Can Dogs Have Raw Meat? Giving you a simple yes or no answer is not possible here. The real matter is far more complicated than you may believe and there are all kinds of things you should know first. Can dogs consume raw meat, should they eat raw meat, and are there any pros and cons of this diet are all the questions we will answer below. Once you know all about this matter, you can implement it for your pet.
Can and should dogs have raw meat?
Here we actually have two different things. Can dogs have raw meat? Yes, they can. Should they eat it? No, they shouldn’t. A while back when dogs lived in the wild they ate raw meat mostly, and vegetables they could find. Today they don’t live in the wild hence they don’t normally eat raw meat. Yes, we all know that dogs come from wolves and they eat raw meat only. But, dogs are very distant relatives of wolves and they don’t have as many similarities as you may believe.
All this means is that dogs can eat raw meat right now and they will be fine, most of the time. But, they should eat it because it is not the best diet plan possible. There are a lot better options these days that are much safer and more beneficial.
The dog’s digestive system is very strong. However, it was much stronger when dogs lived in the wild. It has strong stomach acids that can digest and dissolve almost anything. Still, digestive raw meat is very hard and difficult for dogs today. As such, they can’t get all the nutrients needed from raw meat.
Pros of feeding a dog with raw meat
If you really want to feed your pet with raw meat, here are some of the pros and cons. Most dogs will get these perks and they are appealing, sound interesting and come in many forms. Here are a few of the main ones.
Better skin and coat
Dogs who have raw meat will get much better coats and skin. This is possible due to high levels of zinc and vitamin E, fresh fat, and also protein. It is important to add that most commercially obtained food also has vitamin E and zinc. On the other hand, the fat and protein that those foods have are different from raw meat.
Dog’s food will stay in the digestive system for 7-9 hours. Raw meat will stay 1 hour. This means that your pet will digest that food in less time and should absorb more nutrients. This also means that the poop will smell less bad. More research is needed on this matter.
Beneficial for dogs with diabetes
Keep in mind that this is not a 100% explored topic. Some claim that dogs who suffer from diabetes can benefit from eating raw meat. This may be possible and it does sound appealing. Whether this is true, we still don’t know. You will have to talk to your vet and get all the latest answers regarding this issue.
Better oral health
Yes, raw meat which contains bones or bone fragments can help your pet with oral health. In a nutshell, this type of food can remove calculus better and faster than ordinary food. This comes from the Brown and Park study. They discovered that when this type of diet is present, dogs will remove 30% calculus within one day and 95% in the next 14 days. Better breath is present as well.
The same study claims that problems do have issues with diets that are too soft and not ideal for pets. As you can see, raw meat with bone fragments can help your pet have much better oral health.
Raw meat can help your pet manage his weight. Some dogs will gain weight, others will lose it. This right here can be one of the most beneficial and important perks on the list.
Cons and risks of feeding a dog with raw meat
Feeding dogs with raw meat is not always ideal. There are some issues and some facts you need to know right now. Obviously, you need to know the good and bad sides before you can make up your mind and choose whether this diet is ideal for your dog.
Plenty of bacteria
There are billions of bacteria in raw meat. When we cook, we destroy that bacteria. In raw form, they are still present and they can infect your pet. Some of the most common bacteria here are salmonella, listeria, Campylobacter, Clostridium, and many more. This is the most severe issue here and can give you the best answer! Some of these bacterial infections are not dangerous. Others may cause issues for 2-3 weeks and some can be extremely dangerous.
There are no plenty of regulations
There are no rules, requirements, and specifics manufacturers and sellers must use when it comes to raw meats. This means that your dog can eat almost any type of meat with any additions and included elements. Some of these can be bad for your pet.
They don’t live in wild anymore
We did mention that dogs lived in the wild and their diet was made of raw meat. They don’t live in forests anymore hence they are not able to process and digest raw meat as well as their ancestors. They can digest starchy food these days thanks to increased production of amylase secretion (possible thanks to more copies of AMY2B genes). In other words, dogs don’t need raw meat anymore and they can get all they need from other foods. In addition, some dogs have allergies and intolerances to a specific food.
The final word
Do you have all your questions here? We hope you do. Can dogs have raw meat and should they do this are two completely different things? We believe that dogs can have raw meat but they shouldn’t. There are much better options available that are safer, healthier, and more affordable. Raw meat is not something a dog must get.