Raw Meat Diets for Dogs: Are They Healthy?
Should You Feed Your Dog Raw Meat?
Dogs have unique nutritional needs that when met ensure good health, energy, and behavior. Our furry friends are descended from the famous, lone predator, the wolf. Because of dogs’ unique genetic heritage, a raw meat diet might make sense for your pet. It’s always good to be informed before making any decision that could impact your dog’s health, so here’s some of the pros and cons of feeding your dog a raw meat diet!
PRO: Increased nutrient density
Dogs need a lot of macronutrients like protein to nourish their body, especially when they’re growing; just like people! However, a lot of commercially-produced kibble goes through very intense processing, which Darwin’s Pets notes results in the destruction of a lot of of its nutrient content.
Raw meat doesn’t have this problem. Since you’re feeding it to your dog in an unaltered form, it maintains all of the nutrients your dog needs to stay healthy. This way, you can be certain your pooch is getting all of the protein and fat necessary to keep them wagging their tails for a long time!
PRO: Healthier coats
Sufficient nutrient intake has a lot of benefits to your dog’s health, and one of those is an improvement in your dog’s fur coat. When eating a healthy diet full of essential nutrients, like a raw meat diet, you will likely see a shinier, healthier coat with fewer pests.
Steve’s Real Food notes this change in coat could be a result of several things. These include the new absence of an allergic reaction to a dog’s former food, and the important addition of omega fatty acids to prevent inflammation, and more amino acids to support healthy skin and fur roots.
CON: Increased chance of foodborne illness
Like all raw foods, bacteria and other potential health risks may lurk on or in the uncooked meat you feed to your dog. WebMD’s pet section points this out, noting that you can never be certain that raw meat is completely sterile and you may be putting your dog at risk of infection.
This is why it’s important to use high-quality, thoroughly cleaned, and reputably sourced raw meat if you choose to feed your dog this kind of diet. Also, you’ll need to make sure you’re taking proper precautions to protect your own health, as you’ll be handling raw meat to feed your dog.
PRO: Better breath and teeth
If you find yourself constantly brushing your dog’s teeth, or checking in with the veterinarian because of dental issues, a raw diet may help. Dogs fed a raw diet can show substantial improvements both in their teeth health and in their breath.
The reason for this is simple: As Dogs Naturally mentions, raw meat diets contain substantially less starch than processed kibble does. Removing this element from your dog’s diet reduces the amount of buildup on your dog’s teeth, reducing the chance that plaque develops. It also saves your dog’s breath in the process.
If you’re interested in making the switch to a raw diet for your pooch, then Raw Paws would be happy to help. There’s plenty of options for trying a raw diet, and the resources to go along with it; your dog will thank you later!