…”Due to commercial diets we have created nutritionally deficient and weakened animals that suffer from degenerative diseases linked to nutritional deficiencies”….
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Benefits of raw!
You may have heard that raw food is better for dogs, but what exactly is a raw diet for dogs?
That’s what we’re going to answer in this article! First, let’s talk about what a raw food diet actually is.
It’s when you feed your dog uncooked meat, bones, and veggies/fruit in their natural form instead of processed foods like kibble or canned food. The raw diet is better for your dog’s teeth, because there are less processed carbohydrates and sugars to cause tooth decay.
It’s also good for your dog’s skin and coat, because the essential fatty acids in meats help to keep it healthy. Also, the food is easier for them to digest, so they have fewer bowel movements which are healthier overall!
They’re more energetic too and also less likely to get sick and more resilient if they do. The benefits of a raw food diet are several, but there are some downsides too that you should be aware of before committing to it yourself! Just talk with your vet about it.
Raw food can be a little more expensive than kibble. It’s also better to make sure your dog is getting the right amount of nutrients if you want them to thrive on this diet. You will need supplements like calcium and vitamin D too, or they could develop health problems down the road.
There’s also the fact that raw meat can carry salmonella and E. coli, so it takes a lot of preparation to make sure you’re giving your dog safe food!
If you think your dog might benefit from it there are lots of great reasons to try this diet, but you’ll need to do some research and talk with your vet about the right way to go about it first.
In this article we will look at:
- The basic formula for a raw diet.
- The benefits and risks of raw.
- Raw-a dogs natural evolutionary state.
The basic formula for a raw diet
Raw diets are becoming increasingly popular among pet owners who want to provide their furry friends with nutritious food.
A raw diet is made up of only uncooked animal flesh and other uncooked ingredients such as specific fruits and vegetables, with or without carbohydrates, but not rice, corn, wheat, or white potato (due to the difficulty in digesting them),but instead porridge (oatmeal), couscous, amaranth, or even sweet potato.
Many pet owners who feed their dogs a raw diet do so because they believe it is a more “natural” alternative to conventional food, with many pet owners having investigated the raw diet and chosen to switch.
When making a raw diet for dogs, the ratio is generally 5:1:1:1; which is 5 parts fresh meat muscle, 1 part fresh bone, 1 part fresh organ meat (liver, kidney, heart, with the fresh liver being the most important) and 1 part veg (which is optional). There are plenty of easy-to-follow online recipes to help you get started.
The ratio can vary up to 8:1:1 where the 8 refers to meat, 1 part organ meat, and 1 part bone (on the basis that this is roughly what a rat or rabbit is made of, it’s called the Prey Model).
Some of the benefits
- Stronger teeth and fresher breath
- Increased energy and stamina
- Shiny coat and healthier skin,
- Improved immune system
- Improved digestion and bowels,
- Smaller stool and less stool odour,
- Stronger bones and joints
- Threats to human and dog health from bacteria in raw meat
- An unbalanced diet that may damage the health of dogs if given for an extended period
- Potential for whole bones to choke an animal, break teeth or cause an internal puncture
The reasoning why some owners prefer a raw diet for their dog
There is a strenuous debate in the veterinary and nutrition communities about whether or not feeding your pet a raw diet is safe.
The following article is a point of view put forward by many vets regarding the PROS of feeding a raw diet but, as usual, we strongly recommend you do your own research(there is plenty of information out there regarding this), and of course talk to your vet for further guidance.
Dogs, like all other species, require the food that they were intended to consume: a species-appropriate diet (i.e., vegetarian animals eat vegetarian diets and carnivorous animals eat fresh whole prey).
But, let’s go back to the beginning and take a look at what a dog’s fundamental nutritional demands have been throughout history!
Their genetic make-up remains the same!
The domestic dog (Canis lupus familiaris) is a domesticated form of the grey wolf. According to most experts, dogs were domesticated some 15,000 years ago. However, DNA research published in 1997 suggests that the shift from wolves to domestic canines occurred approximately 130,000 years ago!
The genetic make-up of a dog remains the same as their wild ancestors, which should tell you something about the food that they should be consuming.
All animals are designed to digest and absorb foods that were intended for them, cattle with their jaw range of motion allows them to chew. Dogs swallow their food because the only movement in their jaws is up and down. Dogs have extremely sharp teeth that are meant to tear and rip flesh. Because carnivores consume meals contaminated with germs, they produce highly acidic saliva to kill the germs and protect their own health. The digestive system of a dog is short; it only takes about one hour for foods to pass through as opposed to humans that have up 12-18 hours digestion time.
The domestic dogs’ stomach acidity is different than any other animal, including humans who are omnivores. The stomach acidity of a dog is very strong with the pH being anywhere from around 0 to as low as -0.85 when they are digesting bones, which comes in between 12 and 20 times stronger than human acids!
Carnivores’ diet in the wild included a wide range and seasonal change, which meant that particular species were more common at certain times of the year. They thrived on fresh live and whole animals. Dogs did not evolve to eat manufactured, processed food.
To survive as a carnivore, they had to exercise and work hard; food was not supplied to them, therefore they had to capture it stealthily so that they did not starve. All of their senses were intensely stimulated as a result of this.
Pet food is a relatively 'new' concept
It’s critical to note that “PET FOOD” is a relatively recent invention, with the sector having only existed for about one hundred years . However, animals have hunted for millions of years, and although research has shown some adaptations in metabolizing certain starches, such as grain, dogs have not evolved into vegetarians.
In the last 100 years, pet food companies have produced the majority of pet foods from corn, wheat, rice, and potato, but our carnivorous pets have not had the rapid evolution needed to be able to process these foreign foods biologically. Due to this commercial diet though, we have created nutritionally deficient and weakened animals that suffer from degenerative diseases linked to nutritional deficiencies.
The good news is that dogs are adaptive and enduring, unlike other animals. Because to their resilience, dogs may adjust to such changes in diet and continue to survive but hardly thrive!
Some pet food ingredients are made up of grains that fail inspection, uninspected pieces and parts from the seafood industry, leftover restaurant grease, dead farm animals, diseased livestock, and roadkill(rendering-what they don’t want you to know!). All of these things must be collected and disposed of through ‘rendering,’ a process that converts all sorts of animal protein into raw materials for the pet food industry!
HUGE HOUSEHOLD pet food producers subsequently combine the rendered fat and flesh with a large number of unneeded starch, after which they add bulk vitamins and mineral supplements before marketing it at an excessive price as “pet food.”
However, the pet food industry is beginning to accept that pet owners are becoming increasingly informed about their pets’ nutrition, therefore it’s trying to repair its public image and we’re starting to see phrases like “NATURAL” and “NO BY-PRODUCTS” on labels, as well as words like “GRAIN FREE” on their labels now.
To sum up
Carbohydrates are not required in a carnivorous diet. Commercial pet food is cooked at extremely high temperatures, which destroys and depletes the vitamins and minerals, as well as enzymes. The digestibility of amino acids is significantly modified by the heating process. Processed pet food must be supplemented to replenish lost nutrients (read our guide on what we consider to be The Most Important Supplement for Dogs
Historically then, 99.999 % of the time dogs have consumed a raw diet…..and for 0.0001% of the time, dogs have consumed a processed diet. Dogs evolved to consume a low carb diet and in the last 100 years, the majority of owners have unwittingly fed their pet a high carbohydrate, low moisture diet causing significant metabolic and physiological stress resulting in degenerative diseases and inflammation that is very prevalent today.
What to do next!
A recent scientific study reports that 70% to 80% of all illness begins in the gastrointestinal tract, and the majority of dogs are enzyme deficient as a result of being fed almost entirely on processed food! discover why this supplement is vital for your dog’s immune system and overall health-Full Bucket’s Probiotic supplements.
- Dr Karen Becker