I'm a strong advocate of feeding dogs a raw food diet to keep them healthy. My own dog, Sonnie, a St. Bernard, was 9 years old and thriving. He's was on a raw diet for 3 years and I know his IBS was healed through switching him from commercial dog food to a wholefood raw diet along with plant based supplements.
Some of you who will read this article have chosen not to give your dogs raw meat because of your concerns regarding the quality of meats today and from reading articles that convinced you that a raw food diet for dogs is not the way to go, especially raw meat.
I understand your choices and I respect them. However, I'd like to make sure that you understand what happens to meat when it is cooked and based on this understanding I will offer some solutions at the end of this article that can keep your dog healthy even though you may continue to feed them cooked meat.
Protein is denatured unnaturally during heating:
Protein in meat is denatured as a consequence of exposure to heat. proteins denatured by heat become progressively nonviable as cooking time and temperature exposures increase. This means that they become progressively less usable by the body. Not surprisingly, the blood, lymph, and liver treat heated proteins as "foreign invaders". White blood cell (leukocyte) counts rise after eating cooked proteins, signifying a direct assault on the body's ability to maintain balance (Graham, p.24).
Bruno Comby, in his book, Maximize Immunity, says that when meat is heated, its protein molecules become toxic because of the "destruction of enzymes..., the neutralization of vitamins (and) the generation of carcinogenic substances such as benzopyrene" (Comby, p. 159).
Alan Gaby, MD, explains further regarding the toxins that appear in meat after it is heated: "Exposure of meat to high cooking temperature results in the formation of many toxic compounds, including heterocyclic amines, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, cholesterol oxides, lipid peroxides, and advanced glycation end products. Some of these compounds are known carcinogens" (Gaby, p.34).
Dr. Martin Goldstein, DVM of Smith Ridge Veterinary Center in South Salem, NY, says that he sees pets with renal diseases with symptoms of elevated urea nitrogen and creatinine blood levels and he attributes such problems to cooked meat and processed foods. When their owners switch these pets from a cooked food diet to a raw food diet including meat their kidney values normalize and stay this way over an extended period (Goldstein, p. 10).
If you, however, after reading this article decide to continue to cook meat for your dogs, may I suggest that you consider first of all buying organic meat, and cooking the meat at very low temperatures. Better yet, feed your dog medium cooked or semi raw meat which will result in the formation of less of these carcinogenic compounds.
Comby, Bruno. (1994). Maximize Immunity. Queensville, Ontario: Marcus Books.
Gaby, Alan, MD. (Feb./March 2005). "Literatuer Review & commentary". Townsend Letter for Doctors & Patients. P. 34.
Goldstein, Martin. (March 2005). "Ask the Vet". Great Life. p. 10.
Graham, Douglas. "Food and Energy". Living Nutrition. Vol. 12. pgs.24-26.