The popularity of eating bear meat has been increasing over the last couple of years due to various podcasts going over the advantages and disadvantages of bear meat in our diets.
Although it is a controversial meat source, many people do eat bear meat and there has also been an increase in the number of people asking if dogs can eat bear meat or not recently too.
With more and more people moving their dogs over to a raw or whole food diet and this trend only becoming more popular each year, we expect the number of people asking about feeding their dogs bear meat to increase over the coming years.
Due to this, we have decided to publish this article going over the advantages and disadvantages of feeding your dog bear meat.
Our hope is to help our readers get a more balanced look at feeding dogs bear meat as many of the discussions that we have seen are very one sided so we will try to offer a more balanced look.
Can Dogs Eat Bear Meat?
Dogs can and will eat bear meat if it is provided for them and most dogs that are given bear meat do seem to really enjoy having it in their diets too.
Bear ribs in particular seem to be a favorite of dogs who are given bear meat to eat and there are a number of vitamins and minerals in bear meat as well as the suitable macronutrient ratios that make many parts of a bear fine for a dog to eat.
The problem is that just like many other wild animals, bears can have the trichnosis parasite in them and this is not killed off if your freeze the bear meat as many people think.
This is usually enough to put people off from giving their pet dogs bear meat as the risk of trichnosis is enough to make people avoid it.
There are some anti-parasitic tablets that you can sometimes use to counter the risk of trichnosis though but you should seek professional advice from a vet on this if possible to make sure you get tablets that will actually be effective.
Is Bear Fat Good For Dogs?
Although dogs can eat bear fat, you should avoid trying to feed pure fat sources to your dog if possible as it will cause issues with the macronutrient profile in their diet.
The three macronutrients are protein, fat, and carbohydrates and dogs usually need a relatively specific ratio of each to lead a healthy diet.
Depending on your source, these are debatable but the majority of sources will fall within the following brackets:-
- 16%–38% Protein.
- 6%–18% Fat.
- 40%–60% Carbohydrate.
As you can see, fat is usually the lowest macronutrient required in a dog’s diet and even a small amount of fat can take up a large number of a dog’s daily calories.
This is due to protein and carbohydrates containing four calories per gram where as fat contains nine calories per gram.
Even a small amount of pure bear fat can cause your dog’s macronutrient profile to be warped for the day resulting in diarrhea or vomiting.
This can then cause people to think that bear meat is bad for dogs when in actual fact, it was just the cut of the bear meat that they gave their dogs.
Can A Dog Eat A Bear Bone?
Yes, dogs can eat bear bones and most dogs seem to really enjoy chewing on them too.
Bones are a good source of minerals for dogs as well as being a good chew toy to keep their teeth clean and healthy.
The only problem with feeding your dog bear bones is that they can be quite hard which means they could break your dog’s teeth if they are not careful.
You should make sure that you only give your dog bones that are a suitable size for them to avoid any issues and supervise them when they eat them just in case.
You should also avoid giving your dog cooked bear bones as these can splinter and cause serious injuries to your dog if they eat them.
Raw bones are much safer for your dog as they are softer and less likely to splinter.
What Parts Of A Bear Can Dogs Eat?
Most parts of a bear can be fed to dogs with the exception of the liver.
The liver contains high levels of vitamin A which can be toxic to dogs if they eat too much of it.
Other than the liver, all other parts of a bear can be given to dogs including the fur!
Many people think that the fur is not good for dogs but it actually contains a lot of protein and essential fatty acids that are good for their coat.
The only problem with feeding your dog bear fur is that it can be quite hard to digest so you should avoid giving them too much of it and it should be on the skin.
Many domesticated dogs will refuse to eat fur as they have never had it in their diet before though.
There are also obvious signs within the bear that will let you know if a part of the bear should be avoided or not.
For example, cysts or infected parts of the bear should be avoided if possible.
For the most part, you should be going with the actual muscle meat of the bear if possible due to it having a better macronutrient profile for your dog that can fit into a balanced diet well.
How Much Bear Meat Can Dogs Eat?
The amount of bear meat that you can give your dog will depend on their size, age, and activity level.
As a general rule of thumb, you should start with around 2% of their body weight per day and adjust from there.
This is just a starting point though and you should adjust the amount up or down depending on how your dog reacts to it.
Some dogs may be able to tolerate more bear meat in their diet than others and some may need less, it all depends on your dog’s current diet and what its digestive system and taste preferences are used to eating.
How To Feed A Dog Bear Meat!
The best way to feed a dog bear meat is to cook it first.
Bear meat can be quite tough and hard to digest raw so cooking it will make it easier for your dog to eat and digest.
You can cook the bear meat in any way that you like but it is best to avoid using too much seasoning or salt as this can be bad for dogs.
Some people like to feed their dogs bear meat as part of a raw diet but this is not necessary and cooked bear meat is just as good for them.
You can either cook the bear meat in large batches and store it in the fridge or freezer for later or you can cook it fresh each time you want to feed it to your dog.
Just remember that you should avoid giving your dog the bear bones if they have been cooked to avoid a splinter risk.