Can Dogs Eat Meatballs? How Healthy Are They?

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can dogs eat meatballs

Can dogs eat meatballs safely? Well, your dog can only eat meatballs that don’t contain toxic ingredients for them. Meatballs contain several toxic ingredients for your dog. So, it’s best to prepare the meal yourself.

Below, we will talk more about those ingredients to learn which ingredients are toxic and which aren’t.

Some Meatballs Ingredients Are Toxic For Dogs !

Let us look at the ingredients found in meatballs and see which one is toxic and which one is good for your dog:


Yes, your dog can safely eat cheese. The healthy cheeses are low-fat cheeses such as cottage cheese and mozzarella.

However, never give your dog high amounts of cheese, especially those high in fat, as they can develop pancreatitis or obesity.

Additionally, it is worthy to note that most dogs are lactose intolerant and may experience stomach upsets after taking cheese or any dairy product.


Dogs are omnivores, but most of them prefer meat. So, your dog is likely a big fan of meat. You can feed your dog with well-cooked lean meats. However, ensure that you have removed all the fats, skin, and bones as they are dangerous to your dog.


Eggs contain many nutrients and are a great source of proteins that are essential to your dog. They also contain fatty acids and amino acids. You can give eggs to your dog as a dietary supplement or snack. 

Nevertheless, always talk to your veterinarian about how many eggs you should feed your dog because too many eggs can lead to obesity and other health problems.

Bread Crumbs

Yes, dogs can safely eat wheat bread or plain white bread but in moderation. But do not give your dog bread crumbs if they have any known medical condition. 

Black Pepper

You can give your dog small amounts of black pepper as large amounts can be toxic.


Dogs may need sodium in their diet to balance electrolytes, but since most dog foods contain salt, it is not advisable to add salt to their meal. Excess salt can cause salt poisoning. 

Here are some symptoms of salt poisoning in dogs:

  • Stomach pains 
  • Vomiting 
  • Diarrhea
  • Dehydration


Never give your dog an onion. Onions cooked, raw, or powdered are toxic to dogs. Onions contain a compound known as n-propyl that compromises red blood cells in your dog’s body.


Garlic, just like onions, is toxic to your dog. Both of them belong to the allium family and contain thiosulfate, which damages red blood cells. What are the symptoms of low blood cell count in your dog?

  • Fatigue during exercise or play
  • Skin bruising due to loss of platelets
  • Whitish or pale pink gum
  • Dark stool and vomit

Can Dogs Eat Homemade Meatballs?

As mentioned above, homemade meatballs are the best as they don’t contain sodium and other harmful ingredients. 

How To Prepare Homemade Meatballs

Making meatballs is simple as all recipes use human-grade ingredients, so you are sure you are giving your pup a healthy meal. Here are different ways to prepare friendly meatballs for your dog:

Chicken/Turkey Meatballs for Dogs Recipe

These mini meatballs are ideal treats for your dog. With just four items, you are sure of what you are giving your pup and why.[1]

Sardines, turkey/chicken, and egg are protein sources, while almonds are gluten and grain intolerance binders. 


One egg

½ cup of almond flour

½ a can of sardines (skinless, boneless, no salt and in water)

1 lb lean turkey/chicken (grounded) 


  • Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Preheat oven from 3000F to 3500F.
  • Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl
  • Form mixture into mini balls and place them on the parchment-lined cookie sheet.
  • Bake for half an hour.

The above chicken/turkey meatballs should last for around three days. If you have extra, freeze them for future use.

Weight Gain Meatballs for Dogs Recipe

The following recipe makes insanely tasty meatballs in 30 minutes. They are packed with spinach, turmeric, and cooked brown rice.

Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory good for relieving pains, preventing and treating cancer, used as a replacement for steroids for allergies, and treating gastrointestinal health problems. 


½ cup of brown rice (cooked)

One carrot (shredded)

½ lb ground beef

One celery stalk (finely chopped)

½ cup spinach (if frozen, should be thawed and drained)

One egg

Chopped parsley 

Two tablespoon turmeric

2 tablespoonful cheese (Parmigiano- Reggiano)


  • Preheat oven to 4000F
  • Grease the baking sheet.
  • Mix all the above ingredients in a mixing bowl.
  • Fill each muffin tin with the above mixture or form  10 balls of dog meatballs and place them on the baking sheet.
  • Bake for 10-15 minutes

Place the dog meatballs in a rack to cool completely before serving your dog and refrigerate the leftovers. The cooked brown rice and cheese increase the calorie count and help your furry friend gain weight. 

Beef Meatballs for Dogs Recipe

The following meatball recipe can either be baked or fried. You can also substitute beef with turkey, ground chicken, salmon, or tuna, depending on any allergies your dog may have or the dog’s preference.


One egg

Four tablespoonfuls of low-fat yogurt

1 lb beef (grounded)

1,000 mcg fish oil


  • Mix all the ingredients in a bowl properly.
  • Form the mixture into dog-friendly meatballs.
  • Bake at 4000F for 15 minutes or fry in a skillet.

N/B: Parsley gives flavor to your meatballs. The other ingredients you can add are oregano or basil since they are not harmful to your dog.

No-Frills Doggy Meatballs Recipe

This recipe is perfect as it contains ingredients already in your pantry, especially if you are on a budget.


Ground beef (1lb)

One egg

½ cup cheddar cheese (shredded)

½ cup breadcrumbs

½ cup carrots (shredded or chopped)


  • Preheat oven to 3600F.
  • Mix the above ingredients for making dog-friendly meatballs in a bowl
  • Scoop the mixture and form meatballs
  • Place them on a cooking sheet (greased or lined with a non-stick aluminum foil).
  • Bake for 10 -20 minutes

You can make small or large dog-friendly meatballs, depending on the size of your pet. And adjust the cooking time depending on the size of the meatballs.

Turkey Meatballs Recipe for Dogs

Dog owners know that leftover veggies and ground turkey are great for most dogs, especially the day after thanksgiving. Lean turkey is an excellent source of protein, but you should avoid serving turkey bones to your dogs. So, how do you transform ground turkey leftovers into a delicious dog treat?


Boneless and skinless leftover turkey (1 lb)

Two eggs

½ cup rolled oats

1 oz of low-fat yogurt

One glass of mixed veggies

½ glass of parsley (chopped)


  • Preheat oven to 3800F
  • Pulse the turkey in a food processor.
  • Add the rolled oats to the food processor and mix well.
  • Add the yogurt, eggs, and pulse together.
  • Transfer mixture to a bowl.
  • Add vegetables to the bowl and mix using your hand.
  • Form 1-inch meatballs and place them on a cooking sheet.
  • Bake for 15- 20 minutes.

How to Serve Meatball Recipes for Dogs

With different recipes, you can make big batches that can last for months when frozen. Then you can give your dog the meatballs with gravy, spaghetti, mashed potatoes, or a baked/mashed sweet potato. 

When serving with gravy, do not add any tomato sauce. And when serving with mashed potatoes, ensure they are not boiled but roasted. They should also not add any salt, milk, garlic powder, cheese, or butter.

Additionally, when serving spaghetti, it should be in small amounts. Here’s the deal with spaghetti: dogs can only eat spaghetti made from flour, water, and eggs. Most of the time, spaghetti has a sauce that contains garlic, onion, and chives. 

Some of this sauce also contains sweeteners and preservatives that are toxic to dogs. The same goes for tomato sauce.

The Bottom Line

So, can dogs eat meatballs? Yes, but make sure you avoid store-bought ones as they are not dog friendly and may contain garlic powder, onions, salt, and seasonings.

You now have the best idea on how to make some delicious, healthy, and safe meatballs for your pup. The good news is that all the ingredients and tools to use are in your home.

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Diana Nadim
My name is Diana, a travel enthusiast, and a pet lover who believes that our animal friends deserve the best. I'm passionate about the well-being of animals, big or small. Through writing, I offer practical and helpful advice backed by research. I provide sources to the research data I find to ensure my readers always get the best and most accurate knowledge and information on the internet.

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