Dogs are omnivorous, with the majority of their nutritional needs coming from protein-rich foods. Yet, many dog owners wonder, ‘What’s the best cut of steak for my dog?’ The quick answer is chuck, loin, or round steak.
However, there’s still so much to uncover about your dog’s diet. In this article, we outline some of the best protein sources for your dog. We’ll also talk about what makes some beef cuts better than others.
Let’s jump in.
What Are Some Healthy Sources of Protein for Dogs?
Your little—or big—pup needs 25 to 50% of meat in every meal to grow well and develop strong, healthy muscles. We can’t stress enough the importance of protein in their diet at every age.
The most common sources of protein for dogs are beef, chicken, and pork. Other options, like fish, ducks, and rabbits, can also be highly nutritious.
If you’re into hunting, why not let your dog enjoy the game meat with you? Many canine species, like the American Foxhound, love hunting!
Remember that whatever you’ll be feeding your furry friend should be low in fat. Generally speaking, the best cuts of steak for dogs are lean cuts like chucks, rounds, and loins.
Here are the best options to feed your dog:
- Ground beef, turkey, or chicken (90% or leaner)
- Lean lamb leg shank
- Chuck steak
- Top loin
- Top sirloin
- Pork tenderloin
- Top round
- Bottom round
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Why Are Lean Cuts Better?
Lean meat is easier for dogs to digest than fatty meat. Many dogs tend to have runny bowels when consuming only a little extra fat in their diet.
The amount of fat is estimated as a percentage of the weight of the meat. In other words, the higher the fat content, the less protein it contains.
So, if your dog eats meat high in fat, she won’t be getting the nutrients and minerals she needs, which could result in several health issues. Moreover, consuming too much fat can lead to weight gain because of the high caloric intake.
Another risk of eating fatty cuts of steak in dogs is pancreatitis. This inflammation of the pancreas can be a painful, life-threatening condition.
Which Is Better: Boneless or T-Bone Steak?
In general, boneless steaks are better than T-bones because the bones pose a health risk. One reason is that they can splinter in your dog’s mouth and become a choking hazard.
Another reason is that they can cut up your dog’s digestive tract. This can cause internal bleeding, constipation, or worse.
So, what do you do if your pooch looks up at you with those hard-to-resist puppy-dog eyes and you decide to give in to her pleas?
Here are a few tips to remember when offering T-bone steaks to your pup:
- Raw bones are better than cooked ones because they don't splinter as easily
- Refrigerate the bone when your dog isn’t chewing it to prevent bacterial growth.
- Throw out the bone after 3 days.
Simple Ways to Cook Steak for Dogs
The easiest way to cook a steak for your dog is to sear it on a skillet. First, pat the beef dry with a paper towel and season it with salt and pepper.
Then, place on the hot cast iron skillet and let it cook for about five minutes until it’s nicely seared.
Next, flip the steak over and cook for another five minutes. Finally, remove it from the pan and let it rest for 15 minutes before cutting it into bite-size chunks.
Alternatively, you can cut the steak into cubes and boil for two to three hours with salt and pepper. Then, serve it alongside some steamed vegetables.
Another quick way is to cook meat and vegetables together like you’re making a stew. It’s just as delicious and provides double the nutritional value.
Whichever method you choose, make sure not to use onions or garlic in your recipe. Both are highly toxic for dogs and can cause several health problems.
How Much Meat Can a Dog Eat?
Veterinarian nutritionists recommend that dogs have a quarter to a third of a pound of meat for every 20 pounds of body weight per day. For example, a Golden Retriever that weighs about 60 pounds can eat 0.75 to one pound of meat daily.
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Why Commercial Dog Food Is Better Than Homemade
It’s good to know that dogs can handle a wide variety of options when it comes to their diet, be it dry kibbles, wet canned food, or human food.
Still, most pet nutritionists and dog owners recommend relying on commercial dog food for the majority of their diet rather than the homemade variety. Here’s why:
1. Higher in Nutrition
Luckily, dog food manufacturers can provide a diverse nutritional profile in each serving. For example, they make sure to balance sodium to phosphate ratios. Then, they add in all the necessary supplements for healthy growth and development.
2. More Affordable
Maintaining a healthy diet for your dog can be a lot of work. Yet, it can be pretty expensive. Dogs need a lot of protein, which is a pricey menu item.
So, to save money while still offering our dogs the nutrition they need, we turn to pet food manufacturers. They have cheaper sources and usually buy their ingredients in bulk, which allows them to offer the same quality foods at a fraction of the cost.
When making dog food, people are most likely to cook big batches at once and store them for the next few days. For dog owners, this could mean bringing 10 pounds of raw chicken and chopping it up in the kitchen.
Yet, this poses several problems. First off, it can be a health risk because raw meats are contaminated with salmonella.
Another problem is that it can create a lot of waste, which brings in flies, ants, and other pests. Also, with more garbage piling up, rodents are another thing you have to worry about.
This makes buying pre-cooked, highly nutritious canned or dry food for your pup your safest option.
Paul has been creating content for the dog niche for many years. The information he shares comes his first hand experience growing up in dog lovers household and then owning multiple dog breeds of his own as an adult. Paul enjoys doing the hard research to collect, analyze and present our dogtemperament.com readers with the best answers to their questions.