The raw diet has been trending and many pet owners are contemplating if they should embark on this dietary shift for their pet, particularly dogs. There are some controversial discussions about the raw diet but it seems like the benefits are outweighing the doubts. Though the two school of thoughts could be polar aparts, it is always insightful to find out more but not to get your dog to be the litmus test.
Raw diet, as the name suggests, promotes feeding of uncooked ingredients that include meat, bones, vegetables and fruits. Some working breeds have been feeding on a raw diet for a long time and this concept was being introduced to home pets by an Australian veterinarian Ian Billinghurst. He also calls this a BARF diet, an acronym that stands for Bones and Raw Food, or Biologically Appropriate Raw Food.
He strongly believes dogs had a raw diet before they were domesticated. On the other hand, processed dog food that uses grains could be harmful to health. Well, this obviously outraged many other veterinarians and the risks of a raw diet have been documented in several researches too.
Now let’s look at the pros and the cons of this diet and decide if this is the right change for your fur kid.
Owners And Dogs Face Possible Bacterial Infection
In a research by BMJ Journal, owners could get infected from the bacteria and parasites that are present in the raw products. Many would think dogs are more susceptible to such infection but ,in reality, humans face a higher risk than their pets.
Reports show infections are being transmitted from pets to owners and this is possibly due to cross contamination while preparing the food in the kitchen. We are also exposed to harmful pathogens while cleaning up our fur kid’s waste or when they lick us on our skin.
As for dogs, they could be infected with a strain of bacteria that increase their resistance towards antibiotics. This could have a further implications on their health in the future.
Dogs Have Evolved
One of the “strongest” beliefs raw feeders have is the ancestors of dogs had a raw diet. This implies their descendants should follow suit. However, dogs have evolved greatly over the years. Unlike their ancestors, dogs are able to digest starchy foods such as grains. Report has also shown dogs are able to break down starches much better than wolves. This could mean the modern dog diet is making a whole lot more sense now.
Raw Diet = High Protein
The likelihood of having a raw diet that is predominately meat is high. This means it may not be suitable for all dogs. If you are considering a raw diet for your growing furkid, it may help to achieve its nutritional needs. However, if your dog is suffering from kidney or liver problem, you may want to reconsider such diets. Dogs with cancers should also be assessed carefully before embarking on a raw diet.
Raw Doesn’t Mean Being A Carnivore
If you choose to feed your dog a raw diet, it doesn’t mean you should omit the greens and fruits. Many owners mistaken the idea of a raw diet and feed their dogs solely meats and bones. This will lead to an unbalanced diet and possible health issues. Adding fruits and vegetables also allows the dogs to have a healthy intake of antioxidants.
Most Out Of The Food
Owners who believe in raw diets have lost their confidence in kibbles. Processed dog food may contain large amount of chemicals and taking it over a long period of time may lead to possible health problems. The ingredients used to produce kibbles could lose its nutritional value after rounds of processing. On the other hand, raw feeding allows the dog to consume food in its most natural state. This will ensure nutritional value remains high.
Many dogs suffer from allergies and one of the most possible reasons is due to processed food. Ingredients such as wheat and corn may trigger some undesirable responses in some dogs and these are also commonly used in kibbles.
Avoid Pet Food Scares and Recalls
This is definitely one of the biggest concerns for all pet owners. Unlike humans, pets aren’t able to voice out when they aren’t feeling well. More than often, the condition could be quite severe when there is a sign. We’ve all heard cases of pets passing away after being fed with food produced by unreliable brands. Whereas a raw diet ensures the dog’s food is processed minimally.
There’re always two sides to a coin and doing your due diligence as a dog owner is the only way to ensure pet safely. Regardless which camp you are with, raw diet is definitely worth researching on.