If you’ve been wondering can dogs eat corned beef, well, it depends on multiple factors. But let’s get the generalities out of the way;
Dogs can eat corned beef in small doses, but it’s certainly not very good for them. Corned beef has an incredibly high salt content, which your dog won’t react well to.
Trying to process those high levels of salt through their liver and kidneys can lead to salt poisoning. This may cause your dog to have diarrhea, become dehydrated and start vomiting. In severe cases, it can even cause seizures.
If you have a corned beef sandwich and your dog really wants a taste, a tiny finger full shouldn’t do them too much harm.
However, this should only be on very rare occasions and corned beef should never be considered as part of your dog’s regular diet.
Why Is Corned Beef Unhealthy To Dogs?
Corned beef is made from brisket, which is typically the lower breast area of the cow. The meat is fatty and usually one of the lowest quality cuts of beef. The high-fat content alone makes for an unhealthy meal.
However, corned beef goes one step further. It’s actually marinated in rock salt. The ‘corned’ aspect of the beef has nothing to do with corn at all.
In fact, the ‘corn’ refers to the large quantities of salt and spicing that the beef sits in before it’s minced and churned. The marinade consists of salt, vinegar, garlic, and pickling spice.
The outer coating of the corned beef in the can and the white/yellowish sections in the middle of the beef are a combination of the fat and salt when they’re mixed together.
The high salt and fat content is bad for cholesterol levels, blocks the arteries, and can contribute to weight gain and eventually heart disease.
It is also a source of carcinogens which studies have linked to an increase in cancerous cells. This also goes for other processed meats which have a high sodium content, such as hot dogs or bacon.
What Happens If You Give Your Dog Corned Beef?
The large amounts of sodium in corned beef will be a problem for your dog’s digestion.
Small amounts every so often shouldn’t do much harm. However, if you feed your dog corned beef on a regular basis you might notice that they first start to vomit.
Further symptoms could be diarrhea, eventual dehydration, and seizures due to damage to the nerves.
The high-fat content could also induce heart problems or high blood pressure if they eat it in large quantities. It’s important that you get a regular health check for your dog to ensure their blood pressure is where it should be.
The brine that corned beef is marinated in also contains mild amounts of garlic. Garlic and onions are actually toxic for dogs.
Although the amount of garlic within corned beef is unlikely to do much harm if they don’t eat it often, if your dog eats it regularly they may get a stomach upset.
You might notice that your dog has eaten too much garlic. They will become bloated and may have a tender or sore stomach to touch.
If your dog eats too much corned beef and you notice any of these symptoms, you should take them to the vet immediately to flush their system.
Is Corned Beef Safe To Eat Out Of The Can?
Yes, you can eat corned beef out of the can. However, you should never feed your dog or other pets corned beef from the can. Corned beef is marinated in salt and spices and vacuum cooked before you purchase it.
When you get it out of the can it will appear in a solid block that is already cooked and ready to eat. Once the can is open, it should be stored in the fridge. It should be eaten over the next couple of days.
You can eat corned beef cold, straight from the fridge, at room temperature or it can even be fried or added to stew or other dishes and served hot.
It’s a very versatile source of protein. There are lots of recipes out there to give you ideas on how to serve it.
However, it can go off quickly, even in cold temperatures, once the can has been opened. That’s because the can itself provides a vacuum where bacteria are unable to grow. Once this vacuum is broken, bacteria can grow quickly.
If you’ve had the can in the fridge for more than a few days after it’s been opened, it’s not safe to eat and you should throw it out.
Is Corned Beef Good For Dogs?
Corned beef, on the whole, really isn’t good for dogs. The high fat and salt content can cause issues with your dog’s kidneys. It can also mean that they suffer from nausea, dehydration, and eventually kidney stones or seizures.
However, corned beef does have some good aspects for dogs. This means, if your dog accidentally has a tiny finger full every so often, they should be fine as long as you give them plenty of water afterward.
Corned beef contains lots of protein that is essential for a canine diet. It also has a ton of vitamin B12 to give energy and a large quantity of iron which strengthens the blood and aids healing and contributes to increased immune functionality.
So, although it’s not good for dogs and should never be fed to them as part of their normal diet, a small amount won’t hurt them too much and could even contribute to their health in other areas.
What Should I Do If My Dog Eats Corned Beef?
If your dog somehow gets into your stash of corned beef, you’ll need to act quickly to counteract the sodium. Depending on how much they’ve eaten, a large amount of water may just do the trick.
If your dog has any amount of corned beef, you should be equipped with a supply of fresh, clean water afterward.
This allows them to dilute the sodium intake and help it to process through their organs.
Larger amounts of sodium may require veterinary care. Because dogs don’t need very much sodium in their bodies, when they’re hit by a huge quantity all at once, it can really affect their digestive system.
If your dog begins vomiting or has diarrhea after eating corned beef, you should take them to the vet for assessment.
Your vet may recommend a fluid drip and overnight treatment to ensure your dog’s system is fully clear.
If this goes untreated, even if your dog seems fine, it could cause problems further down the line.
You may not even be aware until it’s too late. Some dogs have been known to develop kidney stones as a result of too much sodium, for example.