We’re sure you’ve heard about dogs eating a raw diet along with the benefits associated with it. Some might even talk about the dangers of using a raw diet. Some pet parents might want to start feeding their dogs raw for a healthier pup and some just want to switch over to a raw diet. We do believe in approaching this decision with caution, so you can make an educated choice for your fur baby. Remember, dogs can’t choose what they eat. It’s up to you to make the best decision for them.
What is the Raw Dog Food Diet?
The Raw Dog Food Diet is essentially a combination of uncooked meats and organs, crushed or whole bones, certain types of fruits, vegetables, and eggs. Ensuring quality ingredients is important when using the Raw Dog Food Diet as some may carry bacteria and parasites harmful to both you and the dog. It is recommended that meats used to feed the dogs are frozen for a few weeks prior to serving to kill off parasites and bacteria. Do note that not all parasites and bacteria are killed by the cold. Feeding the right type of meat is important too as not all meats are made equal.
This diet is also known as the BARF Diet, which was founded by veterinarian and nutritionist Dr. Ian Billinghurst.
Getting Balanced NutrientsOne of the issues with using the raw food diet is the fact that some may think of exclusively using meat to feed their dog and skip out on other important foods such as fruits and vegetables. Nutrient deficiencies and diseases may occur by feeding dogs too much meat and not enough fruits and vegetables.
Including Bones or NotBones are beneficial to dogs as it contains calcium and phosphorous. They also help maintain their teeth by preventing tartar buildup. It is important to note that bones used should either be raw or dried and never cooked. Feeding a dog cooked bones may cause damages to their esophagus, bleeding, and even choking. Cooked bones tend to become harder and more brittle causing sharp splinters when crushed. You can feed your dog raw chicken feet since most of the food is made out of cartilage, skin, and connective tissue. Worried about nails? Although you can feed it to them, feel free to remove it too.
“Chicken feet are naturally rich in protein, glucosamine and chondroitin. While protein is an important source of energy, according to the National Research Council, that should only account for 10% of the diet by weight of an adult dog. The most interesting nutrients of chicken feet are glucosamine and chondroitin. Both natural compounds are building blocks of cartilage and connective tissue.”The bottomline is that you can feed them bones as long as it raw or dried.
Avoiding Bacterial ContaminationThere will always be risks associated with feeding your dog a raw diet as the products might be contaminated with Salmonella and E.Coli. Meats purchased from your local grocery stores or open air markets are prone to contamination; therefore, carrying more health risks. Ground meats also pose a risk due to the mixing and chopping process that can push bacteria inside the meat. It is important to always freeze your meats prior to feeding to lessen the bacteria or kill off the parasites in the meat.
Benefits of Eating A Raw Food Diet
Billinghurst and his supporters say the benefits include:
- Leaner, more muscular build; nearly 60% of dogs are overweight or obese based on body condition scoring, which leads to a number of related conditions
- Skin and coat improvements
- Cleaner teeth and fresher breath
- Less odor
- Vibrant, calm energy
What Types of Meat Can I Feed My Dog?
It is important to know the types of meat, organs, and feed as meat to use for dogs. We made a simplified list to avoid confusion.
Feed As Meat
*Avoid feeding too much heart as this is rich in Phosphorus
Should I Switch to the Raw Dog Diet?That’s totally up to you. We know people who swear by using the BARF method, but also know of some who strictly stick to dry kibble. We personally use Orijen for our fur babies due to not having the time to buy and prepare the raw ingredients. If you do decide to try using the raw dog food diet, we suggest looking for articles online as reference on how to start. You can check out the Canine Journal for instructions on transitioning.