Feeding Your Dog A Raw Diet; Know The Risks of Raw Dog Food

We’ve all seen that raw meat dog food diets have recently become a trend. Popular on Instagram and TikTok, more of us than ever have begun to branch out or considered if feeding our dogs raw dog food benefits them. Despite the popularity, most vets will warn against this practice mostly because the risks are too high and also there is no proven benefit. Let’s educate ourselves on the issues of a raw dog food diet to make sure we are keeping our doggos and ourselves happy and safe. 

Is it more natural?

The most common argument for a raw dog food diet is that it is more natural. This is because it is believed that this is what dogs would eat in the wild. However, dogs have been domesticated for thousands of years so they no longer need to hunt or eat raw meat, so it has no benefit to them. Moreover, there are no studies to support that raw feeding is better than traditional dog food (1).

There are so many other healthy dog food options including complete plant-based dog food like OMNI. Not only is it not more natural to give your dog raw dog food, dogs are actually omnivores. Therefore, they thrive off plant-based nutrients!

More harm than good 

Did you know that feeding your dog a raw dog food diet can cause dental and gut injuries (2) Not to mention raw meat can have dangerous bacteria like E Coli, Salmonella and Campylobacter (3) which the cooking process would normally help to kill off. 

What is worse is that people can get these infections from just stroking healthy looking pups that are shedding these bacteria. That’s not all, up to 54% of dogs fed raw may be shedding bacteria that are resistant to all common antibiotics. (8,9)

There are also several worms and parasites that are only killed when raw meat is cooked. Microbial contamination can be so dangerous that there have been several raw food recalls from the market that have caused serious illness and even death in both dogs and their owners (4, 5, & 6). 

Its not just a question of good food hygiene as many believe.  Raw meat products have been tested at abattoirs before they even get to supermarkets and its been shown that they are much more likely to harbour harmful pathogens that can be passed on to people and dogs (10). This is why humans cook their meat rather than eating it raw. It's also why lots of reputable regulatory bodies warn against feeding dogs raw meat diets. Unfortunately, freezing raw meat does not kill all the bacteria and parasites, it renders them dormant but upon thawing, they are able to replicate again and cause harm.

Even if your dog eats meat that is contaminated with salmonella and is okay, there are studies that have proven your dog will continue to shed salmonella into the household environment for up to 7 days. This puts people at risk, especially those with weakened immune systems like the young and old.

With the risks so high, is it worth the possible danger even if you think it may be a tasty meal for your doggo? Especially when OMNI offers healthy dog food that tastes good with much lowerrisks. But don’t just take our woof for it, hear from our happy pups and their owners…

“My dog is a really fussy eater and turns his nose up to most food especially kibble. I was fed up buying meat based products for him especially as I am vegetarian so thought I would try Omni.

He really loved it from the moment I put it down for him and has continued too. Definitely worth a try if your dog is fussy and you want to step away from the meat products. His eye drip (white dog and red ish eye drip) has really cleared up without the meat based products too. So really a win win!! Thanks Omni.” - Laura 

Leave it to the experts

Although you may think cooking your dog’s food from scratch is a great healthy dog food option, it’s actually not recommended if not done correctly. The scientific evidence is that it can be difficult for owners to make a recipe that meets all the essential nutritional requirements that their pet needs, resulting in nutritional deficiency or toxicity (7). For example, feeding raw also tends to require supplementation as raw meat by itself, is not an adequate complete diet for dogs as its lacking in calcium, phosphorus, selenium, Vitamin E and various other vital nutrients dogs need to thrive.

OMNI dog food has been put together by expert nutritionists to make sure it’s well balanced for your pup and their needs at every stage of their life - puppy, adult, and senior. 

Growth problems in pets can be as a result of a deficiency in certain nutrients, a particular issue with home-prepared raw meat dog food (2). So even though it may be cheaper, or you think it’s more healthy - we would definitely advise caution with these diet options. 

There are also plenty of other options for healthy dog food on a budget. With an OMNI subscription, you can save money whilst getting healthy, vet-approved plant-based dog food delivered straight to your door.

What about the benefits? 

Despite the risks, you may be tempted to try a raw dog food diet because of the claims that dog owners have made about the apparent benefits they have seen - hey, we get it, this can be intriguing. However, bear in mind that these benefits are based on the experience of individual owners rather than official studies on lots of pets showing a real difference (1). 

Also, a lot of the apparent benefits of raw diets can be easily achieved by making sure you’re feeding your pet any balanced, age-appropriate diet. OMNI, for example, has been reported by customers to give dogs…

  • A shinier coat
  • Fresher breath
  • Better toilets
  • Lots of energy 

Choose from our Puppy, Adult or Senior range and then use our handy guide to work out how much your dog should be eating based on their weight. OMNI is a great healthy dog food that tastes good to keep your pup’s tail wagging! 

Your pup is in safe hands

Your doggo deserves the best… and unfortunately, that is not a raw dog food diet. OMNI is with you every step of the way, keeping your pup happy and healthy throughout their life. Join our community of happy dog parents over on Instagram @omnipetfood, we can’t wait to see you there!


References 

  1. https://www.pdsa.org.uk/pet-help-and-advice/looking-after-your-pet/all-pets/raw-diets
  2. https://www.theguardian.com/science/2018/jan/12/scientists-criticise-trend-for-raw-meat-pet-food-after-analysis-finds-pathogens
  3. Marks S.L., Rankin S.C., Byrne B.A., Weese J.S. (2011) Enteropathogenic bacteria in dogs and cats: Diagnosis, epidemology, treatment, and control. J. Vet. Intern. Med.;25:1195–1208. Doi:
  4. https://www.kentlive.news/whats-on/shopping/salmonella-fears-spark-urgent-recall-4328262
  5. https://www.food.gov.uk/news-alerts/alert/fsa-prin-31-2020
  6. L. Martinez-Anton, M. Marenda, S.M. Firestone, R.N. Bushell, G. Child, A.I. Hamilton, S.N. Long, M.A.R. Le Chevoir (2018) Investigation of the Role of Campylobacter Infection in Suspected Acute Polyradiculoneuritis in Dog
  7. Davies M. Variability in content of homemade diets for canine chronic kidney disease. Vet Rec. 2014 Apr 5;174(14):352. doi: 10.1136/vr.102223. Epub 2014 Feb 27. PMID: 24584327.
  8. https://www.cdc.gov/campylobacter/outbreaks/puppies-9-17/index.html
  9. Groat EF, Williams NJ,Pinchbeck G,Warner B,Simpson A,Schmidt VM (2022)  UK dogs eating raw meat diets have higher risk of Salmonella and antimicrobial-resistant Escherichia coli faecal carriage 21 February 2022 https://doi.org/10.1111/jsap.13488
  10. https://www.bmj.com/company/newsroom/high-levels-of-potentially-harmful-bacteria-found-in-raw-meat-dog-food-products/