What is raw meat? Raw meat is the meat without cooking, including: muscles (often still on the bones), bones (whole or ground), organ meats (kidneys, livers, lungs, hearts…), raw eggs (chicken eggs, duck eggs or other eggs without cooking).
Dog owners and pet experts such as veterinarians are on 2 different sides. Some believes feeding the raw meat is healthier, while others trust in the grain-based commercial food. The answer of which side is superior, is not simple yes or no. The fact that ancient dogs used to eat raw meat in the nature is the evidence that dogs can totally eat raw meat. Feeding your dog the raw meat based diets probably is a healthier and more natural way. But, let see closer into dog gastrointestinal system and their behaviors then. Before be domesticated, wild dogs eat raw meat from hunting preys such as rabbit, elk, deer and other small preys – not big animals like cows. Dog intestines are shorter than human and stomach has stronger acid which adapts to digest protein and bones from the raw diet. Racing dogs and sled dogs nowadays still are fed in a strict raw diet. However, it is when the dogs on survival mode. On the other hand, it is believed that domestic dogs adapted over the grain food, which means raw meat are not healthy to them as much as they used to. When the domestic dogs are taken care of so well, they show much more attitudes when are offered raw meat. It might easier with puppies to try raw meat and hard for older dogs to try it when they are used to the cooked food most of their life.
There are advantages and disadvantages of feeding your dog raw meat.
The advantages of raw meat diet:
- Healthier skin.
- Smoother coat.
- Cleaner teeth.
- Better digestion.
- Higher nutrition.
- Increasing energy.
- Raw bones are easier to dogs chewing especially when the puppies are growing teeth.
- The raw meats will change the dog stools to be smaller and less stinky compare to the kibble dry food. This will lead to less stools and less smell.
The disadvantages of this nature feed:
- Risk of bacteria and pathogens: E. Coli and Salmonella are found with a high percentage on raw meat, so the commercial food either. Dogs are not as much affected to Salmonella as human.
- The big raw bones are fine but the small bones as chicken bones can harm your dog intestine tract.
- Unbalance raw diet will lead your dog health to some nutrition diseases.
After seeing the good and bad points of feeding your dog diet, if you still want to try the raw diet; first get the recommendation from your veterinarian or a dog expert before you start it. Moreover, here are advises to start the raw meat diet:
- Try to balance the nutrition of the diet. Especially the calcium, most of the owners make this mistake when switch to the raw diet. To keep the good amount of calcium consumption, feed around 15% bones of the total food.
- Dogs are predators such as cats, so they need protein from meat, not starch. That is why you can cut out the starch from the diet.
- Do not give up on fruits and vegetables. The fibers and vitamins from them are very healthy for the dog gastrointestinal system.
- Try to take step by step of the process. Adding a little more raw meat every day until it is fully raw meat. Switching too fast will cause the stomach problem when there is not enough time for the dog organs adapt to digest uncooked food.
- Be aware of the sources of buying raw meat, also making sure that there is good preservation of the raw meat. Which can protect the meat turns toxic or affect by bacteria. Or later owners will suffer from the bacteria symptoms or take the dogs to visit veterinarians.
- Raw meat contains a high chance of parasites. Therefore, a deworming schedule for the dogs is barely important to keep them and human away from parasites trouble.
It is believed as a myth that owners who switched their dog diet to be full raw after a few weeks, they all said they will never get back to the kibbles. They also say the dogs have better breath, healthier shape and totally in a happy state.
Overall, I think feeding your dog raw meat is fine but it costs more money and time.