Dog food with real meat is a great idea. I’m going to tell you why, and then later. Meat meal for dogs is a high quality and delicious dog food that is abundant in nutrients, much more so than vegetables or fruits. It also ensures a healthy immunity and helps in giving your pet dog the desired strength.
Is raw meat good for dogs? There are a lot of different opinions when it comes to raw meat for dogs. So, we’re going to find out the answer in this post. I’ve talked to several professional dog trainers and veterinarians who have studied animal health. Below are some benefits of meat for dogs.
Dog Food With Real Meat
As carnivores, dogs require the protein derived from real meat. To ensure your dog’s diet contains real meat from quality sources, you can prepare his food easily and economically at home. All it takes is a desire to give your best friend a wholesome diet featuring natural, human-grade ingredients.
Lean Meats in the Canine Diet
Lean meats are considerably higher in protein than fatty meats. The following lean meats are interchangeable: skinless chicken thighs, skinless chicken breasts, chicken giblets, chicken livers, chicken hearts, skinless turkey breast, skinless turkey thighs, turkey giblets, turkey hearts, skinless duck breast, lean chuck beef, lean ground beef, beef liver, beef hearts, mackerel, tuna, salmon and various other fishes. Combine the lean meat with high-protein grains such as oatmeal, barley or cornmeal and vegetables, along with appropriate multi-vitamins or nutritional supplements — for example, the “healthy powder” recipe found in Dr. Richard Pitcairn’s “Complete Guide to the Natural Health of Dogs & Cats.”
Lean Meat Entree
For a super-easy, delicious entree featuring lean meat, combine 5 cups of cooked couscous or 6 1/2 cups of cooked old-fashioned rolled oats, 1 cup of cooked or raw lean ground beef, 1 cup of cooked or raw chicken livers, 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1/2 cup of grated raw carrots. Add a canine vitamin or nutritional supplement and serve. This meal may be halved, doubled or made in large batches and stored in the freezer in individual, meal-sized portions. The daily ration for different-sized dogs is: toy, 1 1/2 cups; small, 3 to 3 1/2 cups; medium, 5 cups; large, 6 1/2 cups; and giant, 7 to 8 cups.
The fatty group of meats is also interchangeable, and includes the following: roaster chicken with the skin, fatty beef heart, brains, regular hamburger, fatty chuck, sirloin steak, lamb or pork. If you are preparing a meal with the fatty meats, reduce the amount of oil you would normally use in the recipe by about one tablespoon for every cup of meat. Since cuts of meat vary, use your judgment in evaluating the degree of fat in a meat.
Fatty Meat Entree
Savory roasted chicken is the centerpiece of this fabulous, cheesy polenta that elevates your dog’s home-cooked food to gourmet. To prepare, bring 1/2 cup of low-fat powdered milk and 4 cups of water to a boil in a large pot. Quickly whisk in 1 cup of uncooked coarse cornmeal and blend until smooth. Cover and simmer about 10 minutes, until the cornmeal is cooked to a soft and mushy consistency. Remove the cornmeal from the stove and fold in 1/2 cup of low-fat, shredded cheddar cheese, 2 large beaten eggs and 1 cup of chopped roasted chicken breast and thighs with the skin on. Let the polenta cool for about five minutes, then stir in 200 IU vitamin E and a canine vitamin, or nutritional supplement. Pour the polenta into a casserole dish to set and cool completely. Cut into squares to serve. This recipe makes about 5 1/2 cups. The daily ration for different-sized dogs is: toy, 1 to 1 1/2 cups; small, 3 to 4 cups; medium, 5 to 6 cups; large, 6 1/2 to 7 cups; and giant, 8 to 10 cups.
Meat Meal for Dogs
Have you ever read through the ingredients in your dog food and noticed an ingredient called “meat meal”?
It could come in different forms, such as meat and bone meal, animal by-product meat meal, chicken meat meal, and many others.
Many people see these ingredients and automatically assume that they are low-quality ingredients—less healthy than real, whole meat. But is that actually true?
In many cases, the truth is the exact opposite: that a high-quality meat meal can be MORE nutritious than whole meat.
How can that be, you wonder? Well, let’s start by recognizing one little-known fact:
Whole Meat Is 70% Water
We tend to assume that whole meat is the best source of protein there is. But as you can see in this chart, whole chicken consists of 70% water by weight…and just 18% protein.
This makes sense, after all. Our bodies are made of about 70% water…so it makes sense that real, whole meat would be too.
And this is where high-quality meat meal can actually prove to be an even better source of nutrition for your dog than whole meat.
Meat Meal Is 65% Protein
Meat meal is mead through a process called “rendering.” In this process, the meat is cooked until all the excess water evaporates…leaving you with highly concentrated protein.
Whereas whole chicken has roughly 70% water and 18% protein, chicken meal flips that ratio on its head—it contains just 10% water and a whopping 65% protein!
In other words, meat meal contains nearly 300% more protein than whole meat.
Is Meat Meal Healthy?
While meat meal does have more protein, that’s not the end of the story.
Some varieties of meat meal are extremely high-quality, giving your dog a dense source of nutritious, natural protein…
…while other types of meat meal are made up of waste materials including animal heads, hooves, bones, and other waste that you would NOT want your dog to eat.
The bottom line is: a meat meal can only be as healthy as the ingredients that were used to make it.
What Kinds Of Meat Meal Should You Look For (And Which Should You Avoid)?
Low-quality meat meal is unspecific and does not clearly identify the type of animal it’s made from. Additionally, any meat meal with the words “by-product” in the name are also a bad choice.
Make sure to avoid these meat meals:
- “Animal meal” or “Animal by-product meal”
- “Meat meal” or “Meat by-product meal”
- “Chicken by-product meal”
- “Meat and bone meal”
So what should you be looking for? Just the opposite: any meat meal that clearly identifies what type of animal it comes from is likely to be a healthy, high-quality dog food.
These meat meals are all great choices:
- “Chicken meal”
- “Beef meal”
- “Venison meal”
- “Lamb meal”
- “Duck meal”
Raw Meat Dog Food Recipes
Making homemade dog food allows you to reduce preservatives and cater to any allergies your dog may have. As dogs thrive on protein, a balanced homemade diet should include fresh-cooked meats. This doesn’t mean you need to be a top chef. Simple recipes allow you to create a balanced meal.
Different Meats And Common Allergies
When it comes to fresh meats for your dog, your options are endless. Some options include beef, chicken, turkey, lamb, rabbit, duck, pork or fish. Additional protein options include eggs, cheese and dairy products. While most dogs tolerate proteins well, common allergies can occur with beef, chicken, lamb, pork, rabbit, fish, eggs and dairy. If your dog has allergies, make sure you avoid these foods in your homemade diet.
Moist Food Recipe
For an easy homemade recipe option, pull out your slow cooker. Pour in 2 cups of water or beef or chicken broth. Add 1 cup of brown or white rice. Include cut pieces of vegetables such as sweet potatoes or carrots. Add some green beans. Add 1 pound of cut up or ground meat of any variety. Cook on low for eight hours or high for five hours. Serve warm. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Freeze for up to six months. Allow frozen portions to thaw or warm them up before serving.
Dry Food Recipe
Making a crunchy dog kibble with fresh meat requires a few more ingredients but is not much different from making a cake or batch of cookies. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine 3 cups of flour and 1 cup of dry milk powder. Set aside. In a small bowl, whisk two eggs with 1/2 cup vegetable oil and 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce. Add 1 1/2 cups beef or chicken broth. Pour the wet mixture into the flour bowl and combine well. Add 1 cup finely chopped vegetables, such as carrots. Stir in 2 cups of cooked ground meat. This can be beef, chicken or whatever other meat your dog enjoys. Spread the mixture onto a lightly greased baking sheet and cook for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and cool. Break into bite-sized pieces. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to three days. Freeze for up to six months. Allow frozen kibble to thaw for 30 minutes before serving.
Talk to your veterinarian or a canine nutritionist before changing your dog’s diet. Let them know what you are planning to make. If extra nutrients are needs, they can help you adjust your meals or recommend additional supplements. Avoid adding extra seasonings such as salt, garlic and onions as these are not good for dogs.
Homemade Dog Food with Chicken Gizzards
Homemade dog food is an increasingly popular choice among pet parents, a trend that spiked after the 2007 recalls of pet food made with tainted China-sourced melamine. Making homemade dog food with healthy ingredients ensures you nothing bad goes into your dog’s diet. Many foods are suitable for inclusion, including chicken gizzards.
Chicken Gizzard Info And Nutrition
The gizzard is one of the giblets often found stuffed inside whole raw chickens. Individual giblets are sometimes offered separately in the meat department. Gizzards are a delicacy in some cultures. Chicken gizzards contain about 45 calories per ounce. From these, about 35 calories come from protein and 10 from fat. With their high protein content, they make an excellent addition to homemade dog food recipes. Chicken gizzards contain vitamin B-12, iron and zinc.
Chicken Gizzard Prep
Once you’ve found your gizzards, whether inside a chicken or sold separately, rinse them and cut them. To keep cooking simple, place the gizzards in a saucepan, cover them with water and turn to medium. Cook for 15 minutes or until cooked through, then remove them from the heat and let them cool. Due to their toughness, gizzards should be diced or chopped finely to increase digestibility. This is important if your dog is new to gizzards.
Incorporating Gizzards Into Homemade Dog Food Recipes
Making homemade dog food with gizzards and other ingredients is easy, and it creates a well-rounded meal. For a healthy homemade dish, bring 4 ounces of water to a boil. Add 4 ounces of gizzards, 1 ounce of dry rice, or about 2 ounces cooked, and 2 ounces of chopped carrots. Stir and allow it to cook for about 15 minutes. Remove it from the heat and let it cool. A serving is about 250 calories, with a dog-friendly ratio of protein, carbs and fats.
Introducing Homemade Dog Food To A Newby Dog
Making homemade dog food means choosing a variety of animal proteins, vegetables, fruits, starches and fats. Animal proteins should form the base, so chicken gizzards can fit nicely into a well-rounded diet. Adding new items gradually will allow your dog to acclimate to the change, so try adding gizzards and other homemade food at a rate of about 10 percent to 25 percent per week. If you’re transitioning to a homemade diet, reduce her current food as you add the new.
Is Raw Meat Good For Dogs?
Yes! Raw meat is what your dog’s body is built to eat. Raw meat is easy for him to digest … and a raw-meat based diet can provide him with all the nutrients he needs to thrive. It’s what he would eat if he was living in the wild, hunting for his own food. He might eat some berries and grasses as well, but raw meat would be his first choice if he could find it.
Is A Raw Meat Diet A Balanced Diet?
Raw meat diets can easily be balanced to meet your dog’s complete nutritional needs. But one of the main myths that big pet food companies spread is that raw meat diets aren’t balanced, and don’t provide all of your dog’s nutritional requirements.
It’s true that just feeding your dog a juicy steak won’t provide all of the nutrients he needs to thrive. But, this isn’t what a commercially prepared raw diet or a properly formulated homemade diet is about.
Feeding a raw diet to your dog is about much more than just meat. Dogs fed a raw diet need variety in their meals to provide all of the nuitrients they need for optimum nutrition. You also need to add bones, organ meats, essential fatty acids and whole foods … to supply vitamins and minerals that will keep your dog healthy.
Can A Dog Get Sick From Eating Raw Meat?
Your dog isn’t any more likely to get sick from eating raw meat than he is from eating kibble. Various well-publicized health scares have made consumers worry about salmonella and other pathogenic bacteria. What’s ironic with these reports is that no one seems concerned about commercial kibble recalls due to contamination.
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In fact, your dog’s digestive system can handle bacteria in the gut without a problem. Dogs’ bodies are built to prevent harmful bacteria like salmonella from invading the body and upsetting the healthy balance of intestinal flora. Dogs have highly acidic stomachs as well as natural digestive enzymes and bile that help them process Salmonella and other bacteria without becoming ill.
Some dog owners worry about the risk of bacteria for people in the home, especially children. But, just like when you prepare meat for your family, you can avoid contamination by practicing sensible hygiene. Clean utensils, dishes and surfaces used to prepare your dog’s food, and of course wash your hands and teach your kids to do the same. Also, make sure you buy your dog’s food from a reputable supplier who uses good quality meats.
Isn’t It Complicated To Feed A Raw Meat Diet?
Feeding your dog a raw meat diet can be as simple as thawing a frozen patty and putting it in your dog’s bowl. It’s not like you have to go out with a bow and arrow and hunt down prey to prepare it for your dog from scratch!
To really make it easy, you can buy a pre-made frozen raw diet for your dog. Or choose a freeze-dried raw food that just needs rehydrating in water or broth.
Even if you prepare DIY raw meat meals for your dog, it’s no more time consuming than shopping for yourself. You don’t need a degree in canine nutrition to get things right!
It doesn’t have to be. Compared to most kibble, commercial raw-meat diets are usually more expensive. But feeding a raw diet may be less costly than you think, especially if you prepare his food yourself. Dogs can eat cheaper cuts of meat, plus bones and organs, that don’t have to cost a lot.
You can save money by buying meat at a local abbatoir, butcher or farm, and look for cheaper cuts of meat that will provide just as much nutrition. Your dog doesn’t need filet mignon to have a healthy diet, and he’s not squeamish about icky-looking squishy organs like liver or brain! And he’ll love chewing on raw meaty bones that help provide the minerals and other nutrients necessary for strong bones and muscle development.
One other factor to consider is that your dog will likely be much healthier on a raw meat diet … so you’ll save money on vet visits!
Does Raw Meat Make Dogs Aggressive?
This is one of the biggest myths surrounding feeding a raw meat diet to dogs, and perhaps the one that has done the most damage.
The thought that feeding your dog a healthy, complete raw diet will turn him into a slathering beast with insatiable bloodlust is based purely on fear.
Feeding a raw meat diet won’t make your dog aggressive. Of course, with any food that your dog really enjoys, he may get possessive and won’t want to share! So it’s essential to teach your dog good manners and polite behaviour around food … no matter what type of diet he eats. A raw meat diet won’t cause or worsen any behavioral problems in your dog, nor turn him into an aggressive monster. In fact, research shows that raw diets actually improve your dog’s mood and behavior.
Benefits of Meat
A raw dog food diet contains many benefits for your dog and is a natural way to provide them with all the nutrients and protein they need to grow and thrive.
Protein is an important source of energy for your dog and fuels processes like oxygen transport and metabolism. Protein is rich in essential amino acids that are vital to your dog’s health and growth. Raw meats are rich in protein and are a great way to make sure your dog gets all the protein they need.
While excess fats in your dog’s diet can lead to obesity, cardiovascular issues, and other health problems, it is an essential ingredient in regulated quantities. Fat provides your dog with energy so their bodies can carry out all the other important processes of their day to day, including fueling them for exercise and play.
It is important, however, to introduce fat content slowly and heavily moderate how much your dog consumes.
Vitamins and Minerals
When you think of feeding your dog raw meat, you may simply think of beef, chicken, and fish. But organ meat is one of the most beneficial meats you can feed your dog. With a variety of vitamins and minerals like vitamins B, A, C, D, E, and other fatty acids, raw organ meats are also rich in manganese, selenium, calcium, phosphorus, copper, potassium, and zinc, which are all excellent for your dog’s health.
Liver, kidneys, and hearts are great ways to supplement your dog’s diet with raw meats.
Other benefits of feeding your dog raw meats include supporting a variety of different parts of your pup’s health.
Your dog’s coat will be shinier and stronger, they will have healthier and smaller poops, they will be less likely to gain unhealthy weight, and they will be able to build muscle tone more easily.
A raw diet can also help strengthen the immune system by providing the naturally occurring nutrients and vitamins your dog needs to fight off diseases and foreign bodies, so they can be less susceptible to sickness.
Raw meats can also promote eye health, muscle strength, digestion, and dental hygiene.
Raw feeding can increase your dog’s excitement for mealtimes and result in a wide range of benefits for your dog’s health and wellness.