Feeding raw meat to dogs and cats does not result in aggressive behavior when a balanced diet is fed. However, feeding an improperly balanced raw diet, lacking in the essential amino acid tryptophan, has a negative impact on serotonin in the brain and results in aggressive behavior as a symptom of deficiency. This can easily be reversed with a properly balanced diet that supplies recommended allowances for tryptophan.
Salmonella can only survive in higher pH conditions (4-8+) and requires at least 12 hours to reach incubation. The hydrochloric acid in a carnivore’s stomach is a protective enzyme against pathogens. Their stomach is highly acidic (about a pH 1) while their digestive system is short and lacks complexity. Bacteria is killed when ingested and passed within 4-6 hours as waste. Since the time to complete digestion is very short, the bacteria does not stay in the body for long.
Cooked meat lacks many benefits of raw meat and can be deficient in essential nutrients because the very act of cooking destroys or alters proteins, vitamins, fats, and minerals. Therefore, cooking food makes some nutrients less available and others more available. Lightly steaming vegetables is an exception, but it is recommended to puree raw vegetables instead.
A very common misconception about feeding bones is that raw bones are dangerous. In fact, raw bones are great for pets and are totally safe! Raw bones are soft and are easy to digest in comparison to cooked or dehydrated bones. Cooking and dehydrating bones removes moisture from the bones which makes them hard, splinter when eaten, and difficult to digest which can result in harmful intestinal perforations and blockage.
The same rules for feeding raw bones to adult dogs and cats apply to puppies and kittens. Giving raw bones to puppies and kittens is totally safe when providing the appropriate size cuts for the size and age of the pet.
Smaller bones are recommended to start with and work up to larger bones as the pet grows. If the puppy or kitten is weaning from the mother, raw grinds with bone mixed in is recommended in the beginning, until they can begin chewing whole foods.
Large and giant breed puppies are no different than any other puppy. Like all puppy breeds, large and giant puppies need to grow very slowly to avoid developing joint and bone issues. They do have specific requirements to maintain a balanced calcium to phosphorous ratio of 1.2:1 but this does not mean they cannot eat a raw diet during their developmental periods.
Remember, each dog (and puppy) is different – the guidelines provided are just starting points and the diet should be adjusted to provide recommended allowances for calcium to phosphorus in a balanced ratio.