Learning About Rodent Pets

3 Reasons To Avoid Giving Your Dog Raw Foods

by Neil Turner

Many pet owners believe that their dog will thrive on a raw diet. While varying opinions exist on whether or not a raw diet is adequate, the research shows that raw foods and your canine companion shouldn't mix. Giving your dog raw foods could be setting him or her up for serious illness.

When you understand the risks associated with feeding your dog raw foods, you will be more inclined to keep your pet on a strict diet of vet-approved foods instead.

1. Salmonella

Salmonella is a very real threat for both humans and dogs that come into contact with raw meat. Primarily found in raw meat products, salmonella is considered to be a zoonotic pathogen. This means that you could spread salmonella to your dog, and he or she could infect you with the bacterial illness.

Salmonella exposure, commonly referred to as food poisoning, can cause your dog to vomit or experience diarrhea that might lead to dehydration. Abdominal pain can also accompany salmonella exposure.

Processed kibble and wet dog foods do not contain any raw meats that might spread salmonella through your household. Ask your vet to recommend one of these safe alternatives instead of keeping your dog on a raw diet.

2. E. Coli

Another problem that you have to worry about when giving your dog a raw diet is E. Coli. Raw vegetables are the primary carriers of the E. Coli bacteria. Just as salmonella bacteria can be passed between human and dog, E. Coli can be spread through contact with your dog's feces.

A case of E. Coli will cause fever nausea, and abdominal pain. Severe cases of E. Coli poisoning can even result in kidney failure or death for your dog. You can easily avoid the potentially deadly effects of E. Coli by making it a rule to never give your dog raw vegetables.

3. Foreign Bodies

Dog owners may believe that giving their canine companions raw bones is good for the animal's teeth and gums. This is simply not true. Bones are considered part of a raw diet, and they should be kept away from your dog at all costs.

Letting your dog chew on a bone could result in the need for surgery to remove a foreign body from his or her intestines or bowels. Small pieces of bone can splinter as your dog gnaws the raw food product. These splinters can cause permanent damage to the digestive tract, which can lead to death if not treated immediately.

Never give your dog a bone if you want to avoid an emergency trip to the vet hospital.