Can I feed my dog a raw steak? Essential Tips

Is Raw Meat Good for Dogs?

The answer to this question is a bit more complicated than a simple yes or no.

Feeding a diet consisting primarily of raw meat may not provide the complete and balanced nutrition your dog needs.

This is particularly true for puppies, whose dietary needs are complex as they grow and develop. The same goes for senior dogs, who may have weakened immune systems and more sensitive digestive systems.

Properly cooking meat and carbohydrates (like Purina does with our dog foods) can make the food more digestible. “Dogs are able to use more nutrients from cooked food and, therefore, use these nutrients more effectively for energy, building muscles and supporting their immune systems,” says Purina nutritionist, Karina Carbo-Johnson, MS.

A raw food diet (RFD) may increase your dog’s risk of nutritional deficiencies and illnesses. They need complete and balanced nutrition to help them live long and healthy lives.

If you do choose a commercially prepared RFD, our experts recommend ensuring it’s formulated by a veterinary nutritionist. We also recommend choosing a food that has either undergone feeding trials and/or has an AAFCO statement of nutritional adequacy, plus meets World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) guidelines to ensure your dog gets all the nutrients they need.

Is it Safe to Feed Dogs Raw Meat?

In addition to the risk of nutritional deficiencies, raw meat does pose other health risks—for both you and your dog.

Not only does it pose a risk to your dog, but it poses a risk to you and your family, according to an FDA study. Raw meat is likely to contain harmful bacterial like Salmonella, Listeria, E. coli and more.

Cooking meat to a safe temperature kills off those harmful bacteria. By feeding uncooked meat, there’s a higher risk your dog could develop a foodborne illness or other type of bacterial infection.

Additionally, there’s an increased risk you or a member of your family could encounter bacteria and develop a foodborne illness. Handling the raw meat, letting your dog lick your face, cleaning up his feces or touching any contaminated surfaces increase the risk of infection.

If you do choose to feed your dog a raw food diet, we recommend referring to the safety guidelines published by the FDA, CDC or AVMA. Doing so will help minimize the risks of contamination and foodborne illnesses.

It’s worth noting many therapy dog associations, such as Pet Partners, prohibit dogs on RFDs from being part of their program. This is because the raw food possesses too much risk for the humans they are trained to help.

Use caution when feeding dogs raw bones

Dogs can eat raw bones that are large in size, but avoid feeding your pet cooked bones. Small bones may present a choking hazard, but you should be especially careful with cooked poultry bones, as they can splinter and lodge in your pet’s throat or puncture his intestines. Uncooked bones are softer and your pup should have no problem handling them.

Can Dogs Eat Steak? (Raw or Cooked)

That’s a common – and legitimate – question many dog owners have. If you’re a steak lover yourself, you probably want your precious pooch to enjoy man’s most coveted meat, too. But is it safe? Can dogs digest steaks as we can? What’s the best way to cook steak for a dog, if any?

We’ve got you covered with the answers to your most pressing questions when it comes to dog ownership and steak

First, let’s bust a little myth: Dogs are not carnivores like their wild family member, the wolf. They are actually omnivores. You might think that giving your dog all the meat they can consume is the best thing for their bodies. A lot of people believe this because we’re stuck on the fact that dogs derive from carnivorous animals.

However, domesticated dogs need veggies and fruits for a well-balanced diet, too, making them omnivores. This doesn’t mean that meat is bad for them, but like humans, they only need meat in moderation.