What Is The Raw Food Diet for Dogs?
Raw food diets for dogs are becoming more and more common and many owners are thinking of switching over to what may be considered a more natural food-diet for our dogs.
In fact, the market for raw food diets is actually growing at a staggering 20% year on year, and therefore something that should not be overlooked.
Owners that have already switched are quick to promote the health improvements of their dogs as a result of giving them food that has had little in the way of additives added and the nutritional values kept intact.
Similar to human foods, owners are shifting away from the sometimes heavily processed foods and opting for raw as an alternative food for their dogs.
As an owner, we always want to promote the very best in healthy foods for our dogs and the raw food diet has been around for a long time and is worth looking into.
Dog parents are becoming gradually more and more aware of what ingredients are in their dog’s food and the impact that processed food that is high in sugars and salts can have on their dog’s overall health and wellbeing.
With that in mind, many are opting to look at the alternatives that give our dogs a whole range of more natural foods.
The aim of raw feeding is to give dogs a natural, unprocessed, and complete diet that most importantly, is appropriate for their digestive system.
It has to be as close as possible to what they would eat should they be in the wild.
A good raw food diet would be made up of quality cuts of raw meat and fish, offal, and other nutritious ingredients such as fruits, vegetables, and superfoods.
The pH in a dogs stomach is considerably lower in a dogs stomach than it is in humans and therefore they are able to break down raw meat and bone and this mirrors the dog’s ancestral past diet and in turn, it does improve their overall health, vitality, energy, and behavior.
Despite the fact that the raw diet is the original diet for dogs, there are still many common misconceptions and a lack of general understanding of the diet.
This has caused many concerns amongst owners who are fearful of giving their dogs foods that they couldn’t possibly eat themselves and this is causing some to have a mental block when it comes to raw feeding.
For example, raw chicken for a dog is perfectly fine yet, we would never attempt such a dish for fear of terrible illness or worse.
With that in mind, it is worth looking at some of the concerns we may ask ourselves before embarking on this diet for our dogs.
Are There Any Health Benefits to Feeding a Raw Diet to Dogs?
Raw feeding has been shown to have a positive impact on many dogs health and wellbeing.
Anecdotal evidence by many industry experts has shown that this refreshing and natural food can really make an otherwise fussy eating dog, really switch on to meal times.
Some of the side effects owners have stated include a healthier looking coat, as well as whiter teeth and better breath.
Energy levels have been quoted as being more stable along with improved digestion, a reduction in allergies and intolerances along with surprising less flatulence.
Generally, it has been noted that the dogs actually really enjoy the food as it has to be more palatable to them.
How Convenient Is Feeding Raw?
One of the big stumbling blocks for many people is that when they hear the term “raw” they can immediately think that it means messy food that can be confusing to offer their dogs.
Really, this could not be further from the truth and in many ways, all raw can mean to many will be no more work in real terms than just opening a package, letting the food defrost, and then serving to your dog….it can really be that easy.
You can get complete and balanced meals like these and they really are ultra-simple to serve.
Full of nutritional ingredients you will soon learn that raw food can be very convenient to purchase from your suppliers.
It’s a question of learning something that is slightly out of the normal range and once you do and discover that it is actually quite a simple and small shift from the regular large bag of dry food scenario that many of us follow monthly, then you will realize that there are many good value options that can fit perfectly into any lifestyle.
Should I Be Concerned About Food Safety Issues When Feeding My Dog Raw?
Consumers can often be put off by the notion of raw food and this is understandable.
There are health risks associated with dog food in general and it is always important to remember that storage of any kind of food for your animals is equally as important as the way we store food for ourselves.
Keeping dry food or a kibble type of food should always be in an area that is dry, cool, and away from any kind pests or rodents that can get into it.
Raw food is very much the same as the way we treat raw food for ourselves.
If you purchase raw food that is ready to be consumed, then make sure that it is stored correctly in your fridge before serving.
If it is a frozen kind of raw food then make sure it is stored correctly in a freezer and then defrosted correctly before serving.
Manufacturers go through strict safety and bacterial testing to guarantee their product and this ensures that the food is then safe to be consumed by your dog.
You have to do your part by making sure you carry on with the kind of storage and serving care in order to keep the food safe before consumption.
This ensures that you minimize the risks of food-borne contamination to both your dog and you.
It should always be of absolute paramount importance to keep in mind that when you are handling raw meat that if possible wear gloves and to make sure you are washing your hands properly before and after handling.
Personally, if you can have separate equipment to use for your dog’s raw food then that is an excellent protocol to put in place.
Utensils, prep areas, and surfaces need to be kept clean and safe before and after handling any kind of raw product, not just dog food.
What Information Can I Trust Regarding Raw Feeding?
There are literally dozens and dozens of websites online and a minefield of conflicting information out there that will leave your head in a spin when it comes to dog food and especially, raw feeding.
It doesn’t have to be that way. If you use properly approved suppliers websites that are PFMA and DEFRA approved in the UK and FDA in the USA then you are gaining valuable and professional insights into what is right, proper and correct and also these organizations can give you excellent scientific backed answers to any of your dog food concerns.
Easy to understand graphics from the PFMA like this that include recent fact sheets on how to responsibly feed raw dog food and the safety around it are the perfect kind of information that you can study, download and print out and that way keep yourself informed and educated around dog food and diets that will keep your animals well and enhance their wellbeing.
To easily download this fabulous poster, click here>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
The PFMA’s website can also be explored to follow great advice on raw food diets and raw feeding techniques and tips.
Will My Dog Be Able to Digest Raw Food?
Again, this is how we as humans can sometimes have that mental block in place when it comes to raw food.
Generally, as a species, we don’t eat raw meat very much at all. But this is about our dogs, not us.
They are entirely different.
Dogs have little trouble adjusting to raw food and after a period of two to three weeks, you as an owner will be used to seeing positive changes in your dog as a result.
Raw is entirely more natural for a dog to eat and you will see a huge difference in your dog’s stool as they will be much firmer and less smelly as the food has, of course, fewer additives and therefore the waste product will be of a higher quality too.
Is It Easy to Transition to Raw Food?
The simple answer to this is “Yes”.
However, the absolute best way to change your dog’s diet is to always transition the change gradually.
Whatever kind of food your dog is on currently, replace 50% of it with the raw food.
Do this for around 7 days so that your dog gets used to it and you see no negative side effects.
By doing this gradual approach you are making sure that you limit any kind of tummy or digestion issues and this is an excellent way to promote health and your dog’s metabolism.
If everything is ok, then from day 8 onwards the feed can be 100% raw, and again, make sure everything is going well with your digs health and adding a few biscuits now and then to the food will not hurt at all.
Can Puppies Be Fed on a Raw Diet?
At the start of a puppies’ life, they will be getting all of the relevant nutrients and goodness from their mothers but after a period of three to four weeks, it is perfectly safe to start looking at a specialized raw food diet for puppies.
This has to be tailor-made for them as they need to have softer foods because of their baby teeth, but these are available from good raw food manufacturers like Raw Wild
A puppy can thrive on natural raw food as they are free from the sugars and salts of mass-produced foods and are free from artificial colors and additives.
As long as the diet that the puppy is on is giving it all of the essential nutrients that it needs as it grows, then the raw diet is a winner.