Updated: Aug 21
Raw diet for dogs are controversial. But the popularity of the diets which emphasize raw meat, bones, fruits, and vegetables is rising.
Dogs have been eating raw for nearly 15,000 years since they were first domesticated. If raw dog food was dangerous, dogs would have become extinct many years ago.
People have concerns regarding the many areas.
Concerned that the Raw Food May Contain Bacteria
People are concerned that feeding a dog raw food can lead to bacterial infections. Bacteria is still present in the food, and it could be passed on to humans through poor meat preparation, or via the feces of the dog. Some people are concerned that a dog’s saliva could pass on these bacteria. Therefore, they cook the raw dog food because they think it is safer for the dogs.
When preparing raw food one should take the usual precautions that you would when feeding a member of your family, by cleaning the counter, using a clean knife and washing your hands etc. As for bacteria being passed on through fecal matter, the normal precautions of hygiene would apply.
However, dogs are natural scavengers they are very well-equipped to deal with bacteria. They are able to deal with the low level of contamination which may be present in fresh uncooked meat. Their saliva has strong antibacterial properties; and their short digestive tract and powerful digestive juices are designed to eliminate food and ‘kill’ bacteria quickly.
Dogs have been roaming the wild for years eating a variety of rotten carcasses, fruit, fresh game, grasses and herbs.
The anti-bacterial juices in their mouth and stomach are highly effective and mean they can eat things which a human cannot.
Unfortunately it is more likely that processed foods will make your dog ill.
Some people think dogs are omnivores, meaning they are designed to eat both vegetation and meat. It is true that dogs do and can eat vegetation, because they are opportunists, but they are anatomically carnivores. Dogs belong to the Carnivora order and therefore in their wild state they are basically flesh eaters with powerful digestive juices.
If you look at the anatomy and physiology of a dog, you will see that a dog is designed to eat meat. From the short intestines to the powerful jaw bones to the teeth designed for cutting and ripping flesh.
Dogs are opportunistic carnivores with omnivorous abilities. However, their entire anatomy and physiology has been designed for a meat eating diet.
This of course does not mean that they thrive on meat alone, and dogs have proven that they can survive on human dinner scraps and certain vegetation during times of hunger. However, to optimize their health we need to recognize that they are first and foremost carnivores with omnivorous abilities.
Raw Diet For Dogs
If you want to feed your dog a raw diet, this means you should not feed your dog any cooked or processed food.
Here are some of the physical benefits of a raw diet for dogs:
Cleaner teeth and fresh breath Better weight control Improved digestion Shinier, healthier skin and coat Reduction of allergy symptoms Harder, smaller, less smelly stools Increased mobility in older animals More energy and stamina Strengthened immune system Improved liver, pancreatic and bowel health Financial savings due to less trips to the vet
Aggression and behavioral issues can also be linked to poor diet, switching your dog to well balanced raw diet could substantially improve any behavioral issues. Some common behavioral problems which may be linked to poor diet are as follows:
Chewing Excessive digging in the garden Stealing food from the table Hyperactivity
When Duke came back from training, he was used to eating regular puppy food. He was having stomach issues. His stool was runny, smelly and nasty. We called the vet they put him on a probiotic and we switched his food to a well balanced raw diet. The vet wanted to put him on an antibiotic but we refused. I said we will see how he is in a few days before starting an antibiotic.
Within 5 days, Duke’s stool completely improved. His poop was small, solid and didn’t have that nasty smell. We were very surprised. He has been on raw food for over a year now. His coat is shiny and soft. He gets a lot of compliments.
The well balanced raw diet for dogs is made from fresh, whole-food ingredients including muscle meat, organ meat, whole or ground bone, raw eggs, fruits, vegetable and vitamins. There is no fillers, no gluten, no preservatives.
Be sure to do your own research and consult with your veterinarian before deciding whether raw food is right for your dog.
For more reading on raw food for dogs, check out Dr. Becker’s article: 3 big reasons why owners are switching to raw food.