Sunday, February 23, 2014

Should You Feed A Raw Food Diet To Your Dog?

Before anything else, please don't forget to drop by Daisy Downunder. Kindly check our Bulletin Board (on the upper right) for the details.

This guest post is brought to us by Bill Rogan. Do you feed your dog raw diet? I know My Rotten Dogs does. They even post pictures of their meals.

Many people gasp in shock at the thought of feeding a raw food diet to their dog. Isn’t raw food bad for dogs? Won’t my dog get sick? What about salmonella and other types of bacterial infection?

Commercial Dog Food Is Still A New Concept

Remember, for thousands of years, dogs have been eating raw food. Cooked commercial dog food has only existed for about 100 years or so and didn’t get very popular until about WWII. Since then, feeding commercial dog food such as canned food or kibble has become the norm.

Golden retriever eating pigs foot
By Denhulde (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 or GFDL],
via Wikimedia Commons
The biggest health threat when it comes to a raw food diet for dogs is contaminating human food. When preparing a raw meal for your dog, it is imperative to take precautions so you do not contaminate surfaces, eating instruments, or human food supplies. While your dog’s digestive system is designed to handle raw meat, your digestive system is not. Salmonella is highly spreadable, so you must wash all surfaces that the raw meat came into contact with and remember to wash your hands thoroughly as soon as you are finished handling the raw food.

It is also important to keep your dogs food consistent. Your dogs body has to go through various changes when switching from a cooked diet to a raw food diet. If you want to feed your dog a raw food diet, you should feed raw food exclusively. Also, when first switching to a raw diet your dog may experience diarrhea or even vomiting. Usually, this doesn’t last long and does not harm your dog at all. It simply takes time for your dog’s digestive system to get used to the raw diet instead of a cooked diet.

Reasons To Feed A Raw Food Diet To Your Dog

So why would you want to feed your dog a raw food diet? Most dog owners who feed a raw diet do so because it is far more natural for dogs. While dogs may enjoy eating fruits and vegetables from time to time, in the wild their main diet consists of raw, uncooked meat. When we cook dog food, such as in commercial kibble or with a home cooked diet, many of the beneficial nutrients are cooked off. With a raw food diet, the dogs meal is more natural, like they would get in the wild, and can lead to a much healthier life.

Those who feed a raw diet report a healthier coat, increased energy, reduction in allergy problems, increased dental hygiene, a less smelly stool, and a much higher desire to eat during meal time. Some medical issues seem to completely disappear, especially when it comes to allergies.

Dog in Simferopol2
By Tiia Monto (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Many dog owners are also upset about the number of poor quality ingredients being used in typical commercial dog food. For example, some dog food manufactures use food coloring that has been linked to cancer or may use very low quality meat byproducts. Some of these meat byproducts can contain animal meat that is not allowed for human consumption. These slaughtered animals include those who are sick, dying, or diseased. And finally, many dog food brands fill their products with “filler ingredients” that provide no nutritional value to your dog. The most common filler ingredients are corn and grain products. Corn is frequently used as the top ingredient in commercial dog food even though it provides no nutritional value and can be difficult for some dogs to digest.

The Disadvantages Of Feeding A Raw Food Diet To Your Dog

Of course, there are negatives to feeding a raw based diet for dogs as well. For one, it’s messy. VERY messy. In addition to possible salmonella contamination in your home, your dog does not care about making a mess. You should have a special area of your home with tarps laid down or feed your dog outdoors in a designated area. You must be diligent about keeping feeding areas clean from bacteria. Again, this is not so much for the safety of your dog as it is for the safety of you and your family.

Elvis Reviews Nutrish (5686452541)
By Elizabeth from Lansing, MI, USA (Elvis Reviews NutrishUploaded by Dolovis) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
You also need to find a reputable place to obtain raw meat products. Purchasing from a grocery store can get expensive, so many dog owners like to form a relationship with a local butcher. They usually have many types of meat that humans don’t like but dogs love (organ meat, snouts, hearts, liver, etc.). This can usually be obtained for relatively cheap.

If a raw based diet isn’t something you want to feed your dog, it shouldn’t be much of a problem. Many who feed a raw based diet refuse to use any commercial dog food at all, but there are several good brands out there. Simply do some research on holistic and grain-free dog food and be prepared to spend a bit more than you might be used to. Generally, the more you pay for commercial dog food, the higher the quality.

Author's Bio:

Bill Rogan a deep passion for dogs. He spends his weekends writing articles on the raw food diet for dogs. He also writes about dog food reviews on


  1. That is so right. The more you pay the better the ingredients. Have a serene Sunday and get in some big easy today.
    Best wishes Molly
    PS we are truly sorry about Daisy

  2. Yes we eat a raw food diet and we love it :) We have a beautiful shinny coats and have lovely white teeth :) Milo & Jet

  3. Yes we eat raw food too - very yummy and good for us. Our peeps believe the best food for dogs is the most natural food - raw meat with some vegetables and fruit. We get ready made raw food here from a company who make it specially for dogs :-) - woofs and licks from Magic xx

  4. Thanks for the plug, Haopee! Yes, we love the raw diet over here!

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