How Safe is a Raw Meat Dog Food Diet?

Even though dogs are meat eaters, a raw meat dog food is not always recommended. The raw meat may have a number of benefits for canines, but it may also contain different bacteria that can cause gastrointestinal infections. Presently, there is a great debate about the safety of raw meat in a dog's diet.

Pros of Raw Meat Dog Food

Some specialists and veterinarians claim that raw meat is much healthier than commercial food for canines. The reasons behind this theory are that commercial food is processed and also contains a lot of additives and toxins that the dog doesn't need. In addition, canines, before they were domesticated, used to live on raw meat. Fresh, raw meat contains the proteins the dog needs.

In addition to raw meat, the dog may also receive some raw vegetables and fruits, which are valuable sources of fibers and will help the digestion of the meat. The raw meat may be obtained from:

  • Raw food diets, available in pet stores. They're typically frozen, so you can use them even at a later date.
  • Homemade raw food, which you need to buy and prepare the yourself. The raw meat can be obtained from a butcher and you will also need to add a few other ingredients (fresh vegetables or grains), so that your pet gets all the essential nutrients he needs. Liver or kidneys may also be part of the dog's diet.

Regardless of the type of raw diet fed to your pet, you need to make sure that the meat is of good quality and preferably, you should get organic meat, so it won't contain hormones that may spoil the quality of the meat. Some vets believe that natural bones may also be fed to the dog, but other recommend that you avoid feeding bones, because the bone splinters can be dangerous and cause organ punctures.

Cons of Raw Meat in a Dog's Diet

The cons of raw meat in the dog's diet include:

  • Raw meat may contain a number of dangerous bacteria such as the Salmonella or E. coli, which are eliminated when the meat is properly cooked
  • These bacteria may be dangerous for humans as well (when handling the meat)
  • Some dogs may have digestive problems when consuming raw meat, especially if they are used to eating commercial food
  • Commercial foods typically contain a balanced amount of nutrients, formulated for the dog's needs

Regardless of the raw meat debate, one thing is sure: dogs need meat in their diet. It is up to you to decide if your pet gets raw meat or processed meat. You can give your dog both raw and processed food.

If you opt for raw meat, make sure you get it from a safe source, so it won't contain bacteria or other infectious agents that could endanger the dog's health.