Slim Jims are not good for dogs. This is because they contain high levels of fat and sodium. Both of these can make dogs sick. Plus, if a dog eats the Slim Jim packaging, it could create a blockage in the intestines.
What are Slim Jims?
Slim Jims are extremely popular in the US, where they’ve been around since the 1920s. We’re not inferring that the Slim Jim sticks currently found at the store have been around since then! But the brand first came out in the 1920s.
You can find these popular meat sticks almost anywhere you can buy snacks and food. And they are popular—in 2015, Slim Jims brought in $575 million in revenue.
The meat snacks come in 21 varieties and flavors, including Jamaican Jerk, Tabasco, Original, and more.
When it comes to the ingredients, you may be surprised. Slim Jims are marketed as “meat sticks;” however, they’re not beef jerky or even just beef. The sticks contain beef, pork, mechanically separated chicken, water, textured soy flour, corn syrup, salt, dextrose, paprika (or other flavorings), extractives of paprika, hydrolyzed soy protein, maltodextrin, lactic acid starter culture, barley malt extract, citric acid, soy lecithin, sodium nitrite. Yum!
The meat used in these popular meat sticks is not high-quality pork, chicken, and beef. Instead, the meat is bottom of the barrel when it comes to quality. Some of the “meat” is also that highly processed pink meat paste (as seen on many documentaries), which is used to help hold the stick ingredients together.
What’s more, Slim Jims contain a high amount of salt and sodium nitrate. Plus, they contain high levels of fat.
So, Slim Jims are a very healthy treat for humans. But what about dogs? Can Slim Jims make dogs sick?
Why is Slim Jims Bad for Dogs?
There are several reasons Slim Jims are bad for dogs. Although not being directly toxic, they are still riddles with troublesome ingredients. Let’s go through the not-dog-friendly ingredients and potential issues related to Slim Jims.
Like all processed foods, Slim Jims can wreak havoc on the dog’s digestive system causing vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, dehydration, etc.
The main ingredient in Slim Jims is beef. As unusual as it sounds, beef is a common allergen among dogs. The treats also contain chicken making them unsuitable for dogs with chicken allergies as well.
Corn and corn syrup are not suitable foods for dogs. They are too high in carbs, and there is always the chance of causing allergies.
Some dogs are allergic to grains, and in such cases, the presence of wheat protein will trigger an allergic reaction. In general, such allergies manifest with diarrhea.
Despite being a meat product, Slim Jims contain hydrolyzed soy protein. Such protein is not very likely to cause allergies, but there is always a possibility in extra sensitive dogs.
All meat treats feature added salt. Too much salt is troublesome for dogs as it triggers dehydration and, in more severe cases, can even cause salt poisoning.
MSG is sodium salt of glutamic acid and is a rather controversial ingredient. Many food brands add MSG to their products because of its ability to enhance the flavor of the food. However, MSG is considered to be addictive.
There are many different Slim Jims types and flavors. Different types include different spices, but the general rule is simple – the dog’s stomach is not designed to handle spices. Best case scenario, spices digestive upsets, and worst-case scenario, they can cause bleeding GI tract ulcers.
Like all processed foods, Slim Jims are loaded with artificial additives – colors, flavors, and preservatives. Long-term exposure to such additives is harmful to both humans and dogs.
Is beef jerky okay for dogs?
So long as it’s a pure, naturally dehydrated, single source protein, your dog can chow down on as much beef, bison, venison or elk jerky his or her heart desires. The moral of the story is simple: yes, you can feed jerky to your dog. You just need to be sure it’s the right kind of jerky.