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Should You Feed a Raw Diet to Your Dog?


Image by jcomp on Freepik You must have heard a great deal about raw diet—and that’s probably why you’re

here wondering if you should switch to a raw diet for your doggo.

Raw feeding is becoming increasingly popular among pet owners as it is believed

to provide an array of health benefits for their canine companions. Otherwise

known as a BARF (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food), this diet involves feeding

your dog fresh, uncooked animal products such as meat, bones, organs, and

eggs.

The idea behind this diet is to provide dogs with a more natural and species-

appropriate diet that is closer to what they would eat in the wild. In this article, we

will explore these benefits in more detail and discuss some important

considerations for switching to a raw food diet for your dog.


Why Go Raw?


Improved Overall Health

One of the primary reasons for switching to a raw food diet for your dog is the

potential for improved overall health. A raw food diet is more natural and closer

to what dogs would eat in the wild, which can provide a variety of health benefits.

One benefit is a healthier coat. A raw food diet can lead to a shinier, softer coat

due to the high-quality fats and nutrients found in raw meat. Raw food can also

contribute to clearer eyes and improved dental health, as chewing on raw bones

can help clean a dog's teeth and gums.

In addition to these cosmetic benefits, a raw food diet can also help with weight

management and prevent obesity. Many commercial dog foods contain fillers

and additives that can contribute to weight gain, whereas a raw food diet is

typically lower in carbohydrates and higher in protein, which can help maintain a

healthy weight.


Enhanced Digestive Health

Another benefit of switching to a raw food diet for your dog is improved digestive

health. Raw food diets are generally easier for dogs to digest compared to

commercial dog food, which can be loaded with fillers and additives that are hard

for a dog's digestive system to process.

Raw food can help reduce the risk of gastrointestinal issues, such as

constipation, diarrhea, and bloating, and can also improve stool quality. It is

typically higher in moisture content, which can help keep your dog hydrated and

prevent constipation. In addition, raw food contains enzymes and probiotics that can help support a

healthy digestive system. These nutrients are often lost during the cooking and

processing of commercial dog food but are preserved in raw food.



A raw food diet can also lead to a more active and lively dog as the nutrients in

raw food can help support muscle development and maintenance. If your pup

has a weight problem, a raw diet can help prevent obesity. As a result, your dog

can have increased energy and vitality.

In addition, a raw food diet can provide a variety of essential vitamins and

minerals that are important for overall health and wellness. These nutrients can

help support a strong immune system, healthy skin and coat, and proper organ

function.


Better Behavior

In addition to the physical benefits of a raw food diet, there are also potential

behavioral benefits. Raw food diets can improve a dog's mental clarity and focus,

as the nutrients in raw food can support brain function.

A raw food diet can also help reduce aggressive or anxious behavior in some

dogs. This may be due to the fact that raw food diets can help regulate a dog's

mood and reduce stress. Raw food can also provide a sense of satisfaction and

fullness that can help reduce begging and other undesirable behaviors.

It is important to note that a raw food diet may not have the same behavioral

benefits for all dogs, and it is always important to work with a veterinarian or a

professional trainer to address any behavioral issues.


Environmental Benefits

Switching to a raw food diet can also have environmental benefits. Raw food

diets can reduce waste and packaging compared to commercial dog food, as

raw food is typically sold in bulk or in minimal packaging.

Raw food diets can also support local and sustainable agriculture, as many raw

food brands source their ingredients from small, local farms. This can help

reduce the environmental impact of transportation and support local

communities.

It is important to note that a raw food diet may not always be the most

environmentally friendly option, as it can require more resources to produce and transport raw ingredients compared to plant-based proteins. However, by carefully sourcing ingredients and considering the environmental impact of your food choices, a raw food diet can be a more sustainable option for your dog.


Making the Transition to Raw Food

If your dog has been fed kibble until now, and you are considering switching them

to a raw food diet, it is important to do so gradually to give your dog's digestive

system time to adjust. A sudden switch to a raw food diet can cause digestive

upset and other issues.

Here are some steps to help transition your dog from kibble to raw food:

1. Begin by mixing a small amount of raw food into your dog's current kibble.

Gradually increase the amount of raw food and decrease the amount of

kibble over the course of about a week.


2. Consult a veterinarian or a professional who is experienced in raw feeding

to ensure that the diet is nutritionally balanced and appropriate for your

dog.

3. Start with a protein that your dog has not had before. This can help reduce

the risk of food allergies or sensitivities

4. Introduce new proteins and ingredients gradually, one at a time, to allow

your dog's digestive system to adjust.

5. Properly handle and store raw food to prevent contamination and food

poisoning. Raw meat should be stored in the refrigerator or freezer and

should be handled in the same way as raw meat for human consumption.

It is important to carefully plan and research the switch to a raw food diet to

ensure that it is nutritionally balanced and safely handled. By transitioning slowly

and consulting with a professional, you can help ensure a smooth and successful

switch to a raw food diet for your dog.


Sourcing Raw Meats

When feeding your dog a raw food diet, it is important to source proteins that will

reduce the risk of food allergies or sensitivities.

Common protein sources like chicken and beef are the most famous choices.

But lamb, kangaroo, and other local protein sources can also be excellent options

for feeding your pup a nutritious meal. Feeding your dog kangaroo meat, for

instance, will give it important nutrients including Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty

acids. At the same time, Australian kangaroo meat is ideal for dogs with allergies

or food sensitivities.

It is important to note that any other raw meat carries risks of food poisoning or

contamination unless they come from a reputable seller you can trust. This is

also the reason you must ensure that all meats are properly handled and stored

before feeding them to your pet.


Proper Handling and Storage of Raw Dog Food


Proper handling and storage of raw dog food are important to prevent

contamination and food poisoning. Here are some tips for handling and storing

raw dog food:

1. Wash your hands thoroughly before and after handling raw food.

2. Store raw food in the refrigerator or freezer in a covered container. Raw

meat should be stored in the same way as raw meat for human

consumption.

3. Thaw frozen raw food in the refrigerator or in a bowl of cold water, and do

not leave it out at room temperature for extended periods of time.

4. Use separate utensils and cutting boards for raw food and cooked food to

prevent cross-contamination.

5. Do not feed raw food that has an unusual smell or appearance, as it may

be spoiled.

By following these guidelines for handling and storing raw dog food, you can help

ensure that your dog's diet is safe and free from contamination. It is also

important to properly dispose of any waste or scraps to prevent attracting pests

or spreading contamination.


Conclusion

Switching to a raw food diet can be beneficial for both you and your dog,

providing essential nutrients, improved behavior, and environmental benefits.

However, it is important to research the switch carefully and consult with a

professional to ensure that the transition is smooth and that your dog's new diet

is nutritionally balanced and safely handled. With the proper planning, feeding a

raw food diet to your pup can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience for both

you and your pet!

Happy feeding!

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