I’ve found these to be just a few of the benefits to feeding my dogs on the raw diet. I sadly don’t have cats anymore but I get loads of info from my feline customers. As a pet lover and owner, it is our job to make sure our pet’s basic needs are met. Not only does this include training, socialisation, daily exercise, grooming, and companionship, but should include a healthy diet. The quality of our pets’s diet will have a direct impact on his or hers general health and wellbeing, as well as the risk for developing certain diseases during their life as a whole. If you are concerned about the quality of your pet’s diet at the moment, I’d consider making the switch to a raw diet.
A raw diet isn’t feeding just a leg of meat! A raw diet comprises of fresh, raw foods and feeding your pets in a different way to make a complete balanced diet depending on his or her needs. For dogs the raw food diet consists of raw meat and raw bones, fortified with some fruits and vegetables or formulated supplements to ensure nutritional balance. Although some don’t wish to feed vegetables or fruit this is one of those optionals where there is no right or wrong answer. Cats eat similarly but need more muscle meat which contains taurine but they don’t need vegetables and fruit.
Dogs are primarily carnivorous animals, which means that their bodies are adapted to extracting nutrition from animal-based sources – this means that meat should be the primary focus of a dog’s diet. In addition to raw meat and organs, raw bones provide key minerals like calcium as well as many other nutrients. Raw food diets for dogs can be either homemade or commercially prepared – what you choose depends on how much effort you are willing to make or how much you want to spend.
The main benefits of a raw / fresh food diet over traditional kibble is the fact that the nutrients in the food is readily available. The cooking process used to create kibble exposes the raw ingredients to extremely high temperature which destroys a significant portion of the nutrients and natural enzymes contained in the ingredients and leaves you not knowing the true facts of what your dog is eating. A raw or fresh food diet has not been cooked, so the original nutrient content of the ingredients are still retained. The nutritional integrity of a fresh & raw food diet provides many other benefits for pets too, including the following:
Healthy/Regular Digestion: Both dogs and cats have fairly short digestive systems which limits their ability to digest fibrous plant foods. A raw food diet for dogs is largely meat-based, so it is easy for your dog to digest. Because less energy is wasted digesting plant materials, your dog’s digestive system will work more smoothly and more regularly – this also results in fewer and firmer stools.
Better Nutrition for Healthier pets: As it has already been mentioned, raw or fresh food diets for dog’s & cats are not cooked, so nutritional integrity of the raw ingredients are kept and preserved. This keeps the natural vitamins and minerals intact. Often supplements are added to commercial foods to make up for the loss of nutritional integrity that occurs within the cooking process, but they are not always the right ones!
Hygiene for Teeth: It is estimated that 75% of dogs and cats will suffer some element of periodontal disease by the time they get to 3 years old. Some dry foods provide some limited dental benefits by helping to scrape plaque off the surface of your dog or cats teeth, others add to your pets dental decay…. The best process for chewing is raw meats and raw bones, which are both much more beneficial as well as a completely natural aid. Your dog or cat chewing not only massages their gums but increases circulation.
Coat & Skin: I recommend taking a couple of photos of your cat or dog before switching to raw. You will notice a massive change in how a diet of fresh, natural foods will provide your dog, cat with all the nutrients they need to maintain healthy skin and a shiny coat. Essential fatty acids are the key to optimal skin and coat health and these ingredients are abundant in a raw food diet. Some notice the change in muscle tone too, seeing their pet looking fitter as well as being overall healthier.
Will help or stop Food Allergies & Sensitivities: So many dogs and cats, and in fact even humans, are exposed to potential allergens like corn, wheat, and soy ingredients, which are all more to develop a reaction in those susceptible to either allergies or sensitivities. By feeding a natural diet you can make it completly grain-free and gluten-free which significantly reduces the risk of allergic reactions. The high nutritional value of the raw food and naturally fed dog and cat diet may additionally also help to resolve issues with environmental allergies.
At the end of the day, it is completely up to you what you feed your pets. Because your dog or cat’s diet has a direct impact on their overall health wellbeing and life, choose a diet that provides for his nutritional needs in the healthiest way.
Having tried different diets I have found that a raw or fresh food diet is the greatest way to ensure that your pet gets the nutrients he needs from quality, natural sources.