Enough with the same old chicken and beef. It’s time to mix things up!

Surprise your dog with protein-rich meat that won’t add much to its weight. We’re talking about deer meat, commonly known as venison. But can dogs eat deer meat?

In recent years, venison sales have been rising thanks to its healthy reputation among consumers. Let’s see whether that’s justified and how beneficial deer meat is for our dogs.

We’ll discuss:

Can Dogs Eat Raw Deer Meat?

Many owners choose a raw meat diet for dogs. If you wonder whether that’s right for your furry pal, the answer is yes! Your dog will empty the plate in a second. And deer meat is a very common ingredient in raw diets.

Venison is healthy for dogs because it’s rich in protein. Also, it’s low in fat — and an excellent option for dogs prone to gaining weight. Other potential benefits of adding it to the raw diet include:

  • Healthier and shinier coat
  • Great oral hygiene
  • Energy boost

But giving venison to your dog has its risks. Raw meat contains parasites and bacteria that can cause numerous hidden illnesses. Pet owners should be meticulous when choosing the meat, which is why many turn to raw dog food subscriptions as a safe source of raw and fresh ingredients.

Can Dogs Eat Cooked Deer Meat?

Cooked deer meat is a much safer option for your dog because heat destroys the bacteria in it. But cooking makes the meat less nutritious, so your dog will gain fewer benefits than eating it raw. Another problem is that it makes your dog’s digestive system lazy as it won’t exercise the intestines.

Is Deer Meat Good for Dogs, and What Are the Benefits?

Deer Meat is healthy for your dog, whether it’s raw or cooked. The most significant benefits of venison include:

  • Muscle growth
  • Weight loss
  • Brain health support
  • Anemia prevention

Vitamins and Minerals

Deer meat is an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and protein, including B12, B6, zinc, phosphorous, and iron. It helps to increase energy, and many dogs love the taste. Also, venison is low in sodium, which is a better option for your dog’s heart than other red meats.

Here’s the average nutritional profile for 100 g of raw deer meat:

  • Fat — 2.4g
  • Protein — 23g
  • Iron — 3.4mg
  • Potassium — 318mg
  • Riboflavin — 0.480mg
  • Vitamin B12 — 6.31mcg
  • Vitamin B6 — 0.370 mcg

Venison as dog food is highly nutritious, so it has become more prevalent in dogs’ diets. With just 100 grams of this meat, your pet will satisfy most of its recommended daily intake. 

Venison vs. Other Types of Meat

Generally, venison is lower in fat and sodium than other red meats like beef, pork, or lamb. That makes it perfect for overweight dogs and those suffering from heart diseases.

If you prefer a protein-rich diet, consider replacing pork with venison-based dog foods. You should know that 100 g of venison contains 36.08 g of protein, while 100 g of pork has only 23.02 g of protein.

Pork meat has more calories and less protein than deer meat. Plus, the calories in it come from fat, while in venison, they come from protein.

So, next time you shop for dog supplies, put deer meat on your list.

Is Venison Good for Dogs With Allergies

Venison’s supply of B vitamins makes it a good alternative for dogs that may be allergic to beef or chicken. Because deer meat is a novel protein, it can reduce allergens and skin irritation caused by food allergies in dogs.

Is Venison Good for Dogs With Sensitive Stomachs?

Venison works very well for dogs with sensitive stomachs. It’s leaner than other red meats, so it’s more digestible. Also, it’s a novel protein, and adding new types of protein to your dog’s diet is beneficial for food allergies.

The best way to help your dog with its stomach issues is by giving it a limited-ingredient dog food for allergies or making homemade meals with carefully chosen components.

The Dangers of Venison for Dogs

So can dogs eat deer meat? They can, but let’s see if there are any dangers. 

Generally, venison is safe and good for dogs. Still, you must be aware of a few risks, especially if your furry pal is on a raw diet. Uncooked deer meat may contain bacteria and toxic substances if not properly handled. So before giving venison to your dog, make sure it comes from a safe source.

Deer meat can contain pathogenic bacteria, like the Escherichia Colin strain, Clostridium, and Listeria, which can cause severe digestive upset in dogs or even death. What’s more, deer often get infected with Chronic Wasting Disease that mainly affects the nervous system. That makes the meat dangerous for consumption by dogs or humans, especially in the infected deer’s brain, spinal cord, or digestive tract.

So can dogs eat raw deer meat, and is it worth the danger? Definitely! A raw diet can be excellent for your dog if you avoid getting the meat from unknown sources and check its freshness and quality.

Dogs Eating Meat

What Deer Parts Can Dogs Eat?

Many pet owners wonder which part of the deer meat is safe for dogs. And some are more nutritional than others, including deer liver, heart, antlers, and bones.

Pet owners also choose snacks from venison, like jerky and sausages. Usually, venison jerky is made from the deer’s hind legs

When properly cooked, almost every dog food with deer meat is an excellent meal or snack for your furry friend.

Deer Liver

The deer liver is the healthiest organ for your dog. It’s a good source of iron and makes a tasty treat. But before giving it to your dog, you should cook it on very low heat for about 20 minutes. That’s the safest way for your pet to consume it, and it’s much healthier than any commercial dog treat.

It’s always better to consult your vet before feeding your dog something for the first time. Certain breeds, like Dalmatians, can get very sick from eating too much liver. 

Deer liver is healthy for your dog as long as you cook it properly and serve it occasionally. So, can dogs eat deer liver? They can, and it’s highly beneficial.

Deer Heart

Like the liver, the deer heart is a healthy addition to your dog’s diet. It can become harmful only if you feed it raw and in large amounts. Raw deer heart is full of nutrients, but even vitamins and minerals can cause toxicity if your dog eats too much. 

The solution here is to freeze the heart into serving-size portions and give it to your dog as a snack or a special weekly meal.

Besides raw, cooked deer heart also preserves many nutrients and can be a healthy treat.

Are Deer Bones Good for My Dog? 

Can dogs have deer bones? There are many divided opinions on this topic and bones in general.

Dogs can safely eat raw animal bones from deer, goats, pigs, and lamb if they’re raw. When cooked, bones can become soft and breakable, so they’re likely to splinter and hurt the dog’s digestive system when swallowed.

Deer bones, in particular, are larger than turkey or chicken bones, so they’re a safer option. Smaller bones are more likely to split into sharp pieces or be swallowed, which is why you should give larger bones to your dog.

How Much Venison to Feed My Dog

The amount usually depends on your dog’s size and age. That said, when you cook it properly, there’s no specific quantity of venison to feed your dog. General recommendations suggest venison meals three days a week

If your dog gets regular physical activities and weighs less than 30 pounds, feel free to give it up to three ounces of venison per day. It’s best to divide them into two or three portions. But if your pet is mostly inactive or suffers from a chronic health issue, talk to your vet about the proper dosage before feeding venison.

Keep in mind that dogs are omnivorous, and too much protein can be harmful.

Homemade Dog Food Recipe With Venison

If you’re trying to avoid feeding your dog raw meat, you can cook it with other ingredients so that it’s more tasty and nutritious. We recommend combining venison with vegetables for the perfect nutritional bomb in a single dish.

We have an easy homemade venison dog food recipe that your furry pal will love. 

The ingredients for our Venison and Vegetable Stew are:

  • 4 cups of ground venison
  •  4 cups of low sodium broth
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup chopped green beans
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped broccoli

The instructions are as follows:

  1. Heat a bit of olive oil in a skillet. 
  2. Add the meat and cook it for a couple of minutes until it’s ¾ done and has a nice brown color.
  3. Chop the vegetables.
  4. Mix the venison, vegetables, broth, and oats in a large pot.
  5. Bring the mix to a boil and cook it for 15 minutes, stirring in between.
  6. When the veggies and oats soak up the broth, you’ll get a thick mixture.
  7. Once the stew cools down, you can serve it.

You can store the venison stew in your refrigerator in an air-tight container for up to 5 days.

So is deer meat good for dogs? Start cooking venison recipes, and you’ll see the difference in your dog’s health almost immediately.

If your dog is on a raw diet, the transition to cooked food could be a little hard on the tummy. 

You can start by giving your dog food with high-quality venison and carefully picked vegetables, like JustFoodForDogs Venison & Squash. It’s an excellent choice if your dog needs novel protein.

Another option is Zignature Limited Ingredient Dog Food on Amazon. It contains high-quality venison as a single protein source, and it’s suitable for dogs with food sensitivities.

There’s nothing wrong with dogs eating deer meat, and once your furry pal gets used to the delicious taste, there will be no turning back to raw food.

Final Thoughts

What can be more healthy than meat from animals living in their natural environment? That’s the case with deer meat, and there’s nothing wrong with feeding it to your dog.

We also learned the difference between raw and cooked venison and what to expect when giving deer meat to your dog. So, the question stands — can dogs eat deer meat? Yes, but only from reliable sources, and it should match your dog’s needs, size, and breed. Also, you can include venison in many healthy homemade recipes for your dog.

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