Can Dogs Eat Brisket Safely?

My family always has big gatherings with lots of food, and being the animal lovers that we are, we also consider it the perfect time to ask everyone to bring their pets along. They’re family, after all!

When we arrived at my parents’ house for this one big holiday weekend, I smelled something savory as soon as I walked in the door.

I looked over to where my mom was standing, but instead of seeing my usual portion of macaroni and cheese or grilled chicken, she was busy tending to a huge slab of meat in the middle of the table. “Is that a brisket?” I asked.

Everyone nodded, so I ran over for a closer look. Little did I know that my cousin’s daughter, Mia – an adorable Boston Terrier – was running alongside me, eager to get a piece of that brisket. But wait, can dogs eat brisket? Can I feed this to her?

Brisket is one of the most beloved foods of humankind (our family does!), but it can sometimes prove hazardous to our four-legged friends. This post will help you decide whether or not our pups can safely eat this food.

What is a Brisket?

Brisket is a cut of meat from the breast or lower chest of beef cattle. It comes from the forequarter of the animal and contains two muscles—the pectoralis major and pectoralis minor—which lie on either side of the chest cavity.

When cooked, these muscles become tender and juicy. The fat-topped exterior layer is called “burnt ends” in barbecue lingo because it’s usually heavily caramelized during cooking.

Brisket can be found in supermarkets or butcher shops (where it may be sold as “flat iron roast”) and is typically used for making barbecue and other smoked dishes like pastrami.

Why Is Brisket Harmful to Dogs?

While beef brisket is a very flavorful type of meat that is often served on holidays and special occasions, sadly, this succulent cut has one major drawback: it’s not safe for dogs.

black puppy sitting next to a white food bowl

The reason why dogs can’t eat brisket is because the fat in the meat causes serious health problems.

Now, you might ask: “Can I give my dog a cooked brisket?”

I am listing down here some of the reasons why it would be better to steer your pup clear away from this holiday favorite:

High Salt Content

Dogs are carnivores, so they can eat meat with no problems. However, beef brisket has a high salt content which can be harmful to your dog.

Salt is one of the main ingredients in processed foods, and causes dehydration in dogs. This can cause serious health problems like kidney failure, high blood pressure, or even death.

High-fat Content

Is brisket fat good for dogs? While it’s true that fat is one of the three macronutrients in food and provides plenty of energy for our bodies (and therefore our dogs), too much fat can also be harmful if consumed in large amounts.

This is especially true for dogs who have heart disease or diabetes because these conditions make their bodies less able to process excess fat quickly enough for it not to cause damage over time.

So what does this mean for dogs? If a dog has any kind of heart condition or diabetes, then they should avoid eating too much high-fat foods like beef brisket because this could lead to life-threatening conditions.

Contains Pepper

Pepper causes irritation to your dog’s mouth and stomach if ingested in large quantities, so if you’re going to share a meal with your pup, make sure not to give them too much at once.

It can also irritate their stomachs if they ingest too much too quickly. It can also be harmful for dogs because it causes digestive problems and even heart arrhythmias, in some cases.

Has Onion and Garlic

Beef brisket has onions and garlic, which is one of the reasons why beef brisket is harmful to dogs. Onions and garlic contain a compound called thiosulfate. This compound is also found in apple seeds, grapes and raisins, chocolate, cocoa powder, avocado, and walnuts.

Thiosulfate can cause hemolytic anemia in dogs, which causes red blood cells to rupture. The ruptured red blood cells release hemoglobin into the bloodstream, which can lead to jaundice and death if left untreated.


Dogs are not big fans of eating spicy foods. That’s because they don’t have the same taste receptors as humans, so they can’t tell that something is spicy or hot. Some of them might even think that it tastes good—and then regret it when their mouth starts on fire!


Spices can also cause gastrointestinal problems in dogs, especially when eaten in large quantities or when combined with other foods that are difficult for dogs to digest—like beef brisket!

If your dog has an upset stomach after eating a meal that contains spices or spices combined with other foods that he doesn’t normally eat (like beef brisket), then he might have allergies or food sensitivities that need further investigation by your veterinarian.

Chewy Meat

Beef brisket has chewy meat, which is one of the reasons why beef brisket is harmful to dogs.

Dogs don’t have the same enzymes as humans to break down the protein in beef brisket, making it hard for them to digest this type of food. This can cause stomach problems, including bloating and gas, which can be painful for your dog.

Bone Fragments

Can dogs eat cooked brisket bones? No. While brisket has lots of fat, which makes it very rich and flavorful, there’s also something else in it that makes it dangerous for dogs: bone fragments.

These pieces of bone can cause choking and intestinal blockages, which can be very dangerous, and even fatal to your dog.

When Can Dogs Safely Eat Brisket?

Brisket is a delicious cut of beef that has plenty of nutrients, but it is not always suitable for dogs to eat. It is high in fat, especially saturated fat, which can cause a wide variety of health problems for your dog.

The best way to feed your dog a balanced diet is by preparing food specifically intended for them, instead of sharing your family’s home-cooked meals or table scraps.

Dogs can eat brisket safely if they’re healthy, and if their diet is balanced. It’s also important that they’re not eating too much of it, or any other meat.

The fat content can give your dog heartburn, or make him sick if he eats too much of it at once. If you want a good source of protein for your dog, start with lean meat like chicken breast or low-fat ground beef (which has less than 10% fat).

Brisket Alternatives For Your Dogs

The best way to avoid these risks is to lessen or to avoid feeding your dog briskets altogether.

If you must feed your dog meat that contains high levels of sodium or nitrites, consider finding an alternative for them instead. Here are some brisket alternatives that may be safer for dogs:

dog wearing yellow shirt beside a stainless food bowl

Beef Jerky.

Beef jerky is often made from the same cuts of meat as beef briskets, but it’s typically dried, not smoked or cooked with any other ingredients.

That means that ingredients like sodium nitrite (which gives the meat its red color) aren’t added to these products, making them safer for dogs to eat.

If you’re going to feed your dog beef jerky, make sure it’s 100% beef with no additives or preservatives added.


Turkey has less fat than beef, so it’s a healthier choice for your dog. This means that not only will your dog feel full on less food, but they’ll also be able to stay healthy longer without having to worry about weight gain or other health issues caused by eating too much fat.

It’s also easier on their digestive system. Turkey contains less protein than beef does, which makes it easier for your dog’s body to break down and digest everything in its system without getting sick or experiencing any digestive problems like diarrhea or constipation (which can happen if they eat too much protein).


Chicken is a great alternative to beef briskets when feeding your dog. It has less fat and cholesterol, which means it’s better for your pup’s heart and more likely to keep them at a healthy weight.

It also has fewer calories, which is great for smaller dogs who need to watch their calorie intake. Plus, chicken is an excellent source of protein, iron and B vitamins—all things that help keep your dog strong and healthy!

Smoked Sausage.

One alternative to beef brisket is smoked sausage. This type of food is high in protein but low in fat, making it an excellent choice for your dog’s diet.

You can also choose a store-bought version that is preservative-free and made from natural ingredients such as chicken or turkey.

(B)Risky Situation: Answering Your Frequently Asked Questions

Is It Safe for Dogs To Consume Brisket Fat?

Is beef fat good for dogs? While beef fat is fine for dogs to eat, it’s important to remember that this is a treat and not an everyday type of food.

A small amount of brisket fat can add up quickly when you’re feeding your dog twice daily, or more.

In addition, fat does not provide many vitamins or minerals, so you should still supplement your dog’s diet with fruits and vegetables if possible.

Here is another post I wrote that could help in our understanding of our pup’s consumption of fat: can dogs eat steak fat.

Can Dogs Consume Smoked Briskets Without Getting Sick?

Yes, dogs can eat smoked briskets without getting sick. The only thing that needs to be done is to make sure that the meat is cooked well and not undercooked, so that it doesn’t have any bacteria that can cause food poisoning in dogs.

person slicing cooked meat with fork and knife

Be sure to carve out the tender cuts of meat that are cooked until well done, and cut into small pieces. It’s also important to make sure no bones have been left in the meat.

I have elaborated more on this in my post can dogs eat smoked meat. Hope you give that post a visit!

Can Dogs Eat Smoked Beef?

While the answer depends on the dog and the amount you feed them, the general consensus is that smoked beef is not a good idea for your pooch, unless you prepared it yourself so you know what went in it.

The main concern with giving your dog smoked meat is that there could be chemicals in smoke, which can be toxic to your pet. Secondly, there are also preservatives and other additives that may cause an upset stomach or diarrhea.

The best thing to do if you want to give your dog smoked beef is to prepare it firsthand, and make sure it’s thoroughly cooked before feeding it to your pet. This will kill any bacteria or parasites that are harmful to dogs and will also kill any of those nasty chemicals from being exposed to smoke.

Can You Feed a Dog Raw Brisket?

I wouldn’t recommend it. Since dogs are carnivores, brisket would ideally make a nutritious meal, but it is important to know how to select and cook it to protect your pet from food borne diseases, which could occur if the meat is not cooked thoroughly, or if it is eaten raw.


Is brisket healthy for your dogs? Your pup can consume, but I would say it’s not the best choice.

It’s important to understand that dogs can become ill from eating brisket, especially when consuming too much of it, but as long as you take the proper precautions and guarantee that the meat is cooked well enough for your pet’s safety, there’s no reason dogs should not eat brisket — on occasion, not very often, and not too much.

That being said, there are other types of food out there which are much more nutritious for dogs to consume.

You should always check with your vet before feeding your dog any kind of food you are unsure about. In fact, most veterinarians recommend against feeding human food to dogs for just this reason.

As the saying goes—better safe than sorry. In another post, I provide an answer to yet another popular question can dogs eat pork. See you in the next ones!

Photo of author

Lovelia Horn

I’m a certified crazy dog mom, a physical therapist (for hoomans), writer, animal rescuer, and foster home provider. Together with my hubby Ryan, I’ve fostered and helped look for forever homes for over a hundred shelter dogs in the Southern Illinois area. I mostly work with Puppy Rescue 911, Inc., a certified animal rescue organization based out of Chester, IL (home of Popeye!)

Leave a Comment