Can Dogs Eat Corned Beef

Can Dogs Eat Corned Beef?

Last Updated: August 18, 2023
correct answerThe Short Answer is:

No, please! Corned beef does provide plenty of protein, iron, and some vitamins, but this type of food can be dangerous to a dog. To begin with, corned beef is made from brisket, which is a lump of very fattening meat. Corned beef is made by bringing the meat, which absorbs a huge amount of salt during the process. Dogs cannot handle too much sodium.

The purpose of this article is to explain the “Can Dogs Eat Corned Beef?“.

Corned beef is a good choice when you do not have much time to cook and it tastes delicious but can you serve it to your dog? 

Can Dogs Eat Corned Beef

As its basically meat most people would assume its OK. However if you look closer at the ingredients in a can of corned beef you’ll see its not such a healthy meal for you or your dog. 

The purpose of this article is to examine the health risks posed by the main ingredients in corned beef.

What is corned beef?

Firstly one of the most surprising things about corned beef is that it does not contain any corn. The term corn here refers to the large grains of salt also known as rock salt used to process the meat.

Corned beef is typically made from brisket or the lower part of a cows udder. In and of itself that cut of meat is rather tough and fatty and wouldnot make for such a good meal.

Corned beef must be brined or marinated in order to become the tender pink meat we know as corned beef.

To enhance the flavor of food manufacturers may also use various spices such as coriander peppercorns bay leaves or mustard seeds.

What is the nutritional value of corned beef?

One thing about corned beef is that it has a high calorific value which explains why this product is a household staple. You can eat it without feeling hungry.

Corned beef provides 250 calories per 100 grams which might be a bit much for your dog especially if it is a small breed.

As an example the daily calorie requirement for an adult 20 lb dog is 500 calories so that small serving of corned beef would be equal to half the recommended daily calorie intake.

Using this tool you can calculate how many calories your dog needs per day.

What are the main ingredients in corn beef?

Lets open up that corned beef can and find out whats inside.


What are the benefits of brisket for dogs? If you eat it raw occasionally it might not be so bad although you should keep in mind it is full of fat.

Corned beef provides 19% of the recommended daily allowance of fat in a 100 g serving. That is the calorie intake for a 20-pound dog with a diet consisting of 2000 calories which is four times as much as that of an average human. Mathematically its obvious that thats way too much fat for your pet.

This same serving has 31% of a persons recommended daily allowance for saturated fat. In addition to causing cholesterol to build up in your arteries saturated fat can also cause coronary disease.

Regularly feeding your dog corned beef can lead to long-term heart problems.

A dogs diet high in fat can also cause pancreatitis which is a very serious condition. 

The main symptoms of pancreatitis include nausea vomiting fever lethargy abdominal pain diarrhea and decreased appetite.

This type of food contains no carbs which is the good thing about corned beef. Around 27 g of protein is found in each serving and it is an excellent source of iron (12 % of the RDA for humans) and potassium (3 % of the RDA).

A pets diet should not contain more than 10-15% fat if you wish to keep him healthy.


When saltwater from a sea or lake evaporates it leaves behind sodium chloride crystals. Human health benefits are touted for some rock salts such as Himalaya salt.

However dogs are not allowed. Salt should not be a large part of a dogs diet because it can cause them a lot of health issues.

The average serving of corned beef provides 39% of the recommended daily allowance for an adult. It might be a good idea to shove a spoonful of salt down your small dogs throat.

There is nothing wrong with a small dash of salt in your dogs homemade food but 897 mg of salt per serving of corned beef is way too much. Despite its low level of toxicity it would not kill your dog if he eats the whole can. However if your dog is allowed to consume this product every day he may suffer from salt poisoning.

The following are the main symptoms of salt poisoning in dogs:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • An accumulation of fluids causes swelling
  • Excessive thirst
  • Tremors and seizures

If your dog drinks a lot of water after a meal it was probably too salty and you should avoid it in the future.

Sodium nitrite

In the food industry sodium nitrite is widely used as a preservative that prevents bacteria from growing and keeps foods fresh. Furthermore processed meats are made more appealing by using sodium nitrite.

The bright pink color of corned beef is due to sodium nitrite. The color of homemade corned beef prepared with regular pickling salt is rather gray.

Processed meat contains nitrites and nitrates which are toxic in large amounts. One of the main reasons doctors advise against eating it is because it contains too many nitrites and nitrates.

Corned beef is especially dangerous to cook because the protein (or amino acids) in the meat and the nitrites combine to form nitrosamine which has been found to cause cancer in animal models.

In most Western countries food manufacturers are restricted from using nitrates in products because they can transform into nitrosamine.

Corned beef poisoning in dogs. What can you do?

Donot be surprised if your pet polishes off a can of corned beef in a few gulps if you open it and leave it out on the counter. They enjoy its aroma just as much as we do and it tastes pretty good too.

A big can might make your dog sick. Vomiting is the most common symptom but diarrhea is possible as well.

Theres no reason to panic even though the dog might be miserable.

The best thing you can do is let him starve for 12 hours while you provide plenty of water. Vomiting and diarrhea can cause dehydration which is very dangerous especially for puppies.

After 12 hours of starvation feed your dog a bland meal of plain boiled rice and boneless chicken breast in small servings. Your dog should feel much better afterward. If your dog is not better after 24 hours you should contact your veterinarian.

What’s the difference between corned beef and silverside?

Due to the similarity between the two products sometimes the terms are used interchangeably.

Silverside is typically prepared with a different cut of meat than corned beef. There are fewer fats in silverside than in brisket since it comes from the hindquarters just above the leg.

If you’re talking about canned silverside it still contains more salt than a dog needs so you should avoid it.

What is the healthiest meat for dogs?

Your dogs diet should consist mostly of meat since it provides him with much-needed protein as well as other essential nutrients.

You should however try to feed your dog lean meat such as chicken and turkey since not all meats are created equal.

Aside from being one of the most affordable meats beef is relatively healthy providing adequate amounts of protein iron zinc selenium as well as vitamins B12 B3 and B6.

While you’re making meatloaf for dinner you can make some for your dog too. Just leave out the onion and the garlic since they’re toxic to dogs. Also use less salt.

Providing you grind it yourself and trim the fat ground beef is generally safe for dogs. Because they are not made from the best cuts of meat store-bought hamburgers are likely to be too fattening.

Dogs enjoy a bit of variety in their food contrary to what some might think. Any leftover pieces of lean steak you have can be chopped up and mixed with your pets regular food even if he typically eats kibble.

So can I feed my dog corned beef?

No please! Corned beef does provide plenty of protein iron and some vitamins but this type of food can be dangerous to a dog. To begin with corned beef is made from brisket which is a lump of very fattening meat. Corned beef is made by bringing the meat which absorbs a huge amount of salt during the process. Dogs cannot handle too much sodium.

Corned beef would not kill your dog if he eats it accidentally. Your dog can get an upset stomach from it but it should not hurt him.

Is it okay to occasionally give him corned beef as a treat? Maybe but whats the point of giving him just a slap on the wrist?

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Amanda Dogs Trainer

Amanda (Author)

With over a decade of experience, Amanda is a distinguished dog trainer. Her expertise in canine behavior has transformed countless lives, fostering harmonious human-canine connections. Through compassionate and personalized approaches, she empowers owners to understand and connect with their furry companions, creating a legacy of joyful tails and transformed lives.

Osvaldo Maciel Dogs Trainer

Osvaldo Maciel (Content Reviewer)

Osvaldo Maciel, a stalwart in the field with 14 years of experience, is a revered dog trainer. His journey is defined by a profound understanding of canine behavior, shaping unbreakable human-canine bonds. Osvaldo guides owners to connect with their beloved pets, leaving an indelible mark of happiness and transformation. His legacy shines through the countless lives he has touched.

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