The Short Answer is:
No It is possible for dogs to get sick from eating raw steaks or hamburger patties since they can contain bacteria like salmonella and E. coli.
The purpose of this research is to explain the “Can Dogs Eat Raw Hamburger?“.
- Why are hamburgers called hamburgers?
- Can dogs eat raw hamburgers?
- What are the ingredients in a raw hamburger purchased from the store?
- Raw vs cooked: what meat should dogs eat?
- Is raw beef safer than raw chicken or raw turkey?
- How might hamburger additives affect my dog?
- Symptoms of salmonella poisoning
- What is the safest raw meat to feed a dog?
- The safest raw burger that your dog can eat?
- Can Dogs Eat Raw Hamburger? (Watch Video)
Dogs can enjoy a busy kitchen very much.
By their very nature dogs must find kitchens fascinating not only because its a great place to spend time with their owner.
They must be driven potty by all those beautiful smells and sounds.
When some raw meat appears it will attract their attention more than any other smell.
When the BBQ is up and running there is no better time to get a taste of it.
Everything seems a bit chaotic.
The people the alcohol and the food are everywhere.
Canine thieves would love this opportunity.
Is it possible for your dog to eat a raw hamburger without getting sick?
That depends on a lot of factors…
Why are hamburgers called hamburgers?
I have always found this slightly confusing and befuddling.
The hamburger is made from beef so why is it called a hamburger?
As for the answer the name ham comes from Hamburg Germany where shredded (or ground) beef became popular.
Burger simply means ground beef.
In this sense a hamburger is also a beef pattie- a small flat cake of beef mince.
Can dogs eat raw hamburgers?
Due to the wholesome nature of raw hamburgers for dogs I have decided to split this section into two: shop-bought hamburgers and homemade hamburgers.
What are the ingredients in a raw hamburger purchased from the store?
Now depending on the type of raw hamburger we are talking about the results will vary.
I assume that since you are particularly interested in “raw hamburger” you do not want to include the bun that goes around the burger?
In the US shop-bought beef burgers appear to be 100% beef mince based on an online search.
In any case the quality of the beef mince can differ considerably depending on whether it is lean or fatty or even if it is the Angus beef mince that is used.
Burgers in the UK are also different in terms of beef quality – lean meat versus fatty meat etc.
However I was surprised to learn that British beef patties are not 100% beef.
Obviously most of them are seasoned with salt and pepper but a lot of them also have binding agents to prevent the beef from crumbling.
Normally the starch of some kind is used as a binding agent.
We will look at what harm additives and seasoning might do to your dog later but a pure beef patty will appeal to your dog more than a patty with additives and seasoning.
Ingredients in homemade burgers
We see things differently when we look at homemade recipes such as this one or this one whether they are British or American.
The majority of suppliers add far more additives to them such as eggs or breadcrumbs to help bind the burgers together salt and pepper for seasoning and garlic and onions for taste.
Further on I will explain how some of these extra ingredients may affect your dog.
Since we have discussed the ingredients used in both shop-bought and homemade hamburgers lets look at how each of these ingredients might affect your dog.
Raw vs cooked: what meat should dogs eat?
When it comes to raw beef is it more harmful to your dog than when it comes to cooked beef?
As opposed to dogs that are on a raw food diet I would like to answer this question by considering a dog that might occasionally eat a raw hamburgers.
Raw meats are likely to contain harmful bacteria.
Salmonella E. coli and staphylococcus aureus are among the bacteria found in beef.
According to a USDA study published in 2015 .9% of the beef sampled contained bacteria of some sort.
Therefore the chances of your raw hamburger containing any harmful bacteria are less than 1%.
If you want to prevent your dog from becoming ill from bacteria in beef you should cook it until the internal temperature reaches 160 °F.
You should also clean up thoroughly including washing your hands and wiping all surfaces.
As a general answer this is not how I would answer the question of whether feeding raw meat to a dog regularly (a BARF diet) is beneficial.
This is a question that I am not going to answer because the debate is quite contentious and far deeper than this research can handle!
Is raw beef safer than raw chicken or raw turkey?
Next I want to know how safe a raw turkey or chicken burger would be.
Regarding chicken I believe that the answer isnot very safe at all.
Its not surprising that I do not have any numbers related to dogs- the figures I have are only related to people.
Salmonella and campylobacter are the bacteria found in chickens.
A quarter of all food poisoning cases in the US are caused by raw or undercooked chicken- thats about a million people every year.
The USDA found salmonella in 26.3% of all chicken parts in a survey conducted in 2012.
Twenty-four percent was the figure in 2015.
Turkey does not have its own separate and accurate data because it falls under the poultry umbrella.
How might hamburger additives affect my dog?
As I stated in my initial statement hamburgers sold in shops in the United States appear to be 100% pure beef. So if your dog eats one of these all you need to worry about is that it is not the 1% of infected beef.
Since the meat is too rich for the stomach if your dog does not consume any fresh meat there is a tiny chance of a touch of diarrhea.
However as I mentioned earlier a raw hamburger contains very little meat.
There are no dog-friendly additives and some of them are extremely lethal.
Nevertheless the greatest risk to your dog is diarrhea when they are used in very small amounts in hamburgers.
Garlic and onion
This “lethal” label needs to be qualified.
In large enough quantities garlic and onion are toxic to dogs.
Chemicals in them called thiosulphate are indigestible to dogs.
Now is not the time to delve into the details of how much garlic or onion it takes to poison a dog – for that you should read this article.
In my opinion they should not be used in the recipe.
Salt and pepper
Even though sodium poisoning exists your dog would not become poisoned if he eats homemade hamburgers since the recipe only calls for a pinch or teaspoon of salt.
With pepper the story is similar. Since the quantities of pepper used in these recipes are so low there is no cause for concern.
Its true that pepper as you might expect can upset a dogs stomach but chances are your dog would not be adversely affected.
Eggs and breadcrumbs
In order to bind the whole mixture together it is common to use an ingredient in homemade hamburgers.
According to the recipes I reviewed either eggs or breadcrumbs were used as binding agents.
Breadcrumbs are my recommendation.
Raw eggs may contain salmonella (although this is a very small risk) which can cause your dog to contract a very nasty food poisoning which we will discuss in the next section.
Although breadcrumbs are far from nutritious they are pretty harmless to your dog.
Lets get to the fun part.
No I’m not serious.
A bit more about salmonella is explained in this unsavory section.
Symptoms of salmonella poisoning
Salmonella poisoning is a pretty unpleasant experience for dogs and its even worse for humans.
Frequent symptoms include nausea vomiting diarrhea and lethargy.
You should contact your veterinarian as soon as possible if you experience any of these symptoms.
No home remedy will be able to successfully treat this condition.
What is the safest raw meat to feed a dog?
It is impossible to guarantee that raw meat is 100% pathogen and bacteria-free.
Regardless of the meat we mention it all carries a risk.
Pork has a number of potentially nasty residents. Trichinosis and tapeworms are two of them.
There is a long list of “nasties” in raw fish.
Salmonella and tapeworms once again make an appearance.
This is the first time listeria has appeared in this research which is why pregnant women should not touch raw fish.
It is also possible for dogs to contract listeria.
However after I have made my list and discussed the risks associated with most of the popular types of meat raw beef might just be the safest raw meat your dog can eat.
I think I have achieved the impossible by finding a raw burger that is 100% safe for your dog to consume.
Everything will be revealed in the next section.
The safest raw burger that your dog can eat?
As you might expect you have a few options available when it comes to making a raw hamburger that is safe for dogs.
Also you are limited to veggie burgers- just omit onions garlic and tomatoes since you are making the patty.
Some of my favorite veggie burgers to eat are sweet potato lentils and bean burgers.
You can feed your dog any of these ingredients raw without worry.
If you want to read more about dog food tips read here: Dog Food Tips and Tricks.