If you’re considering feeding your dog a raw diet but are still on the fence, these facts and tips might help make your decision a little easier. Many of us have heard countless horror stories of health issues ranging from diabetes, to periodontal disease, and even arthritis, that can be attributed to a commercial kibble or canned food diet for dogs. The truth is, just because the front of the package shows a big chunk of healthy meat, that’s usually a far cry from what’s inside the bag or can you’re feeding Fido.
The Dog Guide assembled this short list of simple facts and advice for starting your dog on a raw diet.
Fast Facts And Quick Tips For Feeding Your Dog A Raw Diet
One of the most frequent concerns I hear from individuals who are not familiar with feeding dogs a raw based diet (meaning a diet based mainly on raw meat and raw bones) is a worry of bacterial infection, such as Salmonella or E.Coli. Having done extensive research on the topic of raw feeding before I decided to switch my own dogs to this type of diet, I feel the need to debunk some of the paranoia that society has about dogs consuming raw meat – which is what they were designed to do!
Feeding raw is more time consuming. That is a fact. It’s messier than scooping kibble out of a bag. It requires more research and planning. However I feel it is the absolute best diet I can feed my dogs, thus I believe all the effort is worth it. My pups look wonderful and receive comments about their coat and condition every time we go for a walk.
Physically, canines are built to process meat – they’ve been doing so for thousands of years (long before commercial dog food companies existed!). The acids in their stomach are stronger than ours and their digestive tracts are short. This doesn’t allow enough time for bacteria, such as Salmonella, to multiply and flourish within your dog.
Safe handling is a must when dealing with raw meat. However giving meat to your pet in a bowl is really no different than putting it in a container to marinate. I guarantee it will be gone faster when you give it to your dog! Here are some tips on how to keep things sanitary and safe if you plan on “going raw”:
- Children and individuals with compromised immune systems should avoid handling raw meat.
- Choose a designated area in which to feed your pet that is easy to clean up. Often raw feeders use a crate for mealtimes so they can control the area that is exposed to the food. You can easily wipe down the crate after a meal. Others incorporate the use of disposable mops (such as swiffers) in their daily routines.
- Thaw out only enough meat for 1 or 2 meals. Keep the rest of your stock of meat frozen.
- Wash your hands well and often! Use antibacterial soap and hot water.
- Wash all utensils used in preparing your dogs food right after you use them. I designate certain kitchen objects as dog specific.
- Give your dog a short time to eat his meal and then throw away any leftovers. Do not save them for later!
- Wash your dog’s bowls with soap and hot water after he is done with each meal. Make sure you wash his water bowl once a day as well.
Note: Dogs with compromised immune systems should not be started on a raw diet. Their bodies may not be capable of handling the load of bacteria that are present in this type of diet. If your dog is ill and you are looking into alternative feeding options, you may consider cooking for your dog.
Learn more from The Dog Guide here. It’s our responsibility as dog owners to feed our pets a healthy, nutritious diet. Whether that means feeding your dog a raw diet, or finding a suitable kibble, arming yourself with the facts is the first big step in the right direction. Tell us, do you feed your dog a raw diet? Do you have any other fast facts or quick tips for our readers? Share them with us below!