Can I Feed My Dog Raw Meat From the Supermarket

icon July 27, 2023

The debate over whether dogs should be fed raw meat has long been a topic of discussion among pet owners and veterinarians. Many fear feeding their dog's raw meat from the supermarket. They say it can lead to disease. Proponents argue that a raw meat diet can provide many health benefits. Here, we will discuss why feeding raw meat is safe and healthy for your dog. We'll also provide tips on preparing raw meat safely so your pet doesn't get sick or ill.

Can You Feed Your Dog Raw Meat From the Supermarket?

Raw meat is common for dogs, but there are many things to consider before feeding your pet.
The biggest concern is that the meat may be contaminated with bacteria or parasites.
But feeding your dog raw meat from the supermarket is generally not recommended. Because raw meat, especially from the supermarket, can be contaminated with harmful bacteria like Salmonella, E. coli, and Listeria. 
Raw meat can also harbor parasites like Toxoplasma and Trichinella. Because you don't know how long it's been sitting there or what temperature the raw meat was handled at. 
So only dog meat from reputable sources such as Whole Foods or Costco should be given.

Is Raw Meat Good for Dogs?

Feeding dogs raw meat is a controversial topic, and opinions on the matter vary among veterinarians, pet owners, and experts. Proponents of raw meat diets for dogs claim several potential benefits, while opponents highlight the risks and disadvantages involved. Let's explore both sides:

Benefits of Feeding Dogs Raw Meat

1. Nutritional Content

Raw meat is rich in natural nutrients, including proteins, enzymes, vitamins, and minerals. Dogs evolved from wolves, which are generally considered to be omnivores that primarily eat meat. Advocates argue that raw meat is closer to what dogs' ancestors consumed in the wild, making it a more natural diet for them.

2. Raw Meat Is Fresh and Absent of Chemicals

In fact, if raw meat is fresh and placed at the right temperature, foods like raw meat can be beneficial to dogs in many ways, especially when compared to a traditional rough-grinding diet.

There will be a lot less additives as well as chemicals.

3. Digestive Health

Dogs’ digestive systems are designed to process the raw meat and bones they ate during the Stone Age. Some dogs may have better digestion on a raw diet, as it can be easier for them to process compared to heavily processed commercial dog foods. This can result in firmer stools and less gas. 

They can readily digest proteins, carbs, fats, and vitamins without needing extra enzymes like we do because their bodies produce enough enzymes naturally for optimum digestion.

4. Chewing and Dental Health

Feeding raw meat with bones can provide dental benefits for dogs. Chewing on raw bones can help clean their teeth and promote better oral health.

5. Increased Energy

Advocates of raw diets suggest that dogs have more energy and improved overall vitality when fed raw meat. Their coats become silkier, they have more energy, and they are less likely to become overweight or obese than kibble eaters.
Allergies and food sensitivities also improve in pets eating a raw-meat diet.

Disadvantages and Potential Risks of Feeding Dogs Raw Meat

1. Parasite Transmission

Raw meat might contain parasites like Toxoplasma or Trichinella, which can infect dogs. 
They can suffer from mild gastrointestinal upset (vomiting and diarrhea).

2. Bacteria Contamination

Raw meat, including beef, chicken, pork, and fish, can be contaminated with harmful bacteria such as Salmonella, E. coli, and Campylobacter. These pathogens can cause severe gastrointestinal issues in dogs, leading to symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, and in some cases, even life-threatening conditions. Furthermore, dogs can transmit these bacteria to humans through their feces, saliva, or contaminated surfaces, posing a risk to human health, particularly to young children, the elderly, or individuals with compromised immune systems.

3. Safe Handling Challenges

Handling raw meat requires strict hygiene practices to prevent cross-contamination and minimize the risk of bacterial transmission. Not all dog owners may be knowledgeable or diligent enough to handle raw meat safely, increasing the risk of contamination.

4. Increased Cost

A raw diet can be more expensive than commercial dog foods, as it often includes a variety of meats, organs, and supplements to ensure nutritional balance. This might make it less accessible for some dog owners.

Ways to Reduce Risks When Feeding Your Dog Raw Meat

If you opt to give your dog a raw meat diet, there are several precautions you can take to minimize associated risks. Firstly, purchase raw meat from reputable sources, like a trusted butcher or pet food supplier. Look for human-grade meats with no additives or preservatives, seeking options like grass-fed, hormone-free, and free-range meats. Handling the meat with care and keeping it refrigerated or frozen until feeding time and wash your hands and any surfaces that come into contact with the raw meat to help avoid bacterial contamination.

Another consideration is feeding your dog a commercial raw meat diet specially formulated to provide complete and balanced nutrition. While these diets may be pricier than raw meat from the supermarket, they could offer a safer long-term option for your pet's health.

How Much Raw Meat to Feed a Dog Per Day?

The frequency of feeding raw meat to dogs can vary based on several factors, including the dog's age, breed, activity level, and overall health.

If you and your veterinarian have decided that a raw meat diet is appropriate for your dog, here are some general guidelines:


Puppies require more protein and nutrients for their growth and development. On average, a puppy may need around 25% to 30% of its daily caloric intake to come from protein. The rest of the diet can consist of fats and carbohydrates. The recommended amount of raw meat can vary between 5% to 10% of the puppy's body weight per day, divided into several meals.

Adult Dog

Adult dogs generally require a balanced diet with appropriate protein levels to maintain their weight and energy levels. The recommended amount of raw meat is typically around 2% to 3% of the adult dog's body weight per day, divided into two meals.

Senior Dog

Senior dogs may have lower energy needs and may benefit from a diet with slightly reduced protein content to support kidney health. The recommended amount of raw meat is similar to adult dogs, around 2% to 3% of their body weight per day, divided into two meals.


Frequency/ Amount of raw meat


5% to 10% of body weight per day

divided into 3-4 meals

Adult Dog

2% to 3% of body weight per day

divided into two meals

Senior Dog

2% to 3% of body weight per day

divided into two meals

If you're considering giving your dog a raw food diet, the most important thing is to have a balanced nutritional profile, with a number of other vitamins and minerals in addition to the raw meat.

What Should I Feed My Dog on a Raw Diet?

Feeding your dog a raw diet, also known as a "raw food diet" or "BARF diet" (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food), can be a healthy and natural way to provide them with balanced nutrition. However, it's essential to ensure you're offering a well-rounded diet to meet all of your dog's nutritional needs. Here are some guidelines for feeding your dog on a raw diet:

1. Meat

The foundation of a raw diet is raw meat. You can use a variety of meats such as chicken, turkey, beef, lamb, pork, and game meats. Offer a mix of muscle meats (like chicken breast or beef), organ meats (liver, kidney, heart), and even bones (raw and non-cooked). Bones should be large enough to avoid choking hazards and splintering.

2. Fruits and Vegetables

Include a selection of dog-friendly fruits and vegetables like apples, carrots, blueberries, spinach, and sweet potatoes. These provide essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Remember to chop or puree them for better digestion.

3. Raw Eggs

Eggs are an excellent source of protein and healthy fats. You can feed them raw, including the shell, which provides calcium. However, ensure the eggs are fresh and from a reliable source to minimize the risk of salmonella.

4. Fish (Optional)

Fish, such as salmon or sardines, can be included occasionally to provide omega-3 fatty acids. Ensure the fish is from reputable sources and free from any potential toxins.

Food to Avoid on the Raw Food Diet

Some foods are toxic to dogs and should never be included in a raw diet. These include onions, garlic, grapes, raisins, chocolate, and anything containing xylitol (a common sugar substitute).


Can Dogs Eat Raw Supermarket Meat?

Yes, you can feed your dog raw meat from the supermarket, but it’s essential to ensure that the meat is fresh and appropriately stored. You should also avoid feeding your dog raw meat exposed to bacteria or other contaminants.

Can a Dog Get Sick from Eating Raw Meat?

Yes, dogs can get sick from eating raw meat, just like humans can. 
One of the primary concerns is the presence of harmful bacteria, such as Salmonella and E. coli, which can be present in raw meat. These bacteria can cause foodborne illnesses in dogs and may lead to symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, lethargy, and in severe cases, dehydration and life-threatening complications.

Additionally, raw meat may also contain parasites, such as Toxoplasma and Trichinella, which can infect dogs and cause various health issues.

Why My Dog Ate Raw Meat and Is Throwing Up?

If your dog ate raw meat and is now throwing up, there could be several possible reasons for this behavior. Here are some common explanations:

Does Raw Meat Make Dogs Aggressive?

There is no scientific evidence to suggest that feeding dogs raw meat directly causes aggression. Aggression in dogs is a complex behavior that can be influenced by a variety of factors, including genetics, early socialization, training, environment, and individual temperament.



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