Pros and Cons of Raw Meat vs Commercial Dog Food

What’s the best type of food for your dog

You’ve just welcomed a new dog into your home and now you’re wondering what’s the best type of dog food to feed them. The market is full of commercial dog food, and you’ve heard that some people feed their dogs raw meat. What option is best for you and your pup

Dogs are omnivores, which means that they require meat, vegetables, fiber, and other nutrients to stay healthy. Generally, adult dogs need a diet that consists of 18-22% protein, although puppies, dogs that are pregnant or nursing, large dogs, dogs with high energy and active dogs will have different nutritional requirements.

If you choose to feed your dog using commercial dog food, it is very important to choose a high-quality food. Check with your vet to ensure it meets your dog’s dietary requirements. You want to make sure that it contains a good quality protein source as the number one ingredient. You want to stay away from foods that list a grain as the number one ingredient or contain high amounts of byproducts and preservatives.

If you decide to feed your dog raw food consisting of raw meat, meaty bones, vegetables, animal organs (like kidney, liver etc.) you should consult your veterinarian. Proponents of this diet claim that it keeps their dogs healthier than commercially prepared diets.

People who are proponents of commercial dog food point to the millions of dogs that eat this type of food each year. Companies such as Purina, Iams, Hill’s, Blue Buffalo and Nutro invest in scientific and real-world testing of their products. Commercial dog food companies boast that it contains all of the nutrients that a dog needs to live a healthy life.

People who advocate raw diets claim that the diet is tried and true and is the way dogs have eaten in the wild for millennia. Commercial dog foods have only been around since 1860s in some or another. Proponents of raw food claim that there is a decrease in dog allergies, health problems, and other issues as a result of the raw dog food diet.
There different opinions on whether raw meat or commercial dog food being better for your dog. Some of the possible benefits of each type of diet is listed below. Let’s start with raw meat.

Raw Meat Benefits:

It may provide a more natural and biodiverse diet for dogs, these nutrients can improve their coat, skin, teeth, and digestion.

It may lessen the chance that your dog comes down with allergies (especially food allergies), cancer, and other diseases by avoiding processed foods, genetically modified grains, GMO products, fillers, and artificial ingredients that are often found in commercial dog food.

It may appeal more to dogs’ innate natural instincts and food preference.

Raw Meat Drawbacks:

Having diet consisting of raw meat can pose a higher risk of bacterial contamination, such as salmonella and E. coli, which can sicken or even kill both dogs and their human owners who handle the food.

It may be difficult to ensure a balanced and complete diet for dogs. In addition to raw meat your dog should get a balanced diet of vegetables and grain. If the dog owner prepares the food at home without consulting a veterinary nutritionist providing a health balanced diet can be difficult.

Raw meat can contain bones which may cause problems such as choking, splintering, or damaging the teeth and gums of dogs. Never give your dog chicken bones as these are more prone to splintering than beef bones.

Commercial Dog Food Advantages:

Commercial dog good may be more convenient and affordable for a dog owner, as it does not require much preparation, or handling.

It may be more regulated for quality and safety, as it has to meet the standards set forth by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).

Dogs with special dietary needs, such as puppies, older dogs, or those with certain medical conditions may require a specific type of food.

Commercial Dog Food Disadvantages:

Commercial dog food may contain low-quality ingredients, such as by-products, preservatives, highly processed ingredients, GMOs and additives, that may cause allergies, inflammation, and obesity in dogs.

It may lose some of the nutrients and enzymes during the processing and cooking, making it less digestible and beneficial for dogs. Some people claim that grains are difficult for dogs to process.

Ultimately, the best diet for your dog depends on their health, age, size, activity level, and personal preference. You should consult your veterinarian before making any changes to your dog’s diet, and monitor their response to these dietary changes closely.

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