Dogster is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Can Dogs Eat Meatballs? Nutrition Info & FAQ

Written by: Cassidy Sutton

Last Updated on April 8, 2024 by Dogster Team

Can Dogs Eat Meatballs? Nutrition Info & FAQ

Is your dog staring at you, waiting for a delicious meatball to fall onto the floor just for them?

This is pretty much every dog when meat is involved. Luckily,  you can offer your dog meatballs as long as they don’t contain specific ingredients that will turn a healthy snack into something unhealthy.

In this post, we cover the benefits of red meat and how to properly offer the mouth-watering food to your pup without causing harm.


Is Red Meat Good for Dogs?

You can find red meat in almost any dog food recipe, and for good reason. Red meat is a powerhouse of nutrition.

Red meat is packed with protein, fats, amino acids, and other vitamins and minerals that not only satiate hunger but also improve your dog’s health overall. Offering red meat to your dog can help build muscle and provide a healthy source of energy.

It’s also a source of B vitamins and iron, which are important building blocks of your dog’s red blood cells.

Raw ground turkey meat
Image Credit: MoDaVi Art, Shutterstock

Meatballs Are Healthy, Unless…

Clearly, red meat is good for dogs, but not all red meat dishes are safe to offer as food. Different red meats are cooked with varying ingredients. Meatballs can be good as long as they don’t contain the following:

  • Garlic and onion: Onion and garlic are toxic to dogs and can lead to a range of health problems, including anemia.
  • Salt: Your dog needs salt, but excessive sodium amounts are contraindicated for dogs.
  • Sauces: Not all sauces are bad, but any sauce containing garlic, onion, alcohol, sugar, and extra salt should be avoided. A plain tomato sauce could be the exception.
Image Credit: Karen Laårk Boshoff, Pexels

divider-dog paw

Other Beef Products to Avoid

1. Raw Meat

Dogs can eat raw meat, but there is some risk of contamination by Salmonella, E. coli, Listeria, and other pathogenic bacteria that can wreak havoc on your dog’s health. If you want to offer raw meat to your dog, strict hygiene precautions need to be followed.

2. Corned Beef

Corned beef is full of seasonings that can be harmful to your dog. It’s also very high in sodium compared to other beef products. Avoid feeding corned beef altogether.

corned beef on a white plate
Image Credit: Gudrun Hochmuth, Shutterstock

3. Beef Jerky

Like corned beef, beef jerky is full of salt and unhealthy seasonings for your dog. Thankfully, you can find pet-friendly beef jerky that’s void of the extra flavorings.

4. Beef Broth

Plain beef broth is acceptable for your dog, but store-bought broth usually has added salt, garlic, and onion flavorings that can harm your dog’s health. You can find pet-safe beef broths at several pet stores these days.

bowl of beef bone broth
Image Credit: Madeleine Steinbach, Shutterstock


Final Thoughts

Red meat isn’t entirely off the table as long as you avoid specific ingredients. If the food meets the criteria, go ahead and offer a meatball to your dog. Just remember to stick to the 10% rule! Meatballs should only be occasional snacks, not a main source of food.

If you’re unsure about offering something to your pet, you can always ask your veterinarian for help. More pet owners are seeking better food options now, so you can find all kinds of red meat treats that won’t risk your dog’s health.

See also:

Featured Image Credit: Karen Laårk Boshoff, Pexels

Get Dogster in your inbox!

Stay informed! Get tips and exclusive deals.
Dogster Editors Choice Badge
Shopping Cart


© Pangolia Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved.