Offering your pup some tasty ground beef as the occasional treat, or if he needs an appetite boost because he isn't well, is OK in moderation. Ground beef should never be substitute for a dog's healthful commercial dog food diet, and it should be prepared properly so it doesn't upset his tummy.
Use lean beef. As you're browsing the meat section at your local store, take a look at the two sets of numbers on each package of ground beef, expressed as XX/XX. The first number indicates how lean the beef is, and the second number represents the fat. As you can imagine, lots of nasty fat can give your puppy some serious digestive problems. Go with at least 90/10 ground beef.
Fill a pot with water and bring to a boil. Add the ground beef. Break it up into small pieces with a wooden spoon or something similar.
Remove the pot from the heat once the beef is cooked all the way through. The meat should appear entirely brown. If you notice any pink, keep your pup's soon-to-be tasty food on the burner a little while longer.
Place a bowl in the sink -- big enough to hold all the water from the pot -- and sit a colander over the bowl. Pour the meat into the colander so that all the greasy water is transferred into the bowl. The bowl keeps the grease from finding its way into your drain. If you knock the bowl over or a bit of water escapes down your drain, turn on the hot water for a few minutes, and pour a small amount of dish detergent into the drain.
Rinse the meat with hot water. Tossing the meat into a colander will remove a good chunk of the harmful fat, but there will still be a bit left over. Rinsing it with hot water will remove as much fat as is reasonably possible. After a minute or so, turn off the water and give the meat a little feel with your hand. Allow it to cool until it feels lukewarm.
Scoop some into your pup's bowl and refrigerate or freeze the rest. If you only boiled a bit of beef to settle down your pup's upset stomach, go ahead and refrigerate it. If you're using the meat as a long-term meal plan, freeze it so it doesn't go bad.
If you notice any changes in your dog's behavior or stool, stop feeding him the ground beef immediately and call your vet.
If you're feeding your pup ground beef as part of a bland diet, always mix it with rice or cottage cheese. Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine suggests mixing in about 1 part ground beef with 4 parts rice or cottage cheese.
Items You Will Need
- Wooden spoon
- Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine: Treatment of Dietary Indiscretion in the Dog
- What's Wrong with My Dog?: A Pet Owner's Guide to 150 Symptoms - and What to Do about Them; Jake Tedaldi
- Basnett Plumbing & Heating: Littleton Plumbing Tip: Stop Kitchen Sink Clogs Before They Jam Up Your Sink
- Pamela Follett/Demand Media