Many pup parents wonder whether there are benefits to feeding dogs raw meat. The general rule of thumb is that yes, there can be benefits, but there are also precautions.
If you’re a pup parent, you want the best for your best friend. You make sure they get the best training, the exercise they need each day, and you take them to the vet for their regular health checkups.
You also want the best when it comes to what they eat, but this can be a challenge to navigate.
Avoiding processed ingredients, added sodium or sugar, and other harmful ingredients that don’t have your pup’s best interest in mind can be difficult as you look for the best food for your dog.
Plus, with so many dog food brands to choose from, and so many feeding options, there are a lot of decisions you have to make as a dog dad or mom.
If you’re considering putting your dog on a raw meat diet but aren’t sure if it’s right for them or how to get started, we’ve got some guidance.
Potential Benefits of Feeding Dogs Raw Meat
A raw dog food diet contains many benefits for your dog and is a natural way to provide them with all the nutrients and protein they need to grow and thrive.
Protein is an important source of energy for your dog and fuels processes like oxygen transport and metabolism. Protein is rich in essential amino acids that are vital to your dog’s health and growth. Raw meats are rich in protein and are a great way to make sure your dog gets all the protein they need.
While excess fats in your dog’s diet can lead to obesity, cardiovascular issues, and other health problems, it is an essential ingredient in regulated quantities. Fat provides your dog with energy so their bodies can carry out all the other important processes of their day to day, including fueling them for exercise and play.
It is important, however, to introduce fat content slowly and heavily moderate how much your dog consumes.
Vitamins and Minerals
When you think of feeding your dog raw meat, you may simply think of beef, chicken, and fish. But organ meat is one of the most beneficial meats you can feed your dog. With a variety of vitamins and minerals like vitamins B, A, C, D, E, and other fatty acids, raw organ meats are also rich in manganese, selenium, calcium, phosphorus, copper, potassium, and zinc, which are all excellent for your dog’s health.
Liver, kidneys, and hearts are great ways to supplement your dog’s diet with raw meats.
Other benefits of feeding your dog raw meats include supporting a variety of different parts of your pup’s health.
Your dog’s coat will be shinier and stronger, they will have healthier and smaller poops, they will be less likely to gain unhealthy weight, and they will be able to build muscle tone more easily.
A raw diet can also help strengthen the immune system by providing the naturally occurring nutrients and vitamins your dog needs to fight off diseases and foreign bodies, so they can be less susceptible to sickness.
Raw meats can also promote eye health, muscle strength, digestion, and dental hygiene.
Raw feeding can increase your dog’s excitement for mealtimes and result in a wide range of benefits for your dog’s health and wellness.
Which Raw Meats To Feed To Your Dog
If you’re impressed by the benefits and are interested in starting your dog on a raw meat diet, you may not know where to start. Here are some of the best raw meats to feed your canine and some guidelines to follow along the way.
You may feed your dog raw eggs, raw organ meats, raw beef, raw chicken, and raw fish meats. They can also eat deer, turkey, duck, pork, rabbit, and most other meats you can think of.
Things To Know Before Feeding Your Dog Raw Meat
While your dog can benefit greatly from a raw, natural diet, it’s also important to go slow. Start out with one new raw meat and incorporate it into your dog’s diet over a few weeks. Be sure to carefully monitor their stools during this time, to make sure they aren’t sensitive to the meat you are introducing.
It’s especially important to be careful when introducing eggs and chicken, as this is a common allergy for many dogs. Look out for these signs that your dog is intolerant to chicken and go slowly to identify any irritation.
It’s also essential to know where your fresh meats originated. Produce is susceptible to harmful bacteria and parasites. When you heat meat to “safe” temperatures, these potential risks are destroyed. Feeding your dog raw meat could put them at risk for sickness.
Another guideline to abide by when feeding your dog raw meats is offering variety. Just like it’s important to offer variety with all foods, human or dog-related. This way, your dog will get the variety of nutrients they need to thrive without getting too much of one food.
After you’ve introduced raw meats into your dog’s diet, you can vary which kinds of meat you offer to ensure your dog is getting the wide range of nutrients they need.
What to Look for in Raw Dog Foods
Navigating the various dog food options can be overwhelming, so here are a few helpful things to look for to determine the best dog foods from the not so great options.
Unfortunately, many companies make highly processed dog food with artificial ingredients and harmful chemicals.
Just like with human foods, when dog foods are processed at high temperatures, ingredients tend to lose much of their nutritional value and become empty calories as opposed to the rich nutrients they contained when they were harvested.
To avoid heavily processed dog foods, look out for air-dried foods instead. These foods are minimally processed to retain freshness and over 90% of nutrition in every bite, so your dog gets the high-quality food they deserve.
Sundays is dehydrated just for this reason — so we can retain all the goodness your dog needs without using any harmful additives. This also makes it easy to store and easy to stay fresh.
Your pup is a viral part of the family and we want to give them the best there is as pup parents.
That’s why we made Sundays for Dogs — our veterinarian-developed, human-grade food for your dog.
We pack in the protein they need from high-quality USDA grade beef, while following all the standards you follow for your own food. Plus, we never add any of the artificial ingredients or processing like other dog foods.
But, what does human-grade mean? Well, many dog food companies compromise when it comes to the quality of their ingredients and food. You might notice soy, corn, gluten, and wheat as main ingredients in many dog foods, but these can result in digestive irritation, allergic reactions, and a lack of the essential nutrients your dog actually needs to grow and thrive, especially after a long day of running at the dog park.
Your dog deserves better standards. We follow a human-grade standard that never uses fillers, artificial or synthetic ingredients, heavy processes, unnecessary ingredients, or chemicals.
There are many ways you can feed your dog a raw meat diet. You can buy your own meat and feed it to your dog, but you can also buy raw dog food from the store. When buying premade dog food, it’s vital to look at what ingredients are listed.
Firstly, look at the main ingredients in your raw dog food brand. If it’s listed as a “meat meal,” you want to avoid this. Vague labels like “chicken meal” or “beef meal” can include any number of ingredients that aren’t elaborated on. — feathers, bones, feet, claws, beaks, and all the leftovers from the animals may be thrown in with the meat, giving your dog a lot more than just the quality meat they actually need.
Instead, look for specific meat labels like “venison,” “salmon,” or “chicken.”
It’s also important to make sure there’s more than just raw meat in your dog’s food. While meat is packed with nutrition and has many of the vitamins and minerals your dog needs to thrive, a diet that only contains meat won’t provide the vitamins and minerals dogs need.
Sundays is made with USDA-grade high protein beef as the main ingredient, with fruits, vegetables, and quinoa to provide your dog with the well-balanced, nutrient-rich meal they can thrive on.
If you’ve wondered whether feeding dog raw meat can benefit their health, the answer is yes! There are plenty of health benefits to feeding your dog raw meat as part of their diet.
When you introduce new meats slowly and carefully monitor your dog’s behavior and stools, you’ll be able to know what meats are best for your dog.
Much like how you wouldn’t want to eat the exact same meal every day, your dog will enjoy and appreciate variety and changes. Consider feeling your dog both dry foods and fresh foods throughout the day to create a nutrient-rich diet.
It’s also important to give your dog balanced nutrition from other ingredients as well, from whole grains such as quinoa, to antioxidants and vitamins from fruits and vegetables.
The easy part? Our dog food has it all. From USDA-grade beef to the fruits and vegetables your dog will find delicious, our food was made to help your pup thrive.
Dog Nutrition Tips | ASPCA