Raw diets for dogs are growing in popularity. Often dog owners want to try a raw diet for their dog thinking it’s similar to what a dog would eat in the wild. But, it really isn't. If you’ve ever wondered, “Should I feed my dog raw foods?” or “Can dogs eat raw meat?” you might to reconsider given the risks.
That's a personal decision. Dogs are able to digest raw meat, but that does not mean they should eat it. All raw meat has the risk of containing bacteria like salmonella and listeria. These are not only harmful to your dog, but to you, too. Because of the risk of bacteria in uncooked meat, the FDA, CDC and others all have taken the position against feeding dogs raw meat.
There are some raw foods, like carrots and bananas, that can be good for dogs. These foods help you mix up your treating routine. But raw vegetables and fruits should only make up a small part of your dog’s diet. Just 10% is recommended to help prevent him from eating too many calories in a day.
For Purina, the answer is no. For us, raw meat isn't good enough for your dog. It doesn't meet the standards we set for pet safety and nutrition. Also, the FDA, the CDC and AVMA all have spoken out about the dangers of feeding dogs raw meat and a raw dog food diet.
Feeding dogs raw meat increases the chance your dog and your family will encounter bacteria. Even if you’re careful when you’re handling raw dog food, your dog can transfer bacteria by touching or licking you long after he’s eaten. Some studies show the bacteria can be shed after he digests food, too.
The main problem with raw food diets is that most don’t provide the complete and balanced nutrition your dog needs. Your dog can’t get all the nutrients he needs from raw meat alone. While some people are feeding dogs raw meat to recreate a diet they might eat in the wild, they aren't successful. In the wild, dogs often eat plants and whole animals including intestinal contents.
Probably not. Dogs have very complicated nutritional needs, and unless the diet is formulated correctly, feeding your dog raw meat can lead to nutritional deficiencies and illness. Most pet owners don’t have the nutritional expertise or resources to create a complete and balanced raw food diet for their dog.