Trying to decide what the best food for your Pitbull maybe can be a common concern and understanding if a Pitbull can eat raw meat is also essential towards making your decision.
Dog food comes in many shapes, sizes, and globally, $91.1 billion dollars are pumped into the pet food market.
You have wet foods, dry foods, supplements, and countless other things you can consider when trying to decide which direction you want to take when offering your Pitbull the correct food and deciding if raw meat is the best course of action.
I am an avid dog enthusiast, Terrier owner myself, and here is what I can tell you on this topic.
Yes, Pit Bulls can eat raw meat. Raw meat is considered one of the healthiest food sources you can provide your Pitbull and can provide needed nutrients and vitamins for your Pitbull. While raw meat may carry bacteria, it is still a widely used and acceptable food source for your Pitbull Terrier.
Wow, we have a lot more to cover on this topic than what was just provided as an answer to your question.
I have some ranting to do, some facts to drop for you and some other answers to frequently asked questions to go over with you about feeding your Pitbull raw meat.
How the raw dog diet started
It was Ian Billinghurst, an Australian veterinarian, who first introduced the idea of a raw diet to domesticated dogs back in 1993. Ian called it as BARF or ‘Bones and Raw Food’ or ‘Biologically Appropriate Raw Food’.
Ian believes that before dogs became domesticated, they were used to an evolutionary diet that includes raw meat and bones. Aside from meaty bones, this diet also includes vegetable scraps to mimic the process of finding food in the wild.
In 2007, a massive recall of dog food products was ordered by the FDA. This is in line with the agency’s finding that some pet food products can make pets sick. In worst cases, it can kill cats and dogs. This cemented the reputation of the raw diet as a better option since dog owners have full control over its preparation and contents.
However, modern veterinarians and the FDA have strong reservations about this diet, stemming majorly on preparation conditions and the possibility of contamination.
What To Feed Pit Bulls In A Raw Diet
As mentioned in the previous two articles, species-appropriate pit bull nutrition consists of raw meats and bones, fish, eggs, and very small amounts of greens, herbs, veggies, and fruit. But what exactly should you feed?
Raw meaty bones (RMBs) comprise the main part of the diet. Why is it so important that you feed bones and not just meat? In a word, calcium. Dogs not only have specific calcium requirements (too much and too little can both cause problems), but they also require calcium and phosphorous in a ratio between 1:1 to 2:1.
Meat contains tiny amounts of calcium, but lots of phosphorus, while bones are high in calcium and contain a moderate amount of phosphorus.
RMBs with the highest bone to meat levels (e.g., poultry wings, backs, and necks) deliver calcium and phosphorus in a ratio of roughly 1:1. If you feed a lot of bones that are “meatier” (e.g., chicken leg quarters or breasts), you’ll need to add another calcium source to the diet. But don’t worry, by giving eggs with the shells, you can feed even the meatiest bones without risk of unbalancing the diet.
Some dogs also do fine with beef ribs and necks, but these bones are quite a bit harder. They’re not a good idea for dogs new to the species-appropriate diet.
Due primarily to cost, chicken and turkey RMBs will probably be the main component of your pit bull’s diet, but don’t feed only poultry. Pure poultry diets can be too low in zinc, so feed red meat at least twice a week. Remember, variety is important.
The risk of trichinosis is very slight when feeding USDA inspected pork intended for human consumption, but if you’re concerned, freezing the meat for 3 weeks at 5 degrees Fahrenheit or for 3 days at -4 degrees Fahrenheit will kill the worms.
Unfortunately the species of Trichinella found in wild game meats such as venison, elk, and bear is more resistant to freezing.
If you have access to such game meats, inspect them carefully for the presence of parasites before feeding them to your dog. If you’re not sure what to look for, have the meat inspected by someone who does.
About 10% of your pit bull’s diet should consist of raw organ meats. You can feed any inspected organ meat, but livers, kidneys, and hearts from chicken, turkey, lamb, and beef are usually the easiest to find.
Chicken and turkey gizzards are also an option. Another great choice–if you can find it–is green tripe (not the bleached tripe available in supermarkets). Kidneys and especially livers are very rich and should not comprise more than half of your organ meat mix.
Most meat should be fed on the bone, but adding small amounts (16-20 oz a week) of boneless muscle meat to the diet–either ground or in chunks–is fine as long as you remember to feed the eggs with their shells.
The main reason you may want to feed boneless muscle meat on occasion is that your pit bull needs some red meat in her diet, and if you can’t find lamb RMBs or oxtails at an affordable price, ground beef may be your best bet for inexpensive red meat.
Wild fish frequently contains parasites, so stick to farmed fish or wild fish species such as tuna and snapper that have a very low risk of parasites. When in doubt, look for raw fish that’s recommended for sushi.
Never feed raw salmon due to the risk of salmon poisoning disease, which is potentially fatal. Carp, catfish, and smelt can be fed on occasion but not at every fish meal because these species contain an enzyme that binds thiamin (vitamin B1). Fish that weigh less than half a pound can be fed whole–heads, guts, and all.
If you can’t find affordable raw fish, it’s okay to substitute canned mackerel, sardines, or tuna packed in spring water. Just make sure there aren’t any unwanted additives. It’s best to drain the fish before feeding to get rid off some of the salt.
Feed your pit bull a large raw egg with the shell 3-4 times a week. The egg’s shell is about 95% calcium, which is needed to balance the excess phosphorus contained in the organ meats, boneless muscle meats, meatier RMBs, and the eggs themselves.
How do you feed the shells? Wash them and leave them to dry for at least a day. Then grind them into a fine powder using one of those little electric coffee/spice grinders or a mortar and pestle. Mix the egg shell powder with raw egg, ground meat, or pureed veggies.
As mentioned in the first part of this series, dogs have no nutritional requirement for carbohydrates. Consequently feeding veggies and fruit is optional. It’s also a lot of work. Raw veggies and fruits need to be completely crushed in a food processor or juicer in order for your dog to be able to access their nutrients.
If you want to feed veggies, make enough for several weeks and freeze in serving-sized containers. Then thaw as needed.
So why would anyone go to the trouble of preparing a fruit and veggie meal if dogs have no need for it? These plant foods are very high in vitamins and minerals, and those are certainly beneficial.
If you want to make a veggie mix for your pit bull, endive and romaine lettuce, parsley, bok choy, dandelion and mustard greens, wheat grass and other grasses, broccoli, squash, zucchini, carrots, celery, pears and apples (without the core) are all good choices. Feed about 1/4 cup three times a week.
Supplements are also entirely optional, but you may want to add some fish body oil (not liver oil) and vitamin E to your pit bull’s diet.
Many dogs enjoy omega-3 fish oil capsules so much that you can give them as a healthy treat between meals. If you’re not feeding veggies, you might want to give a teaspoon of powdered greens or algae on occasion, but it’s not essential.
Possible benefits of the raw diet for dogs
Although the risk of a raw diet to dogs has been documented in various studies, supporters of the diet highlight the following benefits:
Shinier coats. Of all the perks of a raw diet, this is the most common among the proponents of the raw diet. This is due to the high-fat content on the meaty food.
Cleaner teeth. This doesn’t come as a surprise since chewing bones help dogs get rid of plaque and tartar. The more a dog chews the better it is for their dental health, more so for Pitbulls. Just take note, though, that bones aren’t ideal for small breeds.
High energy levels. It can possibly be due to the unadulterated calories and carbs in raw food that give dogs a boost of energy.
Reduced allergy. This isn’t an absolute benefit. Some dogs are just allergic to the synthetic ingredients of processed food. However, some are really allergic to specific meat types, raw or not.
Firmer and smaller stools. Thanks to raw fiber, Pitbulls who are in the raw diet will have a better bowel movement.
Is a raw food diet good for Pitbulls?
What raw foods can Pitbulls eat?
- Muscle meat, often still on the bone.
- Bones, either whole or ground.
- Organ meats such as livers and kidneys.
- Raw eggs.
- Vegetables like broccoli, spinach, and celery.
- Apples or other fruit.
- Some dairy, such as yogurt.
How do you start a Pitbull raw diet?