Raw Dog Food

With a lot of talk about the raw dog food debate going on here are a few pros and cons about feeding your dog the raw diet vs. standard dog food diet.

To start off let’s talk about what the raw diet is and what it consists of. It started by being fed to sled dogs and racing Greyhounds and only recently transitioned to also being fed to companion animals Ian Billing Hurst was first to propose feeding the diet in 1993 he called it the barf diet which stands for Bones and Raw Food or biologically appropriate raw food.  Although some variations of the diet exist in general, the diet includes:

  • Muscle meat, often still on the bone
  • Bones, either whole or ground
  • Organ meats such as livers and kidneys
  • Raw eggs
  • Vegetables like broccoli, spinach, and celery
  • Apples or other fruit
  • Some dairy, such as yogurt

Now that we know what it consists let’s go over some of the pros and cons


  • You know exactly what goes into your dog’s food
  • Shinier coat
  • Healthier skin
  • Cleaner teeth
  • Smaller stools


Raw meat contains bacteria and parasites such as salmonella listeria and other harmful bacteria to you and especially dangerous to people with compromised immune systems like the very young or elderly
Nutritional balance can also be of concern as many raw diets are self-made and you are not a canine nutritionist so getting the proper amount of calcium and phosphorus can be challenging even if that is calculated correctly it’s hard to make sure itis absorbed properly.

The shiny coat comes at a cost, it may increase or also cause severe gastrointestinal problems as well as obesity.

Hyperthyroid is also an issue.

Perforation of the esophagus small intestine or colon because of the bones in the diet.

Written by: Colin Huard, ACA