As a dog owner, you have a lot of options when it comes to feeding your dog. And as the industry keeps growing, your choices do, too.One of the latest trends is raw dog food, as it's thought to be the most beneficial for your dog's system. After all, your furry friend is an animal, right? And animals in the wild eat their food raw. Isn't a raw diet best for my dog?Not exactly.At Rick’s Dog Deli, we believe that USDA-inspected foods prepared and cooked to human standards is the best feeding style for your dog. Although raw feeding can have a few nutritional advantages, we believe that the risks associated with feeding raw are not outweighed by the benefits. Dog Food in HistoryWhile it's true that the first dogs hunted and ate raw food in the wild, dogs have been domesticated. And ever since dogs have been at man’s side, they have been eating what we eat...usually scraps of meat (cooked and raw), bones, organ meats, vegetables, and prepared grains.At Rick’s Dog Deli, we take a balanced approach to species-appropriate feeding and believe all food types are appropriate, since dogs are omnivores. With our specially formulated recipes, your dog will get the proper ratio of meat, vegetables, and grains across all our prepared meals. With raw dog food, your dog will probably get an unbalanced diet, as it will be very meat-heavy and lacking in certain nutrients. (Unless your dog will eat raw broccoli. Most don't.) Modern Dog Food Safety StandardsIf we lived on this planet 200-300 years ago, we at Rick’s Dog Deli would most likely advocate a raw diet. Being able to give an animal leftovers from the hunt was simply the easiest method for feeding them.Unfortunately, the way food is processed today, cooking food is necessary in order to effectively remove toxins.For example, when processing chicken, it is common for the meat to be washed with a chlorine solution. (Yes, even among organic chicken producers.) Since chlorine evaporates when heated, the chemical will dissipate from the chicken when it is cooked to the proper temperature. If one were feeding uncooked chicken to their dog, then their dog will be exposed to unsafe levels of chlorine.With a raw diet there is always a chance of contamination of salmonella, e. coli, listeria, etc. When food is cooked, this risk is eliminated.Also, with raw there is a chance that contaminated food can contaminate your home, exposing everyone to harmful bacteria. This is especially a problem when someone or another pet in the home is immunocompromised. Cooked vs. Raw Dog FoodWe have run side-by-side nutritional studies comparing cooked vs. raw proteins and have found that the nutritional loss is minimal when food is cooked in a proper manner. The advantages of cooking far outweigh the risks associated with raw feeding.At Rick’s Dog Deli, it is our job to navigate the food chain for you and your pet. We work with our suppliers to get the best possible ingredients at the best possible price.We prepare all food in our open-concept kitchen using commercial equipment which is sanitized following the equipment manufacturer and HACCP standards. Proteins are kept separate to avoid any cross-contamination for our allergy-sensitive dogs. After foods are prepared, they are quick frozen to lock in all the vitamins and nutrients. Simply thaw and serve.Your best friend deserves the same food you do!