There’s been a growing trend among pet owners towards raw or “Biologically Appropriate Raw Food” (BARF) diets for their dogs. This has prompted a widespread debate: “Can I feed my dog raw meat from the supermarket?”, “Can dogs eat raw meat?” This article aims to unpack these questions and shed light on whether supermarket raw meat is safe for dogs, if it can make dogs aggressive, and what kind of raw meat is safe for dogs, and in what quantities and frequencies.
Another good read is our related article regarding which bones are safe for dogs.
Can Dogs Eat Raw Meat?
Yes, dogs can eat raw meat. In fact, proponents of the BARF diet argue that raw meat is more natural and nutritious for dogs, more closely resembling the diet of their wild ancestors. Raw meat can be a rich source of protein, fats, vitamins, and minerals essential for a dog’s health.
Is Raw Meat from Supermarkets Safe for Dogs?
While dogs can eat raw meat, the question of whether you can feed your dog raw meat from the supermarket is a bit more complicated. The issue lies not in the raw meat itself, but in the handling and potential contamination of the meat.
Meat sold in supermarkets is intended for human consumption and is expected to be cooked, which would kill off harmful bacteria. When served raw, there’s a risk that the meat could be contaminated with bacteria like E. coli or Salmonella, which could make your dog sick (the same goes for humans, by the way).
Therefore, if you wish to feed your dog raw meat from the supermarket, it is crucial to handle it with utmost care. It should be stored and served properly to minimize the risk of bacterial contamination. You should also consult with your vet before introducing raw meat into your dog’s diet.
It is actually better to buy the meat from a butcher which certifies that the meat is safe to be consumed raw.
Does Raw Meat Make Dogs Aggressive?
There’s a common myth that feeding dogs raw meat can make them more aggressive. The theory suggests that the taste of blood could trigger a bloodlust in dogs.
However, there’s no scientific evidence to support this claim. Aggression in dogs is typically a result of factors such as breed, training, socialization, and underlying medical conditions, not diet.
What Kind of Raw Meat Is Safe for Dogs?
When feeding your dog raw meat, it’s important to provide a balanced diet. This means not only raw muscle meat (like raw hamburger meat) but also organ meats and bones for a good mix of nutrients.
Some safe choices include beef, chicken, turkey, and fish. However, all these should be fresh and handled carefully to prevent bacterial contamination.
How Much Raw Meat Is Safe? How Often?
The quantity and frequency of feeding your dog raw meat depend on factors such as their age, size, metabolic rate, and overall health. As a general rule, an adult dog might consume 2-3% of their body weight per day, divided into two meals. Puppies and active dogs might require more. Always consult your vet to determine the correct portion sizes for your individual dog.
So, Is Giving Raw Meat to My Dog a Good Idea?
Feeding raw meat to dogs is a decision that comes with benefits and potential risks. It’s vital to ensure the meat is as fresh and clean as possible to prevent any health problems. As with any significant dietary changes, it’s essential to discuss this with your vet to ensure it is a good fit for your specific dog.