Here is one of those questions that dog lovers will debate until the beef cattle come home. Can dogs eat raw steak? It sounds like such a simple question – but it’s not. The answer is yes and no, plus it depends on your dog. Keep reading and we’ll explain.
Raw Steak Facts
Beef is a wonderful source of meat protein for your dog. Most dogs can eat it without any problems. We should mention that among dogs that have food allergies, beef is one of the top allergens, but this is a very small fraction of the overall dog population.
Depending on the cut, a beef steak has about 79 percent protein and 21 percent fat. It’s a good source of vitamin B12, vitamin B6, Niacin, Phosphorus, and Selenium. It’s also a source of Iron. This is all good nutrition for your dog.
Raw Diet Pros and Cons
There are LOTS of dog lovers who believe that feeding your dog a raw diet, which can include raw steak, is terrific. They maintain that it is closer to what nature intended for dogs. They also say that it gives dog healthier skin and a better coat; good dental health; more energy; improved digestion; fewer allergies; and that it keeps dogs in better weight (not fat or skinny).
On the other hand, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) , the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), and other professional organizations, generally oppose feeding dogs a raw diet.
The primary reason that many of these groups oppose feeding dogs a raw diet is because of the risk of bacterial contamination from raw foods. The contamination can affect your dog but it is more likely to be passed along to humans if it is present. There can also be problems with raw diets being complete and balanced when they are not formulated properly. This can result in dogs that end up with long-term health problems even though they appear to be healthy at first.
Handling, storage, and safety are very important for anyone feeding dogs raw food. If you or anyone in your family has a weakened or compromised immune system, a raw food diet for your dog is not a good idea since you would be at higher risk with regard to bacteria.
Should You Give Your Dog Raw Steak?
Some dogs like raw food and some don’t. If your dog has always eaten kibble or canned foods, s/he may not like raw meat. Some dogs do walk away from raw steak even when you offer it to them as a special treat. Other dogs will go crazy for raw steak even if they have never had raw food before. It really depends on the dog’s individual preference.
You may or may not want to feed your dog a raw diet but there is no reason why you shouldn’t offer your dog some raw steak, especially if it’s something your dog enjoys. You should cut up the steak into small pieces to make sure your dog doesn’t choke on it. This is especially important if your dog loves the steak and tries to eat it too fast.
We recommend placing the small pieces of steak in your dog’s dish and letting him see how he likes it.
If your dog doesn’t appear to like the steak you might try cooking it slightly. Some dogs will happily eat the steak if it’s cooked since that will be more like the food they are familiar with.
There are legitimate pros and cons to feeding dogs a raw food diet. That said, there is no reason why you shouldn’t offer your dog some raw steak. Most dogs relish raw meat. Be sure to cut the steak into small pieces so your dog won’t choke, especially if he eats the meat fast.
In my experience as a former K9 handler, breeder and trainer for 25 years, I believe that it’s great to feed small amounts of raw steak to working dogs. If the concern is cross- contamination and food-borne illness around your home, I do not see how that matters if your dog has some steak. You’re STILL going to wipe everything down afterwards. A human’s risk is no greater prepping a steak for the grill than cutting up small pieces of raw steak to add to your K9s kibble. High energy dogs like Belgian Malinois and Dutch Shepherds are constantly depleting their caloric intake during training and work, so adding steak and boiled egg whites are hemoglobin maintaining a good patrol weight.
Just my .02!