The same way people do for themselves, pet owners always want to make sure that their pets are receiving the most nutritionally balanced, complete diet possible. What better way to do this than by making sure you know exactly what is going into your pet’s body?
With commercially sold kibbles and canned foods, it can be hard to do this. Some products have been through so much processing, heating, and packaging that their nutritional value is often little to none or instead loaded with void fillers that do close to nothing to help your pet’s immune system.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, we find raw food. A lot of pet parents tend to shy away from the raw diet option and are afraid of feeding uncooked meals to their dogs and cats. However, it’s important to point out that raw feeding is exactly what wild dogs and your dog’s ancestors from years ago used to thrive off of! Cats and dogs have systems unlike humans that can easily break down and process raw food and their bacteria.
To help you better understand the reasons why you may want to transition your furry friends to a raw diet, let’s first try to get a better understanding of it.
What Is Raw Pet Food?
Raw pet food is exactly what it sounds like. Completely uncooked and free from having undergone any heating processes, the process of freezing raw food completely seals in and preserves any of the ingredients’ original nutritional value in its fullest, most natural form.
These are the vitamins and minerals that are usually cooked away during heating processes used to create kibble and dry foods. So with raw food, you can trust that your pet is actually getting all the essential nutrients and benefits that many commercially sold products advertise or claim they’re providing.
While different brands may provide different types and formulas of raw food, they essentially use a high quality protein source, such as muscle meat on bones, and sometimes add in nutritious veggies and fruits, which are all your dog needs to receive a complete, balanced diet.
Not only that, but the taste of the ingredients gets locked in, too! Coming in an assortment of shapes and textures, whether it be patties, bites, rolls, nuggets, etc, there are an endless choice of flavors you could choose from. Your canine or feline can enjoy the flavors they have already learned to love, but now in their truest, freshest state.
Benefits of Raw Feeding For The Pet
Raw feeding has had a number of reported advantages for the pet, which include, but are not limited to:
- Oral Hygiene & Dental Care: Since the raw meat typically consists of a chewier, tougher texture and is still left on its bone, your pup or kitten can naturally clean their teeth. Eating raw food reaches parts of your pet’s teeth and gums that help to remove excess plaque and tartar buildup. This reduces the risk of oral diseases and in turn leaves behind a whiter, brighter smile and much fresher breath, unlike dry foods that actually cause bacteria! Plus, actively chewing can strengthen their teeth and jaw muscles.
- Smaller, firmer, less odorous stools: Because raw diets have active enzymes in them and are overall much easier to digest for animals, they get to reap the benefits that come as a result of it. Raw food is so high in nutrients that your companion’s body will be making use of every bite of it they get. Not only might they be using the bathroom less, but the less noticeable smell and smaller size will make cleaning up after your pet much easier!
- Shinier, Softer Skin and Coat: Raw foods, with their high levels of protein and especially their healthy fatty acids, such as omegas, is what gives your pet better coat condition. You can notice it to be much sleeker. Some have even said they’ve noticed a pleasant change in the smell of their pet’s fur and reduced itching, irritation, or flaking in their pet’s skin.
- Muscle Mass & Energy: High quality protein is the building block animals need to build and help repair strong, lean muscles, joints, and tissues. With the better body composition they will soon develop off of a raw diet, the protein and healthy fats can work together to also help your dog become more active and exercise more frequently. This is also more possible with the increased boosts of energy that raw diets provide. The extra energy and exercise is great for animals that need an increase in physical activity or need to lose a few pounds!
- Fewer allergies: Food allergies and sensitivities are more common and bound to happen with the highly processed foods that are available. It’s harder to pinpoint exactly what is put into their formulas, especially with unnecessary additives that can lead to sickness, as well. Raw food has single or few ingredients so there’s no processing, additives, or extra ingredients, making it much less likely to cause stomach upsets, flatulence, or other unpleasant allergic reactions.
Benefits of Raw Feeding For The Pet Parent
- Longer shelf life: Freezing is a convenient, long lasting way of preserving the food’s nutritional integrity and freshness. You can store it in the freezer and come back to it at a much later time!
- Easy to serve: You should always read the product’s label for specific instructions, but preparing raw food usually consists of moving it to the fridge and thawing it the night before, and then serving the next day. It’s a quick and efficient way of feeding that is convenient for busy, on the go pet parents!
Feeding your pet raw food may seem a bit intimidating at first, but once you find a way to safely transition your pet into such a diet, you’ll never turn back! With all the advantages both you and your pet can benefit from, you are sure to find a raw diet and product option that will suit both of your needs with the help of your veterinarian.
Megan Lim is a writer for The Hungry Puppy Pet Food & Supplies Store located in Farmingdale, NJ. The Hungry Puppy is a one stop shop that provides pets and pet owners with all their dog, cat, equine, bird, wildlife, farm and small animal needs! Carrying premium brands at the lowest prices, they have all the food options and products you need to be the best possible pet parent!