Staci is a writer living in Atlanta, Georgia. When not writing, she spends most of her time trying to keep up with her four rescue cats and Australian shepherd puppy.

Can Dogs Eat Raw Meat?

Aug 14 ·

Can dogs eat raw meat? With raw diets becoming popular and many people wanting to give their dog a tasty treat, it’s a popular question asked by dog owners. Humans don’t eat raw meat, but can dogs? Is it safe, or should it be avoided?

Before doing anything with your dog, it’s important to do your research, especially when it comes to food. Here’s everything you need to know about feeding your dog raw meat.

Can Dogs Eat Raw Meat?

can dogs eat raw meat?

Yes, dogs can eat raw meat. Their digestive systems are not the same as ours, so they can digest raw meat a lot easier than a human might be able to.

Is It Safe?

For the most part, yes, it is safe, although there are a few things to consider.

Is It Healthy?

Eating raw meat does have a number of health benefits for dogs.

Can Dogs Eat Raw Meat? The Benefits

Feeding your dog raw meat can improve their coat, immune system, reproductive health, and has other benefits. Meat is packed with nutrients, and your dog will get the benefits of them all.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that they should only be fed raw meat. Dogs are omnivores and have complex dietary needs, so raw meat should be in addition to everything else they need.

The Risks

There are a few risks associated with feeding your dog raw meat, and it’s the reason a lot of veterinarians don’t recommend a raw diet.

Raw meat can have E. coli, salmonella, and a bunch of other bacteria that can be harmful to your dog. Cooking the meat gets rid of these so, in a way, feeding them cooked, plain meat is a lot safer than feeding raw.

A lot of people who feed their dogs a raw diet also try to cook it themselves. This can be dangerous, as dogs need a lot of other things in their diet. If you plan on making raw meat the main focus of your dog’s diet, you should be sure you know what you’re doing. You can use a subscription service that’s approved by a veterinary nutritionist to make sure your dog is getting everything they need, or they could face a lot of problems down the line.

You should also make sure they’re getting the right amount of calories. Since raw meat doesn’t come with a feeding guide like prepackaged food does, your dog could be prone to obesity if you feed them too much. Obesity can introduce a whole host of joint problems and diseases.

When To Worry

can dogs eat raw meat?

On the chance your dog has had a bad reaction to raw meat, you should monitor them closely. If they have diarrhea, put them on a bland diet of plain cooked chicken and rice for a day or two to settle their stomach.

If they also have any of the following symptoms, you should see a veterinarian:

  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Drooling
  • Excessive thirst
  • Clear abdominal pain

To feed your dog raw meat, you should start off slowly. Dogs — particularly small breeds and puppies under six months old — may have more forgiving digestive systems than us in many ways, but they can also be unexpectedly sensitive. By starting them off slow, you’re easing them into the raw meat rather than just hoping for the best.

If you want to avoid the chances of bacterial poisoning altogether, cook the meat.

Other Safe Food

If you want to mix in the raw food with some other things, here are some vegetables that are a great idea to feed your dog:

The most important thing to remember is that you shouldn’t make up a diet on your own. Do your research, or use a diet that’s been prepared by a nutritionist. If your dog doesn’t get what they need from their food — and they need more than meat — you could be in trouble.

So, can dogs eat raw meat? The answer is yes, but there are arguments for cooking it. If you do decide to feed your dog raw meat, you should make sure it’s as part of a balanced diet. Keep an eye out for the signs of bad bacteria, and make sure you see a vet if necessary.

Staci is a writer living in Atlanta, Georgia. When not writing, she spends most of her time trying to keep up with her four rescue cats and Australian shepherd puppy.
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