Can I Feed My Dog Raw Meat From The Supermarket?

 Yes, dogs can eat raw meat, but giving dogs raw meat only is not advisable. Raw food diets have grown in popularity in recent years. The surge in people embracing raw diets for dogs may stem from pet owners hoping to feed their dogs foods that more closely resemble how the dogs would have eaten in the wild.  

can i feed my dog raw meat from the supermarket

Homemade or commercially prepared raw food diets are based on raw meat and bones. In particular, these diets include uncooked muscle meat, organs, and bones from various mammals, fish, and poultry. 
Raw diets may include unpasteurized milk, uncooked eggs, and raw fruits and vegetables. Although it’s a raw, meat-based diet, it may also include cooked grains.  
A diet consisting of raw meat, fruits, and vegetables resembles the diet of wild dogs. Still, it’s important to note that they have a much shorter life expectancy than domesticated dogs, and dogs have genetically evolved from wolves and wild dogs.  
So, should you feed your dog raw meat?  

Is Raw Meat Good for Dogs?

The answer to this question is more complicated than a simple yes or no.  
Feeding a diet primarily of raw meat may not provide the complete and balanced nutrition your dog needs.  
This is particularly true for puppies, whose dietary needs are complex as they grow and develop. The same goes for senior dogs, who may have weakened immune systems and more sensitive digestive systems. 
Properly cooking meat and carbohydrates (like Purina does with our dog foods) can make the food more digestible. “Dogs can use more nutrients from cooked food and, therefore, use these nutrients more effectively for energy, building muscles, and supporting their immune systems,” says Purina nutritionist Karina Carbo-Johnson, MS. 
A raw food diet (RFD) may increase your dog’s nutritional deficiencies and illness risk. They need complete and balanced nutrition to help them live long and healthy lives. 
If you choose a commercially prepared RFD, our experts recommend that a veterinary nutritionist formulates it. We also recommend choosing a food that has undergone feeding trials and has an AAFCO nutritional adequacy statement. It also meets World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) guidelines to ensure your dog gets all the necessary nutrients.  

Is it Safe to Feed Dogs Raw Meat?

In addition to the risk of nutritional deficiencies, raw meat poses other health risks for you and your dog.  
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) have all spoken out about the dangers of feeding raw meat to a dog.  
Not only does it pose a risk to your dog, but it poses a risk to you and your family, according to an FDA study. Raw meat is likely to contain harmful bacteria like Salmonella, Listeria, E. coli, etc. 
Cooking meat to a safe temperature kills off those harmful bacteria. Feeding uncooked meat increases the risk of your dog developing a foodborne illness or another type of bacterial infection. 
Additionally, there’s an increased risk you or a member of your family could encounter bacteria and develop a foodborne illness. Handling the raw meat, letting your dog lick your face, cleaning up his feces, or touching any contaminated surfaces increase the risk of infection.  
If you choose to feed your dog a raw food diet, we recommend referring to the safety guidelines published by the FDA, CDC, or AVMA. Doing so will help minimize the risks of contamination and foodborne illnesses.  
It’s worth noting many therapy dog associations, such as Pet Partners, prohibit dogs on RFDs from being part of their program. This is because the raw food poses too much risk for the humans they are trained to help. 

Are Raw Foods Good for Dogs?

While feeding dogs raw meat is not recommended, other raw foods like certain fruits and vegetables are safe and healthy.  
Your dog may enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables, like bananas, carrots, apples, and more. Be sure to wash any fresh produce first to remove dirt or other residues. Avoid foods like grapes, raisins, garlic, and onions, as these are toxic to dogs. If you’re unsure about what to feed your dog, consult with your veterinarian about good options for your specific pet. 
Although these foods may be safe and healthy, keeping the 90/10 rule in mind is essential. This means 90 percent of your dog’s daily calories should come from a portion of complete and balanced dog food. The other 10 percent of your dog’s daily calories should come from treats, including fruits and vegetables and traditional dog treats.  
“Limiting the calories from treats reduces the risk of an upset stomach and obesity,” says Carbo-Johnson. This ratio also helps to keep their diet complete and balanced. Too many treats and too little food can lead to dietary insufficiencies or excesses. 

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Consult Your Veterinarian

Though not recommended, the choice is ultimately yours if you want to feed your dog a raw meat-based diet. Before you do, however, it’s essential to speak with your veterinarian about choosing a raw food diet for your dog.  
Try a protein-rich formula if you don’t want to go the raw meat route.  
There are also natural and grain-free dog food options if you have concerns about specific ingredients in your dog’s food.  

Source: purina

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