The subject of dogs eating raw meat is a controversial one that has sparked debate in recent years. It is a topic experts have strong and opposing views on. So, can Rottweilers eat raw meat?
Yes, Rottweilers can eat raw meat. Rottweilers are from a carnivorous family whose natural diet consists of raw meat and bones. This is the kind of diet wild dogs and wolves still live on today. Also, the digestive system of Rottweilers is much better suited to process raw meat than humans.
You might wonder: if the answer is this straightforward, then why are there strong views and opposing arguments from many experts?
To answer that question we consider some of their strongest concerns and address them in this article. But first, let us take a close look at some of the benefits of feeding raw meat to Rottweilers.
Why Rottweilers Should Eat Raw Meat?
Rottweilers are natural raw meat eaters just like their ancestors and feeding them raw meat helps them to grow stronger and have increased energy levels.
Raw meaty bones are an essential part of dogs’ diet as they are designed to use bones as a main source of minerals. The same cannot be said of cooked bones as they are too brittle and may injure the dog.
Rottweiler puppies require a higher protein intake than most other puppies and are usually given adult size meals to match their rapid growth.
Meat in its raw form is a more reliable source of protein than most kibble. This is important because Rottweiler is a breed that is prone to being fat. Other benefits of eating raw meat include healthier skin and shinier coats.
Some experts believe that cooking dog food reduces the nutritional value of the meal as some nutrients die when exposed to a higher temperature.
Temperature and colonization of bacteria are the reasons why it is advised that raw meat should only stay up to 2 or 3 days in the refrigerator.
Things to Consider When Feeding Your Rottie Raw Meat
Their ancestors might have been almost immune to bacteria but it is reasonable to assume that the evolution of domestic dogs has made them more susceptible to it due to the diet of their more recent ancestors.
Understand Your Rottie
If you can invest a little time into studying your Rottweiler and its genealogy if possible, you might be able to predict its reaction to certain raw foods. Also, you can track its health after trying a new raw diet so you can detect any negative effects immediately.
This is because; different dogs (even within the same species) react differently to the same food. If you keep track of your Rottweiler’s behavior and reactions, you can take care of it better.
Ultimately cooked meals or kibble might be best for your dog, but you need to observe carefully to see that.
Monitor the Feeding Process
You are responsible for your dog’s safety, even during the feeding process. While feeding, dogs can choke on bones or incur injuries in their mouths. This is why you should supervise the feeding process and prepare the food with great care.
Don’t Mix Raw Meat and Processed Food
It is not advisable to mix kibble and raw food at the same time because it can upset your dog’s stomach and make it throw up or become sick.
It’s better to choose a preferred diet plan and stick to it rather than to mix things up too frequently and make your dog ill.
Recommended Raw Foods for Your Rottie
Depending on its preference, here are some great raw foods you can give your Rottie:
- Chicken: This is one of the best sources of lean meat for dogs. It can be the primary food source of your Rottie or a once a week treat. The best parts of chicken include wings, laps, and necks.
- Beef: This is the most common type of raw meat fed by Rottie owners. It is necessary to check for hidden nonedible bones when preparing a beef diet. The best parts include beef ribs and tails.
- Ground meats: Ground meats like ground chicken and ground lamb are a good protein diet for Rottweilers
- Lamb: Lambs are a common source of raw meat for dogs. Parts like ribs and neck are usually a treat for some dogs
- Offal: Offal has higher nutritious value than other parts of meat and that is one of the reasons wolves and wild dogs spare no organs while feeding. Feeding offal to your Rottweiler will ensure it gets many of the nutrients it needs. Examples of the best organs to feed your Rottie are liver, kidney, and heart.
Rabbit, pork, and oily fish can be added to this list, depending on how your dog reacts to them.
3 Main Reasons Why Some Experts Insist Raw Meat Is Bad for Dogs
There are many animal experts still insist raw meat is bad for the health of your dogs. Here are the reasons why:
Raw Meat Contains Too Much Bacteria
Bacteria like salmonella and listeria are usually present in raw meat and are therefore a concern when considering feeding raw meat to dogs.
But it is important to point out that when considering bacteria in raw meat, the concern is more for the humans handling the meat than for the dogs themselves.
Dogs generally have a stronger immunity to bacteria than humans because of their digestive make-up. For example, dogs digest food faster hence bacteria have little or no time to colonize before they’re excreted.
This combined with the acidic nature of dogs’ stomach makes it highly unlikely for them to be affected by bacteria.
Wild Dogs and Wolves Have a Shorter Life Span Than Domestic Dogs
It’s often argued that wild dogs have a shorter lifespan than domestic dogs, and many have attributed that to the fact that they eat raw foods. That is not entirely true!
In the natural environment, there exists so much danger for members of the dog family and a total absence of human interventions like protection and medical care.
Other naturally occurring dangers include exposure to predators, lack of shelter, food drought (starvation), and possible occurrence of natural disasters. Considering all these factors, it is only reasonable that dogs in the wild live shorter lives, and that has little or nothing to do with their diet.
Raw Meat Diet Is Not a Balanced Diet
Another concern for some experts is the nutrient deficiency that might develop if you feed your dog raw meat exclusively. This is a valid concern as it is impossible to get all the nutrients your dog needs from raw meat alone.
This is the same reason wild dogs eat a wide and awkward variety of foods like green vegetables, fruits, gut contents of their prey and even feces of other animals.
Mixing things up by including some fresh vegetables to the diet as well as giving your Rottweiler treats like fruits can help check nutrient deficiency.
You shouldn’t worry too much about providing a completely balanced meal every day for your Rottie. Dogs are adapted to balancing their diet over time. A change in food preference of your dog might indicate a deficiency so make sure to observe it closely.
Why the Call to Feed Raw Meat Is on the Rise?
There is a rise in the interest shown by dog owners in recent years to feed their pets with diets that more closely resemble the diet of their ancestors. This is due to several concerns expressed by dog owners; mostly health and financial concerns.
To Avoid Degenerative Diseases
The increased rate of degenerative diseases and allergies in dogs has been associated with the consumption of processed dog food.
It’s unlikely to find a dog in the wild with cancer or other diseases that are now common in domestic dogs. Some experts believe this is due to their diet of raw meat and natural food in general.
What else could it be? If you consider that domestic dogs have access to constant feeding, shelter, and medical attention, unlike their wild counterparts, why then have they evolved to be prone to degenerative diseases?
Could it be as a result of the cooked and processed food they feed on? These are the questions in the minds of dog owners who have chosen to adopt raw meat.
It is easy to find a slightly overweight or obese dog these days as it has become more difficult to find time to exercise them regularly due to our increased daily activities.
Large breeds like Rottweiler are even more susceptible to obesity, a situation that is not helped by carbohydrate-rich processed meals.
It is never a good sign that your dog is overweight, it is better to have a lean and muscular Rottweiler than an obese Rottie. Raw lean meat like chicken is rich in protein content which helps your Rottie to build the required muscles without accumulating
It’s More Economical
Adult Rottweiler need 22% – 26% protein in their diet to be healthy, Rottweiler puppies require even more than that to develop muscles and stronger joints.
Most of the cheaper processed dog foods are more plant-based than animal-based, hence more carbohydrate than protein. To feed your Rottweiler a protein-rich dog food will be expensive and probably unsustainable.
For this reason, many dog owners have made the switch to a raw meat diet as it is cheaper than protein-rich processed food. Feeding your Rottweiler raw meat like chicken, offal, and meaty bones, helps it to develop strong bones and muscles.
Tips When Handling Raw Meat
Raw meat doesn’t pose much threat to dogs and it’s unlikely to make them sick. Most of the reported cases of dog sickness after raw meat intake are due to a reaction to change in diet.
If you feed your dog kibble and suddenly change to raw meat, it’s likely to result in a stomach upset. The same will happen if you feed it raw meat and decided to try kibble.
The same cannot be said for humans though; we’re more susceptible to foodborne diseases than dogs. This is why you must take every precaution when handling raw meat so you don’t endanger yourself and your family.
The following are the four tips when handling raw food for your Rottie:
Sterilize and Clean All Utensils Regularly
You must sterilize all the utensils and surfaces you use in the preparation of raw meat. Knives, countertops, bowls, etc., should be sterilized and put away as soon as the feeding process is over. It is important to do this before you proceed to something else.
Do Not Leave Leftovers Where Your Rottie Can Find It
Dogs are like kids; they just don’t know better sometimes. You have to protect them even from themselves. All scraps of meat should be cleared out.
You should place your trash somewhere inaccessible to your Rottie. This is to prevent it from eating spoiled meat that might be injurious to its health.
Use Stainless Bowls
Stainless steel bowls are the best kind of bowls for dog food. They’re easier to wash and are more than other types of bowls.
Some stainless bowls have a non-skid rim on the bottom which helps to prevent spilling. This can reduce the amount of spilled meat, therefore, reducing the surface that requires sterilization.
Note: The bowl should be washed with hot water and soap immediately after feeding to kill all the harmful microorganisms.
Wash Your Hands Regularly
Wash your hands with soap and warm water; this should be common practice. If you get in the habit of washing your hands very regularly, you’re less likely to contact any bacteria even after handling raw meat.
The most important factors in this discussion are your dog and your personal preferences. Some records show that dogs can have long and healthy lives when they are placed on either raw diets or specially processed dog foods.
If you think you can’t keep up with the hectic requirements of handling raw meat safely, then you should stick to kibble. But one thing is clear: Rottweilers can eat raw meat!