Raw Dog Diets: Pros and Cons You Need to Know
A Weimaraner Eating a Fresh Carcass in an Open Field
Raw dog diets canines have become increasingly popular with dog parents. But do you know the benefits and risks of feeding your dog a raw diet? To make an informed decision, learn the pros and cons below!
Before we look at the pros and cons of feeding a raw diet to your dog, let’s take a closer look at what exactly is meant by a “raw” diet.
Raw Dog Diet: What Does it Mean?
According to Pets.WebMD.com, raw dog diets “emphasize raw meat, bones, fruits and vegetables.” In other words, natural foods without processing, cooking and preservatives. Also referred to as an “evolutionary diet.”
Large White Dog Chewing a Bone with Meat
For a raw diet to be well-balanced and nutritious to fulfill the biological needs of our dogs, it’s important to also include the following ingredients:
- Muscle meat still on the bone.
- Bones, whole or ground up.
- Organ meats (like livers and kidneys).
- Omega-3-rich freshwater fish like salmon and sardines.
- Raw eggs.
- Broccoli, spinach and celery.
- Apples and other fruit (no seeds, pits or cores).
- Yogurt for probiotic benefits.
The BARF Raw Dog Diet
The first raw dog diet was proposed in the mid-90s by an Australian vet, Dr. Ian Billinghurst and was called the BARF diet (meaning Bones And Raw Food or Biologically Appropriate Raw Food). He was specifically referring to what Canidae or Canis ancestors dined on before dogs became domesticated by early humans.
Are You Feeding Your Dog Well?
Raw K9 Diets: Pros
One of the biggest pros of a raw dog diet is that most dogs LOVE it! That means most dogs won’t turn their noses up at a raw diet in their food bowl! The reason? It’s the first pro on our list below.
- A raw dog diet is a natural, ancestral diet. The canine ancestors lived entirely on what nature provided including fresh, raw meat and bones, vegetables and even fruits when in season.
- A raw diet has been known to provide that dog with priceless health benefits:
K9 Ancestors Like the Wolf Ate Raw Diets
- Healthier skin and shinier coat.
- Cleaner teeth and fresher breath.
- Healthier weight.
- Stronger immune system and better health.
- Fewer digestive issues.
- Higher energy levels; and
- Smaller, firm stools.
- While raw diets for canines are often controversial, it’s important to realize racing greyhounds and sled dogs have eaten and thrived on raw food for generations.
Raw Canine Diets: Cons
No subject is truly complete without looking at the full picture. Below are the potential cons or risks when feeding dogs a raw diet. Let’s take a closer look.
- Raw meat (and eggs) may carry bacteria like salmonella which some experts believe can make your dog sick. Humans with compromised immune systems can also become ill after handling raw meat without properly washing their hands.
Dog Licking Up a Broken Raw Egg
- Raw meat may contain whole bones or pieces of bone that can cause choking, broken teeth or a life-threatening internal puncture.
- Raw dog diets may be lacking some critical nutrients. It’s important to talk to your vet or a professional dog nutritionist (based on your dog’s age, breed and energy requirements) to ensure your canine is getting a balanced and nutritious raw diet every day.
Considering feeding your dog a raw diet? Remember to consider your dog’s specific nutritional needs and do your research for the best results!
If you can’t feed a raw diet,
check out our blog on “4 Easy Tips to Improve
Your Dog’s Diet Immediately!”
Click here for more information!