Dogs can be very active and energetic. Therefore, they require a healthy and balanced diet to keep their bones strong and muscles healthy.
As a result, there are so many different options of dog food available on the market, and it can be hard to know which will be best for your dog.
What’s even more confusing now is that there is a popular concept called raw feeding. More and more dog owners are turning to feeding their pets raw food to give them a well balanced and rounded diet.
But, what are the pros and cons of raw feeding? This guide is here to tell you everything that you need to know about raw dog food!
What exactly is raw dog food?
Raw dog food, or the practice of raw feeding, simply means that you feed your pet raw ingredients rather than cooked food or traditional kibble food.
Raw feeding is typically a combination of raw meat, bones, and uncooked ingredients such as fruits and vegetables that are full of nutrients and healthy vitamins for your dog.
Pros of raw dog food
There are many pros to feeding your pet a raw dog food diet. For instance, dogs who are fed a raw diet are known to develop much stronger bones and muscles than those who do not.
This is great for dogs that have a lot of energy, and do a lot of exercise, as they will need strong muscles to keep up with their busy lifestyle.
In addition, raw dog food diets can also make the coat much shinier, healthier and glossier as the nutrients from the meat and bones can improve your dog’s coat. One of the main attractions for many owners is that the food is prepared by you.
Therefore, you know exactly what is in it, and there are no fillers or artificial ingredients that could be unhealthy for your dog.
Some brands of dog food can fill the kibble with fillers and meat meal that has no nutritional value and can make the dog sick. By preparing the food yourself, you know that there are only fresh, nutritious ingredients in your dog’s diet.
This is also why some veterinarians will suggest that you feed your dog raw as it can help you keep their weight managed and under check.
By feeding only healthy ingredients such as meat, vegetables and bones, your dog will not be eating grain, wheat and corn that you can find in the kibble style dog food.
Finally, eating a raw diet can also help to manage your dog’s stools. Raw food tends to result in firmer, smaller stools, which can help eliminate gastrointestinal problems, and health issues such as loose stools and diarrhea.
Cons of raw dog food
As with anything, there are also a few cons to feeding your dog a raw diet. One of the main drawbacks of feeding your dog a raw dog food diet is that it is very time consuming, and there is a lot of preparation involved.
You also need to have a lot of space in your refrigerator and freezer not only for your food but for your dog’s extensive raw food diet as well!
In addition, raw food diets are not for everybody. Some dogs have specific dietary requirements, or may have allergies to certain foods and ingredients. In some cases, dogs can suffer from nutrient deficiency with raw food diets.
Therefore, some dogs and some breeds are suited to a raw food diet, whereas others really are not.
You also have to be wary and careful with raw food as there can often be bacteria or parasites in uncooked meats, and often in bones.
This can lead to illnesses and infections in dogs, so you always have to ensure that the food is properly stored and fresh, so no bacteria can grow.
This is also why many veterinarians will not suggest that dogs suffering from diseases such as cancer should have a raw diet, because of the risk of bacteria.
It’s important to keep in mind that any diet has pros and cons, as it is not a one size fits all situation. Some dogs will suit a raw diet really well, and will thrive off of it.
Others may not. It is vital that you have a conversation with the dog’s veterinarian, to see what your best options are, and what the professional suggests is right for your dog.
How do I feed my dog a raw diet?
If you do decide to feed your dog a raw diet, then you will need to know how to do this. First of all, we recommend speaking to the veterinarian.
You will be able to find out if a raw food diet is right for your dog, and whether your pet needs any special or specific dietary requirements.
If the veterinarian deems it necessary or safe for your dog to have a raw food diet, then you can start making the switch from dried food.
To start off, we recommend that you fast your dog a little first, for about half a day to a full day. This will ensure that your dog is excited and has worked up an appetite ready for the change.
Then, you can start to feed your dog a little bit of raw food at a time to see how they handle it. For instance, they may get an upset stomach, or suffer a little diarrhea at first.
If the dog is okay, then continue with a little more raw food at a time, and gradually increase and replace the old dog food.
No matter whether your dog has a sensitive stomach or not, you have to make the change gradually rather than all at once.
This can cause severe digestive problems and make your dog very unwell, so make sure that you only give raw food a little at a time, and work your way up until they are completely weaned off the old food.