As you go to your local pet store and browse through the available products available, you may notice that there is an increase in dog food brands that say on the label that they contain raw ingredients. What is this new craze all about and, more importantly, is it safe for your dog?
The benefits of eating raw food
There is a strong reason behind the dog food manufacturers’ decision to introduce such ingredients in their products. Some studies show that dogs that eat a diet that contains raw food live longer and have better dentition. That may be considered enough by such dog food manufacturers to offer their clients foods that contain raw foods.
What’s the downside?
Public health authorities, vets, and other specialists, however, warn against the use of such foods for your dog’s diet. Raw ingredients run a higher risk of presenting certain pathogens, such as Salmonella and E. coli. And this is not only a topic for debate.
Some dog foods with such ingredients in their recipes have been tested positive for such pathogens. This is a fact that cannot be neglected. Dog food manufacturers might try to downplay the risks presented by such foods, saying that a dog’s digestive is better equipped to digest such pathogens without falling ill.
Where are the dog food manufacturers in the wrong?
While it may seem like feeding your dog a raw diet is an excellent idea, many things will convince you otherwise. For starters, dogs can still fall ill. If you don’t feed your mature dog a senior dog food diet, the pathogens in his or her diet will affect the immune system to the point that they will cause diseases to appear.
Also, they don’t talk about the risks that the dog owners are exposed to. For instance, if your dog steps in his or her feces – in which the pathogens are still alive and well – and then scratches you by accident, you can get infected.
A dog that seems completely healthy can be a source of disease in your home. As mentioned earlier, the pathogens are still present in the dog’s feces and, if you manipulate the waste, you can get in contact with them unknowingly.
What do dog food manufacturers do?
Since the problems associated with raw food diets for dogs cannot be overlooked, the dog food manufacturers are considering various measures. They say that they only buy premium raw food ingredients that are human grade and of the highest quality available.
Nonetheless, the risks mentioned earlier are real, and that is why FDA and other public health authorities do not agree with feeding dogs a raw food diet. After all, they have to look after the pet owners’ health, too, and it does not look like the companies invested in making raw dog food products have addressed all the issues.
You may introduce a little bit of raw food in your dog’s diet, but only under close supervision. Human grade bones and raw meat are recommended.