Dog and cat owners want what is best for their pets. From exercise to toys and collars, we will do anything to keep our pets healthy and happy. The most important factor for a healthy pet is their diet. In this vein, a new trend is on the rise surrounding what food is best to feed your dog or cat. While many stand by the traditional kibble and wet food, raw pet food diets are steadily gaining popularity due to their healthy nature.
I first came to learn of the raw pet food trend earlier this year when a friend told me that he regularly feeds his Doberman puppy raw meat — within weeks, he noticed that the dog had gained increased jaw strength and bone structure, and was more energetic.
My friend credits these positives to the dog’s diet. Raw food diets are full of vitamins, proteins, and essential fats that can help dogs and cats maintain a healthy lifestyle, reminiscent of their undomesticated ancestors. Wild dogs and cats would seek food for themselves, taking nutrition from small animals and plants, whereas the dry and wet food that we feed pets now is a completely man-made product.
The problem with wet and dry pet food is that we, as consumers, can never be entirely sure of what it contains. However, feeding your pet raw food, which you can be sure has the nutritional benefits that your pet needs, nullifies this doubt.
Raw organ meat contains essential fatty acids that animal’s bodies cannot produce.
For example, raw organ meat contains essential fatty acids which the body cannot produce. Raw meat is also very low in carbohydrates, which are not ideal for pet health but are nevertheless plentiful in both dry kibble and wet food.
Feeding your pet a raw diet does have certain drawbacks, such as the risk that your pet could catch a food-borne illness. Perhaps your pet has the tendency to swallow its food whole, which is especially dangerous if given a raw meat bone. However, a little more care on behalf of the pet owner is all that is needed. Make sure you take care in handling and preparing their meals, and that you really know your pet before beginning them on the raw food diet.
Cost is another possible issue with the raw food diet. While a large bag of dry kibble can feed your dog for a dollar per day, some companies charge about seven times that for two of their raw patties. For a cheaper food source, I would suggest you visit your local grocery store.
Most stores sell raw organ meat for only a few dollars, and you can always discuss the possibility of finding raw meat bones, with your butcher. If time and cost are currently restrictive factors for you, a good option would be to gradually ease your pet into the diet.
As a new pet owner, I have been researching the raw food topic on and off for the past several weeks, and with anecdotal encouragement from friends and from the Internet, I can’t wait to start my Wheaten on this healthy diet.
Feeding your pet raw food is more time consuming and requires a little more owner involvement and supervision. However, when executed well, the benefits outweigh the drawbacks, leaving you with a healthier and happier feline or canine.