Is raw diet good for dogs? Is raw food safe for dogs?
NO, this is not about why you should not feed a raw diet to your dog. Dogs eat what we give them. We want this piece to be useful when you are deciding for your dog.
Most pets do great on fresh whole-food ingredients. The contention is really whether to feed raw or to gently cook the ingredients first. (Prolonged high heat high-pressure cooking simply destroys nutrients.)
Do you have your dog’s approval?
This is where everything start. You can skip this section if your dog is not a food critic. Otherwise, hands down for gently cooked food. In fact, our taste testings tell us dogs like slightly warmed up meals the best. Which is our trays can go directly from freezer to microwave or oven. Find out more (Stroll down to "For pet parents" section)
Are the Nutrients there?
Cooking does lead to some nutrient loss. How would this loss affect your dog? Which nutrients; after the food been through the gastric acids, ; are only found in raw food but absent from gently cooked food? Do dogs use these unique elements?
These questions are better left to professors of animal nutrition. But one thing is sure - cooking alters nutritional profile.
High quality meat and fat are highly digestible raw or cooked. Food like berries are better when raw while others like sweet potatoes are virtually indigestible unless cooked.
Feeding raw or gently cooked diet is really a secondary question. If done right with the right ingredients, both can give your dog a very healthy diet.
It is true kibbles get recall. But dogs fed raw meat face bigger risk of shedding bacteria; sometimes with serious health consequences for pet and human alike. This is well documented by many studies.
Controlling contamination is the challenge when cooking is not used. High pressure pasteurization, a non-thermal method of preservation is being increasingly used. “HPP can inactivate vegetative microorganisms and enzymes in the food and alters certain characteristics of the food”(from Canadian Food Inspection Agency). HPP can effectively reduce pathogens but does not kill them all since different microorganisms has different resistance to the non-thermal treatment.
What do we think?
Every dog is unique. You have to make the right choice for yours. Is your dog is a puppy / senior / pregnant mom / has weak immunity? Does your household has kids, seniors, or members with a compromised immune system?
If you decide on feeding raw, take extra care when handling the raw meat and organs. Also tell your vet or family doctor that your dog is on a raw diet should someone becomes sick with a GI problem.