Many times, it has probably happened. Your dog was standing beside you in the kitchen, watching as you cooked a meal. One look into your dog’s eyes, and you know he is quietly begging for a piece of meat. It is common knowledge that table scraps are bad for your dog’s health, but can he have a piece of meat? If your dog can have meat, should it be cooked or raw?
The answer is simple. Meat contains protein which is very good for dogs, and their digestive systems can handle meats pretty well. You will need to decide whether to offer him a piece of raw meat or cooked meat, as both options have advantages and disadvantages that dog owners should consider.
Feeding Raw Meat to Your Dog
Many veterinarians try to discourage owners from offering raw meat to their dogs because there are many types of toxic bacteria and parasites, some of which are known to cause diarrhea, vomiting and other illnesses in puppies and dogs.
However, there are some veterinarians who believe that raw meat is quite good for your dog’s health, including such benefits as accelerating the digestion rate in your dog’s bowels and keeping him full of energy. If you want to feed your dog raw meat, here are some tips to help keep your dog healthy.
You should freeze the raw meat longer than two days. High temperatures can effectively kill many of the invisible germs found in raw meat, allowing the rest to be destroyed during the cooking process. In addition, extremely low temperatures needed for freezing will also kill the bacterium and limit the growth of parasites.
Owners should note that only temperatures below 20 degrees Fahrenheit can kill the bacterium and most home refrigerators cannot reach temperatures that low. If you decide to offer your dog raw meat, be sure to purchase freezer thermometers to be sure your dog is protected.
Raw meat should only be given to dogs that are in perfect health. When your dog is healthy and strong, he can easily digest food and parasites quickly, and his immune system can easily ward off attacks from infectious bacteria. Raw meat can also provide plenty of energy for your dog, due to the high levels of protein in each bite.
However, if your dog is ill or suffers from a serious health condition, he should not try to digest raw meat due to the possibility of ingesting harmful bacteria. This is because your dog’s immune system is too weak to defend his body from harmful bacteria, increasing the likelihood that he will get sick.
It is important to keep your dog’s food dish clean, before and after meals. Bacteria can reproduce quickly and copiously in warm, moist and humid environments, such as your dog’s food bowl. You will also find that many dog dishes are made in such a way that food residue is left in the sides or crevices after feedings, which allows the breeding of harmful bacteria. Owners should wash and clean their dogs’ food bowls as frequently as they would their own in an effort to reduce risk and provide protection for their pets from sickness and illnesses.
Feeding Cooked Meat to Your Dog
It is hard to resist your dog’s begging eyes when he is watching you put a piece of meat into your mouth, but you should never feed him directly from your plate. This is to promote proper training in obedience and manners, but also because the food on your plate has been seasoned to make it more delicious. Seasoning has no place in your dog’s diet, as this can act just like poison to his system. For example, too much salt in a dog’s diet can lead to sodium ion poisoning, putting your canine’s life at risk. If you want to feed your dog cooked food, making sure to kill harmful bacteria, below are some helpful steps for cooking meat for your canine.
Choose a piece of boneless meat, preferably a cut that has very little fat. Meat containing bones can dramatically increase the risk of injury, as they have been known to splinter, puncturing the dog’s gastrointestinal tract. You will want to pan sear the boneless meat over medium to medium-high heat.
While you cook the boneless meat for your dog, do not add any seasonings. You may need to add a thin layer of olive oil to help prevent the meat from sticking to the pan. Fry the meat in the olive oil until both sides get a nice sear. Remember, do not add seasonings, even the ones you think might be harmless such as garlic or onion. Both of these seasonings can cause anemia in your dog that can lead to vomiting and breathing problems. Other spices that can cause serious health issues in your dog include baking soda and baking powder, to name a few.
Wait until the cooked boneless meat has cooled slightly, and cut the steak into small bite sized pieces. These small pieces of meat will make it easier for your dog to eat and promote better digestion. It is can be very dangerous if you feed your pet large chunks of meat. Dogs are known to be fast eaters, and large pieces can easily lead to choking. Small bites will also help you train your dog by controlling the speed at which he eats.
Be sure to feed the appropriate amount of meat to your dog, considering his other nutritional needs. This is necessary because an all-meat diet cannot provide your pet with a proper balanced diet. Meat should make up approximately 25 to 50 percent of your dog’s meal. You can offer your dog a healthy mix of fruits, vegetables and grains, such as carrots, green beans and other leafy green veggies. You can easily construct a healthy diet for your dog from your own kitchen, based on his veterinarian’s recommendations.
Avoid sudden changes your dog’s diet, such as transitions from commercial food to that which is made in your kitchen. Drastic changes in his diet may cause your dog become ill, as his immune and digestion systems cannot accept these changes quickly. You should begin making these changes gradually and safely, following the advice of your dog’s veterinarian and by conducting your own research. In one to three months, your dog should transition from commercial foods to homemade without putting stress on his systems.
In conclusion, you should be sure to offer only boneless meat, and never offer your dog a steak bone, whether it is raw or cooked. Raw steak bones have been known to cause intestinal blockages, while cooked steak bones can splinter easily and puncture the dog’s intestines. In order to keep your dog’s diet perfectly balanced, you will need to take many factors into consideration.
When deciding whether to offer cooked or raw meat, you should determine your dog’s specific health condition and any special nutritional needs considering his age, breed and size. With the proper knowledge, you should be able to work out the perfect diet to raise a healthy dog.