This is the exact same question that I asked myself a couple of weeks ago after noticing the unusual amount of interest that my dog had in a container of frozen deer meat that I had left to thaw on my kitchen counter.
My first initial thought was that yes, it probably would be okay to give him a little raw meat, but at the same time, I didn’t want to risk it, so I did a little research and this is what I found.
Can I feed my dog raw venison? Yes, you actually can. Dogs are, in fact, carnivorous animals, so that means that they are built to eat and digest raw meat. On top of that, venison is an amazing source of protein as well. So, not only did I find out that it wouldn’t be bad for my him to eat a bit of my raw venison, but that eating it has a few cool benefits, too.
IS DEER MEAT HEALTHY FOR DOGS
Deer meat is very healthy for dogs, and for many reasons. Not only is it rich in protein and nutrients, but is very lean, too. Studies have shown that venison contains roughly 75% less saturated fat than beef.
As far as nutrients go, venison is packed with but not limited to vitamins such B12, B6, niacin, and riboflavin. Many people that I know, including myself, have made the switch from dry, bagged dog food to a raw deer meat diet because of these benefits alone.
Some more notable benefits of eating raw venison are…
- Promotion Of Weight Loss
- Anemia Prevention
- Strengthened Immune System
- Promotion Of Muscle Growth
- Brain Health Support
WILL MY DOG GET SICK FROM EATING RAW VENISON
Yes, your dog can get sick from the consumption of raw venison, but this is very unlikely and is usually not caused by the venison itself, but by the human that actually handles the venison. So please make sure you are preparing your venison properly by cleaning it well before-hand and washing off all counter tops and utensils before prepping. Taking the proper steps before giving your dog raw meat will stop you from ever having to worry whether or not your dog will get sick.
Remember to clean off any and all counter tops and utensils that were exposed to the venison to prevent any cross-contamination and to kill and wipe away any bacteria that we as humans shouldn’t digest. The reason for this is because our bodies aren’t meant to digest and break down the same things that our dogs can.
WHY DOESN’T MY DOG GET SICK FROM EATING RAW VENISON
Dogs don’t get sick from eating raw venison because they are carnivores and are able to process raw meat in a totally different way then we can. This is because they have a very short digestive system and are able to push whatever they have eaten out fairly quickly after consuming what they just ate.
Another reason is because dogs have highly acidic stomachs that prevent any type of bacteria to colonize inside of them.
Have you ever wondered why dogs are able to eat almost anything ranging from poop, toilet water, cigarette butts and pretty much any other disgusting thing you can think of? Well, that is why.
HOW CAN I PREVENT MY DOG FROM GETTING SICK FROM VENISON
As stated above, your dog getting sick from raw venison is very unlikely, but just in case you’re still on the edge about whether you should do it or not, here are a few extra safety precautions you should consider just in case you still may have some concerns and want to make sure that your dog is, in fact, okay to eat it…
1) SAY NO TO DOGS WITH A WEAKER IMMUNE SYSTEM
Dogs that usually have weaker immune systems are older. Just like a human, certain foods that were once easy to break down is no longer easy. Giving your dog raw venison if he is older or has a weaker immune system for any other reason could cause potential sickness as he may not be able to digest the food or adjust to the new diet as quickly.
I’m not saying that all older dogs are at risk of getting sick, but it is still something important to keep in mind before giving your dog raw meat.
2) CLEAN YOUR DOG’S FOOD AND WATER BOWL ON A REGULAR BASIS
This is one thing that should be extremely obvious, but unfortunately, a lot of us don’t think about it enough. Keeping your dog’s bowls clean is just as important as keeping your own dishes clean, and that is because of the increased risk of bacteria accumulating from excess food stuck on them after a meal.
If humans never washed their silverware, plates or bowls after a meal and instead ate the next meal over and over again with food from the last meal still stuck on it, we would be at huge risk of catching something that we don’t want.
The same thing applies to dogs. If it weren’t for their digestive system, they would be getting sick just as easily as us. So make sure you clean your dogs bowls out on a daily basis or at the very least a few times a week.
Yes, dogs have amazing digestive systems, but unfortunately, they are not invincible.
3) TAKE YOUR RAW VENISON OUT BEFORE THE 7 DAY MARK
You might be able to get away with leaving it in there for a little longer than a week, but the risk of bacteria growth is just not worth it. I cook my venison before I eat it, and even I set a mental timer for how long I should be keeping it stored before I decide to throw it out.
If you want, you can experiment with this and leave your venison in there for a few days longer, but I’ve always used the one-week method and feel like others should as well so that you can ensure that your dog is safe every single time.
A good rule of thumb is to take care of your dog’s sanitation the same way you would take care of your own when it comes to food or raw meats.
4) MAKE SURE TO KEEP TRASH TUCKED AWAY
This is an important one. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve left the house with my dogs unattended just to come home with trash spilled all over the floor. I throw all kinds of different raw meats in my trash can, so leaving it out for my dogs to get into is no longer an option.
The trash is nasty regardless, but raw meat mixed with other trash and fluids is like a cesspool of bacteria. Unfortunately, our dogs don’t care about this and will get into whatever they want by any means necessary.
After a few times of coming home to huge garbage messes, we decided to move our trash can in the garage where the dogs do not have access to unless they are being supervised. So make sure to keep your trash cans in places where your dogs cannot get to when you are not on the premises.
5) USE A DIFFERENT ALTERNATIVE
The chances of your dog getting sick from eating raw venison are pretty low, but if you’re like me and are overly-protective of your dog and fear that everything you give him will make him sick, then cooking your own meals might be a better option for you.
Being worried about your dog’s health everytime you give him raw meat might be a little too stressful to deal with over time, so providing them with very high quality dry dog food or your own homecooked meals might be exactly what you need to make sure you’re safe and that your dog is safe as well.
Finding out that giving my dog raw venison has been a huge stress reliever. And not only for the fact that we can now eat it together but because of all the amazing benefits that I found that it carries as well. Us dog owners are very passionate people, so making sure that they eat just as good as we do is very important.
Knowing that my dog will live a longer and healthier life because of this new diet has made me a lot happier because for years I was giving my dog big named brand dog foods that I honestly didn’t know a whole lot about, and I know you’re probably like that as well.
If you do everything right and keep everything sanitary before and after each and every meal, you should have absolutely nothing to worry about. I’ve been feeding my dog raw venison for weeks now and haven’t had any trouble with him getting sick, only benefits.
After seeing how much more energy my dog has had after eating venison, I wanted to share this with you so that you and your dog can reap the benefits from this as well. Take all steps to ensure the safety of you and your dog and you will be one happy dog owner at the end of the day!