Can You Cook Raw Dog Food?

Dog Dog Food Dog Digestion


  • Can You Cook Raw Dog Food?
  • Are There Not Added Benefits in Cooking Raw Dog Food?
  • To Mix or Not: Can You Mix Raw and Cooked Dog Food?
As owners, we all strive to give our furry family members the best we possibly can, which includes their mealtimes. Raw feeding has become increasingly popular, but it is a little different to just scooping dried biscuits out of a bag and tipping them into your pup’s dish. There can be a little confusion around the preparation of it and one of the most common questions is, can you cook raw dog food?
You might find a quick search online brings up some very different answers, so we’re here to demystify raw feeding and how it’s best served to your pooch.

Can You Cook Raw Dog Food?

Raw food is not normally designed to be cooked so we recommend it is fed raw. Some products contain bones which are safe for your pet to eat raw, but are not designed to be fed cooked as it may make them more brittle. If you are unsure, contact the brand for further information.
Keep in mind that dogs are built differently to humans and that raw dog food is natural to them. Seek your vet’s advice should you need clarification on your dog’s diet.

Are There Not Added Benefits in Cooking Raw Dog Food?

image of puppies with food bowl
It seems only natural for us to cook raw food; you wouldn’t get a steak out of the freezer and just start chewing it as soon as it thaws. Dogs are not humans though; they have evolved from species that were predatory animals and while they’re very much loved and pampered now, that doesn’t mean their stomachs are any different. Your pup is perfectly capable of eating uncooked meat, in fact, it can be better for them than cooked meat.
All of the benefits of raw feeding, the shiny coats, the bright eyes, the extra energy and the joint support your pooch gains are all locked-in in its raw state. If you introduce heat to this to cook it, you can destroy many of the nutrients available and it can become much less beneficial to your four-legged friend.
The only possible benefit to cooking the raw food you give to your dog is reducing the risk of your pup eating contaminated meat. Humans cook our food to rid any risk of sickness from bacteria that can live in it, but dogs are built a little differently. The risk of this is very limited in good brands of dog food in pet stores and dogs aren’t as susceptible to becoming ill from things like Salmonella as we are. While there are some brands of raw dog food you can cook, you will still be reducing the nutritional value of that food.

Cooked Bones are Dangerous!

image of dog with bowl
If you feed your dog a diet like Nutriment Boneless Beef Formula then there are no strict safety reasons against cooking your pup’s meals. They may lose some nutrients but if you can’t stand the thought of raw feeding, then it is an option to gently cook raw dog food on the stove. 
Boneless options for raw food are limited though, as most meals are served as complete diets which will mean they often contain bones. Bones offer a valuable source of calcium and are great at keeping your pup’s teeth clean, however should never be served cooked.
Under heat, bones will become brittle and can break into sharp little fragments as your dog chews on them. This can cause all kinds of damage from the mouth all through the digestive tract, so cooking raw food that contains any amount of bone should always be avoided.

To Mix or Not: Can You Mix Raw and Cooked Dog Food?

There is nothing wrong with feeding both a mixture of cooked and raw food to your dog. However, you should be careful not to throw off the nutritional balance of the meals you’re feeding.
Most complete meals are designed to be the only major component of your pup’s diet, so when you feed two different diets, it can throw the balance off. It can be a good way of cutting costs for owners who aren’t able to feed their dogs on raw food alone but still want the benefits of raw feeding.
If you raw feed to avoid allergies or feed a diet for a specific health issue, then mixing feeds can be complicated and you have to spend time making sure both diets are suitable and the calorific intake for your pooch is correct.
image of dog looking foward
While cooking raw dog food is a possibility, you may be overcomplicating the whole process by adding steps you just don’t need and even compromising the quality of the meal by sticking it in the oven or zapping it in the microwave. Raw food is designed to be fed as it is to your pup for them to really benefit from all the vitamins and minerals available in every bite.
Browse our wide range of dog food in-store and online to find the perfect diet for your beloved pets.