Can Dogs Eat Meatballs? [+5 Meatballs for Dogs Recipes]

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November 4, 2022 / Dog Food / By: Krystine Therriault

raw beef meatballs on a wooden rack ready for the oven

Life would be bleak if delicious, juicy meatballs didn’t exist, wouldn’t it?

As dog owners we want to give our pups the best of the best. Dry kibble can be boring, which is why you’re probably wondering, “Can dogs eat meatballs?

The answer is yes, but with a few caveats – one of which is that if you’re going to give your dog meatballs, it’s best to make them yourself.

This post has 5 scrumptious meatball recipes for dogs we know your pup will love.

Can Dogs Eat Meatballs?

Yes. Dogs can eat meatballs, but you shouldn’t just give them any old meatballs off your plate without checking the ingredients first.

Take Note

Onions and garlic are common ingredients found in meatballs that are toxic to dogs, especially in large amounts. Do NOT use these ingredients.

According to the American Kennel Club, N-propyl disulfide is the reason that onions and garlic are unsafe for dogs. It causes a breakdown of red blood cells and can result in anemia. They also note that onion or garlic powder is even more potent and should be avoided.

If possible, it’s best to make your dog homemade meatballs rather than feed your dog processed, store-bought ones. Recipes designed specifically for dogs will be balanced and not contain dangerous levels of sodium or other ingredients that can potentially harm your dog.

And to make meatballs even more delicious, why not serve them with gravy? Check out this gravy for dogs recipe post – it’s super easy to make too

5 Delicious Meatball Recipes for Dogs

Making homemade meatballs for your dog is simple. Recipes found online use healthy, human-grade ingredients so you know exactly what is going into your pup’s tasty treat. Most recipes are so easy you just mix all the ingredients together and cook them.

Once you’re finished cooking the meatballs and serving some to your eager dog, you can store them in the fridge for a few days. If you want to make a big batch to last a couple months, most recipes will freeze well too. Then you can take out frozen meatballs as needed each week.

Here are five different ways to make dog friendly meatballs:

Beef Meatballs for Dogs Recipe

Beef meatballs cooked in a skillet and herbs rosemary

The author of House that Barks used this recipe when her Labrador Retriever, Callie, needed to take antibiotic pills. Any other way she would try to feed her dog this medication, she would eat everything but the pill. The meatballs, on the other hand, she gobbled right up pill and all!

These meatballs can be fried or baked, depending on your preference, or you can alternate for variety. You can also substitute a lot of different meat options like chicken, turkey, lamb, or ground tuna and salmon depending on your dog’s preference or any allergies they may have. 



1.  Break up ground beef and put into a bowl.

2.  Crack egg and mix into meat mixture

3.  Add supplements

4.  Bake or fry meatballs in a skillet.

Note: You can also add chopped parsley and other herbs that are healthy for dogs (e.g. oregano, parsley or basil) to give more flavor and nutritional benefits. Although supplements are necessary, this recipe is an easy way to get your dog to take any supplements they need.

Meatballs for Dogs Recipe To Gain Weight


This recipe from Rachel Ray in Season makes INSANELY delicious, meatballs in fifteen minutes prep time, 15 minutes cooking time. These meatballs are packed with healthy ingredients like cooked brown rice, spinach, and turmeric.

Turmeric is an excellent supplement to include in your dog’s food because it is anti-inflammatory, good for naturally preventing and treating cancer, can relieve arthritis pain, treat gastrointestinal issues, and replace steroids for allergies and joint pain.

There are fancy ingredients in this recipe, but it’s simple to make and worth it!

The added cheese and brown rice is to help increase the calorie count and help pups gain weight.

Just mix all the ingredients together, form meatballs, and bake them.


  • ½ lb ground beef
  • ½ cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 shredded carrot
  • 1 finely chopped celery stalk
  • ½ cup frozen spinach (thawed and drained)
  • 2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tbsp Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit

2. Grease a muffin pan or baking sheet

3. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well

4. Fill each muffin tin with ¼ of the mixture or form into 10 balls and place on baking sheet

5. Bake until cooked through, approximately 15 minutes.

Allow the meatballs to cool completely on a rack before serving them to your dog and storing the leftovers.

No-Frills Doggy Meatballs Recipe

Beef meatballs ready for the oven

This recipe from Gone to the Snow Dogs is great because it uses pantry staples and ingredients most people already have at home. It’s is a perfect no-frills dog meat ball recipe for people who are on a budget or who like their recipes straightforward.


  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2/3 cup breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup chopped or shredded carrots


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit

2. Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl

3. Form meatballs, scoop them using scooper and place them on a greased cookie sheet (or use non-stick aluminum foil)

4. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes

You can make these as big or small as your want, depending on the size of your dog.

You may need to adjust your cooking time depending on how big you make the meatballs.

Turkey Meatballs for Dogs Recipe

raw turkey meatballs lined on a baking tray ready for the oven

This is another great limited-ingredient dog meatball recipe, taken from Proud Dog Mom. These mini balls make an ideal healthy meatball dog treat.

With just four ingredients, you know exactly what is going into your dog’s food and why. 

Turkey, sardines, and egg all are sources of protein and other important nutrients, while almond flower acts as a binder that won’t trigger grain or gluten intolerance.


  • 1 lb lean ground turkey
  • ½ can of sardines (boneless, skinless, in water, no added salt)
  • ½ cup super fine almond flower
  • 1 large egg


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line two baking sheets with parchment paper

2. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl or use KitchenAid to mix everything together with ease

3. Form mixture into mini meatballs and place on parchment paper

4. Bake for 25 - 30 minutes

These meatballs will last in the fridge for up to three days. If you have extras you can freeze them and take them out as needed!

Thanksgiving Turkey Meatballs Recipe for Dogs

Cooked turkey meatballs homemade recipe for pet dogs

The Dog People know that leftover turkey and veggies from the holidays can be healthy for your dog. Turkey is a source of lean protein, but you need to be careful not to serve your dog small turkey bones by accident.

This meatball recipe transforms your leftovers into a dog-safe treat.


  • 1 lb leftover turkey (bones and skin removed)
  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp plain low-fat yogurt
  • 1 cup mixed veggies
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit

2. Break up leftover turkey by pulsing in a food processor

3. Add rolled oats and combine well with food processor

4. Add egg and yogurt and pulse until mixture sticks together

5. Transfer mixture into a large bowl

6. Add vegetables and parsley, then combine by hand

7. Roll into 1-inch balls and place on parchment-lined cookie sheet

8. Bake for 20 minutes

Final Word of Doggy Meatballs

If you’ve been curious about whether you can give your dog meatballs, now you have the answer you need.

Dogs can eat meatballs but processed, store-bought ones aren’t good for them. Some recipes containing garlic and onions should be avoided too.

However, you can make your own homemade dog meatballs that are delicious, safe, and even healthy for your dog to enjoy. There are many different dog-safe recipes to choose from depending on the types of ingredients you want to use and the tools you have at your disposal.

Your dog will thank you!



Krystine Therriault

Krystine Therriault is an accomplished writer. With a passion for all creatures cute and furry, Krystine's life has been touched by many beloved dogs over the years. She is also a loving mother of two boys and an avid yogi.

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