Posted by Lori Marsh on 4th May 2023
Is Raw Meat Safe For Dogs?
Raw meat is a hot topic when it comes to pet nutrition. While some people swear by the benefits of feeding their dogs raw meat, others are concerned about the safety of this practice. After all, dogs are the descendants of wolves, right? And they eat raw meat. In this blog, we will explore both sides of the topic and discuss the potential risks and rewards associated with feeding your dog raw meat.
So what’s the truth about this hot topic? Is raw meat safe for dogs?
Is Raw Meat Good For Dogs?
Because dogs are considered carnivores, meat is essential to your dog's diet. In fact, it’s a complete protein that offers a variety of nutrients that your pup can’t get anywhere else. As humans, we don’t often eat raw meat. But we do. Foods like sushi or steak tartare are considered gourmet and seem to be exceptions to the rules of raw.
But dogs have a very different digestive system than humans. And that’s a good thing when it comes to raw meat. Raw meat can be good for dogs if fed properly. A dog cannot live off of raw food meat alone. However, many different types of raw food diets on the market are made specifically for dogs.
Why Is Raw Diet Good For Dogs?
Raw diets have some advantages over traditional kibble. Simply put a raw diet offers maximum nutrition for your dog. It also minimizes the risk of contamination during processing because there isn’t as much.
Some benefits include:
●Better bone health from real bones (cooked bones are dangerous!)
●Better gut health because the healthy probiotics haven’t been cooked off
●A Healthier coat from the naturally occurring omegas
●Better stools because your dog is made to digest these foods in this way
However, not every dog will like a raw diet, and it can be a bit more expensive. The bottom line is, as long as your dog is getting balanced nutrition, the choice of food is whatever works best for you and your dog. Be it raw, fresh, or kibble.
Is Raw Meat Safe For Dogs?
Essentially, yes quality raw meat is safe for dogs. However, it does come with some risks. The biggest being freshness. If your dog eats old, or rotten meat, your dog can easily become ill. Raw meat marketed for human consumption is safe for dogs to eat.
Some raw meat that dogs enjoy:
●Pedicured Duck Feet (They can also be smoked)
●Organ meat like chicken hearts
The Dangers Of Raw Meat For Dogs
Yes, it’s safe, but there are some precautions that you should take into account before choosing to give your pup raw meat.
Worms - When meat is cooked it kills off any parasites that might be in the meat. Pork is the main carrier. As long as you are deworming your dog on a regular basis, your dog should be fine. However, you might want to stick more with beef, fish, and chicken to be safe.
Salmonella- Here’s the biggest argument when it comes to the safety level of raw meat for dogs. But the truth is that a dog's digestive system is made to handle it. Salmonella poisoning is very uncommon in dogs and cats. And many cases resolve themselves without intervention. Furthermore, dogs with preexisting conditions can react to the bacteria more than healthy dogs.
The Real Risk Of Salmonella For Dogs
Many people get up in arms over this topic. And they should be because there are some risks, but it might not be what you think it is. Vets might even discourage a raw diet for your dog. However, they can be biased because big-name companies pay them to push specific brands of food. Furthermore, nutrition isn’t something taught in veterinary school.
Salmonella is a risk to humans. Handling raw meat can run the risk of you and your family coming into contact with salmonella. But when you feed your dog raw those bacteria can easily transfer to your entire house.
A dog's digestive system doesn’t kill off salmonella. When a dog eats raw meat you may come into contact with salmonella when picking up waste, when handling chew toys, and even the place they sleep (or drool). This is the real risk of feeding your dog raw.
Is Raw Meat Right For My Dog?
This is a question that only you and your dog's nutritionist can answer. If you are hoping to start making your own homemade raw food, we recommend getting in touch with a certified pet dietitian. Raw meat is also something you can give your dog for an occasional treat. This ensures that your dog is getting the best you can give them. However, you can always buy a pre-made raw or freeze-dried packaged diet at your favorite pet store.
Raw meat is perfectly safe for most dogs to eat. You should be careful and practice safe food handling. Wash your hands and cutting boards thoroughly and anything else that comes into contact with raw meat. This helps ensure your family is safe.
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