Raw Meat For Dogs: Is It Safe?
Is it safe to feed your dog raw meat? If yes, what are some precautions you need to take before feeding him raw meat? How long does it last for? What if I don’t want my dog eating any raw meat at all?
Are there other dangers associated with eating raw meat for dogs such as parasites, bacteria, viruses etc.?
The answer to these questions is “Yes” and “No”. You may not like the taste of raw meat but it’s better than nothing!
But, if you’re worried about your dog getting sick from eating raw meat then you might want to reconsider. There are several risks associated with feeding your dog raw meat. Let’s see how they play out in our hypothetical example: Your dog gets sick after eating a piece of chicken. He ends up vomiting blood and dying within 24 hours.
Would you feed him raw meat again?
Well, maybe. However, the chances of your dog getting sick from eating raw meat are very low. Most likely, he would have developed diarrhea due to the infection and probably died soon afterwards.
So, why do you think it’s safer to feed your dog cooked meat instead?
Cooking kills most pathogens while raw meat doesn’t kill them so it’s less risky for your dog.
However, cooking isn’t always safe either! Your dog can still get sick and die from eating undercooked chicken.
In fact, it’s pretty common for people to get sick from undercooked chicken as well!
So, should you feed your dogs raw meat?
As long as you trust your supplier then there shouldn’t be any problems. As a responsible dog owner, you need to make sure the meat is fresh and hasn’t been frozen. When in doubt, throw it out!
If you’re still worried about your dog getting sick from eating raw meat then just stick with easy-to-digest foods like eggs and bananas. You can supplement these with a top quality dog food that contains raw meat if you want but most vets don’t recommend it.
As far as your other question about how long the raw meat lasts, I would say it all depends on the type of meat and how fresh it is. Don’t take my word for it though since I’ve never actually purchased raw meat for dogs before.
I don’t even own a dog!
A couple of the other answers to your question recommend you place the meat in the freezer. I don’t think that would be enough though since freezing doesn’t kill all pathogens.
If you’re dead set on feeding your dog raw meat then I would at least ask your supplier if they test for certain types of bacteria. In my experience, butchers are usually pretty knowledgeable about the meat they sell.
As far as how long to keep it, I would personally look for a supplier who can guarantee that the meat is fresh. You could also ask them if they do any testing themselves such as testing for specific types of bacteria or parasites.
As long as you’re getting meat from a reputable supplier then there shouldn’t be any problems with feeding your dog raw meat.
That’s all I have to say about that! I hope it helps.
I can’t believe how long this answer turned out to be! I guess I have a little bit of an obsession with meat… Ha ha!
Sources & references used in this article:
Raw meat-based diets for dogs: survey of owners’ motivations, attitudes and practices by G Morelli, S Bastianello, P Catellani, R Ricci – BMC veterinary research, 2019 – Springer
Public health concerns associated with feeding raw meat diets to dogs by JT LeJeune, DD Hancock – Journal of the American Veterinary …, 2001 – Am Vet Med Assoc
Current knowledge about the risks and benefits of raw meat–based diets for dogs and cats by LM Freeman, ML Chandler, BA Hamper… – Journal of the …, 2013 – Am Vet Med Assoc
Substitution of a commercial diet with raw meat complemented with vegetable foods containing chickpeas or peas affects faecal microbiome in healthy dogs by M Sandri, S Sgorlon, G Conte, A Serra… – Italian Journal of …, 2019 – Taylor & Francis
Evaluation of bacterial and protozoal contamination of commercially available raw meat diets for dogs by RA Strohmeyer, PS Morley, DR Hyatt… – Journal of the …, 2006 – Am Vet Med Assoc