A dog with an excited expression looking at venison, showcasing a superfood for dogs.

Can Dogs Eat Venison?

Absolutely, dogs can eat venison! Venison is packed with essential nutrients that can significantly benefit your furry friend's health. This lean meat is not only high in protein but also offers a unique variety of minerals and vitamins that contribute to your dog's overall well-being.

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

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

Updated on Jun 12, 2024

Did You Know?

Venison is a great alternative protein source for dogs who are allergic to more common proteins like chicken or beef.




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Feeding Frequency


Allergic Risk


Why is Venison a Superfood for Dogs?

Venison is loaded with high-quality protein that supports muscle development and iron that aids in oxygen transport and energy production. It contains lower fat levels compared to other meats, making it an excellent choice for dogs that need a leaner diet. Studies show that venison is also rich in B vitamins and zinc, bolstering the immune system and promoting healthy skin and coats.

Do Dogs Like Venison?

Most dogs find venison incredibly tasty. It's a novel protein, so if your dog is bored with chicken or beef, venison can be an exciting new flavor. Many commercial dog foods incorporate venison precisely because dogs tend to love the taste. Give it a try and see your dog's tail wagging in appreciation!

Can Puppies Eat Venison?

Yes, puppies can eat venison! This nutrient-dense meat can support their rapid growth and development. However, it should be introduced gradually and served in appropriate portions to avoid any digestive upset. Always consult your vet before making significant changes to your puppy's diet, though.

Can Dogs Be Allergic to Venison?

While venison is often recommended for dogs with food allergies, it's not completely foolproof. Some dogs might still show allergic reactions such as itching, gastrointestinal issues, or ear infections. If you suspect an allergy, discontinue venison and consult your vet immediately.

How Much Venison Can Dogs Eat?

When it comes to feeding venison, moderation is key. For small breeds, 1-2 ounces of venison, served a few times a week, is suitable. Medium and large breeds can have 2-4 ounces 2-3 times a week. Overconsumption can lead to nutritional imbalances, so it's crucial to keep things balanced.

Best Ways to Incorporate Venison Into Your Dog’s Diet

Include venison into your dog's meals by mixing cooked, unseasoned meat with their regular food. You can also buy high-quality venison-based dog treats or wet food to add variety. Always avoid seasoning as ingredients like garlic or onion can be toxic to dogs.

Potential Risks of Venison

One potential risk with venison is its sodium content, especially if you're using store-bought varieties aimed at human consumption, which can be higher in salt. Additionally, ensure the venison is thoroughly cooked to eliminate any parasites or harmful bacteria.

Common Misconceptions

One common myth is that venison might be too "wild" or gamey for dogs. However, most dogs find venison palatable and digestible. Another misconception is that venison will make dogs aggressive; in reality, diet doesn’t influence a dog's temperament.

Other Comparable Superfoods

If venison isn't readily available, there are other marvelous options:

  • Salmon: High in omega-3 fatty acids, great for skin and coat.
  • Turkey: Leaner than chicken, packed with protein.
  • Bison: Similar benefits as venison but generally more accessible.


Incorporating venison into your dog’s diet can provide unique health benefits and a delightful change in flavor. However, moderation is crucial to avoid any potential risks. As always, consult with your vet to determine the best dietary choices for your pet's specific needs. After all, every dog is unique and so are their dietary needs!