Can Dogs Eat Elk Meat?

Elk symbolizes a good dinner recipe, but not anymore.

It has become a common option for making snacks like burgers.

Elk meat meat a low-fat tasty meal for you and your furry friend.

Although elk meat is healthy, your canine pals should eat the meat in moderation with few or no seasonings. 

Can dogs eat elk meat?


Plain meat without added salt or spices is good for dogs but offered in moderation.

Elk meat offers a digestible, lean source of protein to canines that help build and strengthen muscles.

However, elk meat should be occasional treats, but if you plan to add them to your dog’s diet, check with your vet and ensure it suits their nutritional needs.

Elk meat is not toxic to dogs, but do they have nutritional value?

When is a elk meat harmful to your dog?

This article answers these in detail.

Can dogs eat elk meat

Nutritional benefits of ground elkto your dog

High-quality protein

Elk is lean meat rich in proteins that supply all the amino acids in the body to grow and repair tissues in dogs.

Ground elkis easy for dogs to digest and utilize in their system.

Source of minerals

Elk meat is parked with copper, zinc, phosphorous and magnesium which supports thyroid function, boosts immunity, it’s a high source of energy and strengthens bones and muscles.

The cut used  is rich in iron which aids in growth and development.

Riboflavin in elk meat supports the metabolism of carbohydrates in your dog’s body.

Rich in vitamins

Elkhas a high B group of vitamins like Vitamins B3, B6, and B12.

These vitamins aid brain functioning, energy production, cell growth and development.

Low-fat levels

Most poultry contains fewer fats potently stored just beneath the skin.

Although fat keeps the meat moist, succulent and flavorful, it’s problematic for dogs’ health.

Fortunately, most elkfat is saturated and poly-saturated (omega 3 fatty acids), which is healthy for your furry friend if consumed in moderation.

The good type of fat makes it a suitable replacement for red meat.


Poultry meat is associated with reduced risks of developing some cancers.

In this instance, elk meat minimizes the risk of developing lung cancer.

Heart health

Regular consumption of elk meat is linked with reduced improved cardiovascular health.

Longevity and survival are heightened when you replace elk meat with red meat in your dog’s diet.

How to feed your dog elk meat safely

  • Skip the skin – elkskin is saturated with fats which may cause digestive problems for your dog. It can also inflame the pancreas leading to pancreatitis.
  • Dark elk meat is fatty – Legs and thighs of elk have high-fat content, which is harmful to dogs with weight or digestive issues. The best alternative is ground turkey, as it uses meat from all elk parts.
  • Remove the bones – Cooked elk bones can splinter when chewed, leading to blockages in your dog’s intestines or perforations of the throat or mouth.  
  • Avoid raw elk crumbs – Raw elk meat may contain bacteria like salmonella, which is harmful to your dog’s health. Prepare the raw elk meat properly if you plan on adding it to your dog’s raw diet. 
  • Skip processed elk products – elk humbuggers, bacon, or deli could have many additives and preservatives or high sodium content, a health hazard to your canine friends. Opt for plain and low-sodium elk meat—your dog will still enjoy the meat even though it’s plain. A bite may not be chaotic, but regular consumption can be a severe health issue.
  • Moderation – feed your dog elk meat in small quantities. Ensure the chunks are bite-size and only provide them as special treats occasionally. A build-up of the sodium and fat content in the ham may lead to chronic diseases that can easily be avoided. Remember that treats should never take up more than 10% of your dog’s diet. Consult your vet about adding food scraps into your diet, especially if your dog has a preexisting health condition like diabetes or obesity.

When to avoid feeding elk meat to your dog?

Elk meat is a processed product from lean elk meat.

Processed meat is linked with poor health and chronic lifestyle diseases like obesity and diabetes.

For instance, too much elk meat can lead to a diabetic or obese dog for the following reasons:

High-fat and cholesterol content

Meat contains high-fat levels unnecessary for your canine friend’s diet.

Although elk meat is low on fats and healthy, elk meat is overly processed, making it hard for your dog to digest.

Regular consumption may lead to weight gain and obesity, or other related health complications.

Increased sodium levels

Processed foods have high sodium compared to fresh meat.

Store-bought meat, famous in many households, is packed with sodium-based preservatives.

This heightens the chances of your dog developing diabetes and metabolic disorders if consumed regularly.


Onions, garlic or other seasonings in elk meat is toxic to dogs and are better avoided.

Symptoms of toxicity in dogs include vomiting, diarrhoea, lethargy and upset stomach.

The condition could be fatal if eaten in large amounts.


Some dogs are allergic to meat, and elk may not be appropriate.

Elk is a warming food and can be problematic for dogs with yeast issues.

Consult your vet before feeding a elk meat to your furry companion.

What you should do when your dog overeats elk meat

First, determine the type and quantity consumed if it’s a plain meat; there’s no need to panic.
Closely monitor them for stomach irritations, vomiting or diarrhea if they eat small amounts of spiced meat.
Large amounts of consumption may lead to gastrointestinal and neurological issues which require immediate vet attention.
The signs may develop from mild to chronic in a short period, so monitor them closely.

The bottom line

Plain cooked elk meat is your furry friend’s safety and healthiest option. 

Avoid seasoned meat or dark cuts with high fat and sodium, which can be fatal to your dogs if consumed regularly.

Elk meat is only great as an occasional treat.

Consult your vet to know of any preexisting health conditions of your dog before adding it to their diet. 

Megan Turner

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