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Raw Food Diet for Dogs

Raw Food Diet for Dogs

There are advertisements of commercial dog foods which say that they are good for the overall health of dogs. However, many argue against this and are of the opinion that a raw food diet is the best for dogs.
Deepa Kartha
With the advent of commercial dog foods in the market, many pet owners have been feeding these foods to their dogs. However, recently, there has been an argument which says that commercial foods are not good for the health of the dogs. The food should be raw instead, which is what dogs have been eating for centuries. Biologically Appropriate Raw Food or Bones and Raw Food (BARF) diet includes those foods that are fed to dogs without cooking. There are many people who feed their dogs cooked food. However, it is said that cooking reduces the nutritional value of the food. People who support BARF are of the opinion that feeding raw or natural food to dogs has various health benefits. Cooked or processed food is said to cause them harm. Though many people have started adopting this raw food diet, there are still many dog owners who continue to stay away from it because of various reasons. This happens because many people do not have the correct information about the health benefits of this diet.

Bad Effects of Commercial Dog Foods

One of the reasons for people not opting for a raw food diet for their dogs is because they think that as meat contains various bacteria, consuming it may lead to certain problems in their pets. However, this is not actually true. The digestive system of dogs is stronger than that of human beings, due to which they are able to fight the food borne bacteria and not get sick by eating raw food. Rather, it has been observed that dogs eating commercial food are more prone to various types of illnesses. Commercial food contains high level of carbohydrates, more than what dogs actually need, due to which they develop the tendency of overeating, which can cause several health problems like diabetes, obesity, etc. The main reason for this is that commercial food is made of cereals, which is the major cause of allergies in dogs. Moreover, it also contains added preservatives, salt, colors, etc., which may have a bad effect on the dog's health.

Inclusions in a Raw Food Diet

The main food in this diet is meat. It is very important to provide your pet dog with meat every day. Normally, it is best to start with raw chicken, then slowly move to other types of meat including turkey, lamb, fish, pork, quail, rabbit, etc. You not only have to include the meat and bones of the animal, but also its other organs like kidney, liver, heart, etc. Many people believe that dogs are carnivorous animals and should not be fed fruits and vegetables. However, dogs are omnivorous just like human beings, and there is nothing wrong in feeding them these foods. You can give your pet dog fruits like oranges, apples, pears, etc. The list of vegetables that can be given includes celery, carrots, broccoli, parsley, and spinach. You should also feed raw eggs, cottage cheese, yogurt, etc. occasionally.

Many food manufacturing companies have started manufacturing raw foods for dogs that are readily available in the market. However, it is better to avoid these because the methods used to pack them may be totally unhygienic. They may contain additional supplements which may harm the canine. Therefore, it is always better to buy meat from your local butcher. This is not only healthier, but also much less expensive.

Health Benefits of Raw Food

Dog owners who have opted for this diet have reported several positive changes in their dogs. This diet is not only a balanced one, but also provides all the necessary nutrients for the health of the dog. It offers a variety of benefits which are as follows.
  • As bones of animals are one of the main constituents of this diet, it helps in cleaning the dog's teeth in a natural way and making the teeth and gums stronger. It is also said that consuming raw foods helps better digestion in dogs, leading to firm stools.
  • Pet owners have also observed that these foods help in making their dogs more energetic and lively. As the diet contains a variety of foodstuffs, canines actually enjoy eating it, thus making a huge difference in their appetite.
  • It is a good way of controlling weight gain as well as weight loss in dogs. It also affects the physical appearance, as dogs who eat raw foods are observed to have a healthy skin and coat.
  • Not only are raw foods good for adult dogs, but are also great for puppies. This diet helps in their normal growth and development. Apart from puppies, it is not only safe but also healthy to feed pregnant females with raw food.
  • The best part is that this food makes the immune system of the dog stronger, thus keeping it away from different types of diseases. Due to this, you will not have to take your pet to the vet very often. Also, it has been seen that dogs which eat raw foods live a longer and healthier life than those which eat commercial foods.
Pet owners who have adopted this diet for their dogs will surely vouch that there is nothing better for the dog's health. Opt for this diet and watch the positive difference it brings about in your pet.