Can German Shepherds Eat Raw Meat? Pros & Cons

  • By: Justin
  • Date: April 8, 2023
  • Time to read: 5 min.

Just like any other dog, GSDs can eat raw meat. Not only do they love the taste, but it also gives them a sense of joy.

However, Is it ok, to feed your German shepherd raw meat?

Some dogs are ok eating raw meat, while others are sensitive to different types of meats and foods. And for that reason, the best way to know if your GSD can eat raw meat is to perform a test. But before giving a raw meat diet to your dogs it is important to check with your veterinarian.

It is also important to know that dogs need other nutrients, not just raw meat. German shepherds need a complete well-balanced diet that has nutrients, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and proteins. (1.)(2.) 

Can German Shepherds Eat Raw Meat?

What Is A Raw Meat Diet For German Shepherds

A raw meat diet is any diet that is not cooked. A raw meat diet can include meats such as: 

Meat muscles, Chicken organs like hearts, raw eggs, liver, and kidneys, whole or ground bones, Salmon, Lamb, Beef, Tuna, Turkey, Bacon, Deer, duck, etc. Raw food diets come in all shapes and sizes and different forms.

What Kind Of Raw Meat Should I Feed my GSD

Some dogs have sensitive digestive systems. And, for that reason, you should start by giving them raw meats that contain fewer bacteria like organ meat. Some good organ meats to use are:

  • Kidneys
  • Beef Tripe which is the lining of the stomach
  • Beef liver

A common mistake people often make when starting a new raw meat diet is people just go get a bunch of ground beef meat. And they think well that is enough.

The reality is when it comes to raw nutrition organ meat has a lot of nutrition that ground meat doesn’t have.

Here is a simple raw meat recipe that you can follow:


  • 2 1/2 lbs of ground beef
  • 4 oz chicken livers
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 small apple, cored
  • 1/2 cup baby spinach
  • 2 whole eggs (including shell)
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil


  1. Finely chop carrots, spinach, and apples.
  2. Now Add 1 tbsp ground flaxseed, 2 whole eggs, 1tbsp olive oil, 1/2 cup of plain yogurt, and 4 Oz chicken livers process until well combined.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and add the beef until well mixed.
  4. Form into small patties the size of your palm and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  5. Now you can Freeze patties and then transfer them to a storage container to keep them frozen.
  6. When you are ready to feed your german shepherd pull the frozen pattie from the freezer and place it in the refrigerator to thaw.

What Are The Benefits Of Feeding A German Shepherd Raw Meat?

According to veterinarian surgeon Dr.Ian Billinghurst, founder of the raw meat diet called B.A.R.F. dogs who eat raw meat can have fewer health issues, than dogs who eat dry foods, or processed foods.

A Lot of people believe raw food diets are better than cooked diets for some of the following reasons: 

  • Some people feel that it helps to correct one particular medical condition. 
  • It helps German shepherds more muscular
  • Others feel that the higher protein amounts are more available to the dog. 
  • Some people also believe cooked diets destroy a lot of the nutrients that are in the meat.

Pros Of A Raw Meat Diet: 

  • Shinier coats and healthier skin
  • Healthier skin
  • Increased energy
  • Improved dental health
  • Smaller stools
  • More satisfying (yummy)

Health Risks Of Feeding Raw Meat To Your German Shepherds

When feeding your German shepherd raw meat studies have found that raw meat can cause imbalances in vitamins A, D, and E which are crucial for pets’ development and health. (3.)(4.)

Since not all breeds are the same, it is important to understand if your GSDs digestive system can process raw meat.

I personally loved the idea of feeding my own GSD raw meat. She absolutely loved it! However, the next day I found her having bloody stools all over my house.

So then I found out that my GSD can’t have raw meat, just the one specific dry food that has sweat potatoes and salmon.

Cons Of A Raw Meat Diet:

Another downside of giving raw meat is that there are tons of harmful bacteria. These bad bacteria can cause your dog to become sick.

Examples of bad bacteria are:

  • Salmonella
  • Ecoli
  • Clostridium

Other health risks include:

  • Your dog could have bad breath if pieces of meat are stuck in its teeth for days
  • Choking hazard
  • Staining furniture with blood or meat residues
  • The meat bones can cause internal bleeding

Also Read: Can A Raccoon Kill A German Shepherd?

5 Best Ways To Feed Your GSD Raw Meat

1. Start from Puppyhood: Start feeding your GSD when is a puppy. Doing so will allow your GSDs digestive system to be trained properly, avoiding issues when becoming older. Because dogs are sensitive to changes in diet. 

2. Remove small bones from meat: some bones like chicken bones or fish bones, can get stuck in the throat, causing bleeding and swelling, making you take a trip to the vet, it’s just a recipe for disaster.

3. Wash and Drain as much blood as possible, and pat dry. By doing this, you will avoid blood dripping everywhere and causing maggots and flys.

4. Feed small amounts to avoid choking, dogs tend to be excited with raw meat, and eat it fast!

5. Mix it with other foods: Mixing the meat with other foods will allow them to get other vitamins and minerals they need, and will also help to digest the meat more efficiently.

Also Read: 11 Ways to To Make German Shepherd’s Back Legs Strong

Final Thoughts- Is It Ok To Feed A German Shepherd Raw Meat?

Absolutely Yes! As long as you do it in the way that is safe and recommended. There should be no issues with you feeding your dog a healthy raw meat diet. But it is important to check with your Vet before giving your GSD a raw meat diet. (5.)

Although there are no studies that prove that raw food diets are any better than cooked diets.

It is important to know all the health benefits and risk that comes with giving your GSDs raw meats.

I hope this post was helpful and please check out our other helpful posts about German shepherds. 

Justin- Writer & Chief Editor of


Justin is a protection dog enthusiast. He has years of experience teaching and training dogs. He enjoys sharing what he’s learned. Read More

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