Quite a bit of controversy surrounds the raw dog food vs. commercial food topic. Your dog’s veterinarian is your best source in helping you make the best nutrition decision for you and your best friend. Although there is no substitute for a veterinarian’s advice, we have discovered a few interesting facts on the subject that may be helpful.
Recent pet food recalls due to safety risks to pets is the main reason pet owners want to switch their dogs over to raw food diets. But, remember, human foods are sometimes recalled as well.
At first glance, raw dog food seems to be a healthier choice over commercial food due to its higher protein, vitamins and minerals as well as having lower fat and carbohydrate contents; however, feeding dogs raw meat is highly disputed due to possible health risks. Meat can contain bacterial contamination that may be harmful to dogs and/or their humans. Some meats can cause minor, but annoying, gastric issues while others may cause death. Pathogenic organisms from dogs eating raw meat that are shed in their stool are not safe for humans to be in contact with. In particular, small children and elderly people are at risk. It’s important to keep in mind that certain meats, like cattle, chicken and pork have higher cancer risks than turkey, duck and lamb. Puppies and the unborn pooch may be particularly vulnerable to any of these potential health hazards, so experts recommend that puppies and pregnant dogs not be fed raw meat.
Bones and vegetables are another debatable issue. Bones can cause obstructions, broken teeth and choking. Many vegetables, such as onions, rhubarb, spinach and tomatoes, are not safe for dogs to consume.
Because of these issues, many experts recommend nutritionally balanced store-bought dog food. Discuss the matter with your dog’s vet. Together, you can make the best nutrition choice for your canine companion.