Author Topic: Raw Meat  (Read 416 times)

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Offline mm34505

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Raw Meat
« on: May 12, 2017, 08:36:16 AM »
I was speaking to someone in the gym and they only feed their dog raw chicken and live by this.  They said there husky "Ben" is the healthiest dog around and the Vet approved of this.  Saying that when dogs are on the street they eat raw meat all the time.  Supposedly they have some enzyme in their body that can break down this raw food and got them sick?  Does anyone know any truth behind this?

To me it kinds makes sense bc when dogs are homeless they do not get a cook meal or kibble every night they eat whatever they have hunted or whatever they can find

Offline Kirsten

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Re: Raw Meat
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2017, 10:05:09 AM »
Can dogs process raw meat and poultry?  Yes.  Is this what they find on the street?  No.  If a person throws away raw chicken they're doing something wrong.  What they typically throw away are the remnants of prepared meals that no human wants, not the raw ingredients that never made it to their own plate.  I've seen animal products boned in the home kitchen because I grew up on a small farm, but when was the last time you saw someone process a carcass in their own kitchen to have any raw parts to discard?

Is feeding a dog nothing but chicken a good idea or something any vet would support?  No.  Despite being taxonomically carnivores dietarily dogs are omnivorous.  In the wild their canid ancestors would have consumed nearly the entire carcass of anything they caught and killed themselves, including the contents of the gut and the organs.  They would not have eaten only the muscle and bone and left the rest.  They would also have eaten some vegetation.

A dog living on the street eats garbage.  At least it's a varied diet and it's certainly not chicken meat and only chicken meat all the time.  When was the last time you saw a well-fed healthy looking street dog who lived a long life?

Is feeding raw a good idea for a service dog?  No.  First, you need to understand what factory farming has done to the meat products currently available in the US because they've changed in the last 50 years.  Once upon a time (in my lifetime) eating raw eggs was safe and common place.  Cookies were glazed with egg white washes with a drop of food color in them.  They were quite pretty.  Raw eggs were put in drinks (like eggnog) and in icecream.  Factory farming exponentially increases the bacteria now found in raw poultry products available in the grocery store to many times what they were in the day of the family farm.  Animals are confined in small containment systems to maximize profits and production.  They live in their own filth their whole lives.  They are fed antibiotics as a preventive because it's too much bother to examine each animal individually daily and treat those who are sick and not those who are healthy.  Superbugs were created by this overuse of antibiotics and have rendered meat and poultry found in US groceries unfit for human consumption without cooking to a certain temperature to kill the bacteria there.  I remember when this was not the case, but it is now.

So dogs fed a raw diet are being exposed to a significantly higher bacteria load than what their wild ancestors encountered.  Dogs are highly adaptable and on the whole seem to be handling this excess in bacteria well for the most part.  However, they are shedding bacteria from their feces and in traces on their fur and from about their mouths from eating and self grooming that are dangerous to humans with any sort of compromised immune system (the very young, the elderly, and the ill).  While it may be possible to safely feed a raw diet, even one containing commercially produced meat and poultry in a household where everyone has a robused immune system, a service dog is exposed to a great many other people outside the family both directly and indirectly, and inevitably some of those people will not have healthy immune systems.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2017, 10:09:52 AM by Kirsten »
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Offline Katrianah

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Re: Raw Meat
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2017, 10:46:08 AM »
I'd also add a bit to what Kristen said.

To me it kinds makes sense bc when dogs are homeless they do not get a cook meal or kibble every night they eat whatever they have hunted or whatever they can find

Street dogs have a much shorter life expectancy than a domestic dog. Our ancestors used to eat raw meat also, and many of them died from it. As we have improved our life-styles, nutrition, clean living, medicine, and so on, our life expectancy have more than doubled. This is true of wild animals as well. 'Feral dogs eat this so it's the healthiest diet' isn't a strong standpoint if those feral dogs only live a fraction of what domestic dogs do on average.

That said, Just like human food, there are varying degrees of food choices for dogs, ranging from abysmal junk food quality, to healthy choices. Just because some dog foods are poor, doesn't make them all poor. Just like the existence of twinkies doesn't mean that there aren't healthy human food options as well.

In regards to the person you spoke to, if they're feeding the dog the ENTIRE chicken, complete with organ meat, and bones, then it may actually be a relatively balanced diet. BUT from the sound of it, that may not be the case. If they're just giving their dog raw chicken meat and nothing else, the dog WILL suffer nutritional deficiencies that can greatly reduce its life-span and in some instances result in abrupt fatal consequences. (I knew someone whose cats almost died from taurine deficiency from a poorly done raw meat diet). Unfortunately I've seen way too many people who think 'my dog/cat has been eating this for days/months and is perfectly healthy, so it's fine' but they fail to look at the bigger picture. We can eat absolutely nothing but fast-food burgers for years, but you're going to be looking at health issues down the road if that's all you ate every day. Will it happen after one day? After a week? After a month? Probably not. But eventually it's going to catch up with you. Diabetes, weight issues, clogged arteries, etc. Unhealthy diets don't impact us on a day to day basis so much as on a year to year basis, and in some cases throughout an entire life-time.

That all said, I do think you CAN do a raw meat diet properly and in relative safety if done correctly (just like it's possible to do a healthy paleo diet, if you put in the time and effort), but I wouldn't advise a raw meat diet in households that have infants, or very young children who play on the floors and put their hands in their mouth. The dog may not get sick from the raw meat, but as Kristen pointed out they will contaminate the house with anything the raw meat was carrying. The risk is low, and for an adult whose immune system can handle most common contaminates found in raw meat, it's a risk that some are fine taking. But for an infant or young child who could be more seriously harmed by salmonella poisoning? It's not worth the risk.

Of course with service dogs the level of responsibility is higher, because you will be taking the dog into public establishments (including food establishments). I wouldn't feed a dog a bunch of raw meat, then head down to the local diner with it. To me that would be rather irresponsible. Admittedly the risk of contamination is going to be low, and the risk of cross-contamination via dog to something else, to third-party human is even lower unless you're letting the dog eat off the table. But I personally wouldn't want to be responsible for someone's kid getting salmonella because the cards weren't in my favor one day, or if someone's toddler ran up to the dog before anyone could stop it.

Offline mm34505

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Re: Raw Meat
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2017, 12:55:38 PM »
WOW thank you both for the replies! Great information I appreciate it.  I do not think the risk is worth it.  I know I would not want to eat anything raw and I do try and keep my SD away from human food as I like to keep him on his kibble with an occasional wet food as a treat.

Offline Ariel

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Re: Raw Meat
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2017, 12:58:21 PM »
No, chicken alone, even whole bone and organ in chicken is not a complete, balanced raw diet.
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