Why You Shouldn't Feed Your Pet Raw Meat

While it's common wisdom that you should never feed your family raw meat, many people out there believe that it’s different for pets. But a raw food diet is unhealthy for dogs as well.

Here are two common reasons people give for feeding their pets raw meat, and why they're misinformed.

MYTH 1. Dogs need to eat nothing but meat.

Many people picture dogs fending for themselves in the wild, eating nothing but the meat off their prey. In reality, that's not necessarily true. Dogs eat and digest plants as well as meat.

As unappetizing as it sounds, wild dogs often eat the whole animal, bones and intestinal contents included. Consuming the whole animal helps them obtain nutrients such as calcium that aren't abundant in meat.

Pet owners who do attempt to approximate an animal's diet in the wild often don't have the expertise and resources to provide balanced levels of the many nutrients they need. Instead, it's more of a guessing game — one that may lead to nutritional deficiencies.

MYTH 2. You shouldn't trust commercial pet food.

Purina's quality pet foods are backed by years of canine and feline nutritional studies. To develop products, Purina scientists conduct research and look to veterinary colleges and animal nutritionists in Animal Science programs. They're always looking for new information and innovations that can help pets live better lives.

Remember, no single food or food group can provide all the nutrients we need in proper proportions. Manufacturers of good quality pet foods follow the same philosophy, incorporating all the nutrients a dog needs during a particular life stage into nutritionally complete and balanced diets.

Think of it this way: The people who work at these brands are pet lovers themselves, and want to create a food worthy of their own pets. Instead of risking malnutrition and possibly disease, it's always better to give a research-backed, prepared food made for a pet like yours.