We love our dogs. In many households, the dog is as important to the family as virtually any other member. The dog has its own bed to sleep in and may even be fed the same things that the rest of the family eats. They are truly special for sure.
For many families, they want to go the extra mile for their dog, so they wonder can dogs eat raw meat? To be honest, it seems like an almost silly question on many levels. First of all, the dog comes from the same family of animals as wolves, and they eat raw meat all the time. No wolf slays a deer and then stops by the barbeque to grill before they eat. They simply rip the deer open and eat. If the wolf can do this, then why shouldn’t a dog be able to eat raw meat?
There is also the situation where for centuries even humans eat raw meat. They did not cook their food because no one had thought to do that or had even discovered fire by that point. So that meant that the dogs and the humans were eating raw meat. Clearly, the answer to can dogs eat raw meat seems to be yes.
The BARF Movement…for Real
Before going on, a little commentary – only in America. There is a movement called BARF, which stands for Bones and Raw food or Biologically Appropriate Raw Food. This is a movement that pushes for the idea that dogs should eat nothing but raw food. In fact, when questions as to how much raw food to feed a dog their answer is always that the dog should only get raw food. There should be nothing cooked or processed at all.
They cite that this is the natural diet of the canine. Dogs only ate raw meat for centuries, and it is much healthier for them, not only to their teeth but to their digestive systems as well to just eat raw food. These advocates rail against the use of processed foods and commercial dog foods, and advocate that a dog should only get cut up raw chicken or beef.
The Vets Disagree
While this movement is getting a lot of positive feedback, many vets espouse that this is dead wrong. They believe that the advocacy of this idea is off base for two major reasons.
The first of these is that raw meat is often filled with disease and infection that does not exist in cooked meat. Many parasites and bacteria live in meat, but when the meat is cooked those impurities are killed, making the meat safe for both humans and canines. So their answer to can dogs eat raw meat is no.
The second concern they have is that by feeding raw meat the rest of the diet is hurt. A dog needs a well-balanced meal that is present in many of the commercial foods you would buy for you dog, regardless of whether it is dry food or canned. There is a more fully balanced meal this way.
The Counter Argument
The BARF people take issue with these arguments provided by vets. The one in particular, which makes perfect sense, is that they are not advocating for an only raw meat diet. They expect that vegetables, rice, eggs, and cheese could be a part of the overall meal. They are simply saying that if meat is to be given then it should not be cooked at all.
They continually point out that cooking removes a great part of the nutritional value of the meat. Most importantly, they explain the dogs were instinctually designed to eat raw meat and it is much better for their digestive system to do this.
Can dogs eat raw meat? If yes, how much raw food to feed a dog ?
So, can dogs eat raw meat? Obviously the answer is not as cut and dry as we would like it to be. You would think that this would be a very simple answer to be able to give, but there are two sides to this argument and both have some pretty convincing arguments as to why raw meat should not be consumed by your dog.
The truth is that there is nothing wrong with your dog eating raw meat. The animal’s digestive system was made to be able to handle this, and tearing and chewing meat in this fashion has great benefits for the teeth of the canine. This makes it a winner to have the dog eat meat in this way.
If you decide to do so here are some suggestions to make it the best for your dog. You want to make sure you don’t put the dog’s health in risk to parasites and bacteria, so here are some things you should do.
First, it is best if you buy the meat from a butcher, instead of going to a grocery store to get it. With no disrespect to your local grocery store, the truth is that the butcher will have the meat stored in a safer manner, and the meat is probably a lot fresher. This can make a lot of difference, because less bacteria will be present. You will also find that butchers are much cleaner than slaughterhouses that are used to provide meat to local stores. This will mean that the sanitation is better, and your dog is safer.
You also want to watch for terms that are intended to make you feel safer about the meat. One of the most common ones you will see is “human grade.” What does human grade mean exactly? The truth is that it means nothing. It is a made up term with no real standard behind it, but it sounds great to consumers. This standard provides no real guarantee that the meat is fresh and safe for your pet, so don’t get caught up in this at all.
The final conclusion is that it is ok to feed your dog raw meat, but if you want to know more then we suggest getting a copy of this ebook that can tell you a lot more. There is valuable information here that can show you the benefits and concerns you may have about feeding your dog raw meat. You will also see some suggestions about finding the best raw meat for your dog, and how to check to make sure that the meat is ideal for your pet.
In fact, one of the things you will learn about is how a raw diet can actually be used to treat your dog’s allergies. There are great benefits for your pet, which you will learn all about in this ebook.