Unconventional diets for dogs and cats – Raw meat based diets

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2. Raw meat-based diets

Published 15 August 2022 | Updated 23 September 2022

The feeding of raw meat-based diets to dogs and cats is not new but has increased with the availability of commercially available raw diets. The majority of the published literature reflects a dichotomy between the owner perceived benefits of feeding a raw meat-based diet and concerns about the risks of microbiological contamination. While much of this research focuses on contamination with enteric bacteria (e.g. Salmonella and E. coli), there are also concerns about raw meat spreading parasites and other pathogenic organisms such as mycobacteria.

However, it is also important to consider whether a raw meat-based diet can meet the nutritional needs of the individual animal. Therefore, this section also contains links to papers reporting on the nutritional adequacy of raw diets with particular reference to mineral levels that impact on skeletal growth. It should be noted that the majority of reports of nutritional problems are published as case reports, which are not included here, as experimental work in this area raised ethical concerns.

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