Myths About a Raw Dog Food Diet


There is much controversy that surrounds a raw dog food diet. Experts on forums and most veterinarians will warn you that there are serious health consequences and the risks of bacterial infections when serving your dog raw food recipes.

But are these warnings valid?

Myth #1 – Risk of bacterial infection from raw food

One of the most persistent myths about raw food diets is the danger of bacteria such as salmonella and E. Coli. But let’s face it, dog’s routinely eat items that would send any human to the emergency room: garbage, other dogs’ stools, roadkill. For goodness sakes, they spend an inordinate amount of time licking their own behinds!

Here as in many other misconceptions about canine nutrition, we confuse a dog’s digestive and immunity system with our own. The truth is that dogs have powerful stomachs and a digestive system that can handle much more bacteria than we can. In addition, their immune systems are built in such a way that bacteria does not impact them in the same way.

Expert veterinarian and noted author, Dr. Richard Pitcairn comments in his book on canine nutrition that in the 15 years of recommending raw dog food diets to his clients, he has never encountered a case of E. coli or salmonella.

The folks over at Leerburg Kennels, who know a thing or two about breeding dogs and whose dogs are used in law enforcement and competition, have been feeding their dogs raw food diets for over 45 years. Again, nary a whisper about salmonella infections.

Veterinarians and dog nutrition

The truth is that most veterinarians have little training in canine nutrition. If they did, they would stop recommending commercial pet food which consists primarily of grains. This type of food is extremely difficult for your dog to digest, leads to a host of allergies for many dogs and is responsible for over-eating, diabetes, weight gain, and numerous other problems.

Indeed, the information that vets receive in school is often funded by pet food companies and may even be supplied by pet food representatives as part of the curriculum. In addition, many veterinarians receive kickbacks and make a profit by retailing dog foods.

Myth #2 – Dogs will choke on bones

Another fairly widespread misconception about a raw food diet is that your dog will choke on the bones given in raw food recipes.

Uncooked bones, the kind that form part of raw meaty bone (RBM), are soft and are easily bent, chewed and digested.

A typical raw dog food serving for a 50 lbs dog would be 1- 1 1/2 cups of chicken necks or backs, for example. You could also go with pork ribs or turkey necks instead. If that isn’t one of the easiest dishes to prepare, I don’t know what is.

IMPORTANT: Certainly, COOKED bones are a different story. Indeed, these should NEVER be given to your dog. Cooked bones become brittle and can easily splinter causing injury or death. But a raw meaty bone is not the same as a cooked bone.

As a last resort if you are still not comfortable with giving your dog a bone, you can grind them. The important aspect is that RMBs are rich in calcium and fatty acids thus, you will not have to supplement these things in your dog’s diet.