Debunking some common myths about raw dog food - Bacteria and small dogs
July 28, 2017
As well as spreading the benefits of raw dog food and helping owners understand this diet, we also feel it is important to debunk some of the common myths about raw dog food. We have already looked at whether raw food will make your pet vicious (no) and if a raw diet is the natural diet of pets (it is), but we thought we’d discuss a couple other common misconceptions about raw dog food.
Bacteria In Raw Food Will Not Harm Your Dog
Because a raw diet is natural to dogs, their bodies are designed to handle the bacteria that is commonly present in raw meat. Their tongues and saliva have anti-bacterial enzymes that effectively destroy many bacteria as they eat their food. Their digestive system is also ideally set up to handle bacteria that is present in their food. The stomach of a dog is highly acidic and has thick walls which is designed to deter bacteria from spreading or generating and their quick digestive process ensure food is digested before most harmful bacteria has time to colonize.
That being said it is critical that any raw meat is handled in a safe manner and that high food safety standards are followed from supplier to manufacturer through to the end user – you.
It should also be noted that commercial kibble foods are not “bacteria free”. Again, dogs are capable of handling many forms of natural bacteria, but commercial pet food has often been pulled off shelves due to the presence of bacteria or mold that dogs are not naturally prone to digesting.
Small Dogs CAN Handle A Raw Diet
It cannot be stated enough that a raw diet is the natural diet of ALL dogs. Yet the misconception persists that small dogs or toy breeds cannot handle a raw diet. In some ways, though, it is more important to ensure these breeds are receiving their species-appropriate diet.
Small dogs have the physiology to process raw meat and bones, as they have evolved similar to larger canines to process this type of diet. The biggest difference between large and small dogs when it comes to feeding is in their teeth. Because of the structure of small and toy dog breeds teeth, they are often more susceptible to oral diseases. A raw diet helps keep dogs’ teeth and mouths clean naturally.
The important thing is to tailor their raw food to their size and ability to chew the food in a safe way. Small dogs need to be “fed big”. Don’t match their food pieces to their size, as a small dog may attempt to eat a small chicken wing whole. Think options like duck necks, liver, heart, lamb, chicken quarters, beef neck bones, and other organs for your small dog or toy breed. Or better yet, to avoid concern of swallowing large chunks, opt for a finely ground blend such as Iron Will Raw formulas.
If you have a question about feeding raw or have a concern about raw meat for dogs, contact us today. We love connecting with dogs and finding out what is on their mind. It helps us answer questions and make a better product!