Besides politics and religion, meat seems to be one of those hot topics that nobody can agree on.
Some people argue that feeding your dog raw meat has positive effects on its health, in the sense that it contains fewer toxins and preservatives compared to processed food commonly available in supermarkets. With the vegan principles gaining in popularity, there is also a group claiming they can formulate an adequate plant-based diet for both cats and dogs.
Without denying that dogs can sometimes eat vegetarian foods, let’s not forget that cats are strictly carnivores and hence, don’t possess the digestive system to process plant nutrients. Before presenting the arguments of critics and supporters of raw meat, let’s quickly review what these diets are about.
The claims of the supporters of raw meat diets
Supporters of raw meat diets suggest that commercial pet food is jam-packed with toxins such as sodium nitrates and artificial flavorings, harmful compounds that affect the pet’s health in the long run. Some of them even go so far as to state that pet food containing meat is so processed that it lacks the nutrients cats and dogs require on a daily basis.
According to vets who’re on board with raw meat, pets that are on this diets have better coats, fewer dental issues, a fresh breath, and less body odor. While there are concerns regarding bacteria in raw meat, proponents argue that pets are usually much more resistant to E-coli, salmonella and other harmful microorganisms. Moreover, according to them the primary reason why pet food is processed in the first place is for human safety, not the pet’s safety.
Types of raw meat diets available
In the event that the aforementioned arguments convinced you to include raw meat into your pet’s diets, then here are your options:
- Commercial grade raw food diets – Widely available at supermarkets, these frozen pet meals are allegedly complete and balanced.
- Homemade raw food diets – If you have the time, then you can’t go wrong with preparing a raw meat diet for your furry friend. Similarly to the frozen meals that you can find at the supermarket, the homemade courses include meat, meaty bones, vegetables, eggs, milk, and many other ingredients a cat or a dog would normally eat. The difference, however, is that you are certain regarding the ingredients, their freshness, and their provenience when you’re actually cooking these meals.
- Combination diets – As the name suggests, these diets consist of raw meat mixed with commercially available grains and supplements.
Arguments from the critics
The critics of the raw meat diets state that the claims of the supporters are mostly based on anecdotal evidence. In addition to underlining the lack of hard clinical trials in this sense, critics also point out the following:
- High-quality pet food is already tested and declared balanced for the stage and health of your pet. Not only is it nearly impossible to obtain the perfect balance, but attempts to wing it could lead to nutritional deficiencies.
- Raw bones commonly found in homemade meals can easily become lodged and cause teeth fracture, tissue cuts and block the air passages.
- The bacteria found in raw meat are equally dangerous for pets and owners.