Over thousands of years that passed, diets may have evolved. However, raw food diet for dogs is nothing new in the canine world. In fact, even at present, sled dogs and racing greyhounds are provided with a raw diet. They believed that protein is the primary content in the canine’s diet.
However, there are several arguments presented on this matter. What happens to dogs when they eat raw meat? Let us decipher and weigh in your options on these raw dog food pros and cons.
The pros of a raw food diet for dogs
What is a raw food diet for dogs? This may have inculcated from the principle of BARF (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food) diet. BARF aims to replace processed dog foods with a diet of palatable bones, uncooked meat, and organ meat with servings of fruits and vegetables.
- You get what you see.
With a raw diet, you know exactly what you are giving to your pooch unlike with kibbles or any other processed dog food. Many kibbles contain fillers such as corn and preservatives. With commercial dog food, it’s very hard to know the exact contents contained within it. When you personally prepare your dog’s food, you know which ingredients you serve and the source of it. You can customise the dish and exclude food that your pooch may be allergic to.
- It is a good source of protein.
Dogs should be provided with a diet rich in protein for optimal health. With protein intake, it lessens the tendency of having major health issues.
- It helps maintain your dog’s form.
Feeding raw food diet for dogs means fewer carbs than commercial pet food. Some claims suggest that dogs on a raw diet have better health, glossier coats, increased energy levels, and smaller tools. However, it is not scientifically proven yet.
- It is beneficial to your dog’s dental health.
Gnawing on bones can be beneficial to your pet’s health. Starches that increase plaque and tartar on the teeth will be removed whilst your dog gnaws the bones.
The cons of a raw food diet for dogs
Apart from the benefits cited above, there are also some that are against going raw for fear of the following:
- Risk of bacteria contagion.
Feeding raw meat is likely to contaminate your pooch with bacteria, which includes E. coli, salmonella, and staphylococcus aureus and parasites. What is even more alarming is that such harmful bacteria can affect both canines and humans. These organisms can be found in dog stools, which can be passed on during cleaning up or playtime.Tip: One way to minimise the risk of bacteria from spreading is the use of stainless steel bowls in serving raw food.
- Nutritional deficiencies may occur.
Aside from feeding food rich in protein, a dog’s diet is more than that. The diet should be balanced, provided with nutrients from vegetables and grains. Unless you are a canine expert or a nutritionist, you may not be knowledgeable about providing raw food with balanced nutrients similar to being processed in commercial food. For instance, calcium and phosphorous are essential but is said to be the missing nutrients in a home-made raw food diet for your dog.
- The preparation of a raw food diet for dogs is time-consuming and more expensive.
Dog owners who opt for a raw food diet must do thorough research on the appropriate nutrients components that need to be part of the diet. Preparing high-quality raw food is also costly than buying a processed diet.
- Dogs are likely to choke on small bones.
Bones may benefit your canine’s dental state but it also involves risks. Feeding your dog bones may harm your dog as some bones might splint and can cause choking and lacerations and obstruction in the intestinal system.
FAQs on a raw food diet for dogs
How do you prepare raw meat for dogs?
You have different options on how to feed your dog with a raw food diet.
- Home-made raw food diet for dogs
This requires much time and commitment to preparation. It should be provided in a balanced diet of bones, eggs, fruits, meat, organs, and vegetables. The downside of a home-made raw diet is the higher risk of contamination and nutritional imbalance.
- Frozen raw food diet for dogs
These come in a form of soppy logs of dog food. They can be easily cut into serving pieces. However, this also means that there should be more freezer space at home.
- Freeze-dried raw food diet for dogs
To serve a freeze-dried raw diet, you only need to grab a serving, rehydrate it with water, and serve it to your waiting pooch.
Can dogs get salmonella from a raw diet?
There have been scientific studies that confirmed the risk of salmonella when feeding a raw food diet for dogs. Contaminated pets become salmonella carriers, which means no developing illnesses but bacteria are transferred in the stool which could infect the environment.
Are raw eggs good for dogs?
It is undeniable that in the past, dogs stole eggs from birds’/poultry birds’ nests and then eat them raw with shell and all. This rarely happens nowadays. Eggs are a good source of protein and essential amino acids and fatty acids. When it comes to feeding it raw, it may cause salmonella infection and biotin deficiency.
Most veterinarians would recommend feeding dogs with cooked eggs, whether serving it boiled plain or mixed with other dishes.
A lot may have been said for both sides on the advantages and disadvantages of feeding a raw food diet, but there is little to no information on its scientific claims. Before doing any changes to your dog’s diet, it is best to consult with an expert first. Moreover, be sure to avoid harmful food in his diet.