Raw Food Diet: Good or Bad for Our Dogs?

05 September 2013 ~ 4 Comments

The idea of feeding our 4-legged companions a raw diet came in 1993 from an Australian vet. He believes that canines are better off eating what they ate before they were domesticated (i.e. raw meat, bones and vegetables), and that commercial pet food is actually not that good for them.

While I read only good things about raw diets, I’m still not convinced that switching Toby on a raw diet will benefit him. I’m afraid, first of all, of bacteria. I wouldn’t eat raw meat, why would I feed it to my pet? Second of all, as you know, commercial pet foods have vitamins and fish oil added to them. Will dogs get those vitamins from the raw diet, or they’ll need supplements? Also, I’ll admit, cost is a factor, too. While Toby gets kind-of-expensive premium dry food, I don’t know if I can afford more than what I’m actually spending on his food.

If you’re thinking of switching your dog on a raw food diet, you should talk to your vet, and read more info about it – you’ll find plenty on the internet. Also, if you’re currently feeding your dogs a raw diet, please let us know why and how you started this kind of diet, what you’re feeding & if you did see any improvements in your dog’s health/coat. I would really like to get lots of opinions, pro and con are both welcome.

I’ve put together this info below to give you a quick idea about raw dog food diet. Maybe one day I’ll give it a try!


raw food

4 Responses to “Raw Food Diet: Good or Bad for Our Dogs?”

  1. Jim Bates 5 September 2013 at 3:12 pm Permalink

    We have 3 Corgis and since losing 2 at relatively young age (8ish) , one we knew was battling illnesses all her life the other was a devastating loss and unexpected. SO , I began looking at everything we did and I wanted to do what I could to keep our omnivores focused on their own food rather than everything they could find that might be more interesting than their own food.
    We also have brought in 2 puppies along the way and each had a bit of finickiness that slowed their eating and caused food wars with our large and growly male. We also notice that all our Corgis had reaction to foods with grains. SO I switched to Natural balance LID types pricey but not ridiculously and added my own mix of natural food , not completely raw but with raw veggies.
    We will buy half a cow twice a year for the family, my brother raises Highland cattle so we know where they come from … and thought also , welsh dogs , scottish cows … it works (pretty scientific huh?)
    We get soup bones and liver with the meat buy. I will boil about 4 bones and use about half pound of liver per batch and once the meat and marrow all boils off I’ll add a handful of carrots and let those get a bit tender , then mix it with a blender stick … finally add a couple of cups of chopped green beans (raw) to the mix. I’ll put a couple of large spoonfulls as topping on 1/3 cup dry food twice a day.
    Two things have happened, 1st our male has really slimmed down and seems much happier, (although our middle girl is still overweight) 2nd our puppy eats faster and doesnt have anything left when the others come looking when they are done, she also seems to have less interest in eating everything she finds outside. I worry about mushrooms and flowers and other junk she finds.
    Not all raw and each batch last about a week and I dont feel like I am buying them “special stuff” even though my kids think its over the top.
    My 2 cents

  2. Anne 6 September 2013 at 12:54 am Permalink

    Hi Andreea – you are making one big mistake in you blog post by saying: I wouldn’t eat raw meat, why would I feed it to my pet? Your biology and the dogs is no where near the same so you need to look at what a dog is, and where it came from. Had a dog lived in the wild, what would it eat? Meat… and it would search for it and eat it from the ground – not from a bowl. The dry food you feed your dog is eating has no micro bacteria left because of heat treatment and it is often filled with grain and waste meat (also the expensive premium stuff), which does nothing good for your dog and its intestinal flora. Raw meat however will make your dogs own defense system stronger and if you add some vegetables to it it will contain everything your dog needs – and the dog has a stomach that is a lot stronger than ours.
    Our dogs (a corgi and a border collie) eat dry food (a grain free variant created with fresh meats and vegetables and only very little heat treatment) and we spread it all over the garden or the house for the dogs to search for it (the corgi never had his meals served in a bowl (he is now 8 months old) – on top of that almost every day they get a frozen raw marrow bone. A friend of ours even feeds her labradors a whole raw chicken and there has never been a problem – as long as the meat and bones are raw – never feed them cooked bones!
    There is always a risk when giving bones even when raw but there is also a risk when you take them out for a walk, put them in your car, leave them home alone and so on…. but it is minimal compared to what great things the right food and feeding method does for your dog! So do you want a 100% safe dog or a happy dog?

  3. joemuggs 24 September 2014 at 6:10 pm Permalink

    Anne is well meaning, but doesn’t quite understand biology or science in general. I don’t mean to sound mean or condescending. There are tons of information on the internet and most of them are wrong on virtually every subject matter. Unless you have a sound understanding of the scientific method, it’s difficult to separate fact from fiction. Again, I mean no offense when I say this and I don’t fault anybody for their ignorance. I too am ignorant about a wide range of subjects, but science is one of the few areas where I excel.

    Dogs are different from us, true. They will be eating raw meat in the wild, true, but what choice do they have? They can’t cook or clean or make bowls to eat from. Raw meat may or may not make your dogs defense stronger; there’s no evidence either way outside of Anne’s and raw foodists’s anecdotes. Anecdotes are not good evidence and is never accepted in science. Dogs are not obligate carnivores, and are functionally omnivorous. They process grain and plant matter just fine. Wolves do too. Wolves only live 5-7 years in the wild, whereas wolves kept in captivity for the purpose of animal husbandry are healthier and live to be about the same age as our dogs; between 9-16 years (16 years might be stretching it…). Those wolves are fed with the same kibble we feed our dogs (they were originally fed a raw diet like their wild counterparts, but it was discovered that they were healthier and lived longer on doggy kibble).

    There are people who try to use evolution to say that dogs evolved to eat raw foods, so cooked foods are not good for them. If this is true then humans never would’ve cooked foods in the first place. Cooking food does many great things for food, other than making it taste better (whether dogs think it tastes better is a different topic). Cooking does destroy some nutrients, but it also makes other nutrients available. Raw food is more difficult to digest, so cooking it allows animals to better absorb it’s nutrients. Some foods are more nutritious when cooked even though it’s total nutrient content is lower. Cooking food also has the added benefit of killing off potentially dangerous parasites and bacteria that would have otherwise made a wolf, who does not have the luxury, very sick. Wolves could and have died from this problem. I don’t expect you to take my word on this. One should never blindly accept anything anybody else says, but this is not always convenient. Ask your vet. I’m sure a properly planned raw diet can be good for your dog, but that raw diet won’t be anything like what wolves eat.

  4. Katie 26 October 2015 at 3:24 pm Permalink

    I’ve had dogs all my life (54years) and have always fed them top of the line holistic grain free dry dog foods. We have 2 dogs- a large lab and a corgi.Two years ago our black lab started having neurological myopathy and LP issues as well as hip dyslasia problems. He gradually went on more and more medicine. After doing research and discovering many veterinarians have discovered the processed foods they have been recommending for dogs for many years have the same consequence a refined diet has on humans, namely disease and pain, I decided to give a raw diet a try. The differences were dramatic. Within 2 months the lab was off all medicine and the corgi had no more itching issues. Their teeth are bright white and I don’t even have to use any flea deterrents at all and we have 3 cats as well. I know what’s in their food- and I can see the results.People compliment their coats and how healthy they look all the time. We all have to do what we feel is best for our pets just like our kids. No one looking for answers is ignorant. Experiment and discover what works and what you’re comfortable with. I’ve known people who fed their dogs the cheapest food and they lived very long lives and other dogs who ate nothing but premium kibble and died young as well as vice versa, so who knows really how much is genetic, environmental and food? Their lives are short just do the best you can and love them lots.

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