Can My Dog Eat Raw Meat?(part 1)
Conflicting information – It’s been my experience that when you get 10 “experts” (including your mother) in a room you’re going to get 10 different opinions. Having said that, I naturally fall on the side of the experts that endorse feeding raw.
Dear Ask Darwin’s,
I am overwhelmed by all the internet information on feeding dogs raw meat. Can my dog even eat raw meat?
Denice – Oregon
12 years ago, our owner, Gary, had an ill dog that needed something different than the answers he was getting from his vet…. most vets. When he started his own research, like you, most of the information he found was confusing:
One source claimed raw meat was not balanced while another was on-board with, “The benefits will amaze you.” There were those complaining that the time, effort, and costs were horrendous. There were even a few that claimed that all raw meat contains bacteria and will do harm to his beloved canine friend.
While many dog owners, nutritional experts, and vets have experienced the many benefits of raw feeding, your question tells me there is still some important concerns that need to be addressed – “Why dogs can eat raw meat?”
Why dogs can eat raw – why is it safe?
- Unlike humans, their PH balance creates an acidic gut – Having a pH of only about 1, (you and I carry a pH between 4 and 5) their stomachs have a protective enzyme that allows a dog to eat some really gross things and not get sick. Dogs’ very acidic stomachs kill most of the bacteria found in fresh raw food — they can even (not that we would recommend this) eat less-than-fresh roadkill or any other tasty icky tidbits they might gobble up. Extra added bonus – this highly acidic environment is also conducive to digesting bone.
- Dogs have a completely different digestive tract – A dog’s food remains in the stomach for a longer period of time than humans. As mentioned above this allows the acid to successfully deal with animal proteins, bones, and fats – this system enables them to be fed only once or twice a day – they feel fuller longer because their food remains in his stomach longer.
- Dogs have bacteria-fighting saliva- According to VetMD: “Your dog’s saliva contains a different enzyme, known as lysozyme, which is important in killing any bacteria that may be present in whatever your dog chooses to eat. Humans, who generally cook their food before eating it, do not have this protective enzyme.” Read more at Your Dog’s Digestive System
I hope this helps!
That’s it? What about all the other questions surrounding raw food like, “Why would my vet say no to a raw diet?”
Check in next Wednesday as we continue our series on
“Can my dog eat raw meat?”
I openly believe in all things “green” (except teeth). I love crafting words that make people think, painting with watercolors, amazing individuals who really are working to cure breast cancer and, of course, sushi. I’m the mother of two amazing canines and am passionate (and quite knowledgeable) about dog nutrition. And, in spite of Lucy Van Pelt’s objections, I let my dogs kiss me on the mouth. To see all my watercolor gallery of my favorite furry faces check out Artisan Tails.