There seem to be endless options and opinions in the area of dog food–kibble, canned, raw, home-cooked–and then within each option lies another overflowing list of pros and cons. But for people who have made the switch to raw food for their dog, the lists only get longer.
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How is one supposed to know what meat is best for their dog? Well, when trying to decide what meats to feed, it’s important to consider the key issues: availability, price, nutritional factors, suitability, farming practices, and processing. Once you’ve explored the answers, you can proceed to finding your preferred meat!
What is the best meat for your dog?
Before even adventuring into the different types of raw meat possible for your pooch, let’s quickly weigh the pros and cons of raw dog food in general. Many people are hesitant to try it and even against the practice because the idea of feeding raw food to someone is unheard of–but since dogs are carnivorous creatures, it’s understandable that they’d like to eat carnivorous food. With that, let’s weigh the pros and cons!
- Healthier stomach, skin, coat, teeth, gums
- Reduced obesity
- Fewer allergies
- Better behavior
- Risk of contamination for humans
- Improper food handling processes
Now as far as what kind of meat itself you should be giving your pooch, let’s take a closer look.
Option 1: Chicken
Chicken meat is by far one of the most common sources of meat used in food for pets. The primary reason for this is driven by price, since chickens are the most cheaply farmed of all domesticated animal species. But does cheap make it good? Let’s see…
- One of the cheapest meats available, so you can feed your dog on a smaller budget
- Excellent source of protein
- High quality meat
- Chicken often comes in smaller portions, so it’s easier to serve in fresher, smaller portions
- Different parts of the chicken contain different fats, proteins, marrow ration, and tastes, so it offers more variety for your dog.
- A diet of only chicken has the possibility of resulting in malnutrition since your dog might not be getting all of the nutrients they need
- Because of how chickens are farmed, the meat can have a vitamin D deficiency
Second only to chicken, beef is perhaps the most widely available and commonly used meats, not only for humans but also for pets. Let’s see how good it is for your pooch!
- Excellent nutritional source (good amounts of protein and fat)
- Meat is generally farmed in a better environment
- A red-meat only diet can result in malnutrition (though it’s less likely to happen than with chicken)
- Though a good source for protein and fats, still lacking in the necessary carbohydrates.
Option Three: Fish
Since fish is another commonly found meat, and even one that one could catch all on their own, let’s explore it as a possible food source for your dog.
- High in protein
- High in vitamins and minerals–when fresh
- Easy to access
- Often heavily boned (thus, difficult to prepare and dangerous for your dog if you don’t remove all the bones)
- Some dogs have allergies to certain fish
- Freshwater fish often contain levels of thiaminases, which can cause a vitamin B1 deficiency if used as a dog’s only food
Ultimately, research and price-checking is necessary in order to shape the ideal diet for your pooch. Try consulting your veterinarian and getting their suggestions for what foods should be incorporated into your dog’s diet, and then build from there!
No matter which meat you choose for you dog, the ultimate factor should always be the quality of the meat provided. 4D meats (dead, dying, diseased, and disabled animals) are never a good choice as the primary food source for a healthy dog. Choose fresh, human-grade meats of organic nature when possible.