Photo Credit: ReelRaw
Are you contemplating feeding your dog some raw food but not sure of the pros and cons? In this post, I go into detail to share all the pros and cons of a raw food diet for dogs.
We all adore our canine buddies, which means that feeding them quality food is a priority. After all, healthy eating from quality dog food diets is the secret to a long and healthy life, be it from cooked or raw food. Speaking of which, do you prefer cooked or raw dog food diets? Why? Let us know in our comments dialogues below.
When you mention raw dog food diets to an online platform or one-on-one, it heats up a provocative conversation. On the one hand, some people contend that our canine friends feel better eating natural diet foods. Others, on the other hand, argue that associated risks balance with the benefits.
Are you wondering which risks are associated with raw dog food diets? Keep reading below.
What is Raw Dog Food?
A raw dog food diet is a heated conversion everywhere for both pet proprietors and vets. But what is raw dog food anyway? Where did the thought come from?
Raw dog food or Biologically Appropriate Raw Food (BARF) diet refers to diets that are designed to imitate our canine friend’s natural familial menu. The idea of feeding dogs with raw foods is based on its natural carnivorous partiality which refers to innate yearning to hunt and eat another animal.
Raw dog food diets consist of organ meats, muscle meat, raw eggs, and ground or whole bone some dairy like yoghurt, and fresh veggies and fruits that are safe for dogs.
Raw dog food diet was coined in 1993 by Ian Billinghurst, an Australian vet. His argument was based on feeding our adult canine companions with what they fed on naturally before taming. In his opinion, Billinghurst said that though domesticated, dogs are much like sled dogs and racing greyhounds.
Honestly speaking, dogs do love raw foods. After all, they are direct wolf’s offspring! Besides, its digestibility comes with a load of benefits including stools improvement (more below). And no matter how negative people may be about raw dog foods, it stands out as the fastest growing sector in the pet’s food market.
So, how do raw dog food diets compare or differentiate to/with kibble dog food diets?
Raw vs. Kibble Dog Food Research
What should you feed your canine buddy? Both raw and kibble dog diets have their pros and cons, and what really matters is finding the appropriate food for your dog. Here is a comparison table for raw vs. kibble dog food research
|Looking for:||Raw Dog Food||Kibble Dog Food|
|Customization of Ingredients||Great||Great|
Pros of Raw Dog Food Diet
- Polished coats
- Better dental health due to bones
- Boosted energy levels
- Firmer stools
- Healthier fur
- Cleaner teeth
- Reduced allergy symptoms
- Healthier weight management
Cons of Raw Dog Food Diet
- Some raw diets have harmful bacterial (such as E. coli and salmonella germs) contamination
- Raw diets are at high risk of food-borne diseases to humans
- Vitamin A toxicity from eating too much liver
- Possible choking, teeth breaking, and internal puncture from whole bones
Can I feed my dog raw ground beef?
Perhaps! Beef is a terrific source of healthy fats and protein. My only concern is the risks associated with your canine companion consuming raw ground beef. Some of these hazards include a bacterial contamination known as salmonella.
Salmonella is a major cause of digestive disorders. As such, it should not be fed to dogs suffering from cancer or liver and kidney failures.
Are there cases of people saying raw food killed my dog?
Not that I have heard or witnessed myself. Some American scientists however do believe that the case of 40 pets that died in Britain might have resulted from raw foods. This was after a similar epidemic occurred in the US. Read more here.
Raw food feeding guide for Puppies
As a dog owner, beware that feeding your puppy a raw food diet can be more time consuming as compared to feeding them from prepared dog food that has been made commercially. Why? You need to handle, prepare, and sanitize the raw food cautiously before feeding your pup.
When they are at their fast growth phase, pups consume nearly the same food amount as adult dogs. That is because compared to adults, pups burn energy rapidly at this stage even with their smaller bellies. As such they should be fed smaller bits multiple times a day (3-4 times).
- When introducing puppies to raw food, start with cold turkey, followed by one protein source, and then balanced phosphorus and calcium.
- The raw food should either be 2% to 3% of your puppy’s adult weight, or 10% of the current weight.
- 10% should constitute organ meats such as liver. If the pup is new to raw foods, begin feeding organ meats when you see solid stools for 2-3 weeks.
- Before your pup turns 16wks old, feed him 4 times a day, 3 meals per day when 17-24wks, and 2 meals after 24wks.
Also, include supplements such as bovine colostrum, nutritional heBARFrbs, and phytoplankton in your pup’s raw food. Finding a raw feeding chat group or a guru doesn’t hurt either.
Where to get raw meat for dogs
After making your mind up feeding your dog with raw meat, the next thing that comes to mind is: where do I get raw meat for my canine buddy? As it is easy to visit the grocery store, so is shopping for your canine pal. So, look at these options and you will realize how fun, accessible, and affordable it is.
- Regular grocery stores
- Traditional pet stores
- Local butchers
- Warehouse clubs, wholesalers, and Big Box discount stores
- Local farmers
- Human meat online suppliers
- RAW FEEDERS online meat suppliers
- Charitable Raw Feeding Corporations and Buying Groups
So, do you see just how easy it is to feed your dog with raw meat with all these options at hand?
Vets who support raw dog diets
While there is a significant percentage that is against feeding our canine friends with raw food, some vets are vocal in supporting raw dog diets. Check out these three professional vets and one veterinarian organization:
“Raw feeding for dogs is biologically appropriate” “I believe the less processed foods are for humans and pets, the healthier they are”
“We, the Raw Feeding Veterinary Society (RFVS) strongly contest these criticisms, namely that there is a lack of evidence for the proposed benefit of raw food, that there is a threat of food-borne infection, that it does not offer dogs and cats a complete and balanced diet and that there is a risk associated with feeding raw, bony material to pets.”
Raw Feeding Veterinary Society (RFVS)
“Give a dog something natural that their whole body has evolved to deal with for millions and millions of years and they will thrive but if you give them something unnatural, of course they get ill. The reason I kept on doing is people consistently came back and said their dog was brighter. And the coat is probably the thing you see changing first.”
MA Vet MB MRCVS VetMFHom RSHom PCH
“It has become clear to me: modern feeding methods are an obstacle to cure. They need to be altered and raw feeding is the way dogs should be fed.”
BVSc, MRCVS, VetFFHom, CertIAVH
“We know that in people, the more processed a food is, and the more of it is fed, the less likely it is to support optimal health in the short, medium, and long term. This is the same for all species, including our pets. Raw food works both in theory, and also in practice as it has shown in millions of cases to make our pets obviously and measurably healthier.”
BSc (Vet Sci) Hons, BVMS, VetMFHom, MRCVS
When it comes to the right food for your canine companion, we recommend that you consult with your veterinarian. While raw dog food diet benefits may outweigh the risks in some breeds, the vice versa is also true.
Oh! I could have forgotten to mention this before winding up. If you have people with weak immunes in your home like children, the elderly, and such, it is better if you do not bring raw dog food diets home. Why do you might ask? They carry high health risks when contaminated with.
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Hi there! My name is Alex Landy, one of the co-founders here at Our Pets HQ and a parent to a small-breed Yorkie. I am a published author of two books on dog breeding and currently write on various pet-related blogs about caring for dogs. I am a parent of two daughters and live outside Boston where I spend a lot of time with family and serve in different breeding clubs. You can reach me at email@example.com