During the last few years, the trend for the raw meat diet is getting stronger in dogs.
People who support this belief are confident about the benefits of raw meat.
But can your German Shepherd puppies eat raw meat? If we look at dogs’ ancestors, they live in the wild and satisfy their needs by hunting their prey.
Dogs like to eat meat and do not care if it is cooked or raw. However, individual dogs have their own preferences.
In this article, we will discuss different facts related to the raw meat diet.
Can Your German Shepherd puppies eat raw meat?
What are the possible benefits and dangers of raw meat?
And how much raw meat can you feed your German Shepherd?
Can German Shepherd Puppies Eat Raw Meat?
Yes, being a canine, German Shepherd puppies can eat raw meat. Their stomach can digest raw meat, but there are some concerns about feeding raw meat. There are many benefits and problems associated with feeding raw meat.
Most canine nutritionists are against feeding raw meat to dogs. Many leading authorities like the CDC and the FDA are also not in favor of giving raw meat to dogs.
How Much Raw Meat Should You Feed German Shepherd Puppies?
You should feed a raw meat diet about 2-3% of your dog’s adult body weight. If you’re not sure what their adult body weight would be, feed them about 10% of their current body weight.
What are the benefits of feeding a German Shepherd raw meat?
People who favor the raw diet claim many benefits such as the availability of nutrients, more energy, and a healthier coat. These benefits may be due to the fact that the raw diet is high in fat.
However, other benefits your German Shepherd could gain after eating a raw meat diet include
- Improved digestion
- Fresh breath
- Cleaner teeth
- Healthy and shiny coat
- Improved bowel movement
- Improved liver health
- A good joint moment in older dogs
- Better immune system
- Fewer chances of allergies
- Fewer chances of obesity
- Less smelly stools
What Are the Problems associated with Feeding Raw meat to Your German Shepherd?
If you are feeding your German Shepherd a raw meat diet, then you must have some knowledge about it because there are some dangers associated with it. Here we will discuss some potential harm associated with the raw meat diet in dogs.
The German Shepherd will not get enough nutrients
Commercially available dog foods are made in such a way that your dog will get all the specific nutrients from his diet. However, when you feed your dog raw meat, he will not get all the nutrients.
The German Shepherd is a large breed of dog and needs different minerals and vitamins in its regular diet that a raw meat diet cannot provide. Another problem associated with the raw meat diet is that it does not contain enough phosphorus and calcium. Even if it contains enough calcium and phosphorus, it can still be difficult for your dog to digest.
Some people feed a raw meat diet on a regular basis; however, if you feed it as an occasional treat, there is still a high risk of food poisoning in the German Shepherd. Canines usually have a very strong stomach, but they are still not strong enough to fight different bacteria and parasites. Their chances of food poisoning are increased by raw meat.
As your German Shepherd suffers from food poisoning, there is also a high chance that your family could also get food poisoning.
Increased risk of choking
Not only will your German Shepherd get food poisoning, but there is also a high risk of choking. When you feed your dog raw meat, there are bones present that can cause choking. These pieces of bone can cut their throat and pierce your dog’s intestine.
There are many meat-producing countries that try to minimize the risk of bacterial contamination in their products. But most of the meat you buy from the supermarket has a relatively higher bacterial content compared to fresh raw meat. This is because the meats in the grocery store are meant to be cooked.
Many pet food companies use high-pressure pasteurization (HPP) to kill bacteria. The German Shepherd’s stomach also has the ability to fight against bacteria that have the pH1 acid level in the stomach.
A large number of bacteria cannot survive at this level; in addition, they also have proteolytic enzymes and bile that also help them fight bacteria.
Raw meat usually contains salmonella, but these bacteria cannot affect your German Shepherd as it affects most people. If you check the microflora of your dog’s stomach, it will test positive for salmonella. It is naturally excreted in their saliva and feces.
Most of the salmonella infection in humans is due to the handling of dry foods and treats and but not the use of raw meat. So the real threat of salmonella in raw meat is to you, not to your dog. Mostly those people are at high risk for salmonella infection whose immune system is compromised.
Parasites present in raw meat are also a higher risk for your dog. They are generally present in the gastrointestinal system, most commonly the intestines and stomach of affected animals, but we do not normally feed these organs to our dogs, so the chances of parasitic infestation are lower.
There are still some cases where parasites can migrate from the stomach into the muscle tissues. When your German Shepherd eats that affected muscle, he becomes infected.
The most common parasitic diseases that can affect your German Shepherd are:
Trichinosis is a common parasitic disease that can be transmitted to your dog from undercooked pork that contains Trichinella larvae. You can save your German Shepherd from this parasitic infection simply by taking a few precautionary measures like freezing, heating, or irradiating the infected meat.
Toxoplasmosis is an infection transmitted by the protozoan Toxoplasma gondii. There is a high prevalence of toxoplasmosis infection in all mammals, and it can also affect 65% of humans worldwide. Typically, dogs with weakened immune systems show symptoms of toxoplasmosis.
You can lower the risk of toxoplasmosis by freezing raw meat for at least 24 hours before giving it to your German Shepherd.
How to feed raw meat to your German Shepherd?
There are two approaches by which you can feed raw meat to your German Shepherd. Discuss these approaches with your veterinarian to determine which one suits your dog’s needs.
Biologically Appropriate Raw Food Diet
BARF or Biologically Appropriate Raw Food Diet is the model in which dogs are fed raw meat along with ingredients like seeds and vegetables. The objective of this method is to cover all nutritional needs, and no preservatives are added to this diet.
The BARF diet comprises 10% raw edible bones, 70% muscle meat, 7% vegetables, 5% other organs, 5% liver, and 2% seeds.
The prey model diet
According to this feeding model, the dog will eat all the prey along with the bones and internal organs as they do in the wild. Most importantly, it does not contain any plant-based diet. The PMR diet comprises 80% muscle meat, 10% edible bones, and 10% internal organs.
What should be included in the Best Raw Food for German Shepherds?
A best raw food diet should consist of:
- Muscle meat
- Organ meats such as kidneys and liver
- Bones, either grounded or whole
- Raw eggs
- Fruits like apples
Final Verdict (Can German Shepherd Puppies Eat Raw Meat?)
Raw meat diet whether you use it as a whole or as an occasional treat for your German Shepherd, he will like it. But whether you want to feed your German Shepherd puppy raw meat or not is your personal decision. You should discuss everything with your vet before giving raw meat to your German Shepherd.