Cooking Steak for a Dog: How to Do it Safely

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dog eating steak
Photo by LIBRESHOT / Public Domain License

“Is cooking steak for my dog unsafe?”

That’s a common – and legitimate – question many dog owners have. If you’re a steak lover yourself, you probably want your precious pooch to enjoy man’s most coveted meat, too. But is it safe? Can dogs digest steaks as we can? What’s the best way to cook steak for a dog, if any?

We’ve got you covered with the answers to your most pressing questions when it comes to dog ownership and steak

First, let’s bust a little myth: Dogs are not carnivores like their wild family member, the wolf. They are actually omnivores. You might think that giving your dog all the meat they can consume is the best thing for their bodies. A lot of people believe this because we’re stuck on the fact that dogs derive from carnivorous animals.

However, domesticated dogs need veggies and fruits for a well-balanced diet, too, making them omnivores. This doesn’t mean that meat is bad for them, but like humans, they only need meat in moderation.

Is Grilled Steak Bad for Dogs?

When it’s cooked properly and served in moderation, absolutely not. Steak can be a nutritious part of a well-balanced diet for your dog, given that you’ve already cleared it with your vet. Some dogs have very specific dietary needs and steak may simply not be a part of your dog’s healthiest picture.

But in general, most dogs can have a cooked steak once in a while and benefit from its nutrients and high protein content.

There are other foods that no dog should ever eat and steak doesn’t make that list. Be sure to avoid foods that are toxic to a dog’s digestive system, like chocolate, nuts, dairy products, garlic, and avocado.

What About Raw Steak?

This topic is a bit controversial, so we’ll cover it based on what doggie experts say.

Some dog owners feed their dogs a raw meat diet, which is based on the idea that dogs, historically, have thrived on eating raw meat and not on eating processed foods like many dog foods are nowadays. Those for a raw food diet say that the diet can improve the look and feel of a dog’s coat, improve digestion, and boost energy, among other benefits.

The FDA disputes the benefits, though, stating that feeding a dog raw meat can be harmful to both the dog and his humans. Raw meat poses a risk for salmonella, listeria, and other harmful bacteria that can cause severe stomach and digestive upsets to dogs, and even runs the risk of contaminating you and your home when you serve it.

To keep you and your pup as safe as possible, we recommend cooking a piece of steak before feeding it to Fido.

How to Cook Steak for Dogs

So, what’s the best way to cook steak for a dog?

Just like humans should follow proper food safety techniques when preparing and cooking steak they’ll eat, they should do the same for their four-legged friends.

Be sure to use the proper methods for thawing steak (we have a whole guide on thawing steak to help you out) and handle the meat with washed hands.

Next, skip the seasoning. Humans tend to love a little salt, pepper, and steak seasoning, but they aren’t necessary for dogs. In fact, salt can harm them and is something you should avoid using on any of your dog’s foods.

You can choose just about any steak cooking method you prefer to cook the beef. The key is to get it to the right temperature, which should be at least medium to keep your dog safe. This ultimate guide to steak temperatures should help you get it right.

Once it’s done, allow the meat to rest and cool for about 15 minutes. Dogs don’t blow on their food to cool it, so you’ll want to avoid serving it too hot. After about 10 minutes, you can cut the steak, if desired, to help it cool faster.

Be sure to look for small or thin bones that your dog might be able to break off with his teeth. Most steak bones are very sturdy, but some dogs’ jaws and teeth are stronger! You know your dog best. Avoid giving her any bones that could break off, causing a dangerous obstruction to her airway.

Feeding Steak to Your Dog

Cooking steaks for dogs is much like cooking it for the family: Follow the right safety measures and cook it to a safe temperature to avoid potentially dangerous contamination and side effects. In moderation, steak can be an excellent part of your dog’s balanced diet because it’s rich in protein, iron, omega-6 fatty acids, and other minerals and nutrients that a dog needs to stay healthy.

Want to make sure you’re giving your pup only the best quality meats? Head to Chicago Steak Company’s website to see our selection of perfectly-aged steaks. We even have some of the top 2% of beef in the United States that we can ship to your home, flash frozen to preserve quality, so you’ll have it for your pooch in just a few days.