There is an ongoing debate over what types of food are best for dogs, commercial food versus homemade or even raw food. When Cooper was at his pickiest, I didn’t know what to feed him. I tried different brands and types of food, cooking his meals but ultimately he took to a combined method (commercial and cooked). There are advantages and disadvantages associated with all diets, however, we are aiming to provide an overview of the raw food diet so that you can determine if it’s best for your dog.
Benefits of a raw diet
According to some vets, there are many benefits that your dog will receive from being on a raw diet. If you allow your dog to have bones, some say that their teeth will be cleaner than those on other diets. This could mean spending less money on dental care which is an added bonus.
Many dogs’ digestive systems are better able to tolerate raw food than commercial dog foods that are filled with by-products and preservatives. Since you would be making the food, potential allergies wouldn’t be as much of a concern.
Another belief is that dogs that are on raw diets have a significantly reduced risk of becoming obese, which can cause many serious health problems. They are only eating what they need without getting all of the fillers that many commercial dog foods contain.
One of the most common complaints that dog owners have about a raw diet is that it takes a lot longer for them to prepare their dog’s food than normal. They can’t just go to a bag and scoop out kibble into a bowl, it’s an additional meal to make. There has to be enough meat on hand and it needs to be mixed with the proper amount of vegetables.
How much food your dog should eat each day depends upon his or her ideal body weight. The food can be prepared on a daily basis or in batches and stored in the freezer until it is needed. Either way, there is a lot more time invested in the entire process, and for busy families, this isn’t always an option.
Purchasing meat can be pretty expensive, so you will likely have to spend more money on a raw diet than you would a commercial dog food diet. To make this option more affordable, you can look for sales and then buy as much as you can afford and store it appropriately. If you don’t already have a separate freezer, it could be an additional expense.
Raw Meat Concern
Raw meat can contain parasites and bacteria which can be potentially harmful to your pet. Beef and chicken usually don’t pose problems as long as it is stored properly at the correct temperatures.
Some vets say that you should never give your dog a bone of any kind because they could choke or damage their digestive system. Others say it’s not a problem as long as you are careful about the types of bones you give. Some advocates of the raw diet grind bones up and mix them in.
If you are thinking about putting your dog on a raw diet, talk to your vet and research your options. The raw diet requires a big time and monetary commitment. There are many types of diets available for your dog and depending upon his or her breed and activity level, you can decide if this is the best one for your pup.