Hi stranger! Signing up for MypetMD is easy, free and puts the most relevant content at your fingertips.

Get Instant Access To

  • 24/7 alerts for pet-related recalls

  • Your own library of articles, blogs, and favorite pet names

  • Tools designed to keep your pets happy and healthy



or Connect with Facebook

By joining petMD, you agree to the Privacy Policy.

Is it healthy to feed my pet raw meat?

With natural proportions of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, proteins, and amino acids, raw diets provide wholesome nutrition for the health of your pet. Look for a raw diet that is complete and balanced. Commercial raw diets often have added ingredients to make sure you are feeding your pet a balanced meal. Also, some raw diets have passed AAFCO feeding trials, while others have not.

Should I cook the raw food?

We do not recommend cooking raw pet food, as heat processing destroys the naturally occurring vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes and probiotics.

What are the risks of bacteria or pathogen contamination to pets when feeding raw diets?

Your pet was biologically designed to eat raw food. Dogs and cats have unique physiochemical adaptations that reduce the chance of developing food-borne bacterial disease. That said, you should look for a raw food that has been been treated (without heat) to kill bacteria. This will reduce the risk of harmful bacteria.

I’ve heard that raw meat diet is appropriate for wild animals, not domesticated pets.

Dogs and cats are biologically the same as ‘wild’ animals. Wolves and dogs even share the many of the same genetics. Breeding changes your pet’s appearance and demeanor, not their internal organs. Cats are even more similar to wild animals than dogs since they have experienced less breeding.

Do I have to switch completely over to a raw diet, or can I continue to feed kibble and canned food as well?

You can feed raw as a sole diet, or you can alternate meals with a kibble or canned food. You will still see many of the raw benefits in your pet.