Perhaps as part of the whole foods, back-to-basics trend, a growing some people feed their dogs and cats an all-meat, raw diet. They reason that since cheetahs and wolves don’t barbecue, feeding processed kibble doesn’t make sense. Consider these pro’s and con’s to going raw.
The pro’s include the animal’s natural inclination to eat meat like their wild relatives. Meat provides the nutrients they need to stay healthy.
Processed pet food uses fillers such as grains to bind the food together and make it cheaper. It therefore contains less meat. In many kibble and canned foods, the grain content far exceeds what the animal would naturally eat. Some pets exhibit sensitivity to kibble which a raw diet seems to alleviate. The heat used to process processed food also kills natural enzymes inherent to raw food. The enzymes are said to improve the animal’s oral health and digestion.
The cons to raw food include some pets’ inability to tolerate raw food and the risk for food-borne illness, although raw pet food adherents say that gradual introduction to raw food can reduce these possibilities. Feeding raw bones may lead to splinter-related injuries, so commercially prepared raw diets use ground bone. Prepared raw foods also ensure a better balance of muscle and organ meat, versus homemade raw diets.
Raw food is inconvenient, messy and bloody, unless you buy dehydrated raw food. In either case, it requires strict attention to cleaning bowls and implements and measuring the food.
Instead of pouring a scoop of food, most people weigh raw food to make sure their pet has enough to eat. Servings vary based upon the animal’s size.
Companies typically sell raw food in frozen logs (for large dogs), patties or lumps that require refrigeration and freezer space. You have to defrost the food properly daily to maintain the food’s safety and the safety of your food meant for people. Raw food should be eaten immediately and if you want to know what types of food is ideal for your dog, you can check out the Furrytips website.
If a pet sitter cares for your cat or dog, she must be willing to learn about and implement your pet’s raw food regimen because switching back and forth abruptly isn’t advisable.
by Deborah Jeanne Sergeant