Feeding Your Pet A Raw Diet
Over the past few years, raw feeding seems to have grown in popularity. Commercially prepared raw food is even stocked in popular pet shops.
But there are a lot of confusing arguments both for and against raw feeding that can be a real minefield. Sometimes its hard to know how to do the right thing for our pets, as youll often find strong opinions both for and against raw feeding.
Is Raw Food Better For Dogs
Are you wondering – should I meal raw food to my dog? Is feeding your dog raw food diet good?
Raw Dog food allergies, obesity, diabetes, and cancer are more common than ever, and your dog’s diet may have a lot to do with that. The rise in these life-threatening diseases has pushed us to dig deeper and find ways to prevent and treat our dogs naturally.
Feeding your dog high-quality raw dog food can family farms positively affect many aspects of their health, but before you get started, it’s important to understand how and why raw food diets for dogs might be right for your dog.
Here are 6 reasons you should trust raw dog food diets to reliably and effectively improve your dog’s health:
Allergy Relief & Reduced Allergies
It’s crazy to think about, but allergies have become a disease of civilization exacerbated by man-made foods and can stem from processed foods for humans and dogs.
While some of us and our pets may have sensitivities to a few environmental factors, almost all allergies are related to the food we consume.
Some animals have even developed allergies to cooked proteins but not the raw ones.
Consider for a moment the “chicken allergy” epidemic present today. If you were to poll pet parents conservatively, we would venture that almost 9 out of 10 pet parents would say that their dog has or had a chicken allergy. Ridiculous!
Once on a raw dog food diet, most dog owners are amazed to see their dog’s previous allergies clear up completely. Mind, blown!
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Raw Feeding For Muscle Tone
Very few land animals that we know of benefit from being fat. Fat drives the inflammatory process and only serves to weaken you over time. Dogs are no exception. They are long distance runners at heart. Lean dogs not only live longer but suffer less inflammation, less arthritis and are cheaper to keep! For some breeds its even more important. See that Frenchie above? Thats what you want. But how many of this breed do you see looking like little coffee tables waddling about the place, gasping for breath? Most of them. This angers me greatly and I will advise the owner whether they want to hear it or not your dog needs a lean protein diet void of carbohydrates immediately.
Dogs are undoubtedly obligate carnivores . Studies show the typical wild prey of the dog are very lean, starting at 4 parts protein and 1 part fat, and often getting far leaner from that point. This is means a diet of lots of lean meat, some fat and little to no carbohydrates.
This is why everyone, even the dry pet food producers and their mouthpieces , admit dogs have ZERO need of carbohydrates in their diet. This is practically the definition of a carnivore.
Canis lupus sub-species do not consume plant carbohydrate by means of nutrition
Sillero-Zubiri et al. 2004
How Do I Know Theyre Getting Everything
Variety is the key to avoid nutrient deficiencies and excesses. Still, poor ingredient selection aside, the general decrease of nutrients in our food chains means your dog could very much benefit from a supplement here and there. As Hippocrates said, let food be thine medicine. We agree. So feel free to pop into some medicinal herbs, some dark berries, all very powerful food additions.
One of the most popular supplements you can add in is probably seaweed. It has an unbelievable range of vitamins, minerals and entirely unique antioxidants. We sell a lot of it here on Dogs First. Its important when shopping for seaweeds you choose those not dried with heat and ideally sustainably farmed in clean fresh waters. So please check out our range of seaweed products. As a good all-rounder, certainly for dogs that have just jumped from dry, I recommend BioFunction8 to start off on.
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Homemade Raw Diets May Not Be Properly Nutritionally Balanced To Meet Your Dogs Needs
Dogs require specific amounts of key nutrients in order to remain healthy. These nutrients include not only carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, but also micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals.
In many cases, homemade raw food diets are deficient in key micronutrients that are essential for normal, healthy development. Even if the correct nutrients are present, they are not always present in the correct quantities ratios. For example, calcium and phosphorus must not only be present in adequate amounts, they must also be present in a specific ratio that is determined by the dogs life stage. Achieving the correct balance of nutrients for optimal growth and development is challenging and it is easy to miss the mark when feeding a homemade diet. If you feed any homemade diet, it is important to work closely with a veterinary nutritionist to ensure that your dogs nutritional needs are being met appropriately.
How Much Does A Raw Dog Food Diet Cost
Preparation & ingredients used in raw dog food diet decideâs the price. A one-day market available frozen raw chicken feed costs around $5.00 for a dog weighing 60kg. While some others can cost you up to $10 steadily. For a single-day supply of top-notch commercial dry dog food can charge you around $2.
Many pet guardians think about the cost of medical care for their canines while staying within a budget.
On the off chance that you consider feeding your canine with a raw dog food diet would keep your canine safe sound & healthy, its wary to expect that the expense of veterinary consideration care will be less expensive throughout your dogâs entire life than if you gave them locally acquired kibble.
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Raw Food Diet For Dogs: The Theory And The Basics
Just like the seasons’ change, so does the evolution of research, culture and new trends including new insights into the diets for our canine companions. One of the biggest trends right now is a raw diet for dogs, sometimes known as BARF, one of the more popular versions of raw feeding . The theory and research behind raw diets have been around for a while, but the uptake is surging, becoming a popular choice for many pet owners.
So, what does a raw diet for dogs look like? How do you transition your dog to a raw diet? Lastly, where should you begin and who do you consult? We tackle these questions and more below.
What Is A Raw Food Diet For Dogs And Where Does It Come From
While raw feeding has been a practice for many years for some dog owners, the main figurehead to place it at the forefront of the wider pet and pet food industry was Australian veterinarian, Dr Ian Billinghurst. In 1993, Dr Billinghurst first talked about the benefits of raw food in his book Give Your Dog A Bone, a theory based on what canines ate before domestication. Essentially, a cleaner, more natural diet. Think raw meats, vegetables, bones and zero unnecessary additives.
Although the mind and the outward appearance of our modern dog has changed dramatically, the internal workings, including the entire digestive system, and the way food is utilised for growth, maintenance, repair and reproduction is fundamentally the same as its wild ancestors, Dr Ian Billinghurst.
While Dr Billinghurst created momentum and strong theory in his feeding principles through the BARF diet model, the term raw diet has expanded since this time. Another popular version of a raw dog diet is RMBD .
If you search online, youll find a lot of different meal plans and creations based on raw feeding principles.
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Raw Dog Food: Weigh The Evidence Carefully
While raw dog food is associated with a number of purported benefits, many of these benefits are unproven. Additionally, raw food diets are associated with a number of risks, which have been well-documented. Evaluate the pros and cons carefully before selecting a diet for your dog.
If you are looking to have more control over your dogs diet while minimizing risk, consider working with a veterinary nutritionist to formulate a homemade cooked diet that is appropriate for your dog. This will allow you to have greater control over your dogs diet, while minimizing the risk of foodborne illness and nutritional deficiencies or imbalances.
Schlesinger DP, Joffe DJ. Raw food diets in companion animals: a critical review. Can Vet J. 2011 52:50-54.
van Bree FPJ, Bokken GCAM, Mineur R, et al. Zoonotic bacteria and parasites found in raw meat-based diets for cats and dogs. Vet Rec. 2018 182:50. doi:10.1136/vr.104535
Davies RH, Lawes JR, Wales AD. Raw diets for dogs and cats: a review, with particular reference to microbiological hazards. J Small Anim Pract. 2019 60:329-339. doi:10.1111/jsap.13000
Kölle P, Schmidt M. BARF als Ernährungsform bei Hunden . Tierarztl Prax Ausg K Kleintiere Heimtiere. 2015 43:409-420. doi:10.15654/TPK-150782
Safety Tips For Feeding Dogs Raw Diets
There is much debate over the safety of feeding raw meat diet to dogs. We’ve long been taught that the bacteria in raw meat diet can be harmful to us, so it’s easy to assume the same for your dogs.
Knowing the right way to feed will ensure that you and your dog will stay safe. It is additionally helpful to know how much raw dog food to feed.
There are bacteria present in raw meat diet. Scary bacteria like salmonella, e Coli, and listeria can be found in different types of raw meat diet. Its important to keep this in mind when handling any raw meat.
Raw meat for dogs should be handled with the same caution we use with our own raw meat preparation. Safe food handling practices are a necessity. Wash your hands, utensils, and any surfaces that the raw meat diet is prepared with or on. This will prevent the spread of any harmful pathogens to you or anyone else in your home.
A common misconception is that this bacteria will harm our pets when it is ingested. The fact is that your dogs digestive system is designed to handle this level of bacteria.
They have an extremely acidic stomach environment that can kill many bacteria and prevent the rest from colonizing their digestive system.
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Your Vet May Not Approve
While the raw dog food fad isn’t exactly new, its growing popularity has garnered some disapproval from some veterinarians. You may find that your vet isn’t exactly supportive of your dog’s new diet, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the diet is bad.
The veterinary community is mixed in their support of the best raw dog food diets, with some vets being vehemently opposed, some in full support, and others who may not advocate for raw, but have taken the time to learn how to raw feed your dog food safely and are able to provide support to clients who have chosen this diet for their pets.
Why are vets against raw dog food diets? There are many reasons that vets may not approve of raw dog food, but the most common concern is whether the diets are actually complete and balanced. Many commercial raw diets are complete and balanced, but not all of them, so if your vet expresses concern over your raw pet food, it’s a good idea to hear them out.
A lack of regulation, especially in Canada, means that there are both commercial raw dog food diet that aren’t nutritionally balanced for all breeds and life stages and a lot of homemade natural raw dog food recipes on the internet that are lacking vital nutrients. If you don’t know what your dog needs, or what their food provides, then you could end up doing more harm than good.
Humans Are Not Meant To Eat Processed Foods Exclusively And Neither Are Dogs Their Teeth And Digestive Systems Are Designed To Consume Mostly Raw Meat And Bones This Is Exactly What Dogs Were Doing Before They Were Domesticated To Become Mans Best Friends
Even though you have good intentions, the kibbles or the canned dog food you feed your furry companion day after day are not the best option for their health. On the other hand, raw dog food was created to allow pets to benefit from fresh, unprocessed foods that are better for them. Most brands of commercial dog food contain added vitamins and minerals. In contrast, raw dog food is so nutritious that no supplements are necessary.
Are you thinking about improving the diet of your puppy, adult dog or senior dog? Here are seven benefits of raw dog food:
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Healthier Skin And Shinier Coat
A diet that consists of fresh, raw and natural foods will provide your dog with the essential fatty acids and amino acids they need to maintain healthy skin and a shiny coat. A dog’s skin and fur are almost exclusively built from protein, and up to 30% of the protein consumed in the diet is used by the body to maintain skin and coat condition. This is why the easily digestible protein content of a quality natural raw dog food will transform a dull and lacklustre coat into a glossy, shiny, healthy coat. Skin can also show noticeable improvements on raw diets, especially in dogs that suffer from skin irritations.
The Benefits Of A Raw Diet For Puppies
Below are some health benefits for your dogs, which includes:
- Chewing enjoyment
- Improves dental health and cleaner teeth
- Increased energy level
- Greater muscle mass
These benefits could not be permanent depending on what raw food they are eating. But, every food has its potential risks on your canine. So, well be sharing those risks for you to be aware of.
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The Facts About Salmonella
Dog owners considering a raw diet worry about bacteria and pathogens, such as salmonella. Still, most veterinarians say the worry greatly outweighs the actual risk. Dogs are highly unlikely to become sick from eating raw food. Salmonella is prevalent the average kitchen is full of it and it poses no threat to most dogs. Bear in mind, however, that dogs can transmit bacteria to humans and other animals.
- Smith Ridge Veterinary Center in New York sells 2,500 to 4,000 pounds of raw food each month with no incidents of illness.
- Up to 36% of healthy dogs have salmonella in their digestive tracts.
- S typhimurium and S anatum are the most common salmonella serotypes found in dogs.
- 7.7% of 196 samples of commercial raw pet food products contained salmonella.
- Conventional dog foods have a similar risk of pathogens.
- Pet food recalls due to pathogens are not uncommon a mass recall of products contaminated with salmonella affected over 100 pet food brands in 2007.
- Dogs are unlikely to exhibit symptoms of salmonella even in the event of greater exposure.
- For most pathogens, it takes large concentrations or bacterial buildup to make a dog sick.
- In severe cases, dogs with salmonelliosis may suffer from diarrhea, vomiting, fever, miscarriage, and death.
- Long-term exposure to salmonella can cause chronic health conditions depression is a sign of long-term salmonella exposure in dogs.
A Stronger Immune System
Humans who have a strong immune system are better equipped to fight off diseases and infections. The same logic applies for dogs. A balanced nutrition can help boost your dogs immune system, which is a good reason to consider serving raw dog food to your furry companion.
Raw dog food is not the same as simply giving raw meat to your pet. Each raw dog meal is formulated with raw meat, crushed bones, and fruits and vegetables that add antioxidants. In addition, it has other essential nutrients that include protein, vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats present in the meat.
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Is Homemade Raw Food For Your Dog Safe
I cannot say whether or not the BARF dog food will be beneficial for your dog. So, If you’re considering switching your pup to a raw diet, be sure to consult your veterinarian or a canine nutritionist.
And if the expert that you consult recommends the raw food diet for your pet, they will also help you create a customized dietary plan that will meet your dog’s specific nutritional needs.
They will be able to explain the best protein choices for your pup and tell you how to create the best raw puppy food recipes on your own.
It’s also likely that they will recommend adding supplements or a multi-vitamin to the recipes to meet your dog’s nutritional needs.
However, they will evaluate your pooch and discuss the proper amounts of nutrients that your dog’s diet should include.
For beginners, this information about raw dog food is different for every dog, depending on its breed and many other variables.
Add Extra Fat On Days Your Dog Is More Active
Fat is used as an energy source for canines, especially the more active ones.
I know what youre thinking, What about pancreatitis? Pancreatitis happens when fat is cooked and can happen when combined with high amounts of carbs.
Raw feed your dog extra fat on active days such as days you go hiking, puppy play date or go for longer walks.
Raw feed bowl meal prep #71:
Turkey neck, green tripe, beef heart, pork fat, quail eggs, calves liver, and leafy green blend.
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