Is Raw REALLY Right For Your Pet? Find Out The Facts!

People are very passionate about what they feed their dogs, and for good reason. What you feed your dog is directly related to their energy level, mental health, and overall physical health. As more pet owners are taking notice of what is actually in their pet’s food (hint: sometimes it’s downright scary), a new movement is taking the pet world by storm, and it’s been deemed somewhat controversial. More and more pet owners are experimenting with a raw diet for their pets, and supporters from both sides of the issue have been quick to chime in. So what are the facts about this polarizing issue? Let’s find out.

Note: We are not veterinarians or canine nutrition experts. Before you start any new diet, consult your veterinarian and do your own research.

What Is A Raw Food Diet?

Dog-dog with raw food-shutterstock_231981313

There are many variations of a raw food diet for your dog, each with their own set of standards and rules. The goal of feeding a raw diet to dogs is to replace dog kibble with all-natural foods, as if to replicate what wolves eat in the wild.

Depending on your particular choice, a raw food diet can consist of:

  • Raw eggs
  • Raw vegetables like broccoli and carrots
  • Bones
  • Muscle meat
  • Organ meats like liver and kidneys
  • Dairy

Possible Benefits:

  • Better Digestion
    • The idea is that dogs were meant to consume natural and raw food, instead of the processed kibble that many eat. Raw food will pass through their systems easier.
  • Healthier coats and skin
    • Some supporters of raw diets claim that changing their dog over to a raw diet has dramatically improved their dog’s skin and coat appearance.
  • Increased energy levels
    • Removing artificial fillers and additives makes you feel better, so the same can be said for your dog, right? That’s what pet owners who feed their dogs a raw diet say!
  • No added chemicals or fillers
    • With a raw diet, you see exactly what your dog is eating and you are the one preparing it for him, so the mystery of what is actually in his food is gone.
  • Less allergies
    • For those dogs who have wheat or grain allergies, a raw diet may help relieve symptoms by removing these items from their food.

Dog-dog with raw food-shutterstock_209503066

Possible Risks:

  • No Studies
    • There are currently no scientific studies that show the benefits of feeding your dog a raw diet compared to a commercial diet. All of the benefits that are broadcasted are anecdotal.
  • Doing it wrong
    • If not done properly, an unbalanced diet can actually harm your pet over a period of time. A raw diet requires lots of planning and preparation, and adjustment to get the nutrient balance right.
  • Salmonella and E. coli
    • When a human eats meat, they typically cook it, which kills off the bacteria. A dog on a raw diet is fed raw meat, which increases your dog’s chances of contracting salmonella or E. coli, even from a commercial brand of raw food.  If the dog is exposed, humans in the household may also be exposed.
  • Choking hazard
    • Eating bones, even raw bones, can be dangerous for dogs because they can block airways and be choking hazards.
  • More expensive
    • While this may not be a health concern, it is still something to think about when deciding whether a raw diet is right for you and your pup. Added expenses of fresh ingredients can add up over time.

Dog-dog with raw food-shutterstock_40329457

Article continues below

Our Featured Programs

See how we’re making a difference for People, Pets, and the Planet and how you can get involved!

The Verdict?

It’s different for each dog owner. If you decide to feed your dog a raw diet, take the time to do your research so you do it properly and safely, and don’t put your dog’s health (or yours) at risk. Consult with your veterinarian to make sure that you are feeding your dog a balanced diet.

We want to know. Do you feed your dog a raw diet?

Help Rescue Animals

Provide food and vital supplies to shelter pets at The Animal Rescue Site for free!