Thursday, April 18, 2024

Why Is Raw Food Good For Dogs

How Do I Feed My Dog Or Cat A Raw Diet

Take 7 Experienced Vets: Why a Raw Diet is Good for Dogs

There are two options. The first is to prepare the food yourself using chicken or turkey necks and backs, some organ and muscle meat, and a bit of pulverized vegetables to simulate the material found in the preys gut. Its important to get the ratios right. For dogs, theres an excellent little book that outlines how to feed a balanced raw, meaty bone-based diet called Raw Dog Food: Make It Easy for You and Your Dog, by Carina Beth McDonald. Some of the other titles on my shelf are Dr. Ian Billinghursts Give Your Dog a Bone and The BARF Diet: Raw Feeding for Dogs and Cats Using Evolutionary Principles.

For cats and small dogs, this diet works best if you grind the bones or find someone to grind them for you. Or you can purchase the food. This is exciting news. Complete, frozen, raw meaty bone-based diets are now available from health food stores, some veterinary offices and pet stores. Some of the many high quality brands are Steves, Bravo!, Natures Variety, and Primal.

For dogs, another option is to purchase foods through a company called Top Quality Dog Food. Ive recently learned of this company. Im excited about it as a) the meats do look to be of excellent quality, b) price-wise, theyre more affordable than other raw meaty bone-based diets, and c) their meats come from local sources. To check out their products and place an order, visit

What Is A Raw

A raw diet for dogs is pretty much the dog version of a human Paleo diet. Essentially, eating like our ancestors did, natural and of the earth. Racing and sled dogs have eaten this way for years, but the idea of bringing this diet to a family pet is relatively new and can be hard to determine if it is right for your pet.

In 1993, an Australian vet named Ian Billinghurst proposed the idea of a BARF diet. This stands for: Biologically Appropriate Raw Foodwhat dogs ate before they became domesticated. Although this diet is widely popular, it remains controversial within the veterinary community and the Food and Drug Administration.

Like anything, there are both possible risks and benefits to feeding your dog this type of diet.

Potential risks

  • Bacteria in raw meat that can affect the owner and/or the dog
  • Diet may not be balanced enough
  • Whole bones could choke animal, cause broken teeth or an internal puncture


  • Smaller stools

Never did I ever think I would find a beautiful, aesthetically pleasing page on Instagram that consists of raw meatbut never say never. I came across in my initial searches of this interesting diet. The bowls of raw food she puts together are a work of art.

I spoke with Maddie, owner of Max, who provided helpful information on creating a balanced raw diet, where to get ingredients, and what she has learned from raw-feeding. AND, she was kind enough to share a five-day meal-plan to get you started raw feeding your dog!

What Is Wrong With Processed Dog Food

It doesnt matter which brand of dog food you use or how much it costs, it is never going to be as good for your dog as raw, fresh meat, bone and vegetable.

The key problems with highly processed dog food is that:

  • It is cooked. Cooking destroys the vast majority of the nutritional value of the food from a dogs perspective and makes it exceedingly difficult to digest.
  • It can contain inappropriate and damaging chemicals . These may be absorbed through the bowel wall and transported to other organs, with a range of harmful effects.
  • The quality of the ingredients is usually poor. Even expensive dog food often has very, very low-quality ingredients.
  • Most dog foods contain a high percentage of grain , which is unsuitable for the canine digestive system and causes allergies.
  • It generally fails to clean the dogs teeth and gums, allowing plaque to build up. This gives rise to periodontal disease and worse.

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Why Raw Diet Is Bad For Dogs

A raw diet is bad because domestic dogs cant handle parasites very well, so they breed out of control. Timber wolves in the wild are able to eat their prey because of how tough their digestive tracts are, but domestic dogs have lost a lot of their grit over the many centuries that theyve been bred.

As a result, they cant eat the same foods that wild predators do.

Bioavailability Of Raw Ingredients

Raw Dog Food

An ingredients bioavailability is how digestible and usable the nutrients in food are for your dogs body. When ingredients are exposed to high temperatures, like those involved in dog food manufacturing, nutrients are denatured, making them less biologically available. This means that they may yield less nutrition than before it was processed.

The heat from processing can also change the composition of fatty acids, amino acids, and enzymes used to support your dog’s body.

Your dogs digestive system is intended to break down raw or minimally processed material, regardless of the commercial foods that they have adapted to eating over the last century. As scavenging carnivores, dogs can survive off dead food, but a biologically available raw diet will ensure that they thrive.

When all ingredients are appropriately utilized, and your dog receives optimal nutrition, an increase in muscle mass and fat reduction can be seen, supporting a leaner and healthier physique. And this is just to start. Raw-fed dogs are often healthier overall, seeing fewer instances of common health issues and fewer vet bills – like digestive problems, skin and coat issues, and poor dental health.

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Commercially Prepared Raw Dog Food Is More Accessible

If home cooking isnt your style, there are more convenient ways to feed your dog a raw diet.

Frozen raw dog foods are sold in patties that you can portion out according to your dogs caloric requirements. They can come in a complete meal form, containing the essential nutrients your dog needs.

Another option thats easier to store is dehydrated and freeze-dried raw foods. These are good for travelling and are much easier to prepare than frozen raw meals. As a bonus, purchasing dehydrated raw foods bypasses the need to handle raw meat.

Buying commercially prepared complete raw food for dogs removes the need to balance the food yourself. As well, most brands use meat tested for the aforementioned bacteria. Commercially prepared raw foods are a safer bet to make sure your dog gets the nutrients they need, while also being safer to handle.

Putting your dog on a raw food diet doesnt mean you have to feed them exclusively meat. You can add extras to your dogs raw diet in the form of edible bones or dog-safe produce . However, bones come with their own controversy.

Top 3 Brands Of Kangaroo Dog Food

If your dog suffers from food allergies or sensitivities, you may be looking for a novel source of protein to try. Kangaroo meat is one of the leanest sources of animal protein used in dog food and it is nutrient-rich as well.

There are only a few brands of dog food that currently offer recipes made with kangaroo meat, however, so your options may be somewhat limited.

The brands that do use kangaroo, however, are trustworthy brands and their recipes tend to offer high-quality nutrition. Here are our top three choices for kangaroo dog food recipes:

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Dangers Of Raw Diets For Dogs


“Should I feed my dog a raw diet?” If you’ve ever heard another pet parent rave about how his or her dog appears to be thriving on a raw meat diet, you might be asking yourself this question. Proponents of raw diets for dogs point out that dogs are biologically similar to carnivorous wolves, and claim that the benefits of this type of diet include healthier skin, coat and teeth, more energy and smaller stools, according to PetMD. However, there is very little scientific evidence to support these claims. In fact, most of the scientific research on raw meat diets for dogs shows that they could do more harm than good.

How Does Feeding Raw Dog Food Help Teeth And Bones

Good Food, Good Dog – Raw Food Diet

Rawdog food has many benefits, including keeping dog’s teeth and gums healthy. Overtime, plaque builds up on dogs teeth, caused by bacteria from food and saliva,which then hardens to become tartar. Similar to humans, if this is not treatedit can cause dental problems such asgum disease, which can lead to toothloss and even loss of jaw bone.

To keep teeth and gums healthy in the wilddogs would gnaw on the bones of their prey, a practice which chewing on our raw bones simulates. While you stillhave to get them checked, it can be helpful for dogs who are prone to gum disease. Our complete meals mightalso support a dogs dental health, as raw dog food also contains naturally occurringenzymes, which helps to protect teethand gums.

While eating a raw dog food diet can’t eliminate the problem, carbohydrates foundin processed kibble can make gum disease worse, due to the high levels of sugarin the food. Switching to raw may help to control a dogs gum disease.

Also Check: Is Caesars Good For Dogs

Is Raw Food Really Better For Cats

Fish that are safe to eat raw, such as those caught in salt water and then cleaned, are probably some of the best things to feed cats. You dont want to feed them raw grocery meats, but something like this is going to be able to fulfill almost all of their nutritional needs.

Many organic cat food products are actually little more than this with a little extra fat and oil to make sure that your cat gets all of the vitamins that he or she needs.

Is It Safe To Feed Bones

Some bones may last longer than others andsome may be too hard for young dogs or older dogs with weaker teeth. Pleasechoose the most appropriate bone or chew for your dog from the selection weoffer. Choose a bone about as big as the dogs head too big to swallow butsmall enough to handle. Always supervise your dog with a bone.

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The Dangers Of A Raw Food Diet

Its hard to fulfill your pets nutritional needs with a raw diet. You cant only provide Fido with tasty muscle meat.

There are a lot of conflicting opinions on the ideal makeup of a raw diet. Raw Fed Dogs recommends a diet of 80% meat/sinew/ligaments and fat, 10% bone, 5% liver and 5% other organs. Meanwhile, the Biologically Appropriate Raw Food Diet recommends a much higher percentage of bone.

Whichever portion makeup you choose, homemade diets can still be tricky. A study from the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine found that even when using recipe books written by veterinarians, homemade meals are rarely nutritionally complete. Its very difficult to feed your pet a balanced diet on your own.

Outside of nutritional deficiencies, raw meat can contain dangerous bacteria. Studies quoted by the AMVA have found listeria and clostridium in raw food diets. These dangerous bacteria can cause your dog to become ill.

Other bacteria in raw meat, like salmonella, are often tolerable to your dog but can be incredibly harmful if spread to humans.

In general, handling raw meat requires precaution to prevent transmitting infectious diseases especially around children, the elderly, and the immunocompromised. But did you know these diseases can also be transmitted through your pets poop?

Raw diets can be time-consuming, and very hard to get right if youre preparing the raw meat yourself.

Feeding Your Pet A Raw Diet

Dr. Peter Dobias: Why Raw Food is Good For Your Dog

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.

Also Check: How Long Does Dog Food Stay Fresh

Bottom Line: Every Pup Is Unique

Just because your furry friend gobbles up a raw meat diet, that doesnt mean its right for all dogs. Some animals might never be able to switch due to food sensitivities or other health issues. We strongly emphasize discussing your dogs specific needs with your vet before making any dietary changes and being patient in the process. Remember that any diet change can cause some stomach issues.

If your dog does get sick or needs medical attention, see a vet right away and consider getting pet insurance now so if a need arises, your medical costs would be partially covered for any exams and medications of issues that exclude pre-existing conditions. Learn more about the benefits and if pet insurance may be a good fit for you. You might also check out these other homemade dog food recipes that contain cooked food as an alternative to raw.

Why are you considering a raw diet? Have you tried it with your pup?

Fad Doesnt Mean False

It’s easy to get swept up in fad diets keto, vegan, and the ongoing long battle with grains, are just a few of the diets circulating the crazy world of pet food. We fall for some of these fads ourselves, but the merit in each of these diets depends on the individual, their health, and the diets application.

When it comes to your dogs health, you need to understand that your dog is biologically different. A diet that may fit your lifestyle, beliefs, and make you feel good might not be appropriate for your pet. They have different dietary needs than you they can be met with a complete and balanced raw food diet for dogs.

The only way to completely nourish our dogs is to feed them food that their bodies are designed to thrive on. This concept is called a biologically appropriate diet.

We’ll admit that “biologically appropriate” is a bit of a catchy term used to get your attention, but it refers to feeding your dog based on how their species should eat. In this case, like their wolf ancestors.

Feeding dogs this way is a common hot point in the pet industry, as it directly opposes the information that we have been taught for many years, but it’s hard to argue with their ancestry or anatomy.

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Metabolism And Weight Gain

Small breeds have a higher metabolic rate. This means that even when sitting still, their bodies burn more calories than a large breed dog. They use calories more efficiently and gain weight more gradually during their puppy stages. This puts less pressure and strain on the hips and joints.

Large breeds have a lot more growing to do, and that extra weight can damage the connective tissues that support their joints. This is why large breed dogs should monitor their calories to prevent gaining too much weight too fast. When calculating feeding guidelines for small and medium breed puppies vs a large breed puppies, the smaller breeds will require a higher percentage of food based on their body weight.

Stick to more conservative feeding guidelines for your large breed to slow growth and prevent early onset joint issues. Dont underfeed but try not to offer more than is needed. This will reduce wear and tear on your dogs connective tissues and bones.

Keep in mind that both large and small breeds can quickly gain too much weight if they are eating too much and not spending enough energy. Make sure that your feeding guidelines suit their activity levels.

Possible Benefits Of Raw Meat For Dogs

Why Raw diet is Best for Dog

As pet parents, we want to make sure that our four-legged companions receive a healthy, balanced diet. While there are hundreds of kibble and canned dog food options, many owners have started exploring diets that are based on raw meat for dogs.

One of the most popular raw food diets for dogs is BARF – Biologically Appropriate Raw Food, or the Bones and Raw Food diet. Invented in 1993 by the Australian veterinarian Ian Billinghurst, this diet requires dogs to eat a combination of uncooked meat, offal, vegetables, fruits, and eggs.

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For A More Responsible Diet

We are Family Owned, American Made, and our source is wild game from the Rocky Mountain West. RAW WILD dog food does nothing to support Chinese imports of unregulated products. It does nothing to increase the suffering of slaughterhouse animals. It protects dogs from 4D proteins, and it uses sustainably harvested meat from wild animals Elk and Deer. This is our story.

A Wolf In All But Name

If you look up dogs in any encyclopaedia you will see that their Latin classification is Canis lupus familiaris and that they are a domesticated form of the grey wolf, aka Canis lupus lupus.

In other words, they are the same species.

Whether humans captured wolves and domesticated them or wolves domesticated themselves is not clear.

Possibly a bit of both.

What is certain is that from early on we selectively bred dogs with a view to developing certain physical and behavioural traits.

Thus, over time, we created hunting dogs, retrieving dogs, guard dogs, companion dogs and so forth.

We may have managed to alter the way dogs look and, to a certain extent, think, but physiologically they havent changed.

There is absolutely no difference between the internal organs and digestive process of a Chihuahua and a grey wolf.

This is why they should eat the same diet.

In the wild, dogs eat prey, carrion and a certain amount of vegetable matter.

They are, in essence, carnivores as even a cursory glance at their anatomy reveals.

Like other predatory mammals they have powerful muscles, fused wrist bones and a cardiovascular system that supports both sprinting and endurance.

And theres a reason why you dont want to get bitten by a dog: their mouths are positive Swiss Army knives, with five kinds of exceedingly sharp teeth.

Leave them to their own devices and they will eat small birds and beasts and a share of larger prey .

Whats more, they eat the whole animal, including its bones.

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