Dogs are an important part of our families. As a dog owner you want to make sure that your dog has a long and healthy life and their diet is a good way to ensure this.
The raw food diet for dogs emphasizes raw meat, bones, fruits, vegetables, raw eggs and some diary. The raw meats can consist of muscles and organ meat. The muscle meat may even still be on the bone. The bones can be crushed or whole. The thought is that dogs flourish on the raw food diet since it mimics their diet prior to be domesticated. It allows the dog to use the nutrients that it is best able to process. The grain-based commercial pet foods are thought to be harder for the dog to process. Please note that this raw food diet is only recommended in dogs 12 weeks or older.
Benefits of the raw food diet are: shinier coats, healthier skin, cleaner teeth and more energy. Even their breath is said to smell better.
However, as with any diet for a human or an animal, there are potential risks as well. The meat in the raw diet is often uncooked so there is an increased chance of bacteria and deadly pathogens that can make your pet sick and could even be transmitted into their humans. Also, since the diet can consist of whole bones, there is a choking hazard, potential teeth damage or even internal punctures from the bones.
As with any sort of diet change, you want to keep an eye on your pet while you transition them from dry food to raw dog food. It is a slow process that will take some added time from their human owner. It is imperative to keep an eye on your pet during this transition and if you see signs that your pet is not feeling well, you need to proceed with the change at a slower pace.
The internet is full of raw diet recipes for your pet. It is important to look at the nutritional balance of these recipes and base the ingredients on the breed and size of your dog. The best way to find out the best combination for your pet is to talk openly with your veterinarian. The raw diet can be time consuming as a pet owner so make sure you are willing to commit to the extra time it may require.
There are companies available that you can order the raw food diet from. These are ideal for pet parents that are limited on time. They are marketed as freeze-dried or frozen foods allowing the foods to maintain their nutrients. The mixture is usually the grain, vitamins and vegetables with only the raw meat needed added at the time of preparation.
It is important to remember that not all diets are alike and right for every dog, just like in humans. It is important to take into any food sensitivities and health issues when determining if the raw food diet is right for your pet. The process from switching between a commercial diet to a raw food diet is a process that will require patience and love from you, the pet owner.