The raw food diet for dogs is becoming an increasingly popular trend. Many pet parents choose to treat their dogs with raw meat instead of regular, cooked meat. Before you think about changing your canine baby’s diet, consider the benefits as well as the risks. Because what matters more is not if dogs can eat raw meat but whether or not they should.
This article informs you about dogs eating raw meat, including benefits and dangers. Read first before you consider changing their diet.
Benefits of Raw Food Diet
A raw diet consists of fresh, uncooked meats and greens. Advocates of B.A.R.F. diet for dogs (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food) claim that pet parents should feed their canine children raw food. The principle of this practice stems from the fact that dogs should eat what they are evolved to eat in the first place: unprocessed, natural, wild food. This includes raw meat and bones. However, keep in mind that dogs in the wild have much shorter average life-spans than what our pet dogs can achieve due to modern advancements in nutrition and health-care.
The claimed benefits of a raw food diet vary from better hygiene for canines (teeth, breath, ears) to environmental benefits from waste reduction provided the raw meat comes from 100% grass-fed and pasture-raised animals that are processed in a safe and clean kitchen. Keep in mind that none of these claims have been supported by standard scientific research.
Dangers of Dogs Eating Raw Meat
Dogs can eat raw meat. This does not mean that they should. There are many dangers to feeding raw meat to your dog. These dangers can affect both your canine baby as well as you.
Beware of the risks of feeding raw meat or raw food in general to your dog.
Uncooked food is not as easily digestible as cooked food. Thus, dogs cannot use all of the nutrients effectively to produce energy, build their muscles and support their immune system. Moreover, according to AVMA, uncooked foods such as raw meat are relatively low in calcium and phosphorus while excessive in vitamin A & vitamin D. Such nutritional imbalance is dangerous. If left unmonitored, it is likely to cause health complications in dogs over time.
Raw meat is more likely to contain harmful bacteria such as:
- Salmonella spp
- Campylobacter spp, Clostridium spp
- Escherichia coli
- Listeria monocytogenes
- Staphylococcus aureus
Proper meat preparation greatly reduces the chance of foodborne illness or disease.
Health Risks in Humans
These harmful bacteria contained in raw food and raw meat specifically also pose a risk to you and your family via cross-contamination from handling the raw meat yourself, letting your furry baby lick you, cleaning up their feces or touching contaminated surfaces.
As previously mentioned, the potential benefits of raw food are dependent on the fact that raw meat itself is the result of 100% grass-fed and pasture-raised animals. The practice of raising animals for food ranks #1 as the cause of environmental degradation. Animal agriculture is the most destructive industry on the planet. It may provide “high quality” cuts of meat but it requires the use of land, water, carbon emissions, and the destruction of habitat.
Raw food diet including raw meat is a risky dietary choice for your dog. There are many dangers that outweigh the benefits which can target you, your dog, your family, and the planet itself. While the choice remains yours, it is highly recommended that you avoid giving raw meat to your dog.
Consider other alternatives to raw food for your furry pal such as fruits and vegetables. There are plenty of safe-to-eat options that are healthy as well. Check out our list of top healthy dog treats for some ideas!