Giving meat to your dog could not be more natural, as most owners agree that their companions are true carnivores.
However, supplementing your dog's diet with meat, or opting for an all-meat diet, should not be done haphazardly, otherwise your dog may develop deficiencies.
Here is more information on how to feed your favorite carnivore the right way, and increase its well-being without harming its health.
Meat in the dog's diet
Meat is undoubtedly the food that best suits a dog's digestive system, which is short and simple, designed to digest animal proteins easily and quickly before the meat has time to putrefy in his intestine.
Very digestible, it provides dogs with nutrients essential to their development: proteins, but also minerals, B vitamins, lipids and water.
It is therefore a food of choice, adapted to your dog's body and meeting most of its nutritional needs.
However, I say "in good part" and not "in totality", and this is unfortunately where the problem lies.
By "meat" we mean the muscles of the animal, which excludes offal, skin, belly and bones, which contain many nutrients essential to the proper functioning of the carnivore's body.
Therefore, meat alone cannot meet all your dog's needs, and when it is given as a complete meal, it must be accompanied by food supplements to avoid deficiencies, which can have severe consequences.
Red meat or white meat, what should I choose for my dog?
Both red and white meat are suitable for healthy dogs, and an ideal diet should include both.
It should be noted that red meat has more calories than white meat because it is higher in fat. This makes it a little harder to digest and puts more strain on your dog's digestive system.
Also, overweight dogs, those suffering from pancreatitis or digestive disorders, should eat more white meat to rest their body and not absorb too much fat.
Beef should be avoided in dogs suffering from food allergies or intolerances, which generally manifest themselves by mild (dandruff, dull hair...) to severe (purit, pimples, redness, peeling...) skin disorders.
Beef protein is, in fact, involved in approximately 65% of cases of allergic dermatitis in dogs, which places it at the top of the list of least well tolerated proteins.
On the other hand, chicken meat is very digestible and rarely causes digestive or skin disorders in dogs.
Raw meat or cooked meat, what should I choose for my dog?
When we give meat to our dog in order to offer him a more natural diet, we are tempted to prefer raw meat, which may remind him of his distant wild origins.
In fact, it is possible to give your dog raw meat, as long as it is fresh and of good quality. However, it should be noted that the ingestion of raw meat increases the risk of contamination by bacteria and parasites that proliferate there.
Healthy dogs are resistant to these bacteria, but the situation is more delicate for fragile, sick or convalescent animals.
Raw meat, and this is its main advantage, is also more digestible than cooked meat, as cooking causes the proteins to clump together and are more difficult to digest by the gastric juices.
In the end, it is therefore more reasonable to give cooked meat to a fragile dog, while raw meat will suit a healthy dog very well.
Note that, contrary to a persistent rumour, raw meat and red meat do not make dogs aggressive.
Meat does not give them a "taste for blood", nor does it awaken some deep-seated wild instincts in them.
You can therefore give it to your dog without fearing that he will turn into a wild animal! Meat or kibble, you should always avoid disturbing a dog that is eating.
Replacing my dog's kibble with meat
If you want to switch to the BARF diet or to meat-based home-made rations to get rid of industrial kibble, I recommend that you find out about the complexity of these diets beforehand.
Dogs that are fed the latest fad, homemade meals or raw meats, tend to have pathological deficiencies that have long since disappeared in the majority of dogs.
It is therefore important to take a serious look at the subject in order to offer your dog a balanced menu, containing all the minerals and vitamins that meat will not provide.
Moreover, replacing your dog's usual food with meat must be done very gradually to avoid any digestive disorder.
Supplementing my dog's diet with meat
If you want to give your dog a piece of meat from time to time, you should avoid table scraps, which are often mixed with other foods that are harmful to our animal friends.
Opt for fresh meat in moderate quantities and adjust your dog's food ration accordingly so that he does not absorb too many calories or too much protein compared to his daily needs.
Finally, I recommend that you feed meat at a distance from kibble meals, as these two foods do not mix well.
They tend to clump together in the stomach, making digestion difficult and sometimes painful.
Can I give my dog meat?
Yes, you can feed your dog meat as long as it is part of a balanced diet adapted to his nutritional needs.
Does raw or red meat make dogs aggressive?
No, giving meat to your dog, whether it is raw or cooked, red or white, does not make it aggressive. This belief is based on unfounded rumors. However, you should not disturb a dog that is eating, and it is true that some dogs may defend a food more vigorously when it is rare and they particularly like it.
What kind of meat should I feed my dog?
You can feed any kind of meat to your dog, but you should avoid feeding too much fatty meat (beef, pork, etc.) to a dog that is overweight or has digestive problems (pancreatitis, for example).
Can a dog eat only meat?
No, a dog needs to supplement its diet with foods rich in fiber, minerals and vitamins to get all the nutrients it needs. In the wild, wild carnivores find these nutrients in the various organs of their prey (skin, joints, bones, offal, etc.).
Meat, which is only the muscles of the animals, does not contain all these nutrients and cannot be sufficient to maintain the health of the dog. Whether it is the basis of a dog's diet or a supplement to an industrial diet, meat is one of the most suitable foods for dogs and offers almost nothing but advantages.
Rich in proteins and trace elements, it is a healthy and easily digestible food that our four-legged friends particularly enjoy. However, meat should not be the only ingredient in a dog's diet, otherwise the animal may develop mild to severe deficiencies, with consequent repercussions on its health.
How do I choose the best diet for my dog?
For me, the easiest way is to trust the recognized professionals of the sector. This gives you the assurance that you are giving your dog the right products while making your life easier. I recommend Ollie products for example.
It is a company with an excellent reputation that prepares custom recipes for your dog, 100% fresh and delivered directly to your home.