What Are The Pros And Cons Of Feeding Your Dog Raw Food?

The one thing pet parents are always looking for is a healthy and hearty meal for their canines. One of the options available is raw dog food. Let’s take a look at both the pros and cons of feeding your dog raw food.

Why is feeding your dog raw food popular?

Due to the increase in knowledge of the health hazards connected with other dog food, raw dog food is currently the fastest growing niche market. 

Another reason for raw food's appeal is the plethora of health advantages it provides. Furthermore, local vendors make it simple for owners to obtain natural foods cooked mainly for their dogs.

Pros of feeding your dog raw food (Assuming nutritionally balanced)

There are many benefits of raw feeding your dog. Here’s a list of those advantages:

  • Boosts your pet’s immune system

Raw diets are suitable for your dog because they include living bacteria and enzymes that aid digestion and absorb nearly all of the immune-boosting elements. 

Additionally, dogs produce less waste when they eat raw because most of the food they ingest is consumed. This allows us to concentrate on gut health, which makes up 70% of the immune system.

Raw meat is an integral part of a dog's diet, and natural muscle meats supply high-quality, easily digested protein, which is essential for optimum health and immunity. 

Furthermore, raw meat proteins include various essential fats, vitamins, and minerals that are not depleted throughout the cooking process, unlike extensively processed meat products. 

Providing your dog with a variety of fresh animal proteins ensures that it has access to various micronutrients, which is beneficial to its general health.

Learn more about the best raw meat for your dog and the benefits each meal has.

healthy dog

Photo by Zen Chung from Pexels

  • Improves skin and coat health

Many nutrients in raw diets enhance skin and coat health, such as omega-3 fatty acids.  Healthy omega fats help dogs with allergies and inflammatory skin conditions by promoting healthy skin and a soft coat and offering anti-inflammatory effects.

  • Better dental hygiene 

In some instances, poor oral hygiene may be traced back to a lousy diet, particularly one that is excessively processed or heavy in carbs. 

Raw, meaty bones are well-known for being nature's dental brush for our dogs, assisting with plaque clearance and getting into those hard-to-reach spots between their teeth. 

Fresh breath may be achieved by feeding your dog a diet full of healthy natural components.

  • Less stool volume and odour

When your pet eats a diet made primarily of highly digestible foods, more of what goes in is digested and used, resulting in less coming out the other end. 

Our puppies' digestive systems are intended to extract as many beneficial elements from their food as possible. 

Carbohydrates and filler components like soy or rice take longer to digest and your dog does not absorb them completely. 

These substances function as fillers, causing your dog's faeces to bulk up, resulting in a greater volume of stool with a strong odour. 

However, because most raw diets are devoid of fillers and low in carbs, stools are frequently smaller due to less waste going through.

  • Better physique

Raw dog food recipes generally have very low carbohydrates in the meal.  

It just so happens that eating a lean, high-protein diet is the best way to maintain your dog's weight and muscular tone.

We know of very few land creatures that benefit from being fat. Dogs are no different. They are, at their core, long-distance runners. As a result, not only can lean dogs live longer, but they also have reduced inflammation and arthritis.

Cons of feeding your dog raw food

  • Risk of contagion

The presence of harmful microorganisms in raw diets has been discovered. These bacteria can cause a variety of health problems. 

Even though there is a chance of this happening, it isn't as serious as you think. This is because dogs have a far more robust immune system than humans, and what would make us sick can sometimes have little or no impact on them.

In addition, individuals who are immunocompromised, old, or young have a genuine danger of contamination. However, when it comes to raw meat, most individuals won't have a problem if the standard hygiene guidelines are followed but for these individuals, do consider gently cooking the food first.

  • Nutritional imbalance

Any homemade dog food, even homemade raw diets, runs the risk of a nutritional imbalance. Because you are not a canine nutritionist, anything you make at home is unlikely to be as balanced as anything prepared commercially.

With a raw diet, getting adequate calcium and phosphorus might be difficult. Even if you get it correctly, ensuring that the nutrients are absorbed effectively is challenging. Therefore, you may add supplements to your dog’s raw meal such as the Petcubes’ Wholistic Sea Coral Calcium which has the most highly available and utilisable form of calcium because of its natural composition.

  • Choking hazard

Bones may also be a source of anxiety, with many dog owners concerned that their dog will swallow them or break their teeth when chewing them. Therefore, cooked bones should be avoided for these reasons. Instead, try feeding them chunkier meat.

How to safely handle raw food

It's critical to understand that raw dog food needs a bit more preparation than commercially available wet or dry meals for your safety and your pet's safety. First, you’ll need to thaw the food in the refrigerator overnight before giving it to your dog. 

You should follow the same safety and hygiene measures while handling raw meat as you would when making the meal for yourself. 

For example, wearing gloves, properly washing your hands after handling the food, and cleaning and sanitising any surfaces and things that come into touch with the food are all part of this process. 

It's also important to throw away any uneaten raw food and not use the same utensils as you would for yourself. 

You should thoroughly research and learn how to safely handle raw meat to avoid feeding contaminated food to your dog while also risking your health.

Cost of raw food diet for dogs

The price of a raw dog food diet is determined by the components used and the preparation method. In general, a one-day supply of one kind of a frozen, commercially available raw chicken diet costs around $3 for 300g, while others can cost up to $5 per day.

Due to high preparation costs, many pet parents will opt to get pre-made raw dog food. For instance, you can try out PetCubes’ Raw Dog Food. Our meals are adequately priced and are also super easy to prepare. This scrumptious meal saves both time and money for you while giving your dog a healthy meal.

Conclusion 

A raw diet is more beneficial for your canine in the long run. It helps your dog in various ways, such as providing it with healthy skin. Trying out raw dog food as a beginner can be scary, but with the help of your veterinarian, you will soon understand how this diet will aid your dog’s health.

Reviewed by: 

Dr Francis is one of the top wildlife nutritionists in Asia. Originating from Montreal, Canada, he left at 21 to pursue his Masters and subsequently a PhD in wildlife nutrition at Oxford Brookes University. Instead of taking the path of common animal science to learn about farm animals, or through the veterinarian space and taking a certificate in nutrition, he took the road less travelled to dive deep into the world of animal ecology, metabolism and nutrition.

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