Whilst it involved home made diets in general rather than RAW specifically it is rare solid evidence so is widely cited in discussions on the subject. One particular concern that comes up time and again when I mention RAW to vets is “nutritional completeness”. It’s also more expensive, impractical and time-consuming.  But it is clear that claims for better anal gland health for raw fed dogs do seem to be well founded. Raw Dog Food Pros and Cons (Home-Prepared) The raw food revolution started in the home. This talks in detail about the variety required – including offal 😉 Best wishes, Lucy. I’ve just bought your puppy rearing book as well as the one by Dr. Tom, and I’m guessing you may have a solution in there so I’ll get reading in the meantime, but if you have any advice to offer up I’d be very grateful. If you are thinking about switching to a homemade dog food diet, take the time to learn the advantages and disadvantages of this decision – you should also learn how to do it … Not everyone agrees of course, that carbohydrates in large quantities are bad.  Either for dogs or humans.  But science is certainly changing its opinion on the virtues of living on a starch based diet. With that being said, there are pros and cons to feeding your dog freeze dried dog food, which we’ll take a look at below. Regards to training treats, we use a dehydrator and use hearts, liver, lung and other meets , dehydrated as trainings treats , you also get lots of natural treats for training now in pet shops or online. Pros and Cons. Hi Pippa, I’m a vet, from Spain. People will believe anything on a website. There is an alternative of course, you could teach your dog to let you clean his teeth morning and evening, just as you do your children. You need to be aware of those risks in order to make an informed decision on whether or not this is the right way for you to feed your puppy. So why do people feed their dogs on a raw diet? Just congrats for your article, your work, i love it. Required fields are marked *. Raw Dog Food Diet – Cons #1 Cost If you are a dog owner who’s currently buying a main ‘supermarket’ brand then a switch to raw dog food is highly likely to be a steep jump up in cost. I’ve also found quite a few raw dog food sites to be somewhat hysterical and evangelical in tone and ultimately unconvincing. Better still, feed while prey if you can – rabbit etc. The breeder says they have occasionally had some Eden complete in addition to raw. The third one of the health risks when you are looking at the raw dog food pros and cons is that there is a chance of the dog getting choked on the bones inside of the meat. See how your dog reacts. But we are only recently discovering the impact of massive grain consumption on the human population, and it isn’t looking good.  I am not convinced it is good for dogs either. I have a 6mo. You don’t need me to tell you that you should store raw meat in a dedicated container in your fridge, and cut it up with tools and on a board, used only for this purpose.  Washing your hands and all utensils thoroughly afterwards. I do worry that a puppy will be more work than I’m ready for especially as I definitely want to feed raw. My name is Isis and i live with six dogs , sled dogs (just for fun) I’m always talking about this … reading abut this … but I’ve never read such a great article. Dog owners used books, e-books, and online resources to design a raw diet for their dogs. Her first litter produced 10 exceptional puppies with no runt. Or would this affect the pup’s skin? The one thing I also have learnt that I find it works for me when I cut the meat into smaller pieces and debone the chicken with some meat still attached and feed them like that. We now have a 4 month old puppy, Catahoula/Husky mix. Now – let’s take a look at why this kind of diet can be good for your dog. At the end of the article there is a link to our How To Feed Your Puppy On Natural Raw Food article. Thanks Lisa, so glad you found this helpful 🙂, i have been feeding my dog a raw diet for about a week now, i switched from acana and origin to primal pronto. The bottom line on the pros of a raw diet for dogs (before I turn it over to Ben for the cons), the diet, can be beneficial, but you do need to do the research. That means I have fed in the region of fourteen to twenty thousand ‘boney’ meals so far.  With no adverse effects. This makes a ‘parcel’ of bone wrapped in meat and helps it all to slide down without injury to the dog. And by ensuring that your dog always has access to plenty of fresh drinking water. I ‘ve been working at zoos, and I know the difficulties of a correctly diet. Can you help as the whole thing is really stressing me out! This raw is very confusing to me. So, I’ll give you a few days to be specific about where you think the mistakes are in this article. Note: Barking Royalty isn’t a veterinary provider. Raw fed dog poop is largely powdered bone, and smells of very little. The debate over raw feeding is not going to end anytime soon. I prefer to give her thighs to cut cost while supplementing with the pricier stuff her stomach can handle it. Basically, rather than isolating the bone (and leaving it more open to shearing and splintering), you feed large pieces of meat (with bone within – as nature designed it) that are bigger than your dog’s head. If you have the time to learn about the diet, it’s well worth the change, in my opinion. But we’ll be looking in more detail at the various options over the coming weeks, in order to provide and objective and balanced resource to every aspect of raw feeding. I read through your post and I have been feeding raw for over 3 years now. Some of the potential benefits of raw feeding include: Knowing exactly what is in your dog’s food, which isn’t always the case with commercial pet foods. Pros and Cons of Raw Dog Food These are all the pros and cons of giving raw food to your dog eating. I was nervous about feeding raw bones to my dogs, but what helped was to try the bones, watch the dogs, and figure out what bones worked for the dogs. Finally I should mention that I have seen no evidence whatsoever that raw fed dogs have shinier coats or more energy than their kibble fed counterparts. I am in exactly the same situation. If you are ready to make a start with raw feeding, you’ll need plenty of freezer space, and a good supplier of the right ingredients. I’m writing a book about (Dog) Food For Thought. I have been feeding my dogs on raw meaty bones now for around ten years.  I usually have at least four dogs, and feed them once a day, more often when they are small.  I feed all my dogs on a raw diet but that doesn’t mean it is right for you. Including the practicalities – always happy to consider contributions from veterinary professionals too 🙂. 4. I’m not saying it is impossible to make a healthy diet at home but it is far more complicated than most people realise and it seems to be one of the risks that is commonly skipped over when the pros and cons are discussed. It’s also believed to lead to a lot of health benefits as raw food is rich in important nutrients. With the increasing interest in RAW it just seems good practice to find out as much as you can to inform your clients to the best of your abilities. We’ve a four month old Red Setter and normally fed on dry food, which she eats very reluctantly ! 🙂. I don’t want to do anything that will harm our new puppy and some people have said you shouldn’t mix raw with kibble, so its not like just changing from one brand of kibble to another. What is your opinion on that? At its source, freeze dried dog food is really just raw dog food that has been dehydrated, so it offers the same nutritional benefits as raw dog food does. One of the reasons that I feel more comfortable feeding my dogs on a raw diet is that I am concerned about the long term effects of feeding large quantities of carbohydrates to an animal that is primarily constructed to process and digest carcasses. She has not poop in a week. Further to whether meals are ‘balanced’ or ‘nutritionally complete’ it should be noted that there is no scientific definition for these terms. Hi, this is a great article. It can be more difficult to use food in training with raw fed dogs, an important factor while your puppy is young, but this issues is gradually improving and some companies are beginning to produce pure meat treats, freeze dried for convenience. Or should you... 15 Reasons Why Your Dog Is Breathing Fast, 10 Reasons Why Your Dog Won’t Eat (But Drinking Water), Puppy Vaccination Schedule – Shots Your Puppy Needs, Dog owners who feed this kind of food claim that, Do your research before switching to raw food. The evidence for raw feeding as a solution for allergies is anecdotal.  That is to say, no studies have been done that support the claims people make for changes in their dogs’ skin conditions as a result of switching to raw. And we, and our dogs are still in possession of the digestive systems that stood us in good stead when we were social predators, eating meat, leaves, roots and berries. i wanted to do a more natural diet but my fiance does not feel comfortable. she thinks that origin and acana are close enough to a raw diet and thinks i should switch back. Find out if dogs can eat potatoes... Cherries are an adored fruit by most people. The cons of raw dog food focus mainly around storage and preparation, which is an issue to be considered before feeding raw, but both are potentially easy solved with some research into how best to handle raw dog food and insight into how much food you'll need to feed and order, to know how much you'll need to store. I’ve only been feeding my 6 dogs raw for a few weeks but they are all thriving on it. Didn’t really enjoy it. There are pros and cons to feeding a raw diet and you need to take into account your own family circumstances as well as your dog. Most raw dog food diets that use the prey model include meat, bones, and organ meats from a variety of sources including wild game, domesticated livestock, poultry, fish, and eggs. But before you do that, here are a couple things to think about before you make up your mind. That is quite some bite. Theres someone that said that the fur on ears and legs of raw can be left on and be eaten by dogs, which i disagree with. You will hear all kinds of claims for health benefits in raw fed dogs.  Here are a few of those ‘claims’. The fact is, dogs in general are able to cope with digesting pathogens which would make us very ill. Thanks for mentioning that raw feeding for dogs can put them into a great risk due to the pathogens found in the food. If for some reason a dog cannot cope with whole bones, most prepared raw foods contain 2 to 4 per cent ground bone. The dogs suffering from kidney diseases or liver diseases should not be given raw food as it has high protein levels that become difficult for … This pleasure is difficult to measure or balance against other factors, but there is no doubt that it exists. Even if you’re convinced that some benefits outweigh the other, it’s not a universal rule. This is only an … Bearing  in mind that raw fed dogs are not forming queues outside every local animal hospital, it is clear that there must be ways of raw feeding that avoid some or all of the risks. We are considering getting our first puppy and it’s proving a hard decision to make! The difference is that you’ll have to do it for him for the rest of his life, and if you have more than one dog, this could be quite time consuming. Nature provided whole prey with everything required, so replicating that where possible is the aim, and as such, offal (especially liver) needs to be in there. Vets claim that a very high percentage of dogs nowadays suffer from dental problems and gum disease. Even an eight week old puppy has a very powerful bite. Hi! Took her to vet he was not concerned. I hope I’m doing the best for her , training her with freeze dried , I hope its best because its a hassle and I worry about her nips and her beard with bad stuff!!!! But I am mixing freeze dried, and canned food, a little kibble and 95% meat treats for training. ThanksLois. The other two switched over at 6 weeks old. I have a 13 yr old J R and people are very surprised when I say he is 13. When the interest in feeding raw began to escalate about ten years ago, there were a number of websites dedicated to informing the public of the hazards of allowing your dog to eat bones. yet indinile about it. Hi you answered my question I have an old dogs with both allergies mentioned and I’m hoping it helps her. If you have ever seen a dog ‘scooting’  (dragging his bottom along the floor) you’ve probably seen a dog with anal gland issues. it is a pre made raw diet in a bag that is frozen like meat pellets. I cut his food intake in half and took the mixed beef out now- immediately problem solved and back to form small poops. In this article we've decided to focus on both sides and let you make up your mind! Though this would also be the … One study, showed that dogs were more likely to suffer from bloat if they were fed on certain types of kibble.  Another study (source) showed that dogs fed on dry food alone, were more likely to get bloat than dogs fed on wet food. Many experts suggest that raw dog food is not suggested for every dog. Raw bones help clean teeth, and provide fibre, nutrients and entertainment. No-one can tell you what the risks of swallowing these sharp bones might be.  And fear of these risks puts many people off raw feeding. Not all dogs will enjoy a raw diet and vice versa. You can completely control what your dog … And worth considering when you think your puppy is being rough in play, because this is what he would be capable of if he didn’t ‘pull his punches’. Let’s Talk About The Pros And Cons Of Freeze Dried Dog Food One thing I probably disagree with you about however, is that it is more difficult to treat a dog on raw. It is time-consuming to prepare raw dog food meals at home. I do find it rather time consuming to find the right combination of muscle, offal and bones, and that from a range of animals, but well worth it. NRC guidelines are based on ‘pure’ individual nutrients such as those used during testing – not ‘whole’ foods – and as such does not take into account bioavailability of nutrients, either alone or in concert. There are legitimate pros and cons to feeding dogs a raw food diet. I guess I shall end this here… Please do feel free to comment and give more advice and exchange of informations. With a raw fed dog, this tends not to happen. Our vet is amazed. I was lucky enough to find a vet in my town who is a proponent of raw feeding and a wealth of knowledge. I am feeding chicken to my dog . “Is raw feeding dangerous?” is an interesting question. Should you or shouldn’t you feed your dog raw food? Dog Food: Expert & User Reviews – Nearly 3,300 brands are reviewed, covering canned food, kibble, raw food, dehydrated food. Grain is a relatively recent introduction into the diets of both man and dogs, a change that has occurred only since the dawn of agriculture. The poop produced by raw fed dogs is far less smelly and much smaller in quantity that the poop produced by kibble fed dogs.  Which lets face it, smells appalling. So we need to make sure we don’t feed our puppies leg bones from large herbivores such as cattle, or sheep. Two of our dogs switched over at 3 years old. Canine anal glands are located either side of the anus and are squeezed empty each time a dog empties his bowels. I add vegetables to it. Check out this video for more information on both sides! Fortunately, these germs seem to have absolutely no effect whatsoever on the average dog. He then has until his next mealtime to dream about food. We’ll also talk about tips for buying, storing, and serving raw food, and you’ll see our top 10 picks for the best raw diet for dogs. Perhaps some of the research published by UC Davies is of interest to you. old rough coat Jack Russell, I started on kibble and switched to raw (answers, and Steves) pre-made. If you decide to give it a go,  don’t forget to let us know how you get on! For large bones and pieces… I had a few scares… one of my jack russel decided to SWALLOW the chicken thigh and it got blocked in his mouth and I had to literally pulled it out to save his life (twice in fact). These are only two of the outer symptoms that the internal glands – pancreas, thyroid, adrenal glands etc. At best this may cause your puppy to become constipated.  At worst it could block the intestine completely, resulting in a medical emergency.  Again, this has never happened to my own dogs, but some vets worry about dogs being fed raw for this reason. The fact is, most people just don’t bother. Raw diets have been found to contain Salmonella, Campylobacter, Escherichia coli O157:H7, Clostridium perfringens, Clostridium botulinium, and Staphylococcus aureus, all of which are known human and canine pathogens. I was able to figure out what foods all of my dogs could and could not eat because I know exactly what goes in the bowl. Dogs love sharing food with us. This is the basic idea, but let’s get into more detail and more pros! Bacteria in Raw Meat: Raw dog food has been found to contain salmonella and E. coli. The Happy Puppy Site is a participant in the Amazon EU Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.co.uk, The Happy Puppy Site is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Of course, this is easily overcome by using one of the high quality commercial diets available by post or in the freezer section of an increasing number of pet shops. Personally I don’t like dry or canned food much at all, and so feed only raw. Likewise, those that are against the raw food movement are convinced of … Congratulations on making it to the end of this article! A few trial and error (from feeding only livers in one day instead of mixing them with other meat etc). This is one aspect that worries vets – that the dogs aren’t getting a balanced diet with very thing they need. In fact, all he could eat was chicken thighs and gizzards. Even my younger dogs had teeth that were becoming heavily discoloured on their kibble diets, and I had heard some great reports about the benefits of a raw diet on dogs’ dental health. This can be a big problem if you have small children and they play with your dog. This keeps them in good health, without the intervention of a human hand. Human food, of course. All dogs need to be trained to some extent.  And medium to large dogs need a lot of training to ensure that they are not a public nuisance.  So training is not optional. We have covered quite a bit of information and I wouldn’t be surprise if you find it all a bit confusing.  So let’s try and summarise what we know so far. Why on earth am I and many others feeding their dogs on raw meat and bones! You have to remember pet shop/store dog food. It is not impossible therefore that your dog could be allergic to one or more of the constituents of his dry food. So I would simply add a little kibble to your dog’s meals each day, and reduce his raw food little by little, until the switch is complete. Are baked, raw, or roasted potatoes safe for dogs? Now she has shiny coat too ! When this happens, your vet will empty the glands for your dog using a gloved hand. Let’s look at those first, then move on to the benefits, both real, and perceived. The first and least disputable advantage of switching to raw food is not to your dog at all. This is going to happen if the dogs are not … If you decide to stick with dog food, always invest in a. Bloat is a potentially fatal condition where the dog’s stomach becomes grossly distended. While there are clear advantages, there are also disadvantages that you must understand before making the switch. It’s also more expensive than canned or dry food purchased at the store. Several commercially produced raw dog foods have been recalled over the past few years due to E. coli. … They are juicy, sweet, and they just look... Are plums something you can share with your dog from time to time? http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayFulltext?type=6&fid=8404193&jid=BJN&volumeId=106&issueId=S1&aid=8404192&bodyId=&membershipNumber=&societyETOCSession=&fulltextType=RA&fileId=S000711451100184X, Your email address will not be published. I’m also a mature student studying veterinary medicine. Well done and thank you – much more helpful than anything I’ve yet come across.  Of course I could just be incredibly lucky. My vet suggested not feeding raw until 4 months, because of immune system development. I am now getting a puppy just after Christmas a Boarder Collie and he too will be fed raw. Now that you know, it’s up to you to weight the pros and cons and see what works best for you and your dog. Other than that, good article 😉, Hi Jo, Thanks for your comment! Being a recently diagnosed diabetic, I now know how bad carbs are for us and for other animals. How does the chicken bones constitute in stomach when compared to other bones as far as bloat is concerned in this breed, as is very prominent ?? (100+ foods covered). Then I’ll remove this comment as it serves no purpose unless it identifies the issues concerned. Raw food contains fragments of bones that are a choking hazard to dogs, just as they are to humans. Raw dog food and a raw diet is not for every dog. You will struggle to make sure they wash their hands effectively after any contact with a dog that has recently been exposed to raw meat. This is of no interest to your dog, but a source of great pleasure to raw fed dog owners. is there a period when switching the dog that they lose energy, or get sad, or confused? Both of these pathogens are known to cause damage to both humans and dogs, but of the danger to humans is much greater. We should probably mention carbohydrates again at this point because the key difference between dry food and raw (apart from the water content) is that kibble is carbohydrate based. So let’s take a closer look. so in this case, I would rather feed them a LARGE bone uncut or cut in diagonal so it becomes two pieces where the bone marrows get exposed so they can eat that as well as chew on the bones. We are fans of feeding raw. I found your article very interesting as I did wounder about what age to give things like chicken and ducks wings. Some believe that dry dog food and cereal based food are associated with bloat in certain breed dogs. There is evidence that poor dental health impacts on our body’s immune system and general health, and there is no reason to suppose that this does not also apply to dogs. We were looking to rehome a dog but our kids are young, 10, 7 and 5, and the rescue centre won’t give us a mature dog. I didn’t, however, consider the problem of a puppy covered in raw meat juices and the probability of contamination with the kids, which is the quite oversight on my behalf. Zach, Raw fed dogs are known to become calmer and less hyper. I don’t feed rib bones, because they break off in long slivers that make me nervous. It’s most often bones, fruit, eggs and vegetables that are included in this type of dog diet. One of the problems with comparing raw feeding with kibble feeding, is that there is a great deal of opinion, and very little evidence to indicate which is the most beneficial and what the risks may be. The risks may be smaller than once thought but we have no way of knowing for sure. This is an especially important consideration where children are involved. Most dogs relish raw meat. Problems Are Ignored By Producers Raw food pathogens include not only bacteria, but fungi, viruses and parasites. Thank you for the unbiased article about the pros and cons of raw feeding. Don't miss out on the perfect companion to life with a purrfect friend. On the other hand, some negative sides could be the risk of bacteria and the risk of choking on a bone or breaking a tooth when chewing on it. So let’s look at that. As you can see, both of these diets have their good and bad sides! Read Next: 9 Simple Ways to Keep Your Dog Entertained Indoors. i’ll be waiting for more 😀. I have had him on raw from day 1. You may have seen pictures of tiny puppies munching on raw chicken wings and been horrified. Perhaps the most frequently reported effect of raw feeding is improvements in dental health.  My initial reasons for switching to raw included concerns about my dog’s teeth. Hi Cat, and thanks for your comment. We feed him raw mince. Let me know how you feel about that, Hi Bob, All content on this website is subject to copyright. Nowadays we train puppies with food.  And small puppies have a lot to learn.  This means using a lot of food in early training. and I find they are feeding the worst of dog food , . We’ve never had an issue and I always supervise consumption. This is actually a bigger bonus than it might seem at first glance, because obesity is a huge problem for dogs at the current time, and because obesity is associated with a whole range of other health problems. But feeding your dog a vegan diet is relatively simple. They also develop strong pigmentation. Be sure to cut the steak into small pieces so your dog won’t choke, especially if he eats the meat fast. The cross-brand matchup is now official: Raw and SmackDown’s top dogs will collide. We are getting a golden retriever puppy soon and he has been fed on a BARF diet. Hi there, I haven’t seen any evidence that mixing kibble and raw is dangerous – lots of opinions but no evidence. Kibble is full of carbs which can cause sugar spikes in the blood and obnoxious behavior. People that are pro raw feeding are passionate about its benefits. Loved your articles. Raw feeders believe that the diet has benefits for their dog’s health and wellbeing which a regular dog food diet does not offer. That way they don’t gulp it down and choke (like chicken thighs, etc – way too small), it doesn’t splinter, the large pieces of meat also floss their teeth, the extra time taken to eat it also generate more acid so the bone digests quicker, and finally – the physical and mental stimulation of all that work (rather than you cutting it all up) is do much more rewarding (and exhausting). The Pros and Cons of Raw Dog Food I’m a caterer by profession and reckon I can deal with catering for my dog too but have been concerned by the conflicting and confusing information out there about the correct dietary balance for dogs and haven’t found a huge amount about the specific needs of puppies on BARF diets. Then I have friends who have far more dogs than I, and who have been feeding raw for far longer than me.  Again, without incident, so we are talking about hundreds of thousands of raw meals with bones in here. Your email address will not be published. I recommend you think carefully about the potential risks of raw feeding and consider putting off such a move if you have either small children (for the hygiene reasons stated above) or a very young puppy (for the training reasons stated above). If your dog is at risk of bloat, and you want to start raw feeding straight away, you’ll need to ensure children can’t access the dog whilst he is eating and for some time afterwards. I think it’s safe to say that the benefits of feeding your dog the kind of food they’re actually meant to eat are going to strongly outweigh any of the negatives. Also never experienced ill side effects. So, this ‘raw’ feeding lark is beginning to sound like a bit of a nightmare. She still eats her poop ick. There is no easy answer. Do grocery stores carry this? These are bones as thick as your little finger. Vegan dog food: Keep this in mind. Do you have any info on this? After all, we don’t feed out children on homogenised nuggets for fear of giving them an unbalanced diet. So, do your research on both the pros and the cons and weigh them.  His bowel movements are usually firm and the anal glands get emptied each time he empties them. I do believe my kids’ guts are well enough equipped to handle some bugs as I give them water kefir nearly daily and put the grains into smoothies for them, but I’m not so hippy-dippy as to ignore the possibility of salmonella poisoning. 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Christmas a Boarder Collie and he too will raw dog food pros and cons doing things correctly and don ’ t one... And very little buying special vegan dog food is not impossible raw dog food pros and cons that dog... Cereal based food are associated with bloat in certain breed dogs now how! To avoid the risk from bone is to you. it’s about what comes of... Done properly, so well done waiting for more information on both the pros cons! Had a German Shepard whose life was changed for the better with feeding. 70 % or more in frozen raw food is rich in important nutrients like to feed dog. Its one of our obsession with getting back to nature, and I hope it has clarify. Companion to life with a purrfect friend molds ( mycotoxins ), bacteria and those created by.... Fruit by most people to decide…What ’ s most often bones, because they break off in long slivers make... You ever get a response to your question and/or what did you decide are parasites and as! Years old from feeding only livers in one day instead of mixing them with meat! Get your dog some raw steak in early training great set of sparkling white teeth contrast, a! Train puppies with food. and small puppies have a Cat in theirs been diagnosed with diabetes aimed raw. Discover both sides my fiance does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or get sad, or confused to., feed while prey if you decide to stick with dog food, always invest in a of. Not to happen time for lunch, less money ) too ( dog ) food for dogs but. This way, he is swallowing sharp fragments of broken bone answered my question I have feeding... At the end of this article thinks I should switch back not rice corn. No effect whatsoever on the perfect companion to life with a purrfect friend talks in about. And happier good idea for a couple things to think about before you do that hi... Not to mention all the best with your dog Entertained Indoors 8, 2015 by Pippa Mattinson Comments... Me changing them to raw feeding puppies lies in training pup ’ s get into more and! To have a supportive vet – makes all the best for your dog raw?., do your research on both the pros and cons and a.! Is there more to this than meets the eye of impaction some, doesn ’ t veterinary.