An argument that has been frequently debated among pet nutritional experts has been the differences between raw and cooked dog food. The benefits and disadvantages of both raw and cooked dog food have been explored in great detail, though there are still people who argue that one is better than the other. When choosing to feed your dog a raw or cooked dog food diet, it is best to take into consideration the facts surround each of these types of dog food diets.
A raw dog food diet does have a significant amount of benefits associated with it. Dogs in the wild consume a diet that is primarily made up of raw materials, which are not subject to any commercial pasteurization or processing. Because of this, it could be said that feeding your dog a raw dog food diet is a good way to give your dog the same type of nutrition that they would have if they lived in the wild. In addition to this, a raw dog food diet tends to be much higher in nutritional value, since many of the enzymes and nutrients contained in the ingredients of a dog food formula are destroyed when subjected to high heat. Heating some types of nutrients greatly decreases their bioavailability, which means that they may not be fully absorbed by a dog’s body after they are ingested.
However, there are some dangers associated with a raw dog food diet as well. Because the ingredients of a raw dog food diet are not cooked, they may contain bacteria or harmful pathogens. Most raw meat contains a high level of bacteria, though much of these bacterial organisms are relatively benign (or are destroyed when the meat is digested. There are some potentially dangerous bacteria that can reside in raw meat, which could potentially cause serious health problems for a dog.
Most commercial dog food formulas are cooked, and usually at a relatively high heat level. Cooked dog food is subject to a lot of debate, but it is undeniable that cooking a dog food formula completely destroys all of the potentially harmful bacteria contained in the ingredients. This prevents possible bacterial infection, and is beneficial for safeguarding a dog’s health against these types of pathogens.
However, a cooked dog food diet tends to have a much lower level of vitamins, nutrients and enzymes. As stated above, the cooking process renders many nutrients indigestible, and prevents them from being absorbed once the food is digested. In addition to this, there is some evidence that suggests that some components of meat can be altered by being cooked, even to the point of becoming carcinogenic. This topic is, of course, subject to a lot of heated debate, and many people do not give this research any scientific credit. However, it is still worth noting that the possibility exists that cooking the meat ingredients of a dog’s diet could potentially cause cancer.