While they aren’t toxic, Slim Jims are not good for dogs. They contain a lot of salt and fat that is harmful to your dog’s health when consumed on a regular basis. Beef jerky is also the culprit of a lot of intestinal blocking because it’s difficult to break down. Only give it to your dog once in a while.
Slim Jims are one of the most popular meat snacks in the United States. People love them because they’re great for when you’re on-the-go and they’re delicious as well. For this reason, people have been snacking on Slim Jims since the 1940s.
Since it’s an inviting treat, chances are your pet will want a bite when it sees you munching on a stick.
But can dogs eat Slim Jims?
Yes, dogs can eat small amounts of Slim Jims as a treat. But feeding them large quantities of the snack frequently is not a good choice.
Let’s find out why.
Are Slim Jims Bad For Dogs?
Today there are a wide variety of Slim Jim flavors on the market. But if you look back, both the taste and branding style of the original product changed over the years.
Even so, the basic ingredients of the original Slim Jim are beef, pork, and mechanically separated chicken. In addition, there are flavoring agents like hydrolyzed soy protein, corn syrup, lactic acid starter culture and other flavors.
The ingredients are mixed, dried, and then preserved by adding salt and sodium nitrate. Four pieces of Slim Jim provide 150 calories of energy along with 13 grams of fat and seven grams of protein. But it lacks essential vitamins, calcium, and dietary fiber.
To sum up, Slim Jims are not a traditionally cooked meat product. Nor is it a fully raw food product. Some nutritionists mention that Slim Jims are made from cheap meat parts which are highly processed.
Besides, it has a high sodium percentage and chemical preservatives as well. The fact that it contains 530 mg of sodium in one serving, makes Slim Jims a bad choice as a treat.
Overall, they are not exactly a healthy snack that your pet can readily consume.
Health Risks of Slim Jims for Dogs
In reality, judging whether red meat is good for dogs isn’t an easy task. WHO has already declared red meat carcinogenic for humans. However, that is not true for dogs.
Still, dogs are omnivores, and feeding them excess red meat is definitely a cause for concern. Note, dogs aren’t like wolves and don’t need a steady diet of meat for their survival.
A processed meat product like Slim Jim isn’t nutritionally balanced. So, it can result in health complications for your pet in the long run. One such condition can be metabolic bone disease leading to reduced bone mass, bony growths, and fractures.
Though your pet may not suffer from a heart attack due to red meat, it can cause gastrointestinal illnesses. Moreover, the fat derived from meat can cause pancreatitis in dogs.
The exact amount of sodium intake required by dogs for cardiac safety hasn’t been determined. In general, consumption of 0.06% sodium with each meal is taken as normal. Considering the high sodium content in Slim Jims, it can have a negative effect on the kidneys of your pet.
In short, your dog needs a wholesome diet for his health. Red meat can be a part of it, but there should be other ingredients as well.
If you’re already providing your dog with a pet food product that meets the AAFCO’s nutrient profile standards, no additional protein diets are needed.
So, avoid feeding Slim Jims to your pet on a regular basis or as a supplement to your dog’s diet. However, occasional treats of one or two sticks can be provided once a week.
Let’s look at the question again- is it okay if your dog eats slim jims?
Yes, Slim Jims can work as an occasional spiced treat. But they hardly have any nutritional value for you or for your pet.
One thing is, the drying and preserving process removes most of the harmful bacteria from the product. So it can be considered a hygienic food product.
Even though it does contain 6 grams of protein per serving, processed meat isn’t the best choice for a dog’s protein diet. It also contains some amount of iron. However, the lack of any other minerals and vitamins doesn’t make it a snack rich in micronutrients.
Since each stick contains 4 grams of fat, make sure to watch out for the daily fat consumption limit of your pet. Additional fat can add up the extra pounds quickly.
Can Slim Jims Kill Dogs?
A few Slim Jims aren’t toxic for your dog. However, feeding excess Slim Jim sticks to your dog at one-time may lead to health complications.This would be true for an adult who ate too many as well.
In reality, they aren’t a healthy food that you want to feed your pet frequently. Still, as long as your pet is on a healthy diet and free from diseases, an occasional treat won’t hurt.
That said, if your dog is suffering from kidney, liver, or heart disease, the vet may prescribe a diet with restrictions on sodium intake. Consuming Slim Jims in such scenarios can lead to problems.
How Many Slim Jims Can a Dog Eat?
When it comes to the number of Slim Jim sticks a dog can eat, no exact figure can be given. It depends on the size, age, and dietary pattern of the dog. A Saint Bernard will be able to tolerate a larger Slim Jim treat than a Chihuahua.
Ideally, one or two Slim Jim sticks in a week should be good enough. Make sure to keep a bowl of water to help your pet stay hydrated after consuming this high salt content snack.
But if you find these meat sticks as savory delights, your dog will too. So make sure to keep the packets out of their reach.
What Should I Do If My Dog Ate Too Many Slim Jims?
If your pet is healthy, eating a few Slim Jims may not have any visible adverse impacts at all. However, smaller breeds and pets with medical conditions can show some symptoms. Beyond that, your pet may have an allergic reaction to a particular ingredient in Slim Jim sticks.
If your dog ate slim jims the biggest risk would be the adverse effects of too much sodium in the diet. These symptoms can include the following:
- Excessive thirst.
- Frequent urination.
- Heavy panting.
- Gastric irritation
- Muscle tremors
In case these symptoms last for longer periods, take your pet to a vet without delay. Most importantly, don’t attempt to treat the symptoms at home. Even drinking too much water at this stage can lead to more complications.
The vet will plan a treatment based on the symptoms and balance the salt levels in the blood. In severe cases, the treatment can take around 2 to 3 days.
Other than that, if your dog consumes a Slim Jim packaging, it should be considered a medical emergency. Wrapping can cause bowel obstructions and can lead to death if immediate treatment isn’t provided.
What Are Slim Jims Made Of?
The primary component of Slim Jim meat sticks is a mixture of pork, beef, and chicken meat. In addition, it has soy flours, corn syrup, barley malt extract, paprika, and natural flavors. Preservatives like salt, citric acid, and sodium nitrite are also added.
Keep in mind, the secondary ingredients can vary based on the Slim Jim flavor you pick.
Healthy Alternatives to Slim Jims?
While looking for Slim Jim alternatives, it’s best that you steer clear of all processed meat products. Experts suggest that you should choose treats that contain no more than 10 percent of the daily caloric requirement of your furry friend. Ideally, pick a treat with an AAFCO nutritional adequacy label on it.
Some of the best alternatives are dental chews or bars, organic bone treats, and organic chicken cookies. Fruits and vegetables like blueberries, bananas, apples, and cucumbers can also be healthy and tasty treats for your pup.
To sum up, Slim Jims aren’t a good choice for your dog. Since they lack the necessary nutrients and have a high salt content, their consumption should be limited to infrequent treats.