Can Dogs Eat Raw Meat?

Raw meat for dogs? Liver, offal, tripe, omasum? Can dogs eat raw meat and if so, what should I watch out for?

Our domestic dogs have evolved from carnivores (meat eaters) to omnivores (eating everything). Can they still tolerate raw meat or is that reserved for the wolf?

In this article, we will explain to you whether your dog can eat raw meat and what you should bear in mind.

In a nutshell: Can my dog eat raw meat?

Yes, dogs can eat raw meat! From veal and beef to goat meat, lamb and mutton to horse meat, there is a lot in your dog’s diet. Both head and muscle meat, innards, stomachs (tripes and omasums are particularly healthy) and bones can be fed.

In addition to raw meat, fruit, vegetables, and dietary supplements are also added to the bowl so that your dog is sufficiently supplied with nutrients.

Is raw meat suitable for dogs?

Our domesticated buddies are all descended from wolves and these are known to be prey eaters.

The wolf logically fed on raw meat, since it can neither cook nor grill its prey.

Today, however, feeding fresh meat is no longer simply feeding fresh meat. A whole science has emerged around the nutrition of our dogs and it is called BARF (biologically appropriate raw meat feeding).


It is not advisable to simply feed your dog raw meat, offal, stomach, bones, skin, and hair. You should always keep an eye on the supply of all vital micro and macronutrients.

How can I feed my dog raw meat?

If you want to feed your dog fresh meat, you can calculate its daily needs with a simple formula.

Adult, healthy dogs are calculated at 2% of body weight. Young, slim, and very active dogs with 3% body weight.

The calculation formula is as follows:

? kg : 10 = ? x2 = ? x 100 = ? G

Example based on a 20kg dog:

20kg : 10 = 2 x 2 = 4 x 100 = 400g

The total amount of food per day for a 20kg dog is 400 grams.

Allocation of the total amount of feed

If you want to do everything right – and that’s what we want – you divide your dog’s daily main meal into 80% animal content and 20% vegetable content plus food supplements.

You can use this distribution as a guide to cover your dog’s daily needs.

Animal portion:

  • 50% lean meat (lean and mixed)
  • 20% tripe and omasum
  • 15 & offal
  • 15% Raw Meaty Bones

Vegetable portion:

  • 75% vegetables
  • 25% fruit

Good to know:

Fruit makes up a much smaller part of BARF than vegetables. Some dogs react to acidic fruits with an upset stomach – in this case, just leave them out.

Which meat is suitable for dogs?

Dogs can eat these types of meat:

  • veal and beef
  • Goat
  • lamb
  • sheep
  • Turkey
  • turkey
  • Chicken
  • Horse
  • kangaroo
  • deer and deer
  • Rabbits
  • Ostrich
  • Moose

Attention danger!

We deliberately did not list pork because it poses a particular risk. Pigs can transmit the Aujeszky virus, which is harmless to humans but can be fatal to dogs. If you find pork, e.g. in the form of dried pig ears in the feed house, these have very likely been tested for the virus and are therefore harmless.

When can I start feeding my dog ​​fresh meat?

As soon as the little puppies are no longer attached to mom’s teats, the question arises, what should go in the little ones?

Puppies can be introduced to fresh meat from the fifth week. Lean meats like chicken, turkey, and beef are recommended.

Meat for dogs – raw or cooked?

We are completely torn on this question. Should the dog now eat like the wolf if possible, or is cooked meat easier to digest?

For thousands of years, the dog has been oriented away from the wolf and towards humans – this is also reflected in its eating habits and digestion.

Most of our dogs still have no problems digesting raw meat. But there are dogs that simply won’t eat it.

In this case, or if your dog suffers from a sensitive stomach, a decoction is advisable. However, it is usually not necessary.

Can raw beef transmit disease?

Many people shy away from feeding raw meat because of fear of pathogens.

Of course, there is a certain risk of transmitting salmonella or other bacteria with raw meat. If you store and process it conscientiously, you can minimize these risks.

By the way:

Even the boiling of raw meat does not necessarily protect against pathogens. Please only feed your dog fresh meat that looks good and does not smell spoiled.

Liver & offal

To meet your dog’s nutritional needs, you should feed 30% liver, 30% heart and 30% kidney, spleen, and lungs of the 15% offal per day.

Although it is responsible for the conversion of toxins, the liver is the healthiest organ in feeding and should not be missing from your dog’s diet.

Liver is high in vitamin A, B vitamins, vitamin K, copper, manganese and iron.

Raw meat feeding & dietary supplements?

Here one cannot do without the other.

Unfortunately, simply feeding raw meat and vegetables is not enough to provide your darling with all the important nutrients.

As a barf beginner, it is advisable to seek out nutritional advice for dogs, where you can find out what additional nutrients your dog needs.

Among other things, it is important to create a balanced calcium-phosphorus ratio. When feeding fresh meat, the trend is always towards phosphorus.


Common dietary supplements for BARF are green-lipped mussel powder, rosehip powder, collagen, brewer’s yeast, meat bone meal, and seaweed meal. But of course that’s not all. As you can imagine, there is the right powder for almost every ailment and imperfection.

In short: Can dogs eat raw meat?

Yes, dogs can eat raw meat!

Our dog’s digestive tract is designed to consume fresh, raw meat, as well as offal and bones.

However, you cannot feed your dog only raw meat. A diet based on the BARF method also includes vegetables, fruit, and various dietary supplements.

Whether you feed the meat to your dog raw or cooked is a matter of taste. Some dogs prefer meat cooked.

Still, have questions about feeding raw meat? Then just write us a comment under this article.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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