Raw diet for dogs: The good, the bad, and the ugly.

raw diet for dogs

The raw diet for dogs trend is becoming more popular.  It’s important to be informed about the good and the bad of raw diets before you make any decisions about diet choices for your dog.  Dr. Anna Coffin will attempt to cover both sides of this controversial topic.

What is considered a raw diet for dogs?

A raw diet involves feeding your dog raw or undercooked animal protein sources commonly used for food.  These animal protein sources can include meat, bones and animal by-products (including eggs and milk) from chickens, turkeys, cows, pigs, sheep, fish, buffalo, deer or any other animal.

A raw diet for dogs usually includes muscle meats, often on the bone; bones, ground or whole; organ meats, vegetables, fruits, and some dairy products like yogurt.

Advantages of raw diet for dogs:

  • Cleaner teeth and better oral health
  • Healthier skin and coat
  • Smaller stool production
  • Improved digestionraw diet for dogs

Dogs that eat raw diets have to spend more time chewing their food into smaller pieces.  This extra chewing helps clean the teeth and slow digestion.  Raw diets are highly digestible which leads to decreased stool production.  Feeding raw diet for dogs is also a great way to control the ingredients your dog is eating, which is beneficial for dogs with food allergies.

Disadvantages of raw diet for dogs:

  • Not nutritionally balanced
  • Bacterial contamination to you and your dog
  • Parasite contamination
  • Broken teeth
  • GI injury or blockage

Pet owner feeding raw diet for dogs need to take precautions when preparing and feeding meat that is not cooked.  Family members are at risk for contamination with dangerous bacteria, parasites and protozoa when in contact with the food, the food dish, your pet and your pet feces.  However, bacterial contamination is not solely limited to raw diets as the FDA has a list of commercial kibble recalled for various reasons.[Tweet “Pet owner feeding raw diet for dogs need to take precautions when preparing and feeding meat that is not cooked”]

Professional organizations views of raw diet for dogs:

It is ultimately up to you to decide what is best for you and your dog.  Do your research and take precautions to keep you and your pet healthy! Guthrie Pet Hospital has a large selection of pet foods for sale.

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