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Right now you may be at a cookout with your pup, wondering: Can I give my dog a bit of my hamburger? Certain foods have become associated with summer and hamburgers are one of them. We generally recommend dogs not receive table scraps in order not to develop bad eating habits and to prevent gastroenteritis due to a change in a dog’s regular diet, as well as to prevent obesity. However, since our pets are a part of our family and probably will be present during our picnics and summer meals, you may occasionally want to give them a bite.

Feeding Dogs Hamburger

If you’re looking to give your dog a bite of the burger you’re munching on, you might want to reconsider. Chances are, your burger has added salt and spices and topping that can be dangerous to dogs, such as onion.

However, if you want to through a plain patty on the grill, hamburger meat that is unseasoned and cooked can be a healthy source of protein in addition to your dog’s regular balanced diet. This is true of ground beef, turkey, chicken, and pork. Just make sure to cut the meat up into bite-sized pieces.

For our dogs, feeding seasoned meat is a recipe for unpleasant digestive upset at best, and pancreatitis at worst.

fourth of july

Raw Burgers

Raw steak or hamburger patties can contain bacteria, such as salmonella and E. coli that can be harmful to dogs, as well as people. Keep a careful eye on the meat as you prepare the grill because the aroma will definitely get your dog’s attention, and he may try to sneak a tasty morsel of the uncooked meat.

Grilled meats

  • Grilled bones of any kind should not be given to dogs, as cooked bones splinter and can cause obstruction along the gastrointestinal tract, anywhere from the mouth to the colon or rectum.
  • Don’t give fatty foods or food containing spices, onion or garlic (such as hot dogs or hamburgers that contain garlic powder, etc.). Onions and garlic are toxic to dogs.
  • Don’t give pork to dogs due to the fat content which could cause GI disturbances or lead to pancreatitis.
  • The white meat of a cooked chicken breast can be offered if all the bones are removed and if the skin has no spice present.
  • Depending on the dog, grilled beef items, such as a bite of steak, can be offered if the size is not too large (especially for smaller dogs) and if fat is trimmed.

Most importantly, all food should be put away and trash secured in well-closed garbage cans to prevent your dog from taking food when you aren’t looking. While you’re at it, leave the hotdogs on the grill, too.

Related article: Can Dogs Eat Hotdogs?
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