Feeding a Raw Dog Food Diet: The Pros and Cons
This week is National Pet Week. Each year, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) adds a theme to National Pet Week. The theme for this year encourages responsible pet ownership. One of the ways that pet owners practice this is by feeding their dog a well balanced diet.
There’s a lot of talk among the pet community in regards to what all is put in our pet’s foods. Over the past couple of years the economy hasn’t done well. As a result, pet owners and pet food manufacturers alike are trying to find ways to cut costs. One of the way pet food manufacturers attempt to do this is by filling foods with what’s known as “fillers”. Fillers are foods that are added to your pet’s food that do not have any real nutritional benefits.
The use of fillers have really alarmed pet owners. Leading many of them to the art of making their own food for their pets. Included in this change is usually what we call a raw dog food diet. But, like with any diet, a raw food diet may not work as well for one dog as it would the next. Plus, like with any dog food, there are pros and cons to feeding your dog a raw dog food diet.
What is a Raw Dog Food Diet?
Simply put, a raw dog food diet is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a mixture of the rawest meats, vegetables, and fruits. In fact, it’s the closest thing you will get to what your dog would eat if he or she was still in the wild.
Another way you may have heard of a raw dog food diet is what’s called the BARF diet. The BARF diet stands for “Bones and Raw Food” or also “Biologically Appropriate Raw Food”.
The Pros and Cons of Feeding a Raw Dog Food Diet
You’re probably thinking there’s no way feeding a raw dog food diet can have cons. Especially if it’s what was in the original diet dog’s eat. Well, most dogs now, as you may know, are domesticated. So, in a way their diet needs have changed a bit.
Raw dog food diets have long played a part in a working dog’s diet. Breeds such as Greyhounds, who are quite active, may benefit from a raw dog food diet. Dog owners who support a diet that consists of raw food boast that their dogs tend to have healthier skin, shiny coats, and teeth that are clean. Some even believe that a raw dog food diet also is beneficial because it gives dog’s more energy. As well as smaller stools. Which can really be a winner when you have an 150+ pound dog.
Veterinarians and the Food and Drug Administration have argued the benefits of raw dog food diets. The diet is mostly disagreed with because of the potential bacteria risk in raw meat. This bacteria can be harmful to you and your dog. Another reason a raw dog food diet is controversial is due to the fact that most veterinarians do not see it as a balanced diet. As a result, they believe a raw diet, if fed for a long period of time, is more harmful to a dog’s health than beneficial.
In conclusion, feeding a raw dog food diet has its pros and cons. The same concept goes for any food that you feed to your dog. So, touching base with your veterinarian is definitely the best way to find out if a raw dog food diet is right for your dog.