The evolution of dogs has taken them from the wild to the domesticated pets we love as part of our family. Part of the growing concerns of pet parents revolve around the diet of their dogs. The four types of dog food often being compared based on their ability to keep puppies happy and healthy are processed kibble, canned wet dog food, fresh dog food, and raw food. With more and more pet owners trying out the diet dogs were used to in the wild, the question “is raw diet good for dogs?” is something worth thinking about. Taking the first steps toward providing a raw dog food diet is a task needing to be done with the highest level of information available.
The History of Raw Food Diets
The evolution of dog food took pet parents from providing bones and table scraps to highly processed kibble. The best canned wet dog food brands have been available for decades that are scientifically proven to improve the quality of your dog’s health. A change in the quality and ingredients of dog foods came in the late-1990s, and the rise of the best fresh dog food providers came of late. Australian veterinarian, Ian Billinghurst, decided to explore the health benefits of a return to the original diet of wild dogs. Billinghurst called his diet the BARF plan. BARF is an acronym for Bones And Raw Foods. The basis of the diet is bones and raw meat products that have not been processed. Instead, the raw foods and bones are accompanied by vegetable scraps to keep your pup healthy and happy.
The Benefits of a Raw Food Diet
Raw diets have been growing in popularity because of the problems associated with feeding processed kibble products. The use of a raw meat diets can provide several health benefits, including:
- A healthier coat
- Fewer skin conditions
- Healthier teeth
- More energy
- Smaller, less smelly stools
When deciding whether to feed your dog biologically appropriate raw food you should examine the benefits of these diets. Raw dog food provides all the nutrients and vitamins your pup needs without the fillers and additives of kibble. When humans eat processed foods for prolonged periods they begin to gain weight and lose energy. Ian Billinghurst’s BARF plan provides your pup with a boost in energy levels. The use of raw eggs, meats, and dairy products help your pup receive a boost in energy. Bad breath and unhealthy teeth have been a blight for pet parents who are concerned about the diet they feed their pups. Pampered pups eating a raw food diet will usually have healthier teeth and better breath.
One of the main reasons for making the switch to a raw diet is to help dogs with irritated skin. Your puppy can begin to lose fur and scratch excessively when they have an allergy to an ingredient in processed dog foods. Switching to a healthy raw food diet will help her avoid the long-term problems of irritated skin. A healthier diet of raw food will help your pup reduce potential stomach problems, including constipation and bloating.
Talk to Your Veterinarian
Before you embark on a raw food diet for your pup, you should be aware of the potential risks. Talking to your veterinarian will help you avoid potential problems with a raw food diet. The American Veterinary Medical Association recommends avoiding raw meat  if you live in a home with elderly or infant residents. The potential for damaging food problems is possible for all who switch to a raw food diet. Your veterinarian will help you to understand the potential benefits and risks of making the switch to raw pet food diets. Pet owners should make the switch to raw food slowly under the supervision of a qualified vet. Without the assistance of a veterinarian, your pup could be affected by gastrointestinal problems during the transition to raw dog food. Existing health conditions can cause problems for dogs starting on a raw diet. Those who have pancreatic cancer and other medical conditions will benefit from cooked fresh foods.
What to Feed Your Dog as Part of a Raw Dog Food Diet
One of the biggest problems facing pet parents is understanding what is meant by a raw diet. There are many options to consider when you are exploring the potential for raw food. The rise in raw and fresh dog food providers has helped pet parents make the switch to a raw meat diet seamlessly. Raw dog food providers will manufacture and prepare individual meals that are partially processed or produced in their natural forms.
The main ingredients in raw food diets include:
- Organ and muscle meats
- Ground or complete bone
- Raw eggs
- Fruits and vegetables
The main reason to work with a professional food planning company is the ability to discover the correct food for your pup. Raw pet food diets can be tailored to the medical needs of your pup. You won’t also have to worry how much raw food to feed a dog, as these meal plans come pre-portioned. A dog experiencing kidney problems will usually be prescribed a diet including organs designed to provide the nutrients needed for their medical problems. The increased level of nutrients and vitamins in raw diets will help increase the energy level of your pup throughout the year.
Advantages of Raw Foods Over Kibble
The increase in number of raw vs fresh dog food plans being sold in the U.S. has grown in the last decade. Kibble remains the simplest and easiest option for dog owners looking to provide a healthy diet for their pup. Kibble is scientifically formulated to increase the number of nutrients and minerals in each dog’s diet. The processing of food during the creation of kibble can remove many of the healthy benefits originally contained in the ingredients. Raw foods are not cooked or processed to remove any vitamins and nutrients the ingredients contain. Raw dog food diets have been enjoyed by canines for centuries, with kibble taking its place because of the ease of buying and serving your puppy.
1. Are dogs healthier on a raw diet?
The majority of dogs will feel and look healthier when fed a raw meat diet. Adding dog-safe vegetables and dairy products will help provide any lacking vitamins and nutrients.
2. Why do vets recommend against a raw diet?
Processed foods are a concern for animals and humans alike. Veterinarians who recommend against raw foods are concerned about food poisoning in puppies and vulnerable humans.
3. Is a raw diet better than a cooked diet for dogs?
Healthy dogs will benefit from a raw diet. Some canines with medical issues will be intolerant to raw food and need a cooked diet.
4. What are the risks of a raw diet for dogs?
Some of the risks of a raw dog food diet for dogs include small fragments of bone breaking and choking your pup. Raw food can contain bacteria that cause harm throughout your dog’s life. Without a balanced diet, your dog can develop medical issues.