National Hamburger Day

National Hamburger Day

Today is National Hamburger Day!  There is nothing quite like a hot summer barbecue with big, juicy hamburgers sizzling on the grill.  On average, Americans eat almost 50 billion burgers a year- now that’s a lot of burgers!  Whether you love beef burgers, turkey burgers, salmon burgers or veggie burgers, everyone loves to enjoy a burger in some form or another- and this doesn’t only apply to humans.  Dogs are often found begging for a bite of their owner’s tasty grilled treat.  The good news?  You can make burgers for your dog to enjoy right beside you!


Choosing The Right Burger Meat For Your Dog

When you think of a burger, often you think of beef patties.  Beef is okay for some dogs to consume, but many dogs actually cannot process the meat.  If your dog can eat it, choose a lean cut with as little fat as possible in order to avoid indigestion or acid reflux.  Be sure to avoid mixing the meat with onions or garlic as these ingredients are veryNational Hamburger Day toxic to dogs.

If your dog does not like beef, you can make hamburgers out of ground turkey, ground bison, or even ground seafood like salmon or tuna.  Again, avoid onions and garlic, but you can mix fish with one egg per burger to make a patty.  If you want to get fancy, add green peas and a pinch of parsley.


Introducing New Foods To Your Dog

If you want to introduce your dog to new meat (or any food for that matter), always do so slowly and in small amounts.  By giving new meat to your dog gradually, you can watch closely in case of a bad reaction or any sensitivity to the food.  Let your dog take one or two bites of the hamburger that you prepared, and then save the rest for later in the day.  If your dog seems to be acting normal and in good health after the initial bites, you can give your dog another portion of the patty.  Save the rest and offer your dog a few more bites the next day.  If your dog seems to be just fine, that’s great!  Your dog can enjoy a full burger with you at your next cookout.


Hamburgers Can Actually Be Good For Your Dog

National Hamburger DayHamburger meat by itself is a good source of protein for your dog (just leave out the salt and spices)!  Lean ground beef is rich in amino acids, vitamins, and minerals, and white fish are also a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, and phosphorous.  The amino acids in fish help pets convert fat into energy and burn calories.  Chicken patties should be boneless and skinless, and they contain vitamins, minerals, and amino acids as well that can help to boost your dog’s immune system.  It is important to note that raw meat may contain bacteria that can be harmful to your dog.  Thankfully, a dog’s stomach acid is very potent and can kill most bacteria found in foods.  However, your dog is at less risk of contracting a foodbourne illness or the chance of ingesting a parasite by eating cooked hamburger meat.


Prep and Freeze

Hamburger beef is actually a pretty inexpensive protein to feed your dog.  It is very common to make double or triple batches of hamburger patties, and then to freeze the extras to eat at a later time, especially during barbecue season.  Purchase fresh, ground meat (whether it’s beef, turkey, fish, etc.) from the grocery store, and get ready to prep the burgers the same day.  Mix any dog-safe ingredients that you would like to add into the meat, and then form the meat into the shape of patties.  Place the extra patties into freezer safe bags, and store up to 3 months in the freezer.  When you are ready to cook the extra frozen meat, place the patties in the refrigerator to partially thaw out, and then cook on the grill.  Always use a meat thermometer to test each burger to make sure that it is thoroughly cooked.  This step is especially important for frozen burgers, as they can look done on the outside but still be raw in the middle.  Store any leftover cooked hamburger in the refrigerator for up to 3 days in food storage containers to keep the meat fresh and prevent bacteria growth.


Ingredients And Foods That Are NOT Safe For Your Dog

While we are on the topic of food, we wanted to note foods that are dangerous and potentially fatal to dogs if consumed.  If you suspect your dog has consumed any of the following foods, call your veterinarian immediately!

  1. Alcohol
  2. Avocado
  3. Chocolate
  4. Coffee
  5. Caffeine
  6. Citrus
  7. Coconut and coconut oil
  8. Grapes and Raisins
  9. Macadamia Nuts
  10. Milk and Dairy
  11. Nuts
  12. Onions, garlic, chives
  13. Salt
  14. Xylitol
  15. Yeast Dough


Does your pup enjoy hamburgers?  What kind of hamburgers do you make for your dog?  Let us know in the comments!