Even if you’re not feeding raw dog food yet, chances are you’ve probably seen it at a pet retail store. So obviously it’s a thing, and I personally have successfully been feeding raw dog food since 2015, but do you know the reasons why dogs can eat raw dog food without getting sick from it?
There’s a very easy answer to this question – it’s because they’re designed for it.
Dog and wolf DNA only differs by 0.2%. So genetically, the dog is still a wolf.
Wolves hunt anything they can catch from deer to rabbits and eat their prey raw. Since dogs and wolves share essentially the same anatomy and physiology, dogs can eat raw meat just like wolves.
And it doesn’t matter if they’re wolf look-alikes such as Shepherds and Huskies, or Beagles and Poodles! Even tiny pups like Chihuahuas and Yorkies can eat raw dog food.
Reasons Why Dogs Can Eat Raw Dog Food: Looking at Teeth, Skull, and Stomach
Teeth are an important clue as far as figuring out what a certain type of species eats. That said, have you ever looked into your dog’s mouth? Once you’ll take a closer look, you’ll see that dogs don’t have many flat surfaces in their mouths.
As a matter of fact, they only have a few molars in the back for grinding. The rest of their teeth are sharp premolars and long canine teeth that enable them to rip, hold, shred, and tear off flesh, as well as crush raw bone.
And unlike herbivores, dogs don’t have large front teeth that cut vegetation, and they also can’t move their jaws sideways. Herbivores like cows, horses or rabbits do this to predigest plant matter. So do omnivores like pigs, squirrels and mice.
Dogs and wolves have a wide skull that gives them better bite strength and pressure.
Unlike herbivores, dogs’ eyes are set forward in the skull. The eyes in herbivores are set on either side of their head so they can see predators (for example wolves!) coming.
The digestive tracts of dogs and wolves are virtually identical. Their small and large intestines are considerable shorter compared to those of omnivores like pigs and herbivores like cows.
Omnivores and herbivores need long digestive systems to break down and ferment plant matter.
Dogs don’t need their GI tract to be long because they don’t eat the type of food that would require it! They need the opposite in order to be able to digest raw meat.
Dogs and wolves also have an acidic gut. Both mean that dogs can properly digest raw meat and bones.
Low pH level
In case you’re wondering just how acidic a dog’s stomach is: Raw-fed dogs have a pH level of 2. That’s acidic enough to kill parasites present on raw meat.
Kibble-fed dogs have a pH level around 4, so it’s a bit more alkaline. However, once they start eating raw meat, their pH level gets lower. The more acidic their gut, the better they’re able to absorb calcium.
Why dogs can eat raw dog food: Are dogs carnivores or omnivores?
Dogs are primarily carnivores and only “omnivorous to a certain degree“. That’s how holistic veterinarian Dr. Dee Blanco, DVM, puts it in her course How to Feed Your Pet Real Food, and her colleague Dr. Chris Bessent, DVM, considers dogs to be “scavenger carnivores“.
That’s because unlike herbivores, they don’t produce enough of the enzyme amylase that breaks down starches during the digestion process.
For example, they can’t digest grains like rice, barley, millet or corn in their raw and unprocessed form. Dogs can only digest these types of grains if they’ve been heated, which is a form of predigestion.
Not only C A N dogs eat raw dog food, they also T H R I V E on it!
So obviously, dogs can eat raw meat! It also comes with many benefits such as less allergies, clean teeth and ears, shiny coats, lots of energy, a healthy appetite, smaller poops, general lack of smell, fresh breath, etc.
There’s literally a plethora of benefits, but in general, dogs THRIVE on a fresh, raw meat diet. That’s because it’s the type of food that nature designed dogs to eat. If you’d like and think it’s more appropriate to replace nature with God or the Universe, please feel free to do so. That part depends on your personal belief system.
I purposely use the word thrive, because dogs can survive on highly processed, starchy dog food. But that doesn’t mean that it’s good for them, especially not in the long run.
As a matter of fact, highly processed dog food has as many side effects as raw dog food has benefits!
Those side effects are overall poor health that shows in itchy skin, dirty teeth, yeasty ears, a dull and dandruffy coat, poor appetite, lower energy levels, large and stinky poops, smelly breath…the list goes on and on and is essentially the opposite of what the benefits of raw dog food are.
Please leave your comments or questions in the comment section below!
Related Reading:Join the K9sOverCoffee Community today! Get your free raw dog food recipe, excerpted from “20 Raw Meals for Dogs”!
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