New Study Explores Effects of Raw Meat vs. Kibble Diets on Dogs’ Gut Health

by Lisa

The trend of feeding dogs raw meat-based diets instead of traditional kibble has gained popularity in recent years, driven by concerns over heavy processing and additives in commercial dog food. Proponents argue that raw diets may offer benefits such as improved gut health and reduced risk of inflammatory conditions, similar to the benefits of unprocessed plant-based diets for humans.

However, veterinarians caution against raw diets due to potential health risks associated with bacterial contamination and nutritional imbalances. A 2022 study found that over 90% of dogs on raw meat diets exhibited nutritional deficiencies.


To further investigate the impact of different feeding regimens on canine health, researchers from Oklahoma State University and the University of Florida conducted a study published in Frontiers in Veterinary Science. This study is the first to evaluate how different diets affect anti-inflammatory markers in the gut.


The research compared inflammation levels in dogs fed either a kibble-based diet or a raw meat-based diet. The study involved 55 healthy adult dogs, with half fed kibble and the other half fed raw meat for over a year. Both groups were placed on restricted diets for 28 days before testing to control for variations in food intake.


Results showed similar inflammatory markers in the blood of both groups, but significant differences in intestinal inflammatory markers and gut microbiota. Dogs on raw meat diets exhibited higher levels of certain gut-protecting antibodies, suggesting improved gastrointestinal homeostasis and immune function.


However, the researchers caution that the study’s short duration and focus on healthy dogs limit the ability to draw definitive conclusions about the benefits or risks of raw meat diets. They suggest further studies with larger sample sizes and longer durations, as well as more sensitive markers, to better understand the effects of different feeding regimens on canine health.

In conclusion, while raw meat diets may offer potential benefits for gut health, more research is needed to fully evaluate their safety and efficacy compared to traditional kibble diets.


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