Feed Your Dog Raw Safely

If you decide to go the raw route for your dog's diet, remember: Safety first!


A raw food diet can be wonderful for many dogs. Proponents say this is a more natural diet; more like wild dogs and the ancestors of today’s dogs would eat. The vast majority of dogs eating a raw food diet look the picture of health, with shiny coats, lots of energy for work and play, and with clean teeth.

However, raw meats can cause some problems for your dog. Both wild and domestic meat animals can carry diseases and parasites so it’s very important that you know where the meat that you feed to your dog is coming from. Although your dog’s immune system may be able to handle the contaminants, if his immune system is stressed in any way he could end up getting sick.

Bacterial contamination is also very common in slaughterhouses and raw meats containing salmonella or E. coli are often shipped out to distributors. When the meat is thoroughly cooked, these bacteria are killed, but if the meat is fed raw, then your dog may end up very sick. Although raw food proponents state that the dog’s digestive tract can handle these bacteria, again, that is assuming his immune system is working at its best. Far too many veterinarians have treated dogs with bacterial infections that came from eating raw meats.

The best source for raw meats is a local butcher who is procuring meat animals from known local sources. Ideally he should know how the animals have been fed and cared for, and you can see that his butchering practices and facilities are clean.

Then, once you buy the meats, keep them cool on the way home and get them into the refrigerator or freezer right away. Clean the cutting board, knives and other utensils before and after using them with a bleach solution and wash your hands often. Wash the dog bowls after the dogs have eaten.

A raw food diet definitely takes more time and preparation than feeding your dog a dry kibble food. Just keep safety in mind.

Author info: Liz Palika is an award winning author with more than 55 books to her credit. For more on Liz’s work, go to www.lizpalika.com.

Interested in reading more about holistic dog care? Go to www.dogworld.com to check out Dog World magazine's latest news.


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gojuchris   Sydney,

8/24/2014 5:40:33 AM

Internally dogs are basically wolves. It makes absolutely no sense to me to feed your dog cooked food as its main diet. Where would a wolf get cooked rice with vitamins sprayed on top?. My last Border Collie died of an abdominal tumour at age 11. In his last 3 years he suffered itchy skin, arthritis, occasional eye infections and the vet could not explain any of it as he had been cared for by the vets guide book. He did get bones but his diet was mainly premium kibble. For me, dog food is like junk food. Your dog can tolerate it occasionally. My almost 4 year old Border Collie gets a huge variety of raw food and only occasionally anything else. She is a picture of health and energy and I expect to live a very long healthy life.

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Brooklyn   Columbus, Ohio

5/23/2013 9:43:58 AM

What about Germs from the raw
The digestive juices of our canines are more than 50% hydrochloric acid. It is very deadly to the bacteria that your dogs ingest. Dog/wolves in the wild are exposed to all kinds of e-coli, salmonella, etc all the time and suffer no ill effects from it. (Afterall they lick their butts all the time!) A canine in the wild can stumble upon a carcass of a prey animal that has been dead for a week or more and will gladly eat it. I had a Golden Retriever whose favorite treat was a road kill squirrel that had been dead and laying in the hot sunshine for about a week. Whenever she ate one, there was never any side effects from it. Its safe to feed your dogs meat that has gone bad in the refrigerator. Don't worry about germs when feeding your dog. It's a non-issue. I have never heard of a dog nor a family member getting sick from feeding your dog raw.

Thats it. If you have more questions, feel free to ask me and I'll add them to the list. :) This is raw feeding in a nutshell. To learn more about raw feeding: Read the book "Works Wonders" by Dr. Tom Lonsdale You can find it at "http://www.rawmeatybones.com" . You may download it for a very small fee in PDF format.

A few informative web sites


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skiw9748   Hartford, AL

11/24/2012 7:29:52 PM

I just cook it.

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Eileen - 249708   Port Perry, ON

8/27/2012 12:35:29 PM

My dog has huge food allergies and we have gone through many foods to find something she likes, and does not cause digestion upset. She reacts so badly with food allergies that she lost all her digestion flora and it took 2 months to get reestablished. We went to raw venison. We purchase it from a producer of raw meat for dogs. The meat also has kelp and carrot added. Her meat comes frozen and in an appropriate size for her meal. All I have to do is take out of the freezer what I need for the next feed and thaw it in the fridge. When I serve it, it must be cold to the touch. It is amazing the difference we have seen, including no eye staining which she had when she was on kibble. It cost but it is worth it to us.

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