November 8, 2013

Raw Diets

Author: Gail Brasie


So Many Dog Food Choices… To Go Raw, Or Not To Go Raw?

Your floofin’s nutrition is vital to his or her overall health and wellbeing. With more pet-food options (an opinions) out there than ever before, this week we’re taking a brief look at one that’s been trending lately: raw diets. 

Raw diets for dogs (AND CATS) are having a moment right now, although it’s a bit of a contested area.

ASPCA experts say raw food diets for pets that include raw meat, eggs and milk may be dangerous for your furry friends.  

The ASPCA does not currently condone raw feeding due to studies that indicate it can lead to nutritional imbalances as well as exposure to potentially harmful bacteria and parasites. However, advocates of raw diets proclaim better coat health, better breath, and happy, healthy pets.

Many integrative (meaning the combination of holistic/natural medicine with modern science) veterinarians, like Dr. Barbara Royal of Chicago, IL, firmly believe raw diets are simply appropriate nutrition.

Raw food can be divided into two main categories: homemade and commercial. Homemade diets are prepared by pet parents and usually include meaty bones, meat organs like liver and heart, some veggies and a bit of dairy. Commercially available raw food is often frozen and portions are thawed before being served.

In her book The Royal Treatment, A Natural Approach To Wildly Healthy Pets, an in-depth discussion on diet mentions that pre-prepared raw foods include the minerals and vitamins needed for the pet to thrive. There is more to it than just buying your pet a raw steak at the grocery store. As far as the concerns over bacteria, unlike meat sources from the grocery stores where it is expected that you will cook the meat you purchase…

…raw food manufactures know their food will be fed raw and take great pains to use quality ingredients and avoid pathogens during processing. 

Because raw diets are a relatively new option for modern feeding, the pros-and-cons will be debated for a while. If you’re considering a raw food diet for your fur kid, make sure you read extensively about both sides of the debate, consult with a veterinarian, and consider buying a prepared, commercially available raw food. The Royal Treatment, A Natural Approach To Wildly Healthy Pets, provides a wealth of information if you are interested in a holistic veterinary viewpoint.

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