Meat seems like it would be a very natural thing for a dog to eat, seeing how they’re carnivores when left out in the wild. If your dog is standing next to you and begging you for a piece of meat that you’re preparing, you might wonder if it’s going to do them any harm.
The good news is that dogs can handle meat pretty well, as long as it’s not cooked. The best choice is beef even though it is believed that dogs are able to handle the bacteria present in things like raw chicken and raw pork, it’s best to avoid them.
Since beef usually comes with a premium price, and you typically intend to eat it yourself, it’s likely that you’ll just end up giving them the fatty bits left over or the bones.
But then the debate emerges as to whether or not you can give your dog a strictly meat based diet. Both sides of the debate make seemingly valid points, with raw diet proponents dispelling all sort of myths and likening dogs to wolves.
They also point out plenty of problems with feeding your dog, well, dog food. Problems range from digestion issues to teeth problems. This page is not intended to settle this debate. Further research into the matter is recommended if you’re wondering if you can switch to meat entirely. Keep reading to learn more about the intensely debated raw meat topic.
Can I Give My Dog Meat? Answer: Some Raw Meats are OK
You can give your dog some raw meat as a treat if in small quantities. You don’t want to overdo it because if they are used to their daily dog food their body isn’t going to be able to process it as a full meal, and it could lead to an upset stomach and diarrhea.
You also don’t want to give them cooked meat, because that’s not the sort of thing they’d be eating on their own. Some of the best meats you can feed your dog are pieces of raw steaks and other beef. Pork and chicken would be inadvisable because of the bacterial problems inherent in uncooked pieces.
What About a 100% Meat Diet
Some owners wonder if it’s alright to just stop giving their dog dog food altogether and switch to an all meat diet. The reason that this isn’t a great idea is because the sort of meat that we eat is already prepared and is very lean and cut into pieces. A dog would not have such fine selections of meat if they hunted and killed an animal.
If it were possible to toss your dog a fresh kill each day that would be one thing, but the benefits associated with giving them an all meat diet wouldn’t outweigh the financial costs, or the time expense.
Why Dog Food is Best
Dog food isn’t created equally, and while it might be better to feed your dog a raw meat diet over low-grade cheap dog food you find for sale in bulk at the local supermarket, the same cannot be said for the more premium dog foods out there. This is because when you buy your dog the good stuff you’re giving them a specially formulated diet that not only is a good source of meat and the protein and nutrients it contains, but is well-rounded, giving your dog the sorts of things they would find if they ate an animal out in the wild, namely vegetables.
The Case for Raw Food Diets for Dogs
There is a strong case being made out there by dog owners that don’t feed their dogs dog food, but instead opt to feed them raw meats and other foods as their source of nutrition. While this may be one way to go about it, for the majority of people it’s going to require a lot of effort and expense, and it won’t fit into many lifestyles.
You’d have to follow a system that accurately mimics the way a dog would naturally eat on their own, which would mimic a pack of wolves or coyotes. This would be relatively hard to do, and for most owners a high quality dog food is best.