Can Dogs Eat Raw Deer Meat

Can Dogs Eat Raw Deer Meat?

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

The short answer is yes, your dog can eat venison. In many dog foods and treats, venison is used because it is a very nutritious meat. Prior to adding any new dietary supplements to your dog's diet, consult your veterinarian.

In this article you will know the answer to the query “Can Dogs Eat Raw Deer Meat?“.

Deer hunting is believed to be popular among 11 million Americans.

Can Dogs Eat Raw Deer Meat

Nine million of these deer hunters use guns and two million use bows.

Someone you know or you yourself might be one of these people.

If you are a dog owner who does not like wasting food you may wonder if your dog is allowed to share some of your spoils.

Furthermore you want to know whether your dog can eat raw deer meat?

Can raw deer meat make a dog sick?

There are many parasites and bacteria that can be found in raw deer meat.

All this depends on how the raw deer meat is handled and where it comes from.

A tiny proportion of deer suffers from mad cow disease. 

CWD stands for Chronic Wasting Disease. 

Moreover you do not have to worry about this disease if you buy your venison at a grocery store or butchers because the quality control measures should have detected it. 

Deer hunters are only at risk if they kill a deer that has the disease.

Even then there is little evidence to suggest that we can be passed from deer to humans (or dogs) by eating meat contaminated with the disease. 

It is pretty obvious when a deer has the chronic wasting disease because they will look ill (malnourished) and they will be stumbling around as if they are drunk. 

Furthermore wild whitetail deer in Ohio can carry the virus causing Covid 19 but it is not known if the meat can transmit the infection. 

In addition to E Coli Staphylococci Clostridium and Listeria can also be found in raw deer meat.

Raw deer meat is likely to contain Clostridium and Listeria bacteria. 

I intend to discuss the possible side effects of these infections in my next section after listing the different diseases that raw deer meat might carry. 

What are the side effects of eating contaminated raw deer meat?

Since your dog has very few chances of eating contaminated raw deer meat I will keep this section fairly brief.

Contamination is most likely to occur when raw deer meat comes from a deer you have killed or someone you know has killed.

Fast processing and safe handling of the meat is very important.

In spite of the fact that it is out of the scope of this article to describe any of these things in detail this post is one of many useful guides. 

Can dogs get worms from eating raw deer meat?

I have already discussed the contaminants mentioned but dog owners are also wondering whether raw deer meat can cause worms in their dogs.

It is possible for dogs to get worms from eating raw deer meat as they can potentially get worms from any raw meat.

However not any deer meat will do it must be raw deer meat that has been infested with worms or their eggs.

What is the best way to identify infected meat?

There is no way to tell if deer meat is infected with worms unless it is covered in worms or eggs.

By using a method that I will discuss next you can ensure your dog would not get worms from deer meat.

Does cooking raw deer meat make it safer to eat? 

Raw deer meat can be made safer to consume by cooking it.

The reason raw deer meat isnot special in this regard is that properly cooking all meats will make them safer to consume because heat is the only way to kill bacteria. 

There is no specific recommendation from either the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or the Center for Disease Control (CDC) about cooking deer meat.

CDC recommends cooking whole cuts of deer meat until the center is 145°F when cooking whole cuts. 

You need a temperature of 160°F when grinding raw deer meat. 

On the other hand deer meat is not destroyed by freezing so it is very important to keep this in mind.

The food cannot be made safe by freezing or cooking it.

Raw deer meat can be preserved for longer by freezing but it would not be free from bacteria or parasites. 

What is the nutrition of deer meat?

The calories protein and fat in 100g of deer meat come to approximately 158 calories 30 grams. 

Potassium iron and magnesium are all found in it. 

Potassium and magnesium help the heart nerves and muscles function properly. 

Oxygen travels through your dogs body as a result of iron. 

I understand that but what does that mean for other types of meat that I might feed my dog?

Venison vs beef vs chicken which is more nutritious?

The only way to truly determine how nutritious deer meat is is to compare it with other meats we might purchase.

As you can see I have created a chart below that contains the most important information.

100 g servingVenisonBeef Chicken
Calories 158250239
Fat 3.215 g 14 g 
Protein30 g 26 g 27 g 
Sodium54 mg 72 mg 82 mg 
Iron 25 %14%7 %
Potassium335 mg 318 mg 223 mg 
Vitamin B0%20 %20 %
Magnesium6%5 %5 %


Amazing! I’m kinda blown away by that chart.

Beef and chicken are far less nutritious than venison.

On average it contains fewer calories (about 40% less) less fat (80% less) and more protein than beef or chicken.

Deer meat is lower in sodium than beef but contains a lot more iron (over three times as much iron as chicken) and slightly more potassium than beef.

In terms of nutrients the only one it lacks is vitamin B as it does not appear to contain any and it contains a little bit more magnesium than other meats.

If we fill our dogs refrigerators with deer meat whats stopping us from doing so?

How easy is it to buy deer meat?

Price and availability are two good reasons why we are not stocking up on venison right now!

The first thing I want to discuss is availability.

I found no venison packs at Walmart Kroger or even Costco.

Actually Walmart and Kroger do offer venison pet food and treats but only in packs!

We are in Autumn when venison is at its best. 

Venison can now be purchased online and delivered straight to your door but there is a hiccup here: the price!

Venison can be purchased on several websites and the price varies depending on the cut of venison that you desire.

There is a price difference of $13 per lb between ground venison and stew cubes on this website. 

Alternatively this online store offers ground venison for $14 and stew cubes for $18 per pound.

Angus ground beef costs about $8 per pound while antibiotic chicken breasts cost about $5 per pound.

Venison costs twice as much as chicken or beef.  

In my next section I will compare deer meat with other popular meats as well as other parts of a deer that your dog can eat. 

What other parts of a deer can a dog eat?

You would not be able to find out what other parts of a deer your dog can eat by looking at Kroger or Walmart.

Look for a dog food supplier online that specializes in this. 

Animals like deer have lots of parts that can be fed to your dog.

Here is a post about deer legs which are one of the most popular parts. 

The legs of deer are not just bone; they are also filled with nutrients. 

A popular alternative to animal bones among some dog owners is deer antlers.

Their hardness makes them last longer than many raw bones but because of this they must be handled carefully.

Another topic I have written about is whether you can feed deer antlers you find in the woods to your dog. 

You might want to feed your dog the heart or liver of a deer you killed yourself when butchering it.

Dogs’ hearts contain lots of B vitamins (which help support the healthy cells in their bodies) and their livers are rich in iron and vitamin A so feed them sparingly. 

Dogs benefit from vitamin A because it promotes good vision and boosts their immune system. 

Donot give your dog the brain or spinal column of a deer if you are butchering your own deer because of the risk of CWD.

It suddenly seems a bit absurd to eat raw deer meat after reading all about it.

How would you like to proceed? 

Alternatives to raw deer meat 

The fact that beef is an alternative to venison would not surprise you too much. 

If I remember the comparison chart that I included earlier beef is much more like chicken than it is like venison.

You may consider two more substitutions – although you may have trouble finding these meats.

Rabbit meat has slightly less fat and is less protein-rich than deer meat. 

However potassium and iron levels are similar.

My final offering is kangaroo as if I could not get zanier.

Kangaroo has fewer calories lower fat content and doesn’t contain as much protein as deer meat. 

As difficult as it is for anyone in America to obtain deer meat or rabbit meat purchasing kangaroo meat will be even more difficult.

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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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