Can Dogs Eat Meatballs? Are Meatballs Safe For Dogs?

Meatballs are among the most popular foods in the world. Almost every culture has its version of succulent delight. Meatballs are ground meat (usually pork, lamb, or beef) rolled into small juicy golf-sized balls.

The tenderness of meatballs combined with the delicious taste makes it one of the most appetizing and mouth-watering treats (your dog will agree too). So, does your furry friend has the liberty to enjoy meatballs? Can dogs eat meatballs without any hazards? Let’s find out in this post!

Can dogs eat meatballs?

Yes, dogs can eat meatballs. However, only feed your dog homemade meatballs without onions or garlic in them. Processed meatballs bought from the store usually contain ingredients that can be toxic for the pooch.

Garlic and onion powder are commonly found in packaged meatballs. Both these ingredients are very harmful to dogs. When preparing them at home, exclude onions, garlic, or any other ingredients that can impact your dog’s health.

What ingredients do meatballs contain?

With ground beef, pork, lamb, or even sometimes chicken being the primary ingredient, some other ingredients usually found in meatballs are:

  • Bread or wheat crumbs
  • Cheese
  • Eggs
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Garlic
  • Onions

When preparing meatballs at home, you have complete control over what ingredients to include. Be a responsible dog owner, and avoid adding the ingredients (notably garlic and onions) in the meatballs that are not safe for your fido.

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How many meatballs can dogs eat?

The number of meatballs you can feed your dog depends upon its weight. For small dogs, 1 meatball a week is enough. Larger breeds, however, can eat up to 3 meatballs a week.

Adding meatballs to your dog’s weekly diet plan is a good idea. They will serve as a multi-nutrition food option that your dog will have no problem ingesting.

What are the benefits of meatballs for dogs?

There is a fair share of health benefits of homemade meatballs for dogs. Meatballs offer a decent amount of nutrients that contribute to your dog’s well-being.

Source of iron

Meatballs, especially beef ones, have high iron content present in them. Iron helps in forming hemoglobin, which is responsible for circulating oxygen throughout the dog’s body. A balanced iron intake helps prevent anemia in dogs and sustain a healthy enzyme function.

Source of calories

Meatballs are a great source of calories. If your dog has a calorie deficiency and you want it to gain some weight, you can feed it meatballs. Meatballs are packed with cholesterol and fats, which can aid in gaining weight for dogs that need it.

Source of vitamins

Meatballs contain vitamin A, B-9, B-6, B-12, and vitamin K. These vitamins help the canine’s body.

  • Vitamin A helps in bone growth and reproduction and enhances the dog’s vision.
  • Vitamin B-9 is in charge of converting carbs into glucose which is then used to produce energy.
  • B-6 ensures healthy nervous system function and boosts the immune response.
  • The dog’s body uses vitamin K for dissolving calcium into bones.
  • B-12, also called cobalamin, maintains the digestive system and is responsible for cell reproduction.

What are the harmful effects of meatballs on dogs?

Meatballs pose no direct threat to your pooch. However, careless and unmonitored intake of meatballs can cause some health problems in dogs. Eating too many meatballs can cause a dog’s health to decline over time.

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Some issues associated with immoderate consumption of meatballs include:

  • Obesity: Excessive meatball consumption can lead to obesity in dogs. Eggs present in meatballs can be a leading factor in obesity. People usually like to include cheese in the meatballs, which can also contribute to excess weight gain.
  • Pancreatitis: Eating many fatty meals can cause pancreatitis in dogs which is highly uncomfortable and painful for pooches. Meatballs also have high amounts of fat present, which can trigger the condition of unhindered intake.
  • Lactose intolerance: Cheese, commonly used in meatballs, can cause mild stomach disorders in dogs. However, in the case of dogs with lactose intolerance, cheese should never be added to any foods they consume, as it would immediately trigger their lactose intolerance.
  • Bloating: Unrestricted ingestion of meatballs can cause bloating in dogs in extreme cases. It is a very painful and serious health complication that requires immediate veterinary intervention. However, bloating is extremely rare and only occurs if vast amounts of meat are eaten.

Other than that, if you mistakenly feed your canine meatballs containing onion or garlic, anemia can occur, leading to death in severe cases as these two ingredients are hazardous for dogs.

How to make meatballs for dogs at home?

Meatballs are pretty simple to make. Even if you are not a master cook, you can easily prepare dog-friendly meatballs at home by following this recipe adapted from Rachel Ray.

  1. Take one pound of your desired ground meat (pork, beef, or lamb beat). You can also use chicken.
  2. Mix one cup of cooked brown rice with chopped spinach and one grinded carrot.
  3. Add two tablespoons of grated cheese and one egg into the mixture.
  4. Finally, add meat into the mixture and stir thoroughly. Once done, pour the mixture into the muffin tin holes.
  5. Preheat the oven for around 15 mins. When done, place the mixture in the oven and let it sit there for another 15 minutes.
  6. Once cooked, take out the mixture, cover it with aluminum foil, and wait to cool down before serving it to your furry companion.
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Related FAQs to dogs and meatballs!

Can dogs eat processed meatballs?

Processed meatballs are bad for dogs. They contain seasoning, toxic ingredients, and preservatives that can cause harm and sometimes even kill the dog. Homemade meatballs are a better alternative.

Can dogs eat spaghetti and meatballs?

Dogs can eat spaghetti and meatballs as long as they don’t contain any toxic ingredients. Make sure to cut both spaghetti and meatballs into bite-sized pieces before cooking, so they are easy to swallow for the dog.

Can dogs eat meatballs in tomato sauce?

No, dogs cannot eat meatballs in tomato sauce. Tomato sauce contains onion and garlic that can damage your dog’s red blood cells immensely. Furthermore, tomato sauce may also have other ingredients or spices bad for pooches.

Can dogs eat raw meatballs?

Raw meatballs are not ideal for dogs. They might have dangerous bacteria present in them. It is always better to feed your dog cooked meatballs.

Last words on can dogs eat meatballs!

Meatballs can be a delicacy for your dog. Your fido will love eating meatballs and crave for more as soon as he finishes them. But keep in mind not to give your dog meatballs above the recommended amount per week.

Homemade meatballs are a better and safer option than packaged meatballs filled with preservatives and ingredients that can be detrimental to your dog.

Good luck making fresh and juicy meatballs for your furry best friend.

Photo of author

Immad Amir

Immad has a black Labrador who is his first child. With no prior experience of how to take care of his pooch, Immad started researching about what dogs love to eat. This blog is a journal of all the research Immad has done regarding a pet's diet.
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