Is a Raw Diet Really Better for Dogs?
Dog pawrents have likely heard that feeding a raw diet is the best you can feed your dog. But is a raw diet actually better for your furry one? Every dog is unique and has individual needs that a raw diet may or may not complement. Read on to learn more about what a raw diet is and whether or not it might actually work for your canine companion.
Photo by Kabo
What is a Raw Diet?
A raw diet for dogs means that there are zero cooked ingredients in the food. A raw diet can contain a variety of uncooked ingredients such as fresh meat, raw veggies and fruits, and eggs. Raw diets can be found at big box stores, boutique pet shops, or made at home.
The Benefits of a Raw Diet
The single most obvious benefit of a raw diet is more natural ingredients and no unnecessary fillers in your dog’s food. A raw, homemade diet, in particular, can be critical for doggos who have specific dietary needs. Ingredients can be adjusted easily at home for additional nutrients or omitted ingredients if a dog struggles with digestive issues or food allergies and sensitivities.
The Downsides of a Raw Diet
Many dog lovers believe that a raw diet more closely resembles a canine’s natural diet. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that the dogs that live in our homes are not wild animals. The majority of dog breeds we’re familiar with have been domesticated for centuries and commercially manufactured food contains essential nutrients that prevent ailments and diseases that are the result of breeding and aging.
The biggest downside to a raw diet is the risk of bacteria and parasites. As you might imagine, uncooked meat means that the possibility of a bacterial parasitic infection is higher. Contracting bacteria like Salmonella and E. Coli are real possibilities and can be particularly dangerous for ill or aging doggos.
Preparing for a Diet Change
Consulting with a vet who knows your fur ball’s medical history is important before making any major diet changes – especially if your doggo has any underlying medical conditions or special needs. They’ll be able to check if the new diet will contain sufficient nutrients for your dog’s needs.
Any diet change can also cause a change in potty habits. Wee wee pads should always be provided during diet changes. Whether your pup has been potty trained or not, accidents may occur if they have more frequent or unexpected bowel movements. Using an indoor dog bathroom and keeping extra pee pads handy minimizes the likelihood of accidents.