Yes, German Shepherds can eat raw meat. Their digestive systems are fully capable and resilient enough to digest raw meat such that it won’t negatively affect their health.
That said, you need to consider some risks and potential problems that may arise from giving your German Shepherd raw meat before you incorporate them into your dog’s diet.
In this article we’ll look into the benefits and risks of feeding your German Shepherd raw meat and determine whether or not you should feed them to your dog.
Potential Dangers Of A Raw Meat Diet
Large governing bodies such as the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), and the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) highly discourage feeding dogs raw meat. They state that raw meat is dangerous and can make both you and your German Shepherd sick.
With that said, here are some potential dangers of a raw meat diet:
Your German Shepherd Can Become Malnourished
Unlike kibble which is specially formulated to provide all the nutrients in a German Shepherd’s diet, a raw meat diet will not be able to provide a German Shepherd the complete and balanced nutrition it needs. This then increases risk of nutritional deficiencies and illnesses.
For example, raw food diets tend to lack enough calcium and phosphorus and may lead to bone fractures and dental problems.
Raw Meat May Cause Food Poisoning
While a German Shepherd’s digestive system is resilient enough to fight off bacteria, that doesn’t make them immune to infections.
Feeding a German Shepherd raw meat may put it at risk of contracting harmful bacteria like E.coli and Salmonella. If infected, the dog may suffer fever, diarrhea, vomiting, dehydration, and lethargy. Immunocompromised or older dogs may even die.
Additionally, owners feeding their German Shepherds raw meat are also more susceptible to developing foodborne illnesses. Handling raw meat or touching any other contaminated surfaces will increase the likelihood of infection.
Feeding a German Shepherd raw meat on the bone may increase risk of choking and blockages. What’s worse is that the bones may also break a German Shepherd’s teeth or cause internal puncture and perforation.
Potential Benefits Of Raw Meat For German Shepherds
With all those dangers, why should you even consider feeding your German Shepherd raw meat?
Well, advocates believe that raw feeding is more in tune with how your German Shepherd would eat in the wild. They believe that raw meat is better suited for your dog’s system and will thus cause less digestive issues.
Raw meat is also believed to provide a number of health benefits, although evidence is very much anecdotal.
These benefits are as follows:
- Shinier coat and healthier skin
- Cleaner teeth and oral health
- Higher energy level
- Smaller stools
People against raw food diets argue that these benefits aren’t exclusive to raw meat and that specific types of kibble may provide the same. This begs the question if raw meat is even worth it, given that a safer and generally healthier option exists.
Should You Feed Your German Shepherd A Raw Meat Diet?
I personally recommend against it. I simply don’t find an advantage in feeding your German Shepherd raw meat over kibble when the latter provides better nutrition and safety.
At the end of the day though, it’s up to you. And if your German Shepherd responds better to raw meat than dog food, then why not?
Should you ever feed dog raw meat though, be sure to supplement it with other types of nutritious food like fruits and vegetables. That way you’d prevent your German Shepherd from becoming malnourished.
Do keep in mind though that not all German Shepherds should be fed a raw diet. German Shepherd puppies and those with digestive issues, or kidney and liver problems should stick with kibble instead.
Lastly, if you’re ever unsure about your German Shepherd’s diet, I highly suggest you consult a veterinarian.
Can German Shepherds Eat Raw Meat?
To summarize, yes German Shepherds can most definitely eat and digest raw meat. However, it isn’t recommended as the said benefits of raw meat simply do not justify the dangers that it presents.