Fresh or raw
The decision whether to feed your dog homemade dog food as opposed to raw dog food is largely a matter of personal preference. Over the years, I have tried both with my dogs. As it happens, having tried both, my current dogs gave a big ‘paws up’ to lightly cooked. So that’s what I do now, and will continue to do in the future. As someone who is big on veggies himself, I know the nutritional benefits of vegetables. Cooking my dogs meat also enables me to include lots of veggies in their diets as well. And trust me, my two go absolutely crazy for a bowl of vegetables cooked in meat juice for supper!
No scientific evidence in favour of raw dog food
That said, there is nothing wrong with raw feeding. Nothing whatsoever. It is simply not to everyone’s taste. And it does require considerably more in the way of food hygiene awareness as the potential for the spread of harmful bacteria is greatly increased by feeding a dog a raw diet. In a study conducted in the USA, E coli was found in more than 50% of tested raw food products. And the consequences of the spread of infection can be catastrophic.
People should also be aware that there is actually no scientific evidence to back up the health benefits claimed by raw feeding proponents. None whatsoever. There is however considerable evidence to support the fact that many nutrients are only available to dogs once the ingredients have been cooked. As they generally are in homemade dog food.
Yes, the forebears of today’s domestic dog did eat raw food, but that was more than 15,000 years ago. Since that time, and prior to the relatively recent advent of commercial dog food, most dogs would have eaten the scraps from the human table. Largely left-over cooked meat and vegetables. Not dissimilar to my homemade dog food recipes. Except I formulate my recipes so that your dog doesn’t have to rely on potentially nutritionally incomplete table scraps for sustenance.
Raw or lightly cooked beat commercial
Bottom line, raw food or lightly cooked homemade dog food is a matter of preference. But either is infinitely better than commercially produced dry dog biscuit. No matter that the marketeers try to tell you otherwise. Fresh food, cooked or raw, beat commercial dog food by a country mile!