If you’ve been wondering if you can feed your dog raw food, the answer is yes! Here are some of the benefits of feeding raw food to dogs.

What is raw dog food?

A raw food diet looks to the diet your dog’s ancestors would have eaten for guidance. It prioritises natural ingredients and a balance of vitamin and minerals to deliver everything your dog needs from their diet. Because the ingredients remain in their raw state, raw dog food doesn’t lose the enzymes and vitamins through cooking or high-pressure processing. Plus, the formulation skips the preservatives that can be found in non-raw foods.

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Here’s what a typical raw diet includes:

  • Muscle meat, often still on the bone, which adds natural protein, fat, vitamins and minerals to your pet’s diet; bones, either whole or ground for calcium
  • Protein, such as livers and kidneys for multivitamins, plus offal is packed with key nutrients, including amino acids, B-complex vitamins, vitamins D, E, and K2. It also provides trace minerals including chromium, copper, and zinc
  • Raw eggs, which contain vitamins and omega 3, are a complete source of amino acids and rich in fatty acids, iron, vitamin A, and other nutrients and minerals
  • Fruit and vegetables for vitamins and fibre

What are the benefits of feeding raw food to dogs?

If you’re a stickler for health and want to know the ins and outs of your pet’s food, perhaps raw dog food is for you. One of the great things about this type of dog food is that it’s completely natural, with no artificial additives. Most formulations are also grain free.

Due to the formulation that includes fruits and veggies, your dog will enjoy the benefits of fibre, and vitamins and minerals including antioxidants. There are some benefits to making the switch to raw food, such as:

  • A boost in energy level
  • Healthy skin and a shiny coat
  • Smaller stools with less odour
  • A decrease in health conditions (such as arthritis)
  • Improved weight maintenance and a firmer body
  • A stronger immune system

How do I prepare raw dog food?

It’s important for the safety of you and your pet that you know that raw dog food requires a little more prep than dry pet foods on the market. You’ll need to defrost the food prior to feeding it to your dog by leaving it in the refrigerator overnight. It’s easy once you get into the rhythm – you feed one, then defrost one at the same time.

It’s also important that you handle the raw food with the same safety precautions you use when handling raw meat for yourself. This includes washing your hands thoroughly after handling and cleaning and disinfecting all surfaces and objects that come into contact with the food. It’s also important that you throw out any uneaten raw food and that you do not use the same utensils as you would for yourself.

Conclusion

Feeding raw diets does not come without some degree of risk. Ensure these foods are not prepared using the same boards and cutlery that humans have been using. There is an increased risk of parasitic and bacterial disease for both dogs and cats fed raw diets. Please reach out to your local Greencross Vets for more health information regarding feeding your pet raw food.

If you need any additional help finding the right food for your dog, feel free to speak to a friendly Petbarn team member.