LogoPet-1.png
BestForPets is reader-supported. Your purchases via our links may earn us an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. Our Affiliate Disclaimer

What You Need to Know About Venison Dog Foods Before You Buy

Do you suspect that your dog has food sensitivities or allergies? If you're searching for a new source of lean, nutritious, and delicious protein, consider venison dog food.

Venison, which is deer meat, is a primary source of protein in this type of dog food and is often used as a substitute for more common protein sources like chicken and beef, particularly for dogs with dietary issues.

Your pet can benefit from the high-quality protein found in venison. It contains essential amino acids that promote muscle growth and repair, as well as healthy skin and a shiny coat.

Moreover, venison is rich in B vitamins and minerals such as zinc, phosphorus, and iron, which support your dog's immune system, metabolism, and circulatory health.

In this article, BestForPets will discuss some of the best venison dog food brands available on the market, evaluate their advantages and disadvantages, and provide guidance on how to safely and effectively feed your dog venison dog food.

icon Vet Approved
icon Reviewed & Fact - Checked by

Deborah R. Fletcher (DVM)

Veterinarian

The information provided is current and up-to-date, in line with the latest research conducted in the field of veterinary medicine.

Read more icon

1. Why Venison Dog Foods?

Your pet can obtain premium-quality protein from venison and, in many respects, it is just as excellent a choice as more common alternatives. However, there are two particular reasons why many owners choose deer-based foods:

Their pet is allergic or intolerant to certain foods. As a novel protein source, venison is less likely to cause an allergic reaction in your dog than common proteins like chicken or beef.

Their furry companion enjoys the flavor! Many dog owners report that their canines enjoy the taste of venison dog food, prompting them to make the transition. Ultimately, our canine companions deserve a diet they look forward to consuming.

Let’s examine some of the nutritional benefits of venison as a protein source for dogs.

1.1 Venison is a comprehensive and nutritious protein

Venison is a lean meat, meaning it contains less fat and fewer calories than beef or pork. This can help your dog maintain a healthy weight and avoid health complications associated with obesity.

Additionally, venison is a complete protein, containing all the essential amino acids your dog needs to develop and repair muscles, tissues, organs, and enzymes. Certain amino acids, the building blocks of protein, cannot be synthesized by your dog’s body and must therefore be obtained through the diet.

1.2 Venison is an excellent source of iron and B vitamins

Iron, a mineral that helps your dog generate red blood cells and transport oxygen throughout the body, is abundant in venison. Iron deficiency can result in anemia, causing frailty, fatigue, pale gums, and a heightened susceptibility to infection.

Additionally, venison is an excellent source of B vitamins, including thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12.

These vitamins play crucial roles in various metabolic processes in your dog’s body, including energy production, nerve function, DNA synthesis, and hormone regulation.

Deficiency in B vitamins can result in various symptoms, including loss of appetite, weight loss, skin problems, nervous disorders, and anemia.

1.3 Venison is an excellent source of iron and B vitamins

Iron, a mineral that helps your dog generate red blood cells and transport oxygen throughout the body, is abundant in venison. Iron deficiency can result in anemia, causing frailty, fatigue, pale gums, and a heightened susceptibility to infection.

Additionally, venison is an excellent source of B vitamins, including thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12.

These vitamins play crucial roles in various metabolic processes in your dog’s body, including energy production, nerve function, DNA synthesis, and hormone regulation.

Deficiency in B vitamins can result in various symptoms, including loss of appetite, weight loss, skin problems, nervous disorders, and anemia.

Venison is a novel protein source for most dogs, meaning it is not commonly found in dog food. This can be advantageous for dogs with food sensitivities or allergies, such as those to poultry or beef.

Food sensitivities or allergies are immune system responses that occur when your dog’s body erroneously identifies a specific food constituent as toxic and produces antibodies to combat it.

This can lead to inflammation and irritation in the skin, ears, eyes, stomach, intestines, and joints of your dog.

Symptoms of food sensitivities and allergies in dogs include:

  • Itching
  • Scratching
  • Licking
  • Biting
  • Chewing
  • Hair loss
  • Hot spots
  • Rashes
  • Hives
  • Otitis media
  • Eye discharge
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Gas
  • Bloating
  • Constipation

Consult your veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment if you suspect that your dog has food sensitivities or allergies. An elimination diet trial is a method for identifying the offending substance.

This involves providing your dog with a limited-ingredient diet containing only one novel protein source (such as venison) and one novel carbohydrate source (such as sweet potato) for several weeks and then reintroducing other ingredients one by one to determine if they cause an allergic reaction.

Additionally, venison is a protein that many dogs enjoy. It has a robust, gamey flavor that can stimulate your dog’s appetite and make them eagerly anticipate meals. Due to the natural and untamed flavor of venison, some dogs may prefer it to other proteins.

1.4 Venison is non-allergenic and easy to digest

Venison is hypoallergenic, meaning it is unlikely to trigger allergic reactions in most dogs. Due to the low molecular weight of venison, your dog’s immune system is less likely to recognize it as a potential threat.

Additionally, venison is easily digestible, so it can be broken down and assimilated by your dog’s digestive system without causing any issues. This can help your dog avoid digestive problems such as indigestion, flatulence, diarrhea, and constipation.

Digestibility is a measure of the percentage of food that your dog’s body can absorb after passing through the digestive tract.

The higher the digestibility, the more nutrients your dog can absorb from its diet, and the less waste it will produce. Venison has a high digestibility of around 85%, which is comparable to other meats like poultry and lamb.

Clearly, venison is beneficial for your dog’s health and well-being. However, don’t just take our word for it. Here are some testimonials from professionals and pet owners who have tried venison dog food:

“Venison is a delicious delicacy for dogs.” It is high in protein, low in cholesterol, and contains iron and B vitamins. Additionally, it is hypoallergenic and easily digestible, making it ideal for dogs with food allergies or sensitive stomachs. – Dr. Jennifer Coates, veterinarian, PetMD

“My dog loves venison dog food. He had skin issues and ear infections when he ate chicken and beef, but since I switched him to venison, he’s much healthier and happier. His coat is shiny, his ears are clean, and his stool is solid. Plus, he devours his food every time.” – Lisa, dog owner

“I recommend venison dog food to anyone who wants to provide their pet with a high-quality, nutritious diet. Lean and rich in protein, venison provides energy and promotes muscle growth. Plus, it has a flavor that dogs enjoy. My dog absolutely loves it.” – Mark, dog owner

2. How to Choose the Best Venison Dog Food for Your Dog

Not all deer-based dog diets are created equal. There are several factors to consider when selecting venison dog food for your pet, including:

2.1 The quality and origin of the deer meat or deer meal

You must ensure that the deer used in the dog food is human-grade, hormone- and antibiotic-free, and of human-edible quality.

You should also avoid venison from wild or hunted deer, as it may contain parasites or diseases that are harmful to your dog.

2.2 The remaining components of the formula

You should look for venison dog food that contains natural and nutritious ingredients, such as grains, vegetables, fruits, and supplements.

You should avoid artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, and additives that can cause allergic reactions or digestive problems.

Check the label for potential allergens, such as chicken, beef, soy, corn, wheat, or dairy, that your dog may be allergic to.

2.3 The product’s nutritional analysis and guaranteed analysis

You should ensure that the venison dog food meets your dog’s nutritional requirements and provides a balanced diet.

Look for a product with a high protein content (at least 25%), a moderate fat content (around 15%), and a low carbohydrate content (less than 40%).

You should also check the product’s calcium, phosphorus, omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and fiber content.

2.4 The status and evaluation of the brand and product

You should choose venison dog food from a reputable and trustworthy brand with a track record of producing high-quality pet foods.

You should also read consumer reviews and feedback to find out how other dogs feel about the product and how it affects their health and well-being.

“If you’re uncertain about the best venison dog food on the market or what’s suitable for your dog’s breed, this article can be of great assistance. Check out “Best Venison Dog Foods” for additional information.”

3. How to Feed Your Dog Venison Dog Food Safely and Effectively

Venison dog food can be a nutritious and delicious option for your pet, but you must feed it properly to avoid potential problems or complications. Here are some guidelines for feeding your dog venison dog food:

3.1 Before transitioning to a new diet or protein source, consult your veterinarian

Your veterinarian can advise you on whether venison dog food is appropriate for your dog’s age, weight, activity level, and overall health.

Your veterinarian can also help you determine the proper quantity and frequency of nutrition for your dog.

3.2 Introduce venison dog food gradually over the course of seven to ten days

You should not abruptly change your dog’s diet to avoid upsetting their digestive system.

You should start by mixing a small amount of venison dog food with your dog’s current food and then gradually increase the proportion of venison dog food until you have completely replaced their old food.

3.3 Monitor your dog’s health and behavior for signs of adverse reactions or intolerance

You should monitor your dog’s feces, appetite, energy level, skin condition, and coat condition.

If you notice any concerning changes or symptoms, such as diarrhea, vomiting, irritation, or lethargy, you should immediately stop feeding your dog venison dog food and contact your veterinarian.

3.4 Adjust the quantity and frequency of feeding according to your dog’s needs

Overfeeding or underfeeding your dog can cause obesity or malnutrition, respectively.

You should follow the feeding instructions on the product label but also consider your dog’s unique characteristics, such as age, weight, activity level, and health condition.

Depending on your dog’s needs, you may need to serve more or less than the suggested amount. Additionally, you should feed your dog at regular intervals throughout the day, preferably twice or three times.

3.5 Provide fresh water and avoid giving table scraps or treats

You must ensure that your dog always has access to clean, fresh water, especially if they consume dry venison dog food.

You should also avoid giving your dog treats or table scraps that contain potentially toxic or allergenic ingredients. You should only feed your dog venison dog food as their primary source of nutrition.

4. How to Make Homemade Venison Dog Food Recipes

If you want to save money or have greater control over the ingredients in your dog’s food, you may want to try preparing venison dog food recipes at home. Homemade dog food can be an enjoyable and rewarding way to provide your companion with a meal that is both fresh and nutritious.

However, there are a few things you must know and do before cooking for your dog:

4.1 Consult your veterinarian

The preparation of homemade dog food requires meticulous planning and balancing to ensure that your dog receives all the necessary nutrients. Your veterinarian can assist you in determining your dog’s unique dietary requirements, recommend the proper portions and supplements, and monitor your dog’s health and weight.

4.2 Select only premium ingredients

You should use venison that is human-grade, hormone-free, and antibiotic-free and originates from a reputable source. Additionally, you should use fresh and natural vegetables, fruits, grains, and oils that are beneficial and safe for dogs. Avoid toxic or allergenic ingredients for canines, including shallots, garlic, grapes, raisins, chocolate, macadamia nuts, and xylitol.

4.3 Use safe food handling procedures

Before and after handling raw meat, you should wash your hands and utensils. Additionally, you must cook the venison thoroughly to eliminate any potentially hazardous pathogens or parasites. Also, you must store prepared food correctly in the refrigerator or freezer to prevent spoilage or contamination.

Once these steps have been completed, you can start preparing homemade venison dog food recipes. Here are some examples of simple and nutritious recipes to try:

4.4 Venison and Vegetable Stew

This straightforward and hearty stew provides protein, carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, and minerals to your companion.

Ingredients:

  • 7 ounces of stewed venison
  • 1 1/2 cups of cooked rice
  • 1 milliliter of sunflower oil
  • 5 teaspoons of Azestfor Vitamins (or another vitamin supplement recommended by your veterinarian)
  • 1 tablespoon of sliced green beans
  • 1/2 cup of minced carrots
  • 1 tablespoon of minced broccoli

Instructions:

In a large skillet or saucepan, place ground or cubed venison. Add enough water to cover. Bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the venison meat is cooked. Turn off the heat. Drain off any excess liquid.

Place the cooked rice and double the amount of water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and cover the saucepan tightly. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes over the lowest heat setting until the rice is fluffy.

Once the meat and rice are cool to the touch, add the sunflower oil and vitamin supplement.

Mix well. Stir in the minced vegetables thoroughly. Serve the stew to your dog, refrigerate for up to 5 days, or freeze for up to a year.

4.5 Venison and Sweet Potato Nuggets

This is a grain-free and organic recipe that produces venison and sweet potato morsels that are easy to digest and feed.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups of ground venison
  • 2 cups of sweet potato puree
  • 1/4 cup of flaxseed meal
  • 2 eggs
  • 5 teaspoons of Azestfor Vitamins (or another vitamin supplement recommended by your veterinarian)

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, thoroughly combine the ground venison, sweet potato puree, flaxseed meal, eggs, and vitamin supplement.

Form the mixture into tablespoon-sized portions and shape them into patties. Place them one inch apart on the prepared baking sheet.

Bake until golden and firm, about 25 to 30 minutes.

Allow the nuggets to cool completely before serving them to your dog or storing them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or the freezer for up to 3 months.

4.6 Meat and Rice Dog Food

This is a basic and well-balanced recipe that uses rice as a carbohydrate source and venison as a protein source.

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups of liquid, either water or beef bouillon
  • Brown rice or quinoa, 2 servings
  • 0.1 grams of powdered rosemary
  • 1 pound of ground venison, minced
  • 1/2 cup of frozen mixed vegetables, including cauliflower, carrots, and broccoli

Instructions:

Bring the water or beef bouillon to a simmer in a large pot. Add the rice or quinoa and rosemary to the pot. Reduce the heat and simmer the rice or quinoa for 15 to 20 minutes, or until tender.

Cook the ground venison in a large skillet over medium-high heat, breaking it up with a spatula, until it is browned and cooked through. Remove any excess fat.

Add the cooked venison and frozen vegetables to the rice or quinoa in the pot. Stir the vegetables well and sauté for another 5 minutes,or until heated through.

Allow the food to cool slightly before serving it to your dog or storing it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or the freezer for up to 3 months.

5. Conclusion

Fresh venison meat marinated with wild herbs and onions

Food containing venison is an excellent choice for dogs with food allergies, sensitivities, or digestive issues.

It is also abundant in protein, iron, and omega-3 fatty acids, all of which are beneficial to the health and wellbeing of your dog. However, not all diets based on venison are equal.

Before purchasing a product, you should examine its ingredient list, nutritional information, and quality standards. If you have any questions or concerns about your dog’s diet, consult a veterinarian.

If you choose carefully and feed venison dog food in moderation, it can be a palatable and nutritious option for your furry companion.

BestForPets hopes this article has helped you learn more about venison dog food and how to choose the best one. Thank you for reading!

Author Image

Dr. Heidi Bigham

Dr. Heidi H. Bigham, DVM is an expert in small animal veterinary care, specializing in emergency medicine, geriatric pet health, and internal medicine. She has five years of expertise as a general practitioner of small animal medicine in facilities that provide preventative care, surgery, and 24-hour emergency treatment. 

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Heidi Bigham

Comment

0.0
0.0 out of 5 stars (based on 0 reviews)
Excellent0%
Very good0%
Average0%
Poor0%
Terrible0%

There are no reviews yet. Be the first one to write one.

Related articles