Feeding dogs raw meat is not a new concept! Their bodies are built naturally to consume raw food, but well, as humans pampered them, they got the best-cooked meat juices! So what is good for them- raw meat or cooked one? The question of “Can dogs eat raw meat?” still awaits an answer!
In this article, we will debunk everything you need to know about feeding your dog a raw meat-based diet so that you can decide for yourself!
Is Raw Meat Good For Dogs? Pros And Cons
Raw meat has excellent nutritional value and can benefit your dog in many ways! But then there are the risks that make one question whether or not dogs should eat raw meat. Here, you can have a look at the pros and cons:
Here are the pros:
1. Natural diet
Dogs are carnivores, and well, their canines are so sharp and pointy to be able to consume a natural diet. Being animals, they CAN eat raw meat and even digest it pretty fine, unlike humans. Raw meat is a part of their natural diet that can benefit them in several ways and also keep your dog in touch with their natural environment.
2. Digestion booster
Another fantastic reason why raw meat can be good for dogs is because it can improve your dog’s digestion. Raw meat has a lot of content, whether fibrous or other nutrients. It can be a great addition to your doggo’s diet if you serve your dog raw meat in minimal amounts with precautions.
3. Healthier skin
It is also believed that dogs can get healthier skin and coat if they consume raw meat. It can be because of the natural oils and protein in the meat, which can make the coat brighter and shinier. However, you can also achieve such skin with other human foods or by slathering your dog in coconut oil.
4. Dental health
We never recommend giving your dog raw or cooked meat bones to chew on! They can be dangerous, and there are safer alternatives in the market. However, chewing raw bones can benefit your dog’s dental health as it helps to reduce plaque and odor (study). So, if your dog often struggles with oral health issues, this can be a great way out!
Here are the cons:
1. Bacterial attack
The reason we cook food is not just to make it smokey, flavorful, or chewable but also to kill bacteria! A raw meat diet means there is no cooking; hence, the bacteria remain intact with the meat. The meat can be packed with viruses like Campylobacter, Salmonella, and Yersinia, which are harmful to dog’s well-being (study).
2. Hard to chew
Raw meat is super chewy and takes much time to break down and swallow. Especially if you have puppies or small dogs, it can be challenging to consume a raw meat diet. Hence, cooking and serving the meat plain is the best way to feed your dog proteins.
3. Contagious diseases
Feeding your doggo raw meat diet can also bring harm to your health! Remember the bacteria we mentioned above? Campylobacter, Salmonella, and Yersinia can also cause diseases in humans (1,2,3). Also, Escherichia coli is another contagious element in humans (study). So, if you feed your dog raw meat, you are also putting yourself and people around you at risk of zoonotic diseases.
How to Feed Raw Meat to Dogs?
Here are some things you should keep in mind when feeding your dog raw meat:
- Pick up high-quality meat because that is what will ensure your dog’s best health. You should never feed your dog super-processed raw meat like hot dogs, salami, ham, etc, as even though they are raw meats, they are unhealthy.
- Washing the raw meat in hot water is another way you can bring your dog’s food closer to being safe. However, showering it with hot water is not enough to kill the bacteria, so you can freeze it for a few days. Freezing will wash out the bacteria that can make your doggo sick.
- Chop the raw meat into small pieces! This is the best way to feed your dog meat as it’s easier to eat, and you can give it to your dog as handy treats. Also, feeding your dog big chunks of raw meat might have splinters or bone, so it’s always better to be on the safer end.
Our final thoughts on “Can dogs eat raw meat?” are yes and no. Whether or not you should give your dog a raw food diet depends on your personal preference. Or shall we say- your dog’s preference! Giving your dog raw meat is safe ONLY IF you take all the precautionary measures. On the one hand, where raw meat benefits dogs, you cannot ignore the cons of it! In the modern world, feeding your dog raw meat can be dangerous as it can be packed with harmful bacteria.
Also, before you feed your dog raw meat, you should consult your veterinarian for better advice. Because, after all, no one knows your doggo’s health and tolerances more than their veterinarian.
Frequently Asked Questions
Usually, dogs prefer eating raw or minced meat. This is how their natural diet works, and it can benefit them in any way only if precautions are taken. Giving your dog a raw meat diet is not recommended because of its drawbacks.
You can feed your dog several raw foods such as raw eggs, fruits, and vegetables like carrots, broccoli, lettuce, spinach, apples, bananas, berries, etc. Also, you can feed your dog dairy unless they are lactose intolerant. Rest and bones are not recommended due to the high chances of choking hazards.
Feeding your dog raw hamburger meat is not toxic but is not recommended. It comes with both benefits and risks. It means that, on one hand, it is a rich source of protein. On the other, the bacterial attack of raw meat can make your doggo sick. Hence, it is best to avoid feeding your dog raw hamburger meat.
We do not recommend feeding your dog raw meat bones because it may cause choking hazards or breakage of splinters. If you still want to give your dog some chewy meat bones, you should supervise it carefully and be there to help your dog in an emergency.
Yes! You can feed your dog raw minced meat in moderation. The only catch is to avoid feeding them anything that includes seasonings, sauces, or additives. We recommend that you only feed your dog high-quality minced chicken so there is less chance of getting bacterial contamination. Also, please get in touch with your veterinarian before feeding your dog anything new.