An increasing number of dog owners are stepping away from traditional kibble and are switching to a raw diet for their furry friends. Experts suggest that dogs are healthiest when their diets consist of unprocessed foods as dogs ate before domestication. Raw foodists feed a mix of uncooked muscle meat, organs, bones, oils, nuts, seeds, eggs, small amounts of dairy, vegetables, and fruits. Many experts purport that grain-based commercial dog foods contain unhealthy fillers and unnatural ingredients. Such ingredients lead to poor long-term health outcomes. Thus raw dog food diets are the right choice for optimal health.
The veterinary community has not unanimously supported the raw food movement, some raising concerns about bacterial infections from raw meat. However, its proponents note that dogs have short digestive tracts and highly acidic stomachs that are not conducive to bacterial growth, making these diets unproblematic for our canine friends. Supporters tout its many benefits, noting that cooked commercial dog food is a new invention of the 20th century and is unsuitable for dog’s digestive tracts. Dog food companies respond with processed raw food or pre-packaged raw meals that recently hit the pet food markets.
Why are pet owners choosing to fill their dog bowls with raw food over traditional kibble? Here are five benefits of a raw diet for your dog:
1. Increased energy levels
Many dog owners note that their pet has more energy on daily walks and improved overall zest for life after switching to a raw diet, with a new pep in their step. This leads to higher mobility in older dogs, which can reduce joint deterioration, and ultimately increase their lifespan. Dogs are natural athletes, and high levels of activity lead to better behavioral and health outcomes. The “couch potato” lifestyle is not doing your dog any favors!
2. Improved digestion and smaller stools
Many dogs experience digestive distress on cooked kibble, such as vomiting and gassiness, and often they tolerate raw foods better. Raw food is better suited to their digestive systems than cooked meal, and the fiber in fresh vegetables helps with satiety and bowel movements in addition to containing essential nutrients. Raw food proponents report decreased indigestion in pups and smaller, firmer, less smelly stools, making cleanup mess-free.
3. Cleaner teeth
Chewing raw bones is great for dogs’ teeth, removing plaque and leading to better gum health. This can, over time, reduce your veterinary bills due to oral health problems. Dog owners also note that chewing raw bones is excellent for dogs’ mental state, satisfying and mentally stimulating, unlike rubber chew toys. Feeding a raw diet can even reduce bad breath, a very welcome benefit for owners!
4. Shinier coats and healthier skin
Pet owners who feed a raw diet to their dogs report that their pets develop healthier and shinier coats. Possibly due to the high-fat nature of raw foods, and increased protein, zinc, and vitamin E. A gleaming coat is an excellent indication of a healthy dog from the inside out.
They also notice a decrease in allergic reactions and skin sensitivities, common in dogs fed traditional commercial dog food. While some people criticize raw dog food for being expensive, veterinary costs from allergy medications add up and must be considered when choosing an appropriate diet.
5. Weight control
Because raw food is more satisfying to dogs and contains a higher concentration of nutrients, they can eat less, typically one meal a day. The caloric reduction plus their increased energy will allow them to be more active. Thus, it will be easier for your dog to maintain a healthy weight. Leaner dogs experience a reduction in arthritis and inflammation, which can cause many long-term health complications. As many modern domesticated dogs are overweight and experience obesity-related health problems, this is a significant benefit. Make your dog walk frequently and get good dog shoes for your pet.
Pet parents are becoming informed of the benefits of a whole food diet, and they are naturally becoming more conscious of what they feed their furry friends. You can also improve the overall health of your dog by giving CBD gummies to help with energy, sleep, stress and anxiety, leading to erratic behaviour. These are available at any cannabis store. More research in this area is needed, but owners who have switched to a raw food diet report that the results are incredible. As a responsible pet parent, you must give your dog the best health possible, and it ultimately pays off with a reduction in overall vet bills and a happier pet. Moreover, if we wouldn’t eat it, why would we feed it to our furry babies?
While there are many positive aspects of feeding your dog a raw food diet, it is less convenient than traditional food. The reliance on meat has environmental implications, with the animal agriculture industry being the second largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. When choosing a diet for your dog, it’s essential to consider all aspects, do your research, and consult your veterinarian to ensure your pup enjoys a healthy life for years to come.