By nature, dogs are carnivores that are designed to eat raw meat. This is also true for other carnivores such as cats, tigers, lions, bears and wolves.
I remember the numerous times when my cat proudly brought back a dead rat in her mouth or my dog ate a dead bird in the garden. Yet, neither my cat nor dog had any ill effects.
(Photo by: hennasabel)
Is raw meat good for dogs?
Raw meat contains essential amino acids, minerals vitamins and enzymes. Cooking destroys or alters these nutrients, rendering them unavailable to the body or toxic to a dog’s health.
Can dogs fall sick from eating raw meat?
Pet owners are usually concerned about the risks of food poisoning or bacterial infection associated with feeding raw meat to their dogs.
In the wild, dogs have evolved to consume various parts of a prey animal. They are scavengers that not only eat fresh kill but also decaying or contaminated meat. Dogs bury meat, bones or any leftovers, which would have become putrified when they dig them out days or weeks later. Yet, they seem to do fine feeding on rotten meat/bone. (Note: I’m not suggesting that you feed your dog contaminated foods)
A dog’s stomach is very acidic, with a PH of not more than 2. The high acidic environment makes it almost impossible for bacteria to survive in. Moreover, most dogs already have Salmonella in their gastrointestinal tracts. So, eating raw meat that are contaminated with this bacteria does not pose a threat to healthy dogs.
Dogs have a short digestive tract and fast transit time. Raw meat is digested and processed quickly. Likewise, waste and pathogens are eliminated rapidly.
How to minimise risks of infection?
Follow the same safe meat handling procedures as you would when preparing for human beings.
– Wash you hands after handling raw meat.
– Sterilize utensils, cutting board and surfaces used in preparation of raw meat.
– Choose high quality fresh meat. US Wellness Meats offers a range of grass-fed or free range, hormone- and antibiotic-free meats and treats for pets here.
– Avoid feeding guts (stomach and intestines) of animals as they may contain parasites.
– Freezing meat for 3 days can reduce parasite contamination.
– Feed raw meat in a stainless steel bowl.
– Raw meat must be frozen or refrigerated.
– Raw meat remains fresh in the fridge for 4-5days.
Can all dogs eat raw meat?
Avoid feeding raw meat to dogs with
– gastrointestinal tract disorders
– sensitive digestive system
– compromised immune system