This is a dilemma that many dog parents have. I admit I had the same dilemmas when I started my pup on raw dog food. I really did my research but there was still a doubt in my mind about the dangers of raw food diet.
I mean, what about all the harmful bacteria and diseases that can be found in uncooked products? Turns out, raw diet isn’t that bad or dangerous at all.
Raw dog food diets are much healthier than you’d think. Why is that? Find out in the article down below.
What Is Actually A Raw Diet?
When I talk about raw food diet I don’t just mean raw meat diets. Raw food is considered every food that is served fresh to your pup, including raw eggs, raw veggies, raw milk, meaty bones, and even some fresh fruits like blueberries or watermelon.
The thing is, dogs are descendants of wolves and they have much stronger stomach acids than any human so they can digest and process raw food easily. Plus, it’s in their nature to eat raw food with no problems at all.
If you’re an experienced pet owner you probably know that the store-bought food that you buy for your pet is extremely processed, especially dry foods like kibble.
Not to say that kibble isn’t healthy or doesn’t provide a balanced meal, it’s just that you don’t really know the ingredients and types of meat that go in there.
Commercial diets aren’t what dogs would naturally eat in their natural habitat, and raw diets come so much closer to what they would eat in the wild.
A homemade meal is better for every being, no matter if it’s a dog, a cat, or a human being. This way you actually know the ingredients and essential nutrients you give to your loved pet.
How To Transition Your Pup To A Raw Diet
I will never forget when I first started transitioning my dog to raw food. I was so worried that I am going to mess up that I hadn’t slept that night. I kept on thinking that she’s going to start throwing up from all that raw meat.
She was completely fine and slept through the night with no problems or complications from her new diet. Turns out, I had nothing to worry about as long as I made the transition slowly and step-by-step.
That’s what I would recommend to any of you pet parents out there. If you’re worried that your pup won’t agree with their new way of eating, just make the transition as slow as you possibly can.
Start by mixing a little bit of raw meat and a raw egg into their dry kibble and see how they’ll react. And when I say a little, I really do mean as little as you possibly can.
Giving your dog too much raw food at once(especially if they’re not used to it) could be potentially dangerous for their digestive tract.
Before You Switch Your Pup To A Raw Diet Here’s What You Should Know
Raw feeders should always do their research before switching their pets from dry dog food to a raw diet. Here’s a list of things you have to know before you make your decision.
- Always make sure you give your dog a balanced diet with all the nutritional requirements. Protein, fatty acids, amino acids(you can usually find them in protein) and carbohydrates are some of the most important nutrients that your dog requires for perfect health and development.
- Before making the decision to give your pup raw meals, check with their veterinarian to make sure that they can handle all of the raw food.
- I avoid giving my dog raw chicken breast, not just because of all the bacteria but for all the injected hormones as well.
Chicken is one of the most sold meats in the grocery stores and it’s not always a good idea to give it to your dog raw. Instead, you can use a dehydrator to make the chicken into a nice treat.
- Your dog’s diet should only be 10 or 20% of fat (this includes fish oil or any oil-based supplements that you might use on your dog). [Source]
- Protein percentage can go as high as 80% if you decide so to not mix any carbohydrates in their food.
- Carbohydrates that you can mix in your dog’s food with no problem are some boiled pasta, boiled rice, and even some rice noodles. Never let your dog eat uncooked food like raw noodles or raw rice.
- An unbalanced diet may cause your dog to lose energy and many essential vitamins and amino acids so please do your raw food diet research before you make the switch. Incomplete diets are very bad for your dog’s health and should never be practiced.
- Giving your dog raw bones is actually very beneficial for your dog’s dental hygiene and you should always give it to them raw.
- Kidney, liver, heart, and other raw organ meats are very healthy for your pup.
Cooked bones can break apart easily and cause some serious digestive problems. Chicken bones are something you should never give to your pup, they are very small and can also break apart and cause problems.
What Are The Benefits And Health Risks Of Raw Dog Food Diets
Benefits Of Getting Your Dog To Eat Raw Food
- Shinier Coat- Raw food contains essential Omega 3 fatty acids that make your dog’s coat as luxurious and shinier as ever. These fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties that are great for dogs with skin problems.
- Higher Energy Levels- These diets for dogs provide higher energy levels so your dog can roam around in the backyard for as long as they want without being exhausted. [Source]
- Smaller Stool Volume And Odor- Raw food can reduce the volume of your dog’s stool and it can also make the odor less powerful than with cooked diets.
- Healthier Skin- As I said, raw food has Omega 3 fatty acids that have anti-inflammatory properties and can make your dog’s skin much healthier. This is especially good for dogs with skin diseases.
- Cleaner Teeth- It’s very important to look after your dog’s dental hygiene. Eating raw food and raw bones is the best way to make sure that your beloved pup won’t have as many cavities.[Source]
- Balanced Nutrition And Weight Management- While commercial food can also give your dog all the nutritional requirements, raw dog food can do it much better, with more vitamins and amino acids.
Health Risks Of Raw Food Diets
- While most of the dog’s immune systems work well against harmful bacterias that can be found in raw meats, some dogs have a more sensitive and delicate stomach and can’t handle the raw food diet. So, I said this before and I’ll say it again, consult with your veterinarian before you do any switches.
- If the raw diet isn’t balanced with enough protein and fat, it can seriously malnourish your dog and ruin their health.
- While raw bones provide fiber are very healthy for dogs in general, some pups have issues with digesting whole, raw bones. If that’s an issue with your own pup, avoid giving them whole bones and switch to ground ones.
- The risk of food-borne disease for dogs is actually quite low if not non-existent. The actual danger is for us, the human caretakers. So, when giving your dog their scheduled meal, try to avoid any kisses from them immediately after they’ve had their food.
Raw Diet Vs Kibble, Which One Is Better?
I must say that after I started my dog with raw food, she barely even looks at kibble, except when she has no choice. It’s true that kibble counts as a balanced diet for your dog but it can’t possibly compare to homemade raw food.
Dogs are animals that are domesticated but before they were, they were wild animals that fed on raw meat. So it’s only natural that raw food will have to be the wisest choice for feeding your dog.
Raw food provides all the essential nutrients including protein(which contains amino acids), minerals, and vitamins.
If you’re not sure about switching your pup to a raw diet, you can try mixing a little bit of raw meat or eggs into their kibble.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Vets Recommend Raw Diet
While many veterinarians recommend switching your dog to raw feeding, the greatest concern is for us, the owners, and the containment of our own safety.
Dogs are almost fully immune to the harmful bacteria that raw meat has but we aren’t.
How Do You Feed Your Dog A Raw Diet
Start the process gradually, not immediately. First, start giving them small amounts of raw food or mix it within their kibble. Make sure to always do a balanced meal for your dog with 20 percent fat and 80 percent protein.
Are Raw Eggs Safe For Dogs
Raw eggs are perfectly safe for dogs. You can mix one egg in their kibble for more protein. You can also grind up the shell of the egg and sprinkle it on top of their meal for more calcium.