Although dogs can tolerate a wide range of food stuffs their body shows a raw meat and bone based diet is optimal and what they were designed to eat.
Starting off where food enters the body. Dogs teeth are sharp and pointed which is ideal for grabbing and tearing off chunks off meat. Dogs do not chew their food, instead their jaws move with a scissor like action which crush the meat and bone so it is small enough to fit down the throat, down into the stomach. The stomach then has to become very acidic in order to break down and digest the meat and bone. This low PH level in the stomach has a beneficial effect on the good bacteria which promotes health.
The dogs gut is also much shorter than an omnivore or herbivore so is also a good indication that their ideal diet is meat based rather than plant / grain based.
A dogs saliva does not contain the enzyme amylase which is needed to break down starch, instead small amount are produced by the pancreas. This shows a small amount of plant matter can be tolerated but large amounts puts stress on the pancreas which can lead to enzyme deficiency or diabetes.
Feeding a diet of raw meat and bones lowers acidity within the stomach and sustains maintenance of the villi within the gut where good bacteria live. If the gut is struggling or becomes lazy the numbers of good bacteria will fall and allow for harmful bacteria to take over.
The beneficial bacteria helps with digestion and the absorption of nutrients and promotes fully functioning immune system as well as influencing mood and behaviour.
Overgrowth of harmful bacteria can lead to yeast infections, flatulence and loose stools.
Raw green tripe contains beneficial bacteria and if needed probiotic supplements or live yogurt/kefir can be given.
As well as the benefits on the gut and beneficial bacteria, raw food still has all of the natural nutrients intact, as none have been destroyed by the cooking or drying process. To make processed food nutritious, synthetic vitamins and minerals are added back to the food. These synthetic versions are not as bioavailable and cannot work synergistically as they can in their natural form.
Raw Meat helps build and maintain lean muscle mass. A dog with lean muscle burns more energy than a dog with more fat than muscle so obesity is rarely an issue. A processed diet higher in carbohydrates will provoke an insulin response which as well as being taxing on the pancreas will encourage the storage of these sugars as fat. A raw diet will help an overweight dog loose fat but not muscle and will also help an underweight dog gain weigh as muscle.
Raw edible bones and tracheas are high in glucosamine and chondroitin which is essential for healthy joints.