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Dogs must use a balanced diet that contains a variety of foods, including best meats for dogs, grains, and even vegetables to stay healthy.
With a range of protein sources, from cattle to game to fish, it can be tough to determine which type of protein is best for your dog’s health.
This is important because meat differs considerably, and some offer more nutritional value than others. Meat also differs in costs, availability, and safety, and they also display different tastes, smells, and textures, factors that can influence your dog’s willingness to eat.
Below we will look at the best meats for dogs owners who can feed their dogs for better health and strength.
We will discuss the different nutritional values of various common types of meat, compare all safety issues that you should consider, compare the fundamental price differences and the availability of the different options discussed.
That’s why we’ve put together a list of the pros and cons of each protein source, so you can compare dog food and choose the best for your dog.
Table Of Contents
- 9 Best Meats For Dogs 2023
- 1. Beef
- 2. Chicken
- 3. Pork
- 4. Lamb
- 5. Turkey
- 6. Fish
- 7. Duck
- 8. Venison
- 9. Other Meats For Dogs
- Is It Wise To Feed Your Dog Homemade?
- Final Words
9 Best Meats For Dogs 2023
Dogs can best be described as omnivores, but meat is crucial for their health and well-being.
Not all protein sources are the same. Protein sources vary in nutritional value and digestibility.
Some protein sources are even healthier for your dog than others.
The following types of meat are those that are most commonly included in dog food, including both home-made and commercial varieties.
For most owners, they choose a protein for their pet’s food.
One of the best meats for dogs food on the market. Beef can be a perfect protein to feed your dog if it is grown in the meadow, is organic, and uses whole pieces of meat.
Beef has a high protein content, a high-fat content and is rich in iron and B vitamins, all of which are very healthy for dogs, especially active dogs.
However, beef is costly, and most beef is made with dangerous industrial farming methods. The beef that is most common in dog food is therefore not whole pieces of beef, but a beef meal or beef by-products.
These two ingredients are made from all unusable parts of the cow, such as bones, organs, and even rotten or sick meat.
They are heavily processed, so they are tough to digest. So although beef is an excellent source of protein, it should be avoided unless the dog food uses whole pieces of meat.
The best way to prepare a large portion of beef for your dog is to roast it, but minced meat is more natural to cook on the stove. The USDA recommends cooking ground beef to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit, but whole pieces only need to reach 145 (and then get a three-minute rest period).
If beef is not the most common protein fed to dogs, then the chicken is individual.
Like beef, chicken offers a great combination of nutrition and affordability, and it contains more protein and less fat than beef or pork. Most dogs also like chicken (my weird puppy prefers a chicken thigh than anything else in the world).
Chicken is usually cheaper than beef, but it has a higher risk than beef because it is often contaminated with Salmonella bacteria. This is probably a more significant threat to the people who live in your house than your dog, but dogs can also get sick from these germs.
So make sure you cook the chicken well and use good food safety practices when preparing chicken. Wash your hands after handling raw chicken and disinfect all utensils or surfaces that the chicken touched. Don’t start processing the chicken and then take the handle of your fridge – you can make your entire family sick.
You can roast chicken if you want, but it’s probably easier to cook. Keep the remaining liquid to cook rice or vegetables that you add to the food. No matter how you cook it, make sure it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
Pork is not an excellent protein source for dogs. Like both beef and chicken, it is highly processed and grown industrially. Pork also contains exceptionally high amounts of fat, so unless fed to an active dog, it can lead to obesity and liver problems.
It is also difficult for dogs to digest and cause stomach problems. So although dogs love the taste of ham and bacon, it is not the best source of protein for them.
Pork is also reasonably easy to prepare. It should be cooked in the same way if you were to cook a similar piece of beef. Whole parts can best be roasted, while ground products can be prepared more easily on the stove. Ensure that entire cuts reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees; ground pork must be cooked to 165 degrees.
Note that whole pieces of pork are harder to cut than beef or chicken. This is an important consideration for owners who do not know the way on a cutting board.
There is some disagreement among veterinary nutritionists as to whether the lamb is a healthy protein source or not. Although it has become popular in many natural brands because it is not processed as actively as other meat, it can contain too much copper and fat that can be unhealthy for your dog.
Because most lamb is very expensive, the lamb in dog food usually has sheep meat of lower quality. Because it is a relatively new ingredient, the judgment on this is not yet known.
Lamb has a relatively low calorific density, so you need more than beef or pork. However, it is leaner than beef, pork, or duck, and it also has more protein than all these three foods.
It is a rich flavor that many dogs find attractive (no mint sauce needed) and no special preparation required – just roast it the way you want beef or pork.
Also for beef or pork, make sure it reaches an internal temperature of at least 145 degrees and then let it rest for at least 3 minutes before you cut it.
In terms of diet, turkey is broadly similar to chicken, although it contains less fat. It also tastes different from chicken, but most dogs seem to enjoy it.
Because turkey is slightly more expensive than chicken (although it is currently only about $ 0.10 per bird) and it is generally more challenging to prepare, most owners are likely to choose chicken instead of turkey.
That said, it’s a viable choice for your dog’s protein needs. If it works for you and your dog, try it.
Turkey is another protein source that is becoming increasingly popular in dog food. Turkey is full of natural minerals such as iron, zinc, potassium and phosphorus, and B vitamins.
Like a lamb, turkey is not as intensive as some other types of meat, so it is often used in natural, holistic, and organic foods. Turkey is an excellent protein source for dogs.
Like any other poultry, turkey is often contaminated with Salmonella, so it is essential to use excellent food safety and hygiene practices when preparing it.
You can cook medium-sized pieces of turkey if you want, but it’s probably easier to roast – make sure it is prepared to an indoor temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Fish is one of the best meats for dogs, and it is incredibly healthy.
It is full of essential omega-3 fatty acids, rich in lean proteins, low in fat and easily digestible. Unfortunately, fish does not provide all the nutrients that a dog needs. If a dog only gets a fish diet, it may even get a vitamin B1 deficiency.
It is also important to note that dogs digest freshwater fish such as trout and salmon better than saltwater fish such as tuna and mackerel.
So although fish should be included in your dog’s diet, pay particular attention to which fish you do not trust as the sole protein source.
You’ll find different kinds of fish in addition to salmon in your local supermarket, from which they can make suitable proteins for your pet. Although we have no room here to discuss them all, Tilapia is one of the most available and affordable options.
Note that cooked salmon is a safe and healthy source of protein for dogs, but never give your dog raw salmon. Salmon can be infected with a parasite that, although harmless to humans, can make dogs very sick.
treat fish as an additional source together with another source such as turkey or beef for a balanced and healthy diet
The taste and texture of tilapia do not appeal to all dogs, but many seem nice to enjoy it, make sure your dog likes it before you fill your freezer with fillets.
Keep this in mind when cooking salmon – many people prefer salmon that is cooked medium or medium-rare, but you want to make sure it is well done when preparing your pet.
The USDA recommends cooking all seafood to an internal temperature of at least 145 degrees.
Duck is another high-quality protein for dogs, and many find it especially delicious. Duck is often one of the best proteins for enticing picky puppies.
This is probably due to the same reason why some people think that duck is too rich for their taste: it is fat, fatty meat.
The duck has more fat than any other poultry or fish. It also has a relatively low protein content, so it is certainly not the right food choice for young puppies.
Even though dogs are often fond of the taste of duck, relatively few owners include it in homemade dishes.
This is mainly due to the high costs of duck and the fact that it is not as widely available in supermarkets.
Some commercial diets use duck as the primary protein because they have access to more affordable markets than most consumers.
Nevertheless, duck is a perfectly suitable protein for dogs, and it is a viable option for owners who can reliably get in the hand and are not deterred by the high costs.
You want to roast the duck for your dog and be sure that it reaches an inside temperature of at least 165 degrees.
Venison is not often commercially available, but it can be the right choice for hunters.
An excellent choice for owners who want to control food allergies. It is an easily digestible protein source that is of biological origin. Venison also contains high levels of thiamin, riboflavin, vitamins B6 and B12, phosphorus, niacin, and zinc.
So it’s a very nutritious protein source and high to feed any dog.
The Venison has a caloric density that is comparable to chicken, although it contains fewer proteins and more fat than chicken.
There are a few commercial dog foods made from game, and most of the dogs they seem to try to find appealing to the taste.
9. Other Meats For Dogs
So many meats are now being offered from kangaroo to bison to alligator.
It is difficult to compare the nutritional value of all these types of meat with other protein sources because insufficient research has been done.
However, it is worth investigating whether your dog has food allergies. Most of these types of meat are organically produced and minimally processed, so they are usually of very high quality.
So make sure that when you switch to game meat, you and your vet see if this makes a positive difference to your dog’s health.
The quality of the protein source is essential for your dog’s health. So the next time you compare dog food, make sure that even if you find a great brand, you choose the right taste so that your dog gets the bestmeats for dogs food available.
Is It Wise To Feed Your Dog Homemade?
Although many owners may be tempted to use the above information to select a protein for a homemade diet, it is wiser to use this information for a commercial diet with a protein that makes sense to your dog.
If the chicken seems perfect for your dog, choose a commercial chicken feed; do not try to make chicken food.
Put, home-made diets are a terrible idea for the average owner.
We have already extensively discussed this topic about homemade dog food diet so that we will consider it here, do not repeat everything.
The three main reasons why we discourage owners from making homemade dishes are the following:
Balancing your dog’s diet is very difficult
You can’t just mix up some rice and chicken and call it a day.
Among other things, you must ensure that your dog receives a complete amino acid supplement, you must ensure that the calcium-phosphorus ratio of the food remains balanced and you must analyze the vitamin and mineral content of each ingredient used.
Preparing large amounts of safety risks for raw meats
You must ensure that you use rigorous food processing methods when making your dog’s food. Otherwise, you can make your pet (or, more likely, your family members) sick.
It is one thing to prepare a few chicken fillets for dinner, but handling and making 10 pounds of raw chicken is an entirely different case.
Homemade diets are generally more expensive than commercial foods
Regardless of how economical you are or how much time you spend comparing prices and searching for coupons on the internet, you will probably spend much more money on making dog food healthy then you buy one.
Commercial dog food may not be perfect, but premium commercial products give your dog better nutrition than most home-made diets, and they are also safer and also cheaper.
There are certainly a variety of proteins that can work well for dogs, so owners have many options available. Read the information above and try to choose the best one for your pet.
Owners who feed their dog’s fresh meat are smart to do this. Chicken, beef, lamb, turkey and most other animals are OK But avoid uncooked fish and pork.
When buying the best meats for dogs, you must determine their origin.
Roadkill and meat from animals that were dead on arrival may not be the best, especially since it is not possible to know whether they have been checked for diseases.
Serving healthy and best meats for dogs is the only way to ensure that you promote the health of your pets.
For most people, premium dog food is a consistent and natural choice for supplying meat proteins.
What is your favorite protein for your dog? Let us know which dog you want to feed in the comments below!