Raw Dog Food Myths: Do Dogs Get Sick From Raw Dog Food? | Part 3

Raw Dog Food Myths 3/5: Do Dogs Get Sick From Raw Dog Food?

Do dogs get sick from raw dog food?

Back in 2015 when I made the switch from kibble to raw, I asked myself that very question.

But before we dive into the topic, let’s define sickness in dogs.

So, dogs who are sick can have many different symptoms.

The most common ones are probably:

  • Lethargy
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Bloody poop
  • Lack of appetite

These symptoms can definitely be caused by the type of food they’re eating.

That said, none of my three dogs ever got sick from their raw dog food!

K9sOverCoffee.com | Raw Dog Food Myths: Do Dogs Get Sick From Raw Dog Food? Part 3/5

Dogs Don’t Get Sick From Raw Meat Because They’re Designed To Eat It

Dogs don’t get sick from raw meat unless they:

  • Weren’t properly introduced to it
  • Have a compromised immune system
  • Are offered too much fatty meat or too much bone

After all, their digestive systems are made to digest raw meat.

As a matter of fact, it digests raw meat much better than it digests any other type of dog food, including highly processed kibble.

Check out this blog post for more information on what causes and helps raw-fed dogs who are constipated.

Genetically, The Dog Is Still A Wolf

Now, genetically speaking, the dog is still a wolf.

That’s a fact because dogs and wolves share almost exactly the same DNA. As a matter of fact, it only differs by 0.2%!

And no one would argue that wolves can’t eat raw meat, right?

By the way, what did dogs eat before kibble was created in the 20th century?!

Teeth & Skull

What do you see when you look into a dog’s (and wolf’s) mouth and at their heads in general?

You see mostly sharp premolars and long canine teeth that are made for:

  • Ripping
  • Holding
  • Shredding
  • Crushing bone
  • Tearing off flesh

You’ll only see a few molars in the back for grinding.

Wally eating a raw turkey neck
Wally eating a raw turkey neck

Their heads consist of a wide skull that gives them ultimate bite strength and pressure.

Unlike herbivores, their eyes are set forward in the skull instead of on their sides.

Herbivores have their eyes on their sides in order to better see predators coming!

Acidic Stomach Environment Trumps Salmonella In Raw Dog Food

Dogs and wolves both have a much more acidic stomach than we do.

That means that it can kill bacteria, including potential salmonella in raw dog food.

So even if raw meat contains bacteria like salmonella, it won’t survive the acidic environment of a healthy dog’s stomach. 

It’s also made to easily break down and absorb the prey dogs and wolves would find in the wild.

That includes bones, feet, organs, and even eyeballs, feathers, fur and hair.

K9sOverCoffee | Putting My Dogs' Raw Meals Together - Part 2- Organs, Cutting Up Beef Liver
Cutting up raw beef liver for meal prep

Short Digestive Tract

The canine digestive system is not only more acidic than ours, it’s also much shorter.

Bacteria “don’t hang out” in there, as Dr. Dee Blanco, DVM at Marty’s Meals in Santa Fe, NM, puts it!

Raw Meat Is Easier To Digest Than Kibble

Dogs are able to digest raw meat much more easier than they are kibble.

That’s because of their short digestive tract and acidic environment.

Raw-Fed Dogs Have Smaller Poops

I actually see daily proof that raw meat is much better absorbed by dogs than highly processed kibble.

Missy & Buzz’s poop volume has drastically decreased since feeding them raw dog food. 

Bone appétit - My Dogs Are Digging Into Their Raw Dog Food
Missy & Buzz eating their raw dog food

Update 2024: The same is true for my pup Wally. I immediately switched him from kibble to raw when I adopted him in early 2019, and he’s so much healthier than he was before.

It becomes really evident whenever I feed the pups a dehydrated or freeze-dried raw meal in between.

Once the undigested dehydrated/freeze-dried food comes out, its volume is 2-3 times the size of what it’s like on a raw diet.

Pretty amazing!

A Raw Powerhouse Of Digestive Enzymes: Green Tripe

Green tripe is a great way of including healthy fats in raw dog food

Green tripe is the stomach lining of ruminant animals. That said, it’s a natural, nutritional powerhouse that promotes healthy digestion. 

Dogs go bonkers for it, and neither Missy nor Buzz or Wally are an exception!

It can treat both diarrhea as well as constipation because it contains high amounts of digestive enzymes. They’re essentially the good intestinal bacteria.

So if your pup has a bad case of diarrhea, try offering him some green tripe instead of the boiled rice and synthetic probiotics that are so often recommended by traditional vets! 

Do Dogs Get Sick From Raw Dog Food? Bottom Line

Neither Missy & Buzz, nor Wally ever got sick from eating their raw dog food.

On the contrary, they’ve been thriving and sport gloriously glowing coats! 

Have you thought about feeding your pup a raw diet but were scared of taking the first step?

As always, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section below this blog post!

Related Reading:

(Visited 403 times, 1 visits today)

Barbara launched her blog K9sOverCoffee in 2014 and has been feeding her dogs raw dog food since 2015. As a former professional dog walker, she’s passionate about balancing species-appropriate exercise with healthy dog nutrition. Barbara is raw dog food nutrition certified from “Dogs Naturally Magazine” and the author of several e-books about minimally processed, balanced raw dog food.






6 responses to “Raw Dog Food Myths 3/5: Do Dogs Get Sick From Raw Dog Food?”

  1. Earl Lover Avatar

    Very interesting!

  2. Julie Smith Avatar
    Julie Smith

    More good information. I think being as natural as possible is always the best. It is so good to read these posts and learn more about raw feeding.

    1. K9sOverCoffee Avatar

      Thanks, Julie. Absolutely, I totally agree. Even just adding a little more nutritious food can go a long way, for example substituting one kibble meal with dehydrated or freeze-dried, or topping kibble off with fresh meat.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *