With raw diets becoming more and more popular for dogs, it’s no wonder owners want to know if raw foods are safe. With the allure of fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs, and fresh meat, many dog owners have switched to raw feeding. If you’re a concerned dog owner that wants the best for your dog, we commend you for doing your research. A closer look at a raw diet’s risks and benefits along with veterinary opinions and studies can shine a light on whether or not a raw diet is right for your dog.
Do Vets Approve of Raw Diets?
The majority of veterinarians still do not actively recommend raw feeding for dogs. However, some vets do promote raw feeding as a more beneficial diet than most commercial kibble choices . While these vets are outliers, there are some veterinarians that wholeheartedly believe that raw feeding is the best choice for domesticated dogs.
What Do Veterinarians That Approve of Raw Feeding Say?
“Raw diets are more natural”
An increased number of practising veterinarians, such as Tom Lonsdale, DVM, advocate for dogs eating a natural selection of foods . This means they promote the philosophy that dogs should eat what would have been biologically available to them if they were wild. Because, if wild dogs would eat an item, it should be nutritionally beneficial (or at least safe) for them.
Most veterinary professionals that support raw feeding often compare “natural raw diets” to what wolves eat. This isn’t because dogs and wolves are identical, but because dogs inherited many mannerisms from their wolf ancestors. Studies show that domesticated dogs have adapted to eating more starches . Furthermore, dogs retain many physiological characteristics that would make an ancestral wild dog’s diet similar to that of a wolf’s.
So What Makes Dogs Physiologically Adapted to Eating Raw Foods?
- Dogs have enzymes in their stomachs made to break down raw meat
- Salmonella poisoning in dogs is extremely rare 
“Raw feeding is a way to avoid carcinogens found in many commercial dog foods”
Vets recommend raw food as a way to avoid dangerous additives and preservatives that can be carcinogenic . This gives dog owners more control over the ingredients that go into their dog’s food. This control makes it less likely that a pet owner will unknowingly feed their dog something that could cause cancer.
“Raw diets have benefitted dogs for decades”
Other vets make the compelling argument that greyhounds, sled dogs, and show dogs have thrived on raw diets for decades (if not longer) . In fact, they say that greyhounds and sled dogs have benefited from the clean energy packed into raw meat and other raw ingredients.