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Can Dogs Eat Deer Meat? Vet Reviewed Facts & FAQ

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By Misty Layne

Can Dogs Eat Deer Meat

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Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Lauren Demos

DVM (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Whether you think your dog is bored of its same old food and needs something new, or it is allergic to common protein sources, or you’re just looking for a protein that might be healthier, there are plenty of alternatives to beef and chicken you can choose. Some more common novel protein sources include duck, buffalo, and salmon. But what about deer meat? Is that something dogs can safely eat, and is it healthy for them?

The answer is yes! Deer meat is perfectly safe for our canine friends, and while it doesn’t provide as much protein as other meat sources, it offers nutritional benefits. Here’s what you need to know.

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How Healthy Is Deer Meat for Dogs?

There are several of deer meat that make it an excellent option for your dog. While it isn’t as high in protein as other meats, deer meat has less fat and cholesterol, making it a leaner choice. Leaner meats are good for our pets as these proteins help them keep off weight and stay healthy. And feeding deer meat to a pup that has a few extra pounds may help it lose weight.

Then there are all the vitamins and minerals deer meat has to offer. For one, deer meat contains iron, which keeps red blood cells functioning. A lack of iron in a dog’s diet can lead to anemia, and dogs with anemia are more likely to become ill or injured. Deer meat also has vitamin B3, which helps fight off inflammation and keeps blood circulating as it should. Vitamin B2 can also be found in deer meat; this vitamin is essential in creating antibodies and helping the body absorb iron.

Then there’s vitamin B6, which offers support to the immune system and creates glucose. And all these B vitamins give your pup the energy it needs to run and play! Finally, deer meat is full of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s are responsible for keeping your pet’s coat healthy, supporting brain and eye health, and helping with joint issues like arthritis.

Plus, if your canine companion has food allergies to typical protein sources (see food allergy for dogs), then deer meat makes for easier mealtimes. Because it’s a novel protein, your pet hasn’t been exposed to it often, so the chances of it having a reaction are significantly reduced.

So, despite having less protein, deer meat is incredibly healthy for your dog.

White Dog Eating
Photo Credit: manushot, Shutterstock

How Can I Feed My Dog Deer Meat

The simplest way to add deer meat to your pet’s diet is to find dog . There may not be a ton of foods containing this meat out there, but you should be able to find some.

If you’d rather just give your pet actual deer meat instead of regular dog food, be sure you are cooking it first! While raw venison does have more nutrients (that are lessened with cooking), raw foods aren’t the best for your dog. Many pups aren’t able to handle raw foods, plus eating raw meat increases the chances of your dog getting ill from bacteria. So, cook any deer meat you want to give your pet—just skip any seasonings!

dog eating
Photo Credit: Chendongshan, Shutterstock

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Final Thoughts

Deer meat isn’t the most common protein source for canines, but they can eat it, and it is healthy. While deer meat doesn’t contain as much protein as beef and other more often used meats, it has less fat and cholesterol, making it a leaner choice. Plus, deer meat has tons of vitamins and minerals your dog requires to stay healthy!

When feeding your pet deer meat, the easiest way to go about it is by switching to a dog food containing venison. However, if that isn’t an option, you can cook regular deer meat to give to your pet or incorporate venison treats into your pet’s diet.


Featured Image Credit: Left (Dog) Pexels, Pixabay; Right (Deer Meat) wax111, Pixabay

Misty Layne Profile Picture

Authored by

Misty Layne lives out in the woods in small-town Alabama with her two Siamese—Serafina and Jasper. She also has an array of stray cats, raccoons, and possums who like to call her front porch home. When she’s not writing about animals, you’ll find her writing poetry, stories, and film reviews (the animals are, by far, her favorite writing topic, though!). In her free time, Misty enjoys chilling with her cats, playing...Read more

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