If you are a dog owner, there is every chance that you’ve looked at your dog at least once or twice in her life and wondered whether or not you’re actually feeding her the best diet possible. Rest assured, it’s completely normal to wonder about these types of things, especially with all of the different diet options that are currently available. One of the more recent trends has been to feed dogs raw meat. However, you might have heard an old wive’s tale that you can’t feed dogs raw meat because it makes them vicious. If that’s the case, then why do some people absolutely swear by this kind of diet, claiming that it’s a natural diet for dogs and healthier than anything you’ll ever get from a bag or a can? The truth is, it can be exceedingly difficult to know exactly what kind of diet you should be feeding your dog and the more you look, the more you seem to find conflicting information everywhere you turn. Fortunately, you can get some straight answers here about whether or not you should be feeding your dog raw meat. As is the case with almost everything in life, the answer is not always a “yes” or “no” that can be applied to every dog in every situation. That’s why it’s important that you read through the following information carefully. Your dog’s health may depend on it.
The Case for Feeding Raw Meat
As previously mentioned, there are dog owners that practically refuse to feed their dogs much else besides raw meat. As a matter of fact, the overwhelming majority of them believe that this is the type of diet that dogs were meant to have and that it’s far healthier for them. At least to a certain extent, some of their views are correct. Remember, there was a time before dogs were domesticated when they had to hunt in order to survive. Therefore, their digestive systems are designed the handle eating raw meat without making them sick There are a couple of different reasons that dogs are far more adept at this sort of thing than human beings. For starters, they have a great deal more acidity in their stomachs than do humans. They also have shorter digestive tracts, meaning that any food that could be potentially harmful doesn’t spend as much time wreaking potential Havoc as it would in the system of a human being. In short, dogs can eat raw meat where humans cannot. That’s because their digestive systems allow them to safely digest raw meat that may be infected with salmonella or listeria without a problem. Human beings, on the other hand, cannot do this. That’s precisely why some dog owners insist on feeding their dogs a diet of raw meat. After all, it is what their ancestors, wolves, have been eating for years. By the same token, a lot of dog owners are scared away by the ingredients found in a lot of dry and wet dog food. If you’ve ever taken a look at these ingredients, it’s easy to understand why that would be enough to make some people question whether or not they should be feeding it to their beloved pets. As a matter of fact, that’s precisely how a lot of pet owners arrive at the decision to feed a raw diet in the first place.
Is a Diet Consisting of Raw Meat Complete?
It’s important to remember something here. While dogs can indeed eat raw meat, it’s vitally important that dog owners don’t feed an exclusive diet of raw meat because this won’t provide all of the nutrients that your dog needs. As a matter of fact, this type of diet isn’t likely to provide a lot of the vitamins and minerals that dogs need for ideal health. Granted, wolves do eat these types of diets in the wild but your dog is not a wild animal. In fact, she is a domesticated animal that is depending on you to feed her the type of diet she needs for a long and healthy life. Therefore, it’s important to take all of that into consideration when you’re deciding on her diet, as it will have a major impact on her overall health. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you shouldn’t be feeding her raw meat, only that her diet shouldn’t consist entirely of that and nothing more. If you insist on keeping things natural, be sure to include fruits and vegetables such as carrots, peas and even the occasional apple (no apple seeds allowed). In short, you practically have to become an expert at what your dog should and should not be eating so you can learn how to feed the proper items in the exact proper amounts in order to optimize her health. If you’re not up to that, then it’s probably time to have an important discussion with her veterinarian.
Working Together With Your Dog’s Veterinarian
Obviously, it’s very important that you choose the proper diet for your dog. Unless you are a veterinarian yourself, it’s really best to work hand-in-hand with your dog’s vet in order to make sure that she has the proper diet for her own needs. Dogs are a lot like humans in this respect. They need a diet that works well for them and that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to be the same diet as some of your other dogs or your neighbor’s dog. By working with your veterinarian, you can address specific health concerns that are related to your dog as well as taking her age and breed into consideration. If you want to feed a diet of raw meat, then bring those desires up to your veterinarian as well as any concerns that you might have. The two of you can then work together in order to develop a plan that will give your dog a diet that is nutritionally complete and tailored to fit her specific needs. Being a pet owner is a huge responsibility, as you undoubtedly already know. Feeding your dog a proper diet is just part of making sure that she’s as healthy as possible. Raw meat can be a part of that diet, but if you’re going to feed this type of diet, it must be done properly.