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Vet Answers: Are raw food diets healthy for dogs

Dr. Berney Pukay is the chair of Petsecure's Veterinary Advisory Board and a well-known and highly-respected Canadian veterinarian. To ask a question for a future edition of Vet Answers, post on our Facebook page or tweet to @Petsecure.

What is your opinion on feeding raw foods to dogs instead of commercial diets? Are raw diets in fact healthier than cooked diets?

A: Problems can and do occur when a raw food diet is fed.  Meats in particular should not be fed raw because of the danger of transmitting parasites (e.g. toxoplasmosis) and harmful bacteria (e.g. Salmonella, E.coli, Enterobacter, Pseudomonas, etc.). 

Paradoxically, studies show that most dogs (and cats) prefer cooked meat over uncooked if given a choice. This should come as no surprise to pet owners since dogs (unlike wild animals) were domesticated and raised around a campfire over the centuries and those that survived on cooked meats were favoured to reproduce and pass on this genetic preference.

To get the complete story on the pros and cons of feeding raw foods to your pet, talk to your veterinarian.

Dr. Berney Pukay