Many times when I tell people that my dogs eat all raw meat and no kibble, I am met with gasps and fear and comments such as "But, won't they choke on the bones?" and "Don't they get salmonella?" and many other fearful questions.
Well, first of all, dogs can choke on anything. Dogs have died choking on regular dog food. So choking is a hazard with any type of food going down the throat. The important concept is RAW bones. No dog should ever be given cooked bones, as they can splinter and damage the dog's intestines. Dogs, thousands of years ago, never had dog food. They fed on prey, not Purina. This is why a dog goes to town on raw meat and bones. It is what their ancestors lived and thrived on!
Concerning salmonella, dogs' digestive systems are quite different from humans. First, dogs have a very short digestive tract compared to humans, which does not give the bacteria time to colonize. Second, dogs' saliva contains an enzyme called lysozyme, which helps to destroy harmful bacteria. Lastly, the acid in a dog's stomach is MUCH stronger than humans, which also kills bacteria. Ever wonder why dogs can eat poop and not get sick? J If I were you, I wouldn't try it!
Commercial dog foods have been known to cause many a sick dog, although your vet may not mention this. The biggest problem with dogs eating kibble is periodontal disease. Approximately 80% of pets have this disease by the age of 2. Feeding raw meaty bones, such as chicken legs, turkey necks, turkey backs, among others, serves as a natural toothbrush and floss. The difference in my own dog's teeth after switching to raw was astounding. A year before switching, she had so much plaque, I thought I was going to have to put her under for surgery. After starting her on raw, her teeth look like new! The plaque is gone and the teeth are white. The bacteria from periodontal disease can, unfortunately, spread to other organs in the body and cause illness. So, clean teeth are a must and the raw diet lends itself beautifully to this.
Another area where a raw diet can help a dog thrive is energy and stamina. I've seen many older dogs who are not nearly as playful and quick on the feet as they were as puppies. After a short time on raw, they started bouncing around again. They also come RUNNING when they hear their dinner being made. Mealtime is now FUN and the food is gone VERY quickly!
Unfortunately, many commercial dog foods are made up of mostly fillers. Corn, gluten, artificial colors, even euthanized dogs and cats have been known to make their way into dog food. Similar to humans, more damage can occur when we put artificial ingredients and chemicals into the body. Feeding dogs raw is a surefire way to give them the ultimate nutrition and to make sure that nothing is going into their bodies that can do them harm.
If we want to lengthen the time we have with our furry best friends, this is a great way to start. Not only will it make them healthier and cleaner, but it will also make them happier! Start today-you won't regret it. Their happiness and health will be your thank you from them!