What is a raw dog food diet?
A raw dog food diet (as opposed to a cooked dog food diet) is made of ingredients that are uncooked. Typically they are high-meat diets, but this may include toxin-housing organ meats, or leftover parts of the carcass after the rest of the cuts of meat have been removed. Raw diets utilize parts of the animal that are not always cleared as human-grade, or restaurant-quality.
Because raw diets are typically ground in manufacturing facilities, it's common for a raw dog food diet to include ground bone (or bone meal). The reason we do not recommend bone content in our dog meals (beyond the obvious reasons that this is a lower quality ingredient) is because it can cause variations in the calcium and nutrient content of the meal. Sharp pieces are not always removed, and the bone acts as a (potentially harmful) filler.
Raw dog food diets are either shipped frozen and thawed by owners, or shipped entirely raw. While some raw diet proponents argue that cooking may lead to nutrient loss, the reality is that gently cooking enables us to preserve more than enough nutrients, while also minimizing harmful bacterial risk for dogs and humans. Additionally, the deep freeze than many raw diets encounter before reaching a dog's bowl take a greater toll on the nutrients than any cooking may.
At the end of the day, one of the greatest challenges with a raw dog food diet is that you have a product that certainly looks like ground meat, but it's not entirely clear just based on visual appearance what is in the diet, despite what may be on the label.