The Dangers of Feeding Raw

Feeding raw has become increasingly popular and polarizing among dog owners. Although raw feeding enthusiasts may claim it’s a healthier, more natural diet for dogs, it seems the science just isn’t there.

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Disease!

Of course, the biggest concern when it comes to raw feeding is the risk of food-borne illness or specifically - pathogenic organisms.

Pathogenic organisms like salmonella, listeria, or E. coli are bacteria capable of causing disease within their host. There is a perception that dogs can shed these organisms but science is ultimately unclear on this topic. We do know, however, that there are many cases of dogs dying due to complications from contaminated raw diets [1] and salmonella, in particular, is found in 48% of raw meat-based diets [2]. This results in issues for not only dogs, but humans as well. Simply touching the food and then your mouth can lead to salmonella poisoning [3] which is especially dangerous for children.

 Infographic detailing some benefits of Inukshuk and negatives of raw.

Infographic detailing some benefits of Inukshuk and negatives of raw.

Although studies vary on which diet creates more issues when contaminated [4], there is no denying the inherent risk of ingesting these organisms is much higher when feeding raw than when feeding kibble.

High Risk, Low Reward

Most financial analysts would agree - investing in a stock brandishing a high-risk and a low-return would not be a good idea. Similarly, most veterinarians are against the idea of feeding a raw diet to a dog. The risks are simply too high and the benefits are too small.

When you feed raw, not only are you accepting the risk of a food-borne illness and disease, you are also likely to create a nutritional imbalance [5].

In a study done in 2011, researchers found that, out of 95 prepared rations, 60% had a significant nutritional imbalance while the other 40% had a minor nutritional imbalance [6]. This can result in diets exhibiting nutritional deficiencies and excesses [7] - both of which can cause serious health problems.

Needless to say, it is a very difficult and rigorous process to create a balanced and nutritional raw diet.

Your Dog is not a Wolf

It’s true that the dog’s undomesticated ancestor and counterpart, the wolf, consumes an entirely raw meat-based diet. However, research shows that the transition from a raw diet to kibble-based diet was a crucial step in the early domestication of dogs [8]. Not to mention, the average wolf lives only half as long as long as the average domesticated dog.

Conclusion

It’s not worth it. The risks of illness and disease are high and the benefits are still unknown at this point.

In our research, we found that most people end up switching to a raw diet because of distrust and frustration with dog food manufacturers. We understand this concern as people are ultimately just looking out for their dog’s health. But we can assure you - Inukshuk is, and has always been, different. Above all else, dog health is our number one priority. We make what we sell and we only sell the best. You can count on that.

Stay safe. Feed kibble.