Can Dogs Eat Roast Beef? (We Ask the Experts)

  • By: Andrew
  • Time to read: 11 min.

Plenty of families enjoy making roast beef for dinner. It can be challenging to keep the meat away from your dogs, especially when they start making those “puppy dog eyes” at you. If you want to offer roast beef as a treat, you want to make sure it’s healthy for them first.

Dogs can eat roast beef safely; it’s high in protein, low in fat, and nutritious. However, it’s best to offer roast beef only as an occasional treat, and not as a full meal. Take precautions when serving to avoid burning your dog’s mouth, and refrain from using seasonings when cooking.

Overall, you can safely offer your dog roast beef here and there. Your dog is sure to love the beef and look forward to this treat! If you want to learn more, make sure to stick around. The experts have a lot to say about dogs eating roast beef.

Dogs Can (and Will) Eat Roast Beef 

Dogs can have roast beef as a treat. You shouldn’t offer it to them as a whole meal, but occasional roast beef snacks are perfectly fine. However, there are a few things you’ll want to watch out for.

First, the portion size is essential. All dogs love meat and will scarf it down quickly. You want to make sure you give them roast beef in small amounts so they don’t throw up or get an upset stomach. 

Next, make sure that the meat has cooled down. You should never offer your dog hot food since they’ll likely burn their tongues. Most dogs will eat quickly, without stopping to check the temperature of their food.

Finally, you need to make sure the roast beef doesn’t have certain seasonings. Dogs can’t digest certain herbs and spices, which makes them sick. If you heavily seasoned your roast beef for dinner, you won’t want to give it to your pup.

Seasonings To Avoid

Roast beef is unique in that you can use several different types of seasonings on it. However, your dog won’t be able to eat everything that you can safely. These five spices are incredibly toxic to dogs:

  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Cocoa powder
  • Nutmeg 
  • Salt

In particular, garlic and onions are very dangerous for your pet. These ingredients can damage a dog’s red blood cells and lead to anemia. Salt can also lead to poisoning in your pup when eaten in large quantities. 

If your dog eats something it shouldn’t, you can call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435. Their team will let you know what steps to take to save your pet. Plus, they are open 24/7, every day of the year. This option is good if you can’t get a hold of your primary vet.

Do Dogs Like Roast Beef?

Dogs don’t merely like roast beef – they love eating it! Your pup is sure to get excited every time you prepare this dish for them and scarf it down, even if you cook it without any seasonings. You shouldn’t put any sauce or herbs on the meat, but your dog will love it just the same!

Dogs enjoy eating most types of meat. It’s easier for them to digest and has more nutrients than their bodies can absorb. Over time, dogs developed a taste for beef due to those factors. However, your dog can also enjoy some vegetables. Don’t hesitate to throw in some carrots with their roast beef!

Can You Feed a Dog Leftover Roast Beef?

You can feed a dog leftover roast beef if it has been prepared properly and it’s not too old. The meat mustn’t be over seasoned or contain a lot of salt, and it can’t include nor have been cooked with any onions, garlic, or other veggies that are toxic to dogs.

Keep in mind that roast beef is safe for three to four days when kept at optimal temperatures in your fridge. You don’t want to feed your pet spoiled food. While your dog still might enjoy old food more than you would- you can avoid a vet trip by making sure the leftovers are still fresh!

It’s always best to toss your leftovers if you don’t know exactly how old they are. Roast beef also appears slimy when it goes bad. You should always check before offering it to your pup.

Can Dogs Eat Deli Roast Beef Slices?

Dogs can eat deli meat roast beef slices, although it’s not as good for them as homemade meats. Deli meat is not toxic to dogs when consumed in small amounts. However, deli roast beef contains higher levels of salt, fat, and possibly other seasonings.

In general, small amounts of any deli meat are usually alright. However, you need to realize that these meats contain more salt and fat than the meat you prepare yourself. You shouldn’t offer your dog deli meat since it can easily lead to stomach upset.

Deli slices also contain more calories, which can lead to weight gain in dogs. If eaten as a regular part of your dog’s diet, this could cause several health issues for your pup. You’ll want only to offer them a slice at most. Then, make sure that you keep an eye on your dog’s reaction.

If your dog has a bad reaction, such as stomach upset or vomiting, you should never feed them deli meats again. However, that doesn’t mean that you need to give up on feeding your pet roast beef entirely! Your pup should still be able to enjoy plain, homemade roast beef.

What the Experts Say About Dogs Eating Roast Beef

Vets say that it’s perfectly fine to feed your dog roast beef occasionally. Experts do recommend that you cook the meat to remove harmful bacteria. However, if your dog steals uncooked roast beef, you still shouldn’t have to worry.

Vets say that dogs are more resistant to food poisoning than humans. If your dog is large, it should be mostly unaffected by eating raw meat. You should still always have an eye on your pet for signs of stomach upset. If you’re worried about a small dog, then it would be best that you contact your veterinarian – they’ll let you know if they want you to bring your pup in to see them.

Overall, most vets say it’s alright for you to feed a dog plain, cooked roast beef on occasion. You must keep an eye on your pup if they steal raw roast beef since you’ll want to monitor their reaction. Always call your vet if your dog seems sick!

Meats Vets Recommend

According to vets, there are plenty of meats that your dog can safely enjoy as a treat. The meat shouldn’t have a lot of salt or fat while still having plenty of healthy protein and nutrients for your pup. These are some of the best options for your dog:

  • Chicken
  • Lean ground beef
  • Turkey
  • Roast beef or chuck roast
  • Lean steak cuts (sparingly)

Vets also say it’s vital to only offer these meats on occasion. You don’t want them to become a significant part of your dog’s diet. Your dog should primarily be eating healthy kibble. If you’re going to try a new brand, I recommend CRAVE Grain Free High Protein Dog Food from This dog food meets all the nutritional requirements for your pet, no matter their size or breed.

Don’t Try the Raw Diet?

The raw diet is a method that some pet owners use to provide their dogs with nutrition. It involves giving your pet raw food, which is dangerous – many vets disagree with this diet and will never recommend it. If you want to feed your dog roast beef, make sure you properly cook it first.

The American Veterinary Medical Association discourages feeding your pets any animal-source protein that you haven’t cooked. Raw meat poses an illness risk to your pet and you. The beef could contain Salmonella or other bacteria, which can easily transfer between your dog and your family. 

If you’re concerned about your dog’s diet, make sure to discuss this with your primary vet. The professional will be more familiar with your dog and will know what their particular nutritional needs are. There’s likely room for some roast beef in their diet – as long as it’s cooked!

As in many occasions, the experts are not always on the same page. If you want to learn more about raw food for dogs you may want to check out these articles.

Think About Calorie Content

Vets also recommend that you think about calories when it comes to feeding your dog. Obesity in dogs can cause many health issues, so you want to make sure you’re providing your pet with a nutritious diet.

Most vets recommend that treats only take up 10% of your dog’s total daily caloric intake. Many 60 pound dogs only need about 1,000 calories per day, depending on how active they are. That means you don’t want to offer them more than 100 calories a day in treats.

It doesn’t take many treats to reach that 100 calorie limit. However, roast beef is very low in calories. A single serving is 2 oz (0.057 kg), and that contains about 70 calories for the leaner cuts.

Overall, your dog should be able to enjoy a serving of roast beef without the worry of going above that 10% mark. You must offer smaller dogs less since they require fewer daily calories.

How To Make Roast Beef for Dogs

If you want to make roast beef for your pup, you can use a crockpot for simplicity. Add your roast into the cooker and make sure the meat is just barely covered by water. Then, cover and cook the beef on low for about seven or eight hours. Many people allow the meat to simmer overnight. 

Some people will add a dash of cinnamon to the pot since it has a flavor that dogs can taste. However, you want to use as little seasoning as possible to keep it healthy for your dog. Your pup is sure to enjoy the meat plain- so don’t worry about making the perfect meal!

Alternatively, you can roast the meat in the oven. You’ll still want to leave it plain, but this method will take a lot less time to prepare the meal. However, the roast beef likely won’t be as tender or easy to chew. If your dog is small or older, this method may not work for them.

Once you have the meat wholly cooked, you’ll want to wait for it to cool before serving. Dogs can eat very quickly, which could lead to a burn inside of their mouth. If you have a small dog or puppy, you’ll also want to make sure to cut the meat into small bite sizes.

This video details how to make your roast beef treats:

Sides To Serve With Roast Beef

Your dog can enjoy many vegetables, some of which go well with roast beef. According to the American Kennel Club, your dog can safely enjoy carrots, pumpkins, peeled potatoes, and Brussel sprouts. You can prepare these veggies with the meat, giving your dog more flavor and more nutrition.

As with the meat, avoid using seasoning on the other ingredients. Also, keep in mind that your dog’s diet should still be primarily healthy kibble. Some vegetables will help to add more fiber and required nutrients to their meals, yet you should still offer them in small amounts.

Roast Beef Treats

If you don’t have time to cook roast beef for your dog, you can consistently offer them a healthy, store-bought treat! I recommend the Better Treat Freeze Dried Beef Dog Treats from The treats are natural, gluten-free, and have a high protein level. Plus, these snacks are even safe for diabetic dogs to eat.

You can also find plenty of other healthy dog treats online. It’s best to offer your dog treats that brands make for them if you aren’t sure what “human foods” they can eat safely. Doing so ensures your pup gets the proper nutrition and won’t have a bad reaction to the treat.

Meat Dogs Should Not Eat

You want to avoid giving your pup meats that have a high-fat content. These meats include more Saturated Fats, which your dog can’t process as well as we can. Giving your little friend too much could harm their pancreas or other internal organs. These are the meats you want to avoid giving to a dog frequently:

Any meat with high-fat content can cause pancreatitis in your dog when eaten in large quantities over a long time. High-fat meats also usually contain a lot of salt, which is terrible for your dog too.

You also should avoid giving your dog any old, spoiled meat. While the dog might still express an interest in the old food, eating moldy meat can make your dog very sick. You should throw it away instead of feeding it to your dog.

Additionally, you’ll want to avoid feeding your dog whole milk products, coconut oil, and butter. All of these foods are very high in fats, which can make your dog feel sick. If you’re feeding your dog meat, you also should ensure there are no bones left in it since they are a choking hazard.

Signs of Food Poisoning

While dogs are more resistant to food poisoning than we are, it can still happen. You’ll want to know the signs if you’re planning on feeding them any leftovers or if they eat something they shouldn’t:

  • Intense thirst
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Cramping
  • Dizziness
  • Diarrhea
  • Excessive peeing
  • Panting
  • Excessive drooling

If your dog experiences severe poisoning, it may also experience seizures and tremors. You must call the poison helpline or your vet in these circumstances. You’ll also need to go to a vet or animal hospital if your dog’s condition doesn’t improve within a few hours.

Signs of Pancreatitis

If you think your dog has pancreatitis, you must bring your dog to the vet right away. This condition can be fatal for dogs, so you shouldn’t ignore it! These are some of the symptoms of pancreatitis, according to the American Kennel Club:

  • Repeated vomiting
  • Stomach pain
  • Bloating in stomach
  • Diarrhea
  • Dehydration and thirst
  • Weakness
  • Fever
  • No appetite

It’s worth noting that a cut of roast beef is actually low in fat and high in protein. These factors make it a great occasional snack for your dog. Roast beef also contains plenty of nutrients, making it the perfect “human food” treat!

Final Thoughts

Your dog can safely eat roast beef. It’s best to prepare the meat yourself since you can control how much seasonings go into the meat. You also should limit the number of deli slices you feed to your pup.

Most vets say that it’s safe to feed dogs roast beef since it’s lean meat. You can feel comfortable knowing this treat is low fat, low calorie, and high in protein, making it an excellent snack for your dog! However, you don’t want it to become the central part of your dog’s diet.