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  • Writer's pictureShanan Mohatt

Feeding Dogs Raw Foods

Feeding raw foods to dogs has become a popular trend among pet owners in recent years. Proponents of this feeding approach believe that it mimics a dog's natural diet and offers several benefits to their health and well-being. However, this feeding method also comes with some potential risks and drawbacks that should be considered before making the switch. In this blog, we'll explore the pros and cons of feeding raw foods to dogs.

What is a Raw Food Diet for Dogs?

A raw food diet for dogs, also known as a raw diet or a BARF (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food) diet, consists of feeding dogs uncooked meat, bones, organs, and vegetables. The goal is to mimic a dog's ancestral diet, which is believed to have consisted primarily of raw meat, bones, and organs. Raw diets typically exclude processed foods, grains, and other ingredients that dogs wouldn't eat in the wild.

Pros of Feeding Raw Foods to Dogs

  1. Better Nutritional Quality - Raw meat is rich in protein and has a higher nutrient density than cooked meat. The high protein content in raw meat can help support lean muscle mass, while the vitamins and minerals can help boost the immune system and overall health of the dog.

  2. Improved Digestion - Raw food is easier for dogs to digest because it contains live enzymes and beneficial bacteria that aid in digestion. This can lead to less bloating, better bowel movements, and improved overall digestion.

  3. Healthier Coat and Skin - Many pet owners who switch their dogs to a raw food diet report improvements in their dog's coat and skin health. This is because raw food contains essential fatty acids and other nutrients that promote skin and coat health.

  4. Fewer Allergies - Some dogs suffer from food allergies, and these allergies can often be attributed to the preservatives and other additives found in commercial dog food. By feeding a raw food diet, pet owners can eliminate these potential allergens and reduce their dog's allergy symptoms.

Cons of Feeding Raw Foods to Dogs

  1. Risk of Bacterial Infections - Raw meat carries the risk of bacterial infections such as Salmonella and E. Coli. These bacteria can cause serious illnesses in both dogs and humans. While it's rare for a dog to get sick from a raw diet, it's important to handle raw meat with caution and practice proper hygiene to minimize the risk of infection.

  2. Imbalanced Nutrition - One of the biggest challenges of feeding a raw diet is ensuring that it's nutritionally balanced. Dogs require a specific balance of nutrients to maintain optimal health, and it can be challenging to achieve this balance with a raw diet. It's important to work with a veterinarian or a veterinary nutritionist to ensure that the diet is nutritionally complete and balanced.

  3. Cost - Feeding a raw food diet can be expensive, especially if you're buying high-quality ingredients. The cost of raw meat, organs, and bones can add up quickly, and some pet owners may find it challenging to afford the diet long-term.

  4. Inconvenience - Preparing a raw food diet can be time-consuming and inconvenient. It's essential to properly handle and store raw meat to prevent bacterial contamination, which can be challenging when you're short on time or don't have adequate storage space.


Feeding a raw food diet to dogs can offer several benefits, including better nutritional quality, improved digestion, healthier coat and skin, and fewer allergies. However, it's important to consider the potential risks and drawbacks, such as the risk of bacterial infections, imbalanced nutrition, cost, and inconvenience. If you're considering a raw diet for your dog, it's essential to work with a veterinarian or a veterinary nutritionist to ensure that the diet is nutritionally complete and balanced and to discuss any potential risks

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