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The Pros & Cons Of A Raw Food Diet For Your Dog

The Pros and Cons of a Raw Food Diet for your Dog Header

The Pros & Cons Of A Raw Food Diet For Your Dog

You might have heard your friends talking about feeding a raw diet, but what exactly is a raw diet? Is it giving your dog a raw steak from the local butcher? Not quite! Raw food for pets is still relatively new on store shelves but this raw food isn’t the same as ours. Raw food for pets is made to be a complete meal that provides everything your pet needs to live a happy, healthy life. But what are the pros and cons of feeding a raw diet?

Pros:

  1. Increased excitement for meal time: Some pet parents think their pets are picky eaters but in reality they’re just bored of what they’ve been getting. A raw diet can increase meal time excitement.
  2. Maintain weight or lose weight: Raw diets are deal for maintaining or loosing weight as they mimic what they would eat in the wild.
  3. Improved health: Raw diets can provide many health benefits such as: improved digestion, better skin and coat health, and increased energy.
  4. Less poop or less frequent: On an all raw diet ideally feces will turn grey and flake away after a few days. That means less pooper scooping. Some owners report their dog is still wanting going out as much but often times bowel movements are smaller.
  5. Better odor and breath: Raw diets can help with pet odor including eliminating that corn chip smell some dogs paws have from a diet too high in carbohydrates. It can also help make breath fresher as raw diets can naturally clean teeth.

Cons:

  1. Cost: Raw diets can be more expensive than kibble (dry food) depending on the size of your dog and what you currently are feeding.
  2. Bacteria in raw meat: While raw diets are tested to be safe, you are handling raw meat which means if handled improperly could lead to pathogens such as salmonella and E. coli infecting humans.
  3. Unbalanced diet: It’s important to do research before feeding your dog an all raw diet to ensure they are getting all the proper nutrients they need. Many owners are tempted to give their dogs only raw meat. This not only could lead to pathogens but it could also lead to a sick pet.
  4. Time consuming: For those owners preparing their dogs food, time can be a huge factor. Is your pet food frozen? You will still have to remember to let the food thaw in the fridge before serving (unless your pet likes it frozen solid).
  5. Less convenient: Raw diets do not travel well. Many hotels do not have a freezer large enough to accommodate the amount of raw you may need to bring. Certain brands of raw may not be available to purchase at your destination either.

Raw diets aren’t for everybody and that’s ok. Some pet parents feed all raw, others only do a meal or two each week, and some don’t do any raw. Perhaps you can make it one of your New Years resolutions to incorporate more raw into your pets diet. If you’re thinking about raw there are many different brands on the market to suit every need. Here are a few of the top raw commercial dog food brands on the market:

Benefits of Raw Feeding InfographicWhat do you feed your pet? Let us know in the comments or @WetNosesPetSitting. Curious about cats? This information applies to cats too.

What Is The Single Best Thing I Can Do For My Cat’s Health?

 

Last night my husband and I were sitting around playing with our cat Aislinn (what else would we be doing?) and started talking about her age.  Like many rescue cats, she was an adult when we got her in 2000.  A couple calculations and a little discussion later and we come to the conclusion that our lively little cat is at least 15 years old!  As good cat parents we then chatted about what we think made a difference in our cat’s health and came to a single conclusion:

Good Nutrition!

A few years back we started noticing a decline in Aislinn’s health.  Her eyes looked sunken, she appeared arthritic, her coat was not as glossy as it was previously and she generally started to look old.  She also had been previously diagnosed with borderline kidney problems, which can quickly progress and lead to death in cats if not caught early.  At the same time I was learning more about nutrition in animals and was reading up on some of the newer health studies in dogs and cats.

After much research I decided to switch her to a 100% wet food diet and have not looked back since!  As you can see from her pictures, she looks just as good now as she did 10 years ago and seems to feel the same.

As a pet sitter I have cared for countless cats over the years.  I have seen the effects of various types of food on the cats and watched improvements in homes where the kitty parents have upgraded the diet.  Here is what you feline fans need to know to make sure your cat’s health is the best:

  1. Cats do best on a completely wet food (or RAW food, but that is another blog) diet.  One concern is that dry food is supposed to help clean kitty teeth, but the benefits of wet food is much greater than the possibly teeth cleaning.
  2. Feed a high quality food.  A general rule of thumb is if you can buy the food at a grocery store then it is bad food (looking at you Friskies, Whiskas and Fancy Feast).  I guarantee the beautiful cats in the commercials are not eating that food otherwise their coats would look like garbage.  Take a look at our store list for good places to buy cat food.
  3. Feed your cat 2-3 times a day.  Wet food has fewer calories so they may feel hungry more often.  Also, since the food needs to be kept fresh your cat cannot browse all day like with dry food.
  4. Make sure your cat drinks plenty of water.  This is a bit of an off-shoot, but is part of good nutrition.  One of the best ways to prevent kidney problems is to make sure the kitty takes in enough fluids.  Wet food helps this a lot as well as readily accessible water bowls, maybe even cat fountains.

Go take a look at your kitty’s food today and see what you can do to help your cat live a longer, healthier life!