Many people still have questions about feeding raw ground beef for dogs. A lot of people are drawn to the idea because of its simplicity but are afraid of the potential health risks. I was in this same position once so I gathered some information and did a bit of research. This is what I found. If you’re interested in learning more, keep reading.
Raw Feeding Mistakes I Made
There are numerous publications that highlight the dangers of feeding raw meat to humans and canines. I agree that we may have an issue if we feed raw and never wash our hands. The majority of the content in these articles, however, is false. I gladly acknowledge that I am neither a veterinarian nor a pet nutritionist, but I don’t believe that I need to be either in order to know how to properly wash my hands after handling raw meat. And after giving my dogs a raw food diet for several years (we started in April 2013) and they remaining healthy, I believe I may have discovered something.
However, this does not imply that raw feeders are fault-free. I’ve already made a few, in fact.
5 Raw Feeding Mistakes I’ve Made
1 – Believing Raw is Just Ground Beef
People don’t usually mean to transfer a dog to a raw food diet by suggesting a diet of ground chicken or beef (or entire chicken). All the nutrients our dogs require are not present in a meal that just contains ground protein.
To make sure I’m feeding a balanced diet to my dogs, I do the following:
- I begin with 80% muscle flesh, 10% bone, and 10% organ meat as a base.
- I make sure to include variation by switching up the primary protein once a week.
- And then I consider minerals like Omega-3 fatty acids (found in sardines), iodine (found in kelp), and, in some circumstances, zinc that aren’t provided by meat alone (oysters).
It seems complicated at first, but you’ll be amazed at how easy this can be once you secure sourcing and gain a better understanding of what your dog needs in the bowl.
2 – Mixing Raw and Kibble Together
I wish to emphasize that not all dogs should avoid combining raw and kibble together. Many people do this without any problems, however if your dog has a sensitive stomach, I think this diet combination may be too much for them. This is what happened to my dog, Rodrigo, who has a history of intestinal problems.
What people have to say about combining raw meat and kibble is as follows:
Adding Fresh to the Bowl
By replacing 20% of the kibble with fresh food (raw dog food or veggies), you can lower your dog’s risk of developing cancer. It’s a terrific way to bring fresh food to the bowl.
- Study: Evaluation of the effect of dietary vegetable consumption on reducing risk of transitional cell carcinoma of the urinary bladder in Scottish Terriers.
- Study: Purdue University Urinary Bladder Cancer Research
Mixing Raw and Kibble Offsets the Benefits of the Fresh Food
While some individuals advise pet owners to top off the bowl with fresh food, including raw dog food, others think this is a horrible idea. Our dogs’ health will hopefully be improved by moving to raw food. The advantages that feeding raw brings to the bowl can be countered if we continue to provide kibble. Kibble is hard to digest, increases inflammation, and has uncertain component source. Some people believe that the benefits of feeding kibble can’t be outweighed by adding 20% fresh food to the dish.
Raw and Kibble Digest at Different Rates
I’ve heard two tales explaining why raw meat and kibble shouldn’t be consumed together. Some people think that raw and cooked food digest differently (raw is digested faster). When raw dog food is combined with kibble, it stays longer in the digestive track of our dogs, where it decomposes and makes our puppies ill. Another idea holds that the difference in stomach pH between raw and kibble is what causes the digestive discomfort.
3 – Believing All Raw Bones are Safe
I decided to slow down after giving my dogs a variety of bones and after reading accounts of dogs who ate raw bones shattering their teeth or having to go to the vet. In order to decide which bones were and weren’t safe for my dogs, I would test them out on my dogs while observing how they chewed. I discovered that since every dog is unique, asking others what bones they feed their dogs is insufficient.
My dogs prefer beef, buffalo, lamb, and duck knuckle bones, as well as lamb necks, duck frames, and duck necks.
How To Prevent Your Dog From Getting Sick From Eating Raw Meat
These recommendations will apply to any raw meat you might be considering giving your dog, not just dogs who consume raw ground beef.
These guidelines ought to keep your dog safe while he consumes raw meat, but since every dog is unique, you should always consult your veterinarian before making any significant dietary changes for your pet.
Buy Raw Dog Food That Is Pre-prepared
Regardless of what the product is, it is always recommended to get it from a business that specializes in it. I would suggest purchasing from firms who sell raw dog food in this situation.
I would suggest doing this since they will ensure that their food is secure for your dog to consume and because it will contain significantly fewer bacteria than the raw meat you purchase from the store.
Clean Up Your Dogs’ Bowls
This applies to cooked beef as well. In any case, you ought to do it because the food and water bowls for your pets can harbor bacteria.
If you feed your dog raw meat, it’s crucial to properly clean the surfaces and bowls used for preparation. I heard somewhere once that you should treat raw dog food the same way you would treat raw chicken for yourself, but I can’t recall where.
If your dog has a weakened immune system, the short answer to the question of whether dogs may consume raw ground beef or any other raw meat is no.
Adding raw meat to your dog’s diet can potentially make them sick because they are not used to it, especially if they are an older or immune-compromised dog. If your dog’s immune system is already compromised due to illness, adding raw meat to its diet can be too much for it to manage.
A trip to the vet can provide you with all the information you need to make the best choices for your dog if you are unsure of how their immune system is currently faring.
Don’t Buy More Raw Food Than You Need
The reason I advise against purchasing more raw dog food than you require is for storage. Your raw dog food should be kept in the refrigerator for storage.
I won’t keep dog food in my fridge for more than six days before serving it. The main cause of this is because bacteria have more opportunity to develop in your fridge the longer you keep huge amounts of raw meat there.
Of course, you can keep raw food in the fridge and serve it after more than six days, but I personally wouldn’t take the chance.
Feed Your Dog Cooked Food Instead Of Raw
Most dogs rarely become ill after consuming raw food from a reputable source that has been properly preserved. I am aware that many people are worried about potential bacteria, though.
The best course of action may be to steer clear of feeding your dog a raw food diet if you have any doubts or fears about the germs becoming a problem for your dog.
Other choices exist, such as preparing some high-quality meat for your dog yourself. Additionally, you might give your dog a high-quality dry dog food.
Potential Benefits Of The Raw Dog Food Diet
- Healthier skin
- Shinier coats
- Cleaner teeth
- Higher energy levels
- Smaller stools
Potential Risks Include
- Bacteria in raw meat poses a risk to both you and your dog.
- If offered for a long time, a raw food diet may be an unbalanced diet that harms your dog’s health.
- Whole bones pose a risk for choking, tooth damage, and digestive issues in dogs.
Raw Dog Food Diet
When looking at the question, can dogs eat raw ground beef? We need to look deeper into what a raw dog food diet actually is.
Raw dog food diets will usually consist of:
- Raw eggs
- Muscle meat, which is often still on the bone
- Organ meats
- Vegetables such as bell peppers
- Fruit such as watermelon
- Certain dairy products
In this case, feeding your dog raw ground beef should be done on a dog-by-dog basis. Since they consume raw meat, dogs are typically better at handling raw bacteria than people are. If your dog has a compromised immune system, you should steer clear of it.