Would you want to eat ONLY plain processed cereal day in and day out? This is what we are expecting of our furry companions when we only offer dry kibble.
When it comes to the different foods that we feed our animals, there is much debate and controversy on what is and is not appropriate or healthy for them to consume. It is common knowledge now that certain foods such as onions, garlic, avocado, and grapes are bad for our animal companions; this is well documented and proven. However, there are some gray areas in animal diets, specifically for dogs, where people seem to be unsure of whether certain foods are healthy or not.
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In fact, it would seem that people, in general, don’t know what counts as proper healthy food and what is considered harmful for their dogs. So they put their animal companions on strange diets that may or may not actually be healthy for them.
These special diets that people feed their dogs can range from exclusively processed foods from cans, or having them eat specific brands of dry, processed kibble. There are even some people who only feed their canine companions dog treats and goodies. (This isn’t a very good idea, it’d be like feeding your dog fast food every day!)
Amongst all the pet parents, there are some who pursue more natural options like homemade dog foods that eliminate ingredients such as grains, wheat, and preservatives and focus on the food groups that make a happy healthy dog. Some even go the extra mile and feed their canines raw, real, nutrient-dense meat-based products!
A raw food diet creates a more natural culinary regime for dogs and cats. The diet focuses on feeding your pets foods that are close to their natural, unmanipulated state, and are full of the nutrients most appropriate for your fur babies. This diet emphasizes raw, uncooked meats and animal products, which is what dog’s and cat’s digestive systems are designed to utilize.
The diet was originally proposed by Australian veterinarian, Ian Billinghurst. He originally wanted to call the diet, the “BARF” diet. BARF was an acronym that could have stood for either “Biologically Appropriate Raw Food,” or Bones and Raw Food.
The idea behind the diet was to focus on what dogs and cats would have eaten before humans domesticated them. In other words, he wanted to feed them like they were still in the wild.
REAL Food For REAL Pets
The raw food diet is a fascinating and controversial idea. While some veterinarians are openly against the concept, many are applauding those who choose to feed their pets this way. Those who have fed their animals a high-quality, carefully prepared raw food diet report:
- A shiny and more healthy/full coat of fur
- Better skin with fewer impurities
- Higher energy levels and longer life spans
- Smaller stools with fewer odors
- Less common diseases such as diabetes and arthritis
- Better breath
The critics who are opposed to the diet claim that it holds bacterial threats to both the dog and humans since there are raw meats and eggs involved. It is also noted that owners may not be giving the animal proper portions of different food groups and so the animal could possibly face malnutrition.
Those who feed their animals the raw food diet have been known to report that their dog’s quality of life improved almost immediately after introducing raw meat products. The number of people who report positive changes due to the diet is impressive.
In the end, it’s up to you to decide whether or not the raw food diet is right for your pets. Just be sure to follow proper health protocol, like washing your hands before and after you handle the food. It’s important to keep yourself and your dog healthy and the raw food diet is a great place to start!