A dog with a curious expression looking at jerky, indicating moderate safety for dogs.

Can Dogs Eat Jerky?

Yes, dogs can eat jerky, but it should be given in moderation. Jerky can be a high-protein treat, yet it often contains high levels of salt and preservatives, which are not ideal for a dog's health. Always choose dog-specific jerky or make your own to ensure it's safe.

A photo of Stefan Stumpfl, the co-author of this article.

By Stefan Stumpfl, in collaboration with Dr. Ali Raza.

Updated on Jul 1, 2024

Did You Know?

Commercial jerky often contains high levels of sodium and preservatives that are harmful to dogs.




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Feeding Frequency


Allergic Risk


Benefits and Risks of Jerky

Jerky can be a great source of protein, which supports muscle health in dogs. However, many store-bought jerky products contain too much salt and preservatives. Some jerky might also have spices or flavorings that can be harmful to dogs. Moderation and careful selection are key to avoiding these risks.

How Much Jerky Can Dogs Eat?

The amount of jerky a dog can safely consume depends on their size, breed, and health status. A small dog might only handle a piece the size of a thumb per day, while larger breeds can manage a bit more. It's best to offer jerky no more than twice a week to prevent excessive salt and preservative intake.

What If Your Dog Reacts Badly to Jerky?

If your dog shows signs of an upset stomach or allergic reaction after eating jerky, stop feeding it to them immediately. Symptoms may include vomiting, diarrhea, or itching. If these symptoms persist, contact your veterinarian for advice.

What are Healthy Alternatives?

Looking for safer snack options? Consider these:

  • Carrot sticks: Crunchy and full of vitamins.
  • Apple slices (without seeds): Sweet and hydrating.
  • Plain cooked chicken: Protein-packed without the added salt.


Jerky can be a tasty treat for dogs, but always in moderation and with careful scrutiny of ingredients. Monitor your dog's reaction and consult your vet if you have any concerns. When in doubt, opt for safer, healthier alternatives!