German shepherds are descendants of wild wolves; this makes their gastrointestinal system completely suitable for eating raw meat. Can your german-shepherd eat raw meat? Yes! As long as the meat is properly washed, fresh, and not rotten.
Meat is beneficial for your german-shepherd, for the most part. This is because your german shepherd’s digestion system can easily digest the raw meat and be unaffected by the bacteria contained in it. However, knowing this is not enough, and we need to know much more to be completely safe.
When you are in the kitchen cooking raw meat, your dog may be staring at you with those cute eyes begging you for raw meat. You may want to feed it to him. But before doing so, it becomes important to know about the possible benefits and disadvantages of eating raw meat for your german-shepherd. Along with this, knowing about the alternative to raw meat is also very important.
In this article, I will be explaining the good side of feeding raw meat to your german-shepherd and any harm that it might cause. First of all, we will discuss the gastrointestinal systems’ composition of german shepherds.
Gastrointestinal Composition of german shepherds
Many of today’s german shepherds’ traits and preferences were bred into the breed many years ago. Not because of how they were reared, but because of their ancestors.
Wolves are the ancestors of german shepherds, and a wolve’s diet consists entirely of uncooked flesh. It’s all they consume from the moment they’re born, and their intestinal systems are designed to allow them to do so without harming the animal.
A wolf’s gastrointestinal system is so hardy that when new prey is rare, they may scavenge and devour old and rotting meat with no ill effects.
A wolf can accomplish this because its gastrointestinal system is shorter than a human’s, allowing food to move through fast and efficiently. When food remains undigested in the gastrointestinal tract, germs and viruses have an opportunity to “set up shop,” as it were, and disease results.
Wolves’ stomach acids are also incredibly strong, allowing them to break down things that humans would never consider consuming easily. A wolf’s strong stomach acids, along with a short gastrointestinal tract, allow it to eat almost whatever it wants without becoming ill. This is critical for wolves living in the outdoors, as illness can often result in death.
German shepherds’ gastrointestinal systems are similar to wolves because they are descended from them. German shepherds have a short gastrointestinal tract and strong stomach acids; thus, they can eat raw meat without becoming sick.
Consider a street dog on the sidewalk. It’s unlikely that you’ll come all over a stray that is a picky eater unless it lives in a heavily touristed region and is pampered by tourists feeding it fine table scraps. They go and eat anything they can get their hands on, and somehow their health is unaffected. This isn’t by chance; it’s exactly as nature intended it to be.
Once you learn about the gastrointestinal makeup of a german shepherd, you can better learn about the benefits of eating raw meat for your dog. Now, in the next part, I will be explaining how raw meat is beneficial to your german-shepherd.
Benefits of Raw Meat for german shepherds
As long as you properly clean raw meat, remove any toxic substances like cleaners or excess blood, etc., it is safe for your german-shepherd to consume. But does it bring any specific advantages for your dog? Yes! Raw meat is indeed quite beneficial for dogs, specifically german shepherds.
The following list mentions a few of these benefits.
- Digestion has improved.
- Teeth that are cleaner
- Teeth that are cleaner
- Shinier and healthier skin and coat
- Better mobility for older dogs
- Increased stamina and energy
- Improved gut health
- Improved liver function
- Better immunity
- There are fewer allergies.
- Stools that are smaller and less stinky
- Fewer chances of your dog becoming obese
Now, you must be wondering, “So if meat is so beneficial for my dog, why should I be careful and not feed it raw meat only?”. Along with the many advantages of raw meat, there are a handful of harmful effects as well. We will be talking about the disadvantages of eating raw meat for your german-shepherd in the next part.
Risks attached to raw meat consumption for german shepherds
A few problems can arise when you feed raw meat to your german-shepherd. Sadly, the difficulties frequently outweigh any potential benefits. Here are some of the most serious issues.
Risk of Salmonella
Dogs are not affected by salmonella in much the same way humans are. Irrespective of their food, a high percentage of all dogs will give positive results for salmonella tests. They naturally eliminate it in their feces and saliva because it is a typical element of their GI flora.
Many human salmonella illnesses are caused by the consumption and handling of food products or treats, not undercooked meats, as is commonly believed.
So the main hazard from salmonella is to you, not your dog. And regardless of what you give your dog, there’s a strong probability it’s already infected with salmonella. Those with weakened immunity are the ones who are most affected.
Just remember to treat any raw meat you make for your dog the same way you would treat raw meat you would feed to the family. Along with thoroughly cleaning raw meat, disinfect worktops, dishes, or surfaces where raw meat might come into contact. It also applies to the dog’s food bowl: after giving your canine raw meat from it, make sure to wash and sanitize it properly.
According to some veterinarians, after touching any raw meat, you must clean your hands for a minimum of 20 seconds with soap and hot water, and you should do the same before eating.
Risk of Trichinosis
This parasite infection is spread by eating raw or undercooked pig or wild game infected by larval trichinella (a parasitic worm).
However, these larvae can be eliminated by cooking, freezing, or sterilizing the flesh. While you can heat or freeze meat or fish, irradiation is done with gamma rays, x-rays, and electron beams in government facilities.
You should freeze raw hog meat for three weeks before feeding it to your canine to properly kill trichinella.
Possibility of toxoplasmosis
Toxoplasma gondii is the protozoa that cause this. It’s a parasite that can infect nearly all mammals and is found in up to 65 percent of people globally, with over 40 million Americans being infected.
Though, if a person’s immune system is healthy, most people diagnosed with toxoplasmosis would never display any symptoms. Women who are pregnant and individuals with weakened immune systems are the most vulnerable.
These protozoa can infect you when raw meat is eaten, such as venison, hog, oysters, lamb, clams, and mussels. Infected feces can also cause infection. Infection can also happen by mistake if you don’t wash your hands after planting or consume unclean vegetables and fruit from the garden.
Toxoplasmosis could be prevented simply by freezing raw meat for 24hrs and disinfecting all surfaces where raw meat has come into contact.
Risk of Salmon Poisoning
When giving your german-shepherd salmon or other types of anadromous fish (species that swim upwards to spawn), this is how it operates:
The parasite (Nanophyetus salmincola) infects the fish, and the parasite infects the parasite (Neorickettsia helminthoeca). The parasite itself is generally safe, but the organism it carries causes salmon toxicity and causes its negative consequences.
The parasite and the organism will both be inactivated if the raw fish meat is frozen. To execute this successfully, though, some care and attention are required. Salmon must be deep-frozen for at least a week to kill these parasites effectively.
Some individuals who would like to feed their dog raw meat are concerned about parasites such roundworms, tapeworms, coccidia, and hookworms. These creatures live in an animal’s gastrointestinal system, or “guts,” to put it differently.
So make sure you’re not giving your german-shepherd any animal’s gastrointestinal tract, and he won’t get any gastrointestinal parasites. There is zero risk of contracting rabies if you feed your dog USDA-inspected meat.
Also, if your dog kills animals by itself, as german shepherds occasionally do, don’t let it eat it because it will be consuming the animal’s gastrointestinal tract as well.
There is a higher risk of food poisoning.
Even if you have only planned on feeding raw meat to your german-shepherd on occasion, there is still a risk of food illness.
Even if a dog’s stomach is powerful, this may not be powerful enough to combat salmonella & E. coli. If you feed raw meat to your german-shepherd, you’re increasing their risk of catching these and other ailments.
You’re not only raising the chance of food poisoning in your german-shepherd, but you’re also increasing the risk of foodborne illness in your family.
Enough nutrients will not be entering your german shepherd’s body.
Dog food has already been specially formulated to provide your german-shepherd with all of the nutrition he or she requires. If you solely offer raw meat to your german-shepherd, they will not get nearly sufficient nutrients. German shepherds require a range of vitamins & minerals that can’t be obtained from raw meat alone.
One of the most serious issues with a raw beef diet is that it frequently lacks calcium and phosphorus. Even when their food contains enough amounts, it can be difficult for your dog to digest.
So now you must be wondering, if raw meat is so dangerous, can you feed your german-shepherd a raw meat diet?
Can you feed your german-shepherd a raw meat diet?
While feeding your german-shepherd an uncooked meat diet is not suggested, it is not impossible. However, if you’re feeding them a raw meat diet, you’ll need to feed it as a supplement with other foods.
Organs, muscles, and bones, both whole and ground, are key elements of a raw meat diet. You will, however, need to include other foods in addition to meat. Eggs, raw or cooked, are a fantastic option. If they aren’t lactose sensitive, you also can give them milk and cheese.
Above all, make sure you provide them with plenty of vegetables and fruits. These will provide your german-shepherd with several vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients he or she requires to survive.
Fruits such as apples, bananas, strawberries, and watermelon are excellent choices, as are vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, spinach, & celery.
Lastly, and most importantly, always remember that even after all of this, you’re unlikely to provide your german-shepherd with a nutritionally adequate meal. Raw food diets should be avoided because they are likely to become deficient somehow.
At this point, you must have gotten a lot of information about the benefits and risks of raw meat for your german-shepherd. Now I will be talking about whether german shepherds in different stages of life or with different conditions can eat raw meat or not.
Can german shepherds with the following conditions and ages eat raw meat?
When they are babies
When your german-shepherd is a puppy, he or she will not be able to consume raw meat. When pups are developing, they will require a lot of food to thrive.
They will not receive adequate nutrition if you do not provide them with enough food. And if kids don’t get enough vitamins and minerals in their nutrition, issues may arise later in life. Typically, your veterinarian or the breeder from where you obtained them will advise you on the best food to feed them. And it would help if you stayed to it.
If they have a chronic illness like cancer
You must also avoid offering raw meat to your german-shepherd if they have cancer. If your dog has cancer, changing his or her diet might be risky and could make things worse.
If your german-shepherd has cancer, make sure you follow your veterinarian’s advice.
If their digestive system is weak
Meat can aggravate digestive problems, so if your german-shepherd has one, you should think twice about feeding them raw meat.
Once again, the greatest part you can do is listen to your veterinarian’s recommendations. There are a variety of dog meals available for german shepherds who have digestive problems. So, before switching your german shepherd’s diet to raw meat, understand more about them.
Can pregnant german shepherds eat raw meat?
When pregnant german shepherds are concerned, there is little to no risk for them t eat raw meat; hence you can feed raw meat to them.
If they have kidney or liver issues
Finally, you should avoid feeding raw meat to dogs with kidney or liver disorders, especially if the issues are late-stage or on the verge of failing.
A diet high in protein and fat could be harmful to them and potentially shorten their lives.
You now know whether or not german shepherds can consume raw meat. While it is conceivable, it is generally not advised. Most importantly, always consult your veterinarian if you have any doubts.
The following points are among the most important points from the article to remember.
- Food sickness is more likely in a german shepherd if he eats raw meat.
- Your german-shepherd will struggle to receive adequate nutrients if you solely give him raw meat.
- If you’re going to feed your german-shepherd raw meat, you’ll need to make sure they get enough of other foods, including veggies and dairy. Even then, there’s a good chance they won’t eat a well-balanced diet.
- If your german-shepherd is a puppy, has cancer, digestive disorders, or problems with his liver or kidneys, you should not feed him raw meat.
You shouldn’t keep your canine away from raw meat and contact the vet to avoid any risks, and your german-shepherd will be safe!