A raw diet usually includes viscera, muscle meat, whole or ground bones, raw eggs, fresh fruits and vegetables suitable for dogs, and a dairy product such as yogurt. Raw food supporters claim they offer numerous benefits to dogs, including more energy and healthier teeth, skin and coat. Torres says there isn't much evidence demonstrating the benefits of feeding pets raw food, but there is evidence of health risks, such as exposure to pathogenic bacteria. Feeding your dog a “Barf” diet (meaning “bones and raw food” or “biologically appropriate raw food”) has become popular in the United States in recent years, and now many UK pet owners are considering it as well.
Dog owners who support a raw diet claim that it promotes a brighter coat and healthier skin, better energy levels and fewer digestive problems. Raw food has a higher moisture content than commercially prepared pet food, resulting in true natural hydration for your pet. As dogs that follow a raw diet hydrate through food, they tend to drink less water compared to their peers fed kibble. Raw food enthusiasts claim that the diet has given their pets more energy and healthier skin and coat.
Bones from a raw food diet may be good for your dog's dental health. And the meat is denser in nutrients, which makes the stool smaller. A raw food diet won't solve all of your dog's weight problems, but it can help. Raw diets are calorie-dense and easy to digest, allowing you to feed smaller portions and provide better nutrition and energy to your dog.
Being high in calories, it is important that you do not feed or overfeed your dog. Below you will find more information on proper feeding guidelines based on the age, size and more of your dog. Now that you see the biological argument for crude oil, it's time to address some of the benefits you'll notice after switching your dog to a raw diet. These are a good place to start if you are new to raw and want something that doesn't need a lot of adjustments or supplements to fit the needs of your dog's stage of life.
The latest issue of Petplan's PetPeople magazine included an article by animal nutritionist Marge Chandler on the risks of raw food diets for dogs (scroll down to read it). Purchasing commercially prepared complete raw food for dogs eliminates the need to balance the food yourself. The amount of raw food you should give your dog each day depends on whether it is a puppy or an adult. You may be exposed to bacterial contaminants both when preparing your pet's raw food diet and accidentally encountering your dog's feces.
Unfortunately, many fillers used in kibble and other commercially produced pet foods are not biologically designed for dogs and can cause stress on the digestive system, compromising the immune system. Although most raw food diets for dogs are all stages of life, Instinct Pet Food offers unique, personalized raw nutrition for puppies and older dogs. Barbara Benjamin-Creel de Marietta started giving raw food to her three dogs after Scooter, a German Shepherd, was diagnosed with cancer. Some pet parents think that raw is better because nutrients are less available in commercial dry kibble or canned dog food after going through the cooking process.
Ian Billinghurst published a book on how dogs would thrive on an evolutionary diet that would sustain them before they were domesticated, which consisted mainly of raw meat, organs, bones and vegetables. The decision to feed your pet on a raw food diet should be made after carefully considering each of these points and talking to your veterinarian, and ideally, with a veterinary nutritionist. When ingredients are exposed to high temperatures, such as those involved in the manufacture of raw dog food, nutrients are denatured, making them less biologically available. .