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Can Dogs Eat Meatloaf? Vet-Reviewed Facts & FAQ

Ashley Bates

By Ashley Bates


Vet approved

Dr. Maxbetter Vizelberg Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Maxbetter Vizelberg

DVM (Veterinarian)

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

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Meatloaf is a delicious weeknight meal for many families. This slab of ground meat mixed with special spices and seasonings has no limit to its versatility. It’s no wonder your dog will immediately want to try a hunk when you pull it out of the oven. But even though it’s comprised of hamburger, is it safe to feed your dog?  Although unseasoned meatloaf is safe as a snack for your dog, the answer depends on the ingredients. Some additives are toxic to dogs—and let’s face it—no human food is really “good for our dogs.” However, some meat can be savory, delicious, and even healthy for our puppies.

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Nutrition Facts for Meatloaf

Amount per 100 g
  • Calories: 149
  • Total Fat: 6 g
  • Cholesterol: 46 mg
  • Sodium: 732 mg
  • Potassium: 394 mg
  • Carbohydrates: 4.5 g
  • Protein: 17 g
  • Iron: 6%
  • Vitamin B6: 15%
  • Magnesium: 5%
  • Calcium: 5%
  • Cobalamin: 33%

This example uses ground beef as the primary protein source. However, you can also use less fattening items in your meatloaves, like turkey or chicken. Meatloaf is incredibly protein dense, which is a significant upside for dogs. However, it contains many dangerous ingredients, depending on the recipe used.

Meatloaf with bell paper
Image Credit: congerdesign, Pixabay

Should Dogs Eat Meatloaf?

If your dog eats a piece of meatloaf, they will likey not suffer from this, asider from a possible upset stomach. But a vet trip might be warranted if they eat the entire loaf. Meatloaf is mainly made of ground beef, turkey, or chicken. Because it’s so high in protein, it can be healthy for dogs. However, meatloaf recipes are tailored for people, and several ingredients are unhealthy for dogs.

dog eating
Image Credit: Chendongshan, Shutterstock

Potentially Dangerous Meatloaf Ingredients

While beef can be very healthy for a canine companion, all of the additives we put inside make it questionable. Everyone has unique recipes and specific ways to make this dish.

Whether you’re making your grandma’s famous recipe or picking a new dish off Pinterest, it could have a few concerning ingredients.


Could you ever make meatloaf without a little garlic? While this flavorful herb is a powerful positive additive to human diets, it is toxic to our puppy pals. Along with all plants in the allium family, garlic contains thiosulfate, which causes damage to a dog’s red blood cells.


Onion is another classic meatloaf ingredient. Even though it is scrumptious in your dinner, it is also a part of the allium family—which means it’s toxic to dogs. 


Grease might not be toxic, but it’s certainly irritating to your dog’s system. Excess grease may lead to pancreatitis and cause stomach upset, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.


A little salt is fine for your dog, but in excess, it can be hazardous. Your dog gets all the salt they need from its regular diet and does not require more.

Image Credit: Maison Boutarin, Pixabay

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Dog-Friendly Meatloaf Recipe

As with anything you feed your dog, you should always have new foods approved by your vet before serving them. There are many dog-friendly meatloaf options online so that you can make your dog its very own nutritious meal.

Here is a poultry meatloaf idea for your dog.

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 cup minced broccoli
  • 2 grated carrots
  • ½ cup cooked brown rice
  • 1/3 cup flaxseed
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 medium beaten egg
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley

You bake this loaf at 350 degrees for one hour.

Your pup will likely enjoy this dog-friendly recipe, but it’s best to talk to your vet first to ensure it’s suitable for your pet. It provides a healthy snack for your dog, but it should not replace your pet’s regular diet.

woman is cooking food in the kitchen
Image Credit: Joe L, Pexels

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Now you know plenty of unique ways to serve dog-friendly meatloaf to your crew. However, most human recipes contain problematic ingredients like garlic—which is toxic to dogs. Unless your dog ate a large portion of meatloaf, there probably wouldn’t be an issue. But it can cause gastrointestinal upset, diarrhea, and nausea. So, on meatloaf night, make your dog their own dish for weeknight dinners.

Featured Image Credit: congerdesign, Pixabay

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