog foo is NOT typically quality cuts or beef, and can even be very low quality ‘by-products’.

Beef Jerky (standard) that is used in quality dog treats, like ours, is however usually a single cut of meat, cut into rectangle shapes. While it is not a prime cut of beef (sirloin), it is typically the trachea of the cow.  It IS however a single cut of meat with NOTHING ADDED.

Beef Jerky Dog treas Healthydogtreats It is still a WHOLE piece of muscle meat, and better than MDM meat used in most dog food.

When a meat is whole (not recombined) it is easier to see the quality of it. Nothing is hidden or glued back together. You get what you pay for … not scraps of poor-quality mince just chucked together to make up an affco minimum protein requirement.

I mention the affco requirement because that is the guideline that Australian and American companies use to ‘create dog food’. To be called ‘dog food’ a packet must have a minimum of 18% protein – from ANY source, even sources that dogs don’t process very well, like most plant matter.

Meanwhile BEEF meat itself, is typically about 60% protein when in dried form, and this is precisely why we recommend people who use kibble as their main source of dog food, supplement it with something like our beef jerky to ensure that their dog is getting enough Bio available protein.

For those people who don’t like regular beef jerky from trachea – the typically source used in the vast majority of beef jerky used in dog treats around the world, we have a PRIME version of beef jerky made from TOPSIDE cut of beef. (when available).

Beef used in dog food

You now know what the beef jerky is that is used in regular beef jerky Healthy dog treats

Dog food typically uses the cheapest ingredients it can (at least for the major food components in it) – that is how corporations save money.  As there are around 4 million dogs in Australia in 2020,  and most of those eat kibble with either beef or chicken as their main meat ingredient, you can understand how a lot of those meats get used in kibble – either if dog food manufactures typically only use around 30% meat in kibble or canned dog food.

Prime cuts or even WHOLE cuts of meat affect their bottom line too much, so even in most of the ‘high’ quality kibbles or dry dog food, the beef is usually what is called mechanically deboned meat (MDM) or similar.  It is made by forcing pureed or mince beef under pressure through a grate to separate the bone from the beef muscle meat.

There is nothing intrinsically wrong with this, and in fact mdm meat is what is typically used in most of our mixed (meat and wheat) dog treats (balls and crinkles etc) – except our mixed treats only have about 20% wheat and not 70% that many dog foods have.

Dog food usually in dry form has a lot of wheat or rice flour to bulk it up, or in wet food a lot of SOY (in the form of textures vegetable protein, or TVP. Disguised to look like meat).

And in the cheaper brands the beef that they use is often called ‘beef by product’ which can include every part of a cow EXCEPT for the standard cuts of meat that humans eat.

Beef by-products are often ‘liver, kidneys, fats, skin, bones but none in a condition that would be useable to sell to you in whole clean healthy looking form – they are truly the waste products used to bulk up the dog food protein minimum amounts required by law.


If your dog has regular dog food kibble, there is a very strong chance that it has been exposed to either chicken or beef or both. And if it doesn’t have an allergic reaction, then you know that BEEF jerky dog treats will be fine for them!  PS most dogs ARE NOT allergic to beef or chicken.

While that meat is often MDM sourced, the point is, that your dog is used to that protein, so they won’t have to adjust their systems to eating beef jerky dog treats.

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