Fresh dog food is often the go-to solution for most dog owners when it comes to avoiding an unbalanced diet and ensuring their dog’s health. But there are times when fresh meals for dogs may not be enough to avoid food sensitivities, even if the brand states that it’s 100 percent organic and natural. The American Pit Bull Terrier is a breed often susceptible this condition. If you are a pet parent with this problem, diverting to raw diet for pitbulls with allergies may be your best bet.
Why You should Consider a Raw Diet for Pitbulls with Allergies
If your dog is having an allergic reaction to commercial dog food, and you can’t determine exactly what ingredient is causing it, you may want to consider feeding raw food to them for a while. Comparing raw dog food vs kibble, will make you understand how far different the benefits of the two food types are.
Is raw diet good for dogs? The reasoning behind going on a raw diet is that it acts as a sort of a “hard reset”. What you’re doing is you’re reverting your pup to their ancestral diet of raw meat, freshly stripped from a carcass. Dogs from older times didn’t get too many allergic reactions, thanks to keeping closely to this fresh, natural diet.
Raw food diets also have far higher nutrient integrity, thanks to the fact that they don’t get cooked. Hence, no nutrients get broken down, and your pitbull gets his nutritional needs in their natural state. This can potentially boost their immune system, helping to fend off the worst of the allergic reactions.
How a Raw Diet Can Help Fight Off Allergies
The main reason a raw diet can help pitbulls with allergies is by letting their owners narrow down the cause of a food sensitivity by the process of elimination.
First, assess the ingredient content of the food that your pitbull was eating when the allergic reactions were happening. Then add items from this list to their food one by one, until an allergic reaction is triggered again.
Alternatively, you can purchase from an all-natural dog food subscription service that lets you eliminate certain ingredients. Preferably a brand that only serves grainless and gluten-free meals, such as Nom Nom brand fresh food. Grain allergies are one of the most common food sensitivities of dogs most prominently caused by wheat gluten .
The latest ingredient you added is most likely what has been causing the allergic reactions. Keep in mind however that it could have been multiple ingredients causing the reactions, so keep sifting through the ingredient list of their previous diet.
Before Fully Committing to a Raw Dog Food Diet
Although a raw food diet has a lot of good points, it’s still a big commitment. Make sure to perform these preliminary steps before you decide on fully go with raw feeding.
Rule out other causes of allergic reactions
In some cases, your pitbull may not be having an allergic reaction to their food at all, but rather something in their environment. Pitbulls have a thin undercoat, and hence are much more susceptible to skin irritation due to pollen, dust, parasites, and other causes.
If the allergic reactions take the form of ear infections, they may be caused by parasites like fleas or mites.
Know the potential risks of eating raw meat
It’s common wisdom nowadays that raw meat can be a major vector for diseases. Dog food subscription services that offer raw meals often take care of this before delivering their products, but the risk still remains, although much smaller.
If you intend on making homemade raw dog food recipes, that’s another can of worms. Always consult your vet before making a big decision like this.
There’s also the matter of age. A pitbull puppy should be given a bit more time to grow and develop before putting them on a raw diet. 8-12 weeks old is recommended, as opposed to the usual age of 4 weeks when putting them on solid food.
You should also keep in mind that dogs that have gotten used to a raw diet, especially if they’ve been eating raw since they were old enough to do so, may have a lot of trouble digesting commercially available dog food, such as canned food.
Basic Guidelines for Transitioning Your Pitbull to a Raw Diet
The first guideline you’ll hear from many vets and pet owners is to transition your dog’s diet to raw foods slowly. This is especially the case for puppies and young pitbulls with developing stomachs.
You’re best advised to subscribe to a raw food subscription service, such as We Feed Raw, because of their sterilization methods maximizing the safety of their meals.
If you do decide to go homemade, however, you might want to gently sear the raw meat you get, just to kill any pathogens that may be there.
Alternatively, you can employ a gentle cooking method such as slow-cooking to try to sterilize the meat and potentially develop flavor without destroying too many nutrients.
This is essentially the only viable way you can sterilize the raw meat you can get from a market if your DIY-ing raw meals.
Otherwise, you can simply seek out a high-quality meat provider, and refrain from washing the raw meat to prevent the spread of bacteria. You can also marinate the meat in bacteria-killing vinegar or lemon juice.
Although raw diets are primarily meat, make sure to include all the nutrients your pitbull needs for a balanced diet. Try to include shredded collard greens, brussel sprouts, and other nutritious vegetables along with the raw meat. Raw meaty bones are also great for promoting oral health.
It would also pay to include organ meat. One recipe you can do is gently seared patties made of ground beef, beef heart, and chicken liver. You can throw these raw ingredients into a food processor and grind them semi-fine. Then mix them with some raw eggs to bind them together, and mold them into patties.
Molding them into patties makes it so that even though you might only sear the patties for a minute or two, there’s more surface area for the heat to get to and potentially kill the pathogens while retaining the integrity of the meat.
Follow more raw dog food recipes for pitbulls to grow your “cook” book. You can also find other techniques to sanitize meat without cooking online.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can a raw diet help with dog allergies?
Yes. Raw diets revert your dog to their evolutionary diet of raw muscle meat, whole bones, organs, and wild plants.
Can pitbulls be on a raw diet?
Just like any dog, pitbulls are highly compatible with raw meat, as long as it’s been sterilized adequately. The absolute lack of anything resembling a processed diet makes a raw diet on par with fresh, organic diets in terms of nutrient potential.
What food is best for pitbulls with skin allergies?
The best diet for pitbulls that are experiencing skin allergies incorporates food with no artificial additives. This lets you verify that the skin issues were indeed caused by food, and check which of the ingredients from their previous diet were problematic one by one.
What kind of raw food can pitbulls eat?
Your best bet is raw food that has been sterilized using sophisticated techniques such as cold pressing. If you do not have access to raw meals that have been sterilized using industrial equipment, your options are either to feed your pitbull gently cooked meat or meats that are less susceptible to pathogens, such as beef steaks. Keep in mind that certain types of raw meat are inadvisable to feed to your dog, such as raw salmon, raw chicken, and raw pork.