Raw vs Cooked Food for Dogs
With the Raw feeding vs Cooking for Dogs debate continuing to gain momentum, we thought it time we gave our own point of view from the perspective of those who prefer to cook for our dogs rather than to feed them raw food.
Whilst we admire those who are brave enough to fly in the face of convention and choose to raw feed their dogs, it seems the experts believe that those who fiercely promote raw food as the only way to feed dogs overlook a number of points.
Just Another Trend
According to many experts, the raw food movement is just another trend. This, they say, applies particularly to the BARF diet which began in Australia as recently as the early 1990s.
Dogs are Not Strict Carnivores
Dogs, it is now considered, are not strict carnivores as are cats. Dogs are actually omnivores. They have digestive systems designed to process most of the same foods as we humans, because we too are omnivores. So dogs can extract goodness from both plant and animal sources just as we human beings can.
The Ancestral Diet Argument
Dogs may have descended from wolves, but following 15,000 years of evolution and domestication, they are no longer considered feral creatures. They are domesticated animals who over the centuries of living with man have come to eat and process foods much the same as us because, for much of that time, both dogs and humans have eaten the same foods. Foods prepared and cooked by man either with the deliberate intention of home feeding their dogs, or by dogs scavenging the disgarded remains of human food production.
According to many experts, there is no scientific evidence to support the theory that raw feeding for dogs is any better than cooking for dogs. None whatsoever.
Cooking Food for Dogs Makes Sense
It is certainly a fact that Cooking Food for Dogs makes many ingredients more digestible, as well as making many nutrients more accessible to the dog’s digestive system than if they were eaten in their raw state. Carrots would be a prime example of this.
Cooking also kills dangerous organisms. Experts recommend cooking meat as the best way to kill harmful bacteria.
Safety and the Raw Food Diet
One of the biggest drawbacks to raw feeding dogs say the experts is the issue of bacteria in uncooked meat, and its potential to harm both dogs and humans who share the same household and its facilities.
An investigation into the raw feeding of Greyhounds in the United States found that 66% of the raw food samples tested contained Salmonella. Salmonella poisoning can kill both humans and dogs.
Further, a recent survey carried out in The Netherlands found that of 35 raw meat diet products tested from eight different brands, 23% contained E Coli, while a staggering 80% contained antibiotic-resistant E Coli. Not only that, but Listeria was found in more than 50% of the products and Salmonella in 20% of the products tested.
The Veterinary Position
The British Veterinary Assocation, the American Veterinary Medical Association and the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association have all warned of the health risk – to both humans and animals – that could potentially arise as a result of the raw feeding of dogs. All have also cast doubt on the claims of raw feeding proponents of the benefits of raw feeding over any other method of feeding dogs.