Raw Feeding vs. Commercial and Home Prepared Meals for Dogs & Cats: Pros and Cons

Feeding your pet is a significant responsibility that directly impacts their health and well-being. The debate between raw feeding and commercial or home-prepared meals for dogs and cats is a hot topic among pet owners and veterinarians. Each method has its pros and cons, and the best choice often depends on the specific needs of your pet. This article will delve into the advantages and disadvantages of each feeding method to help you make an informed decision.

Raw Feeding


  • Raw diets often include a variety of fresh, unprocessed foods, which can provide a broader range of nutrients than processed diets.

  • Many proponents of raw feeding believe it leads to shinier coats, healthier skin, cleaner teeth, higher energy levels, and smaller stools.

  • Raw feeding allows you to control exactly what goes into your pet’s diet, which can be beneficial if your pet has specific dietary needs or allergies.


  • Raw diets can be time-consuming and expensive to prepare.

  • There’s a risk of bacterial contamination with raw foods, which can lead to serious health issues for both pets and humans.

  • It can be challenging to ensure a raw diet is nutritionally balanced, potentially leading to nutrient deficiencies or excesses.

Commercial Meals


  • Commercial pet foods are convenient and easy to serve.

  • They’re formulated to meet the nutritional needs of pets, reducing the risk of nutritional imbalances.

  • Quality commercial pet foods undergo rigorous testing for safety and nutritional adequacy.


  • Some commercial pet foods may contain low-quality ingredients, fillers, and artificial additives.

  • They may not cater to the specific dietary needs or preferences of individual pets.

  • There’s a risk of recalls due to contamination issues.

Home-Prepared Meals


  • Like raw feeding, home-prepared meals allow you to control what goes into your pet’s diet.

  • They can be tailored to your pet’s specific dietary needs and preferences.

  • Home-prepared meals can be a good option for pets with food allergies or sensitivities.


  • Home-prepared meals can be time-consuming and expensive to prepare.

  • It can be difficult to ensure a home-prepared diet is nutritionally balanced.

  • There’s a risk of foodborne illness if foods are not cooked or stored properly.

In conclusion, each feeding method has its benefits and drawbacks. It’s essential to consider your pet’s specific needs, your lifestyle, and your budget when choosing a feeding method. Always consult with a veterinarian or a pet nutrition expert to ensure your pet’s diet is nutritionally balanced and safe.