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Do you give your dog raw food?

What and how you feed your pet is as much down to personal choice as to how it fits in with your lifestyle and financial situation.

With raw diets becoming increasingly popular for both dogs and cats we run through some of the pros and cons.

What is a raw food diet?

A raw pet food diet means uncooked fresh or frozen meat or fish, bones, and offal – plus vegetables and other ingredients. This is sometimes referred to as a BARF diet, which stands for Biologically Appropriate Raw Food. You can either prepare it yourself or buy it ready-made from a commercial raw pet food supplier.

What are the benefits of raw food for your pet?

Owners who feed their pets raw food say it contributes to a glossy coat, healthier teeth, better body condition, and improved energy levels.

However, these things are not exclusive to a diet of raw food as your pet can receive all the nutrition they need from a commercially sold nutritionally complete pet food.

What are the drawbacks of raw pet food?

Unlike commercial feeds, raw-meat products are not heat-treated or freeze-dried to pasteurise their content and eliminate bacteria.

Daniella Dos Santos, from the British Veterinary Association, says: “Pet owners who choose to feed a raw food diet should be aware of the potential health risks and take full precautions while storing and handling the food.”

Feeding precautions:

  • Raw meat should be kept frozen until used
  • Thaw at a maximum of 10C
  • Handle separately from human food, with separate kitchen equipment (or the same equipment washed thoroughly after use)
  • Bacteria in raw juices can splash and spread to other foods and surfaces
  • Don’t let your pet lick you after it has just eaten raw meat
  • Animals in families with infants, elderly people or immunocompromised individuals should not be fed raw meat

Choose responsibly

If you do decide to feed raw and are not prepared to put the time and effort into preparing it yourself then choose a responsible, regulated company: and make sure it is a member of the Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association.

So, the jury is out on which is best but whichever way you choose to feed your pet, the key is to ensure it receives the correct balance of nutrients for each stage of its life.

Do you feed your dog raw food? If so, do you prepare it yourself at home or buy a ready prepared complete raw food? Perhaps you feed a dry mix and add the occasional raw food? Or possibly you’re against the idea of feeding raw food altogether?

Do you give your dog raw food?

268 people have already voted, what's your opinion? Yes No

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viking
21st Jun 2021
1
Thanks for voting!
Quite amazing what dogs will eat once your back is turned !!
The guts of country dogs as opposed to lap dogs seem to be able to tackle almost anything, so there is no one way answer here.
Bald123
15th Jun 2021
1
Thanks for voting!
My dog will eat anything literally.
DieselEstate
13th Jun 2021
4
Thanks for voting!
There is nothing wrong with either diet - as long as the dog in question is healthy & happy. Problems begin when the human ego gets in the way. Some people become entrenched with their opinions. Convinced that their way is not only the right way but also, the best way, they begin to preach & lecture all & sundry. I watched this happen with The Raw Food Movement back in the day. Don't get me wrong. There had always been people who fed raw diets, going back to time immemorial. Especially breeders & show dog folk. The Movement however, began in the final years of the 20th century (as played out in the pages of Dogs Today magazine & other such sundry publications) and, with all due respect from its inception, picked people up like a magnet at a travelling medicine show.
Personally, I think it is a lifestyle choice. In that, if you have a lifestyle which can accommodate the raw food diet for your dog, you may well adopt it. Yet, mostly what I see is an evangelist attitude akin to suggesting that World Peace can be achieved if only All Pet Owners Fed a Raw Diet! Many also subscribe to the attitude that if one cannot/will not devote every single waking moment to Fido's wants/needs then, You Should Not Keep a Dog! Which can of course be a wee bit patronising & off putting, not to mention offensive.
I am sure that some of those people I encountered back then are now running or, have responsibility for some animal shelters. Always the type who hardly ever rehome animals because, hardly anybody is ever good enough to be awarded the privilege of rehoming one of Their Animals.

Apologies for my verbosity. I've kicked the soap box to the kerb now. Honest.
Lionel
13th Jun 2021
2
Thanks for voting!
I assure you, DieselEstate, no apologies needed at any time as far as I'm concerned. For what it's worth I entirely agree with you.

I'm not a dog expert by any means, but I have run Collies for fifty years; herding cattle, sheep dogging and had a family of five in my home as house dogs. Currently, I have one Collie bitch here because we're now getting a little old.

My Collies, whether working or house dogs have always been fed meat. The farm dogs would take off on their own and come back with rabbits, hares, a pheasant or partridge; well, they're meat eaters by nature, as I am. There's no reason in my mind to be evangelistic about it; I'm a Jewish Christian and if people put half as much effort into preaching Christ as they do meat for dogs I'd be impressed! No, no campaigns, just common sense.

If we want the best from our dogs, and health for them, feed them what they would get for themselves. Meat.

If you would like an evangelistic statement ... here goes. Stuff the expensive vets!
PaulD169
13th Jun 2021
2
Thanks for voting!
When did you ever see a dog cooking anything?
Lionel
13th Jun 2021
1
Thanks for voting!
Never, but I had a Blue Merle Collie who was so at home in vehicles I long thought he would drive at least as well as me.
Bald123
15th Jun 2021
2
Thanks for voting!
Ours regularly cooks at the BBQ
Lionel
16th Jun 2021
2
Thanks for voting!
Brilliant, just brilliant Bald. Needed a good laugh tonight!
Munsterlander
12th Jun 2021
3
Thanks for voting!
Our dogs have raw vegetables and love them. I am sure it helps their constitution and well-being just as it does with humans.
Bald123
23rd Jun 2021
1
Thanks for voting!
Yes ours like carrots and broccoli and I sure they are great for their health
Wilf
12th Jun 2021
3
Thanks for voting!
Yes we do give them an occasional bone but not raw food per se.

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