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Latest Raw Dog Food Research and Studies

For dog lovers still on the fence about raw dog food, we’ve collated some raw dog food research, part of our raw dog food myths series, which may provide the reassurance you need to give raw a try.

Already convinced? Find out how to switch to raw in this guide.

Author: ProDog Raw

Latest Raw Dog Food Research and Studies

Latest raw dog food research

This article comprises a collection of scientific reports and studies, to help inform your decision about what the best dog food is for your canine companion.

It’s great to hear from friends and family about their dogs’ improved energy levels, dental health, skin conditions, and the various other benefits of raw feeding.

Maybe their experiences, and the benefits of raw dog food, are enough to convince you to switch your dog to a species-appropriate diet.

For some, research studies add an extra level of confidence when it comes to changing their dog’s diet.

Read on for our list of raw dog food diet scientific research from around the world.

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Raw dog food research and digestive health

The benefits of raw dog food are numerous, starting at the root of many canine health issues; the gut.

This section highlights several raw dog food studies that investigate the benefits of raw food on dogs’ digestive health:

A 2023 raw dog food study found that raw feeding puppies and adolescents led to decreased instances of chronic enteropathy (a broad term for gastrointestinal diseases) in adult dogs, with an emphasis on unprocessed raw meat, raw bones, cartilage, and berries [1].

Discover our raw puppy food today.

Another study published in 2021 tested the chemical composition and digestibility of raw and processed diets for dogs, finding the raw diet significantly more digestible [2].

In 2020, this study was conducted to measure the effects of non-processed meat diets on likelihood of IBD occurrence in later life. Puppies at various developmental stages were fed either a raw diet or a processed diet.

The raw-fed group showed significantly less instances of IBD as adults [3].

A 2018 study tested the digestibility, urinalysis, faecal characteristics, and microbiomes of dogs when fed four different diets: kibble, roasted, lightly cooked, and raw.

The lightly cooked and raw diets showed positive effects across all tests [4].

Finally, a study from 2016 proved that a raw, meat-based diet promoted a balanced growth of gut bacteria and positively affected the readouts of healthy gut functions when compared to a dry food diet [5].

This paper from 2009 suggests cooking may be associated with increased food sensitivities and accelerated ageing, due to its tendency to produce AGEs (advanced glycation end products) [6].

AGEs are created by the heat and intense processing often used to manufacture commercial pet foods and can contribute to various health issues in dogs, including diabetes, inflammation, and autoimmune disorders.

Raw vs kibble

In this comparison article our experts explain why raw is a much healthier option than kibble
picture of a dog ditching the dry food, 2 bowls in front one with raw one with kibble, dog is eating the raw, one of the biggest raw dog food myths is that it's not as safe as kibble and is often recalled. This is false, raw is as safe as any other food and dogs prefer it.
Learn more

Raw dog food and skin health studies

As digestive health and skin health are closely linked, it only makes sense that a healthy gut would promote healthy skin, as these raw dog food studies show:

A 2021 study suggested that feeding puppies a raw diet, with an emphasis on tripe, organ meats, and fish oil supplements, were significantly less at risk of developing atopic dermatitis as adult dogs [7].

In 2020, this study tested the effects of diet on the gene regulations responsible for canine atopic dermatitis (CAD).

Of the dogs studied, those in the raw diet group showed enhanced immunity and reduced oxidative stress, as well as the upregulation of the genes responsible for CAD. [8].

Together, these papers support the findings of most raw feeders that raw fed dogs have healthier skin and less skin disease.

Raw dog food study into cancer

The effectiveness of nutritional therapy on canine cancer is another topic that scientists are investigating within their raw dog food research:

This 2023 study followed a dog with a mast cell tumour over a period of 12 years, testing various therapies that didn’t help. A raw meat diet was the solution that finally provided a long term remission [9].

This report shows that as far back as 2013, scientists were carrying out raw dog food research and its effects on cancer.

They found that it mitigates metaflammation (a potential cause of cancer growth) as compared to the carcinogenic health effects of a processed diet [10].

The Ketopet Sanctuary is conducting pioneering work in helping dogs with cancer, diabetes, inflammation and metabolic disturbances by feeding raw food.

They provide access to multiple research studies and articles on the various ways a ketogenic diet can support dogs’ health, including how it can be a healthier alternative to radiation [11].

Raw dog food and diabetes studies

Diabetes is also a prevalent condition in dogs that has shown positive response to a species-appropriate, raw diet, as shown in these raw dog food studies:

This 2020 study tested the effects of high protein and high carbohydrate diets on dogs’ blood glucose levels (tested for suspected canine diabetes).

The high protein, raw diet positively affected glucose and glucagon markers, whereas the opposite was true for the high carbohydrate diet [12].

See above for a link to the Ketopet Sanctuary who are using raw ketogenic diets to help diabetic dogs.

A 2020 study tested the urine of dogs and cats for the presence of advanced glycation end products; biomarkers prevalent in diabetes patients.

The processed, dry diet group showed three times more AGEs than the raw-fed group [13].

Raw dog food researchers to follow

There are multiple canine health professionals performing raw dog food scientific research of their own. Here are a few to watch:

The Raw Proof Study

A 24-month study involving numerous veterinarians, canine nutritionists, and laboratory scientists was conducted to:

a) Ensure that a raw, species-appropriate diet was compatible with FEDIAF guidelines

b) Prove that said diet was nutritionally adequate. Dogs were tested over a period of 26 weeks, with favourable results. Read the 41-page report here.

The Odin Project

Thomas Sandberg, certified Animal Naturopath and Carnivore Nutritional Consultant, is the founder of Long Living Pets. He’s been busy conducting three research studies, one of which is The Odin Project.

This study has been following over 3,000 dogs and hundreds of cats over a period of 16 years, documenting their lives and experiences on a raw diet.

Find out more about his ground-breaking research and the option to sign your dog up for The Odin Project here.

Dogs First

Dr. Conor Brady, BSc Hons, PhD, founded Dogs First in 2010. His ongoing research into the benefits of a raw food diet has contributed to the health of thousands of pets.

He consults, writes, and even has his own brand of nutritional products. His collaboration with other animal health professionals allows them to collectively reach even more pet owners, spreading the message of raw feeding to all who will listen.

Find out more about Dr. Brady and Dogs First here.

DogRisk

DogRisk is a research team within the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Helsinki.

They work in the department of equine and small animal medicine, performing research on the link between nutrition and diseases in dogs. Their focus is on disease prevention, aiming to help both people and dogs.

Being that dogs are anatomically closer to humans than rodents, their research is helpful in understanding the correlations between nutrition and disease in both our species. Find out more about DogRisk here.

Raw Pet Medics

Three doctors, Dr. Conor Brady (as mentioned above), Dr. Brendan Clarke and Dr. Nick Thompson, have been researching, educating and entertaining the raw food community since 2020.

Their weekly Facebook Live and podcasts cover all the topics covered in this article and hundreds more. Free to join, they would welcome your interest here.

Proof that raw is best for dogs

If you’re still considering raw feeding, these raw dog food studies might just be the reassurance you were looking for.

Spanning across multiple areas of health, the benefits of raw are finally beginning to become more visible through the latest nutritional science research.

Our raw food for dogs is always fresh, of premium quality, and created with nutritionally balanced, species-appropriate ingredients.

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References:

1. Vuori, K., Hemida, M., Moore, M., Salin, S., Rosendahl, S., Anturaniemi, J., Hielm-Bjorkman, A. Feb 2023. The effect of puppyhood and adolescent diet on the incidence of chronic enteropathy in dogs later in life. Scientific Reports,; 13(1830). Doi: 10.1038/s41598-023-27866-z

2. Neshovska, H., Sindarska, Z. Mar 2021. Comparative study of the digestibility of dry and raw food in dogs. International Journal of Veterinary Sciences and Husbandry,; 6(2)01-03. ISSN:2456-2912

3. Hemida, M., Vuori, K., Moore, R., Anturaniemi, J., Hielm-Bjorkman, A. Feb 2021. Early Life Modifiable Exposures and Their Association With Owner Reported Inflammatory Bowel Disease Symptoms in Dogs. Frontiers in Veterinary Science,; 8:552350. Doi: 10.3389/fvets.2021.552350

4. Algya, K., Cross, T., Leuck, K., Kastner, M., Baba, T., Lye, L., Godoy, M., Swanson, K. Sep 2018. Apparent total-tract macronutrient digestibility, serum chemistry, urinalysis, and fecal characteristics, metabolites and microbiota of adult dogs fed extruded, mildly cooked, and raw diets. Journal of Animal Science,; 96(9):3670-3683. Doi: 10.1093/jas/sky235

5. Sandri, M., Dal Monego, S., Conte, G., Sgorlon, S., Stefanon, B. Feb 2017. Raw meat based diet influences faecal microbiome and end products of fermentation in healthy dogs. BMC Veterinary Research,; 13(65). Doi: 10.1186/s12917-017-0981-z

6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2685801/

7. Hemida, M., Salin, S., Vuori, K., Moore, R., Anturaniemi, J., Rosendahl, S., Barrouin-Melo, S., Hielm-Bjorkman, A. Jul 2021. Puppyhood diet as a factor in the development of owner-reported allergy/atopy signs in adult dogs in Finland. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine,; 35(5):2374-2383. Doi: 10.1111/jvivm.16211

8. Anturaniemi, J., Zaldivar-Lopez, S., Salvelkoul, H,. Elo, K., Hielm-Bjorkman, A. Oct 2020. The Effect of Atopic Dermatitis and Diet on the Skin Transcriptome in Staffordshire Bull Terriers. Frontiers in Veterinary Science,; 7:552251. Doi: 10.3389/fvets.2020.552251

9. Seyfried, T., Mukherjee, P., Lee, D., Ta, L., Nations, L. Mar 2023. Case report: Resolution of malignant canine mast cell tumor using ketogenic metabolic therapy alone. Frontiers in Nutrition,; 10:1157517. Doi: 10.3389/fnut.2023.1157517

10. Gentzel, JB. Apr 2013. Does contemporary canine diet cause cancer? ; A review. Vet World,; 6(9):632-639. Doi: 10.14202/vetworld.2013.632-639

11. https://www.ketopetsanctuary.com/pages/resources

12. Brannback, E. 2020. The effect of two diets with different carbohydrate content on glucose markers in dogs. Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry,; URN:NBN:fi:hulib-202003031494

13. Palaseweenun, P., Hagan-Plantinga, E., Schonewille, J., Koop, G., Butre, C., Jonathan, M., Wierenga, P., Hendricks, W. Apr 2020. Urinary excretion of advanced glycation end products in dogs and cats. Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition,; 105(1):149-156. Doi: 10.1111/jpn.13347

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