Raw dog food has recently gained popularity, with many pet food brands offering it as an alternative to traditional dog meals.
Like other trends suitable for our four-legged friends, such as vegetarian and vegan, raw food has advantages and disadvantages. While some pet owners would argue that it is a healthy option, experts and veterinarians are concerned about its safety.
As the name suggests, raw dog food refers to dog food that is not cooked. Unlike processed or traditional dog food, it does not come in canned or kibble form.
Raw food includes fresh meat, grains, fruits, organ meat, eggs, and dairy. Pet owners often choose a raw diet for their dogs, hoping the natural food will be good for them and serve as a healthier alternative.
So, what are the pros and cons of a raw diet? Should you consider it?
This article will elaborate on the pros and cons of raw dog food diets so you can make an informed decision.
Benefits of raw dog food
When you feed your dog meals that consist of raw and whole ingredients, it can be beneficial for them in specific ways. Let’s take a look at what are the pros of raw diets and why pet owners might choose them:
Helps controls weight
If you’re worried about your dog gaining weight, you can bring it under control through raw food. The good thing is that through this, you can moderate and modify precisely what your dog consumes by taking tips from your vet.
Keeps dogs healthy
Raw diets can often boost your dog’s health by helping them have cleaner teeth, more nourished skin, and a more energized body. Their muscles become stronger due to the amplified protein content they consume through raw meals.
Improves coat quality
Who doesn’t want their dog’s coat to become shinier and healthier? Well, raw food helps with that as well. This is due to the higher fat in such meals, lending them a shinier coat.
Eases chewing habits
If your dog loves to chew on pretty much everything, you can help them curb this habit through raw food.
Such meals take longer to chew on, making them less wishful about chewing on the objects around them.
Risks associated with raw dog food
The FDA and many veterinarians worldwide have stated that raw food does have specific health warnings that everyone should be aware of, with many of them being proven through research.
The following are the cons related to raw dog food:
Expensive and time-consuming
Feeding raw food to your pet is much more expensive than purchasing a bag of dog food. Be prepared for it to cost anywhere between $3 to $5 daily, which can be troubling if you’re on a budget.
You will have to prepare the meal yourself, and if you have a busy work life and family to take care of, the entire process can be immensely time-consuming.
Exposure to parasites and bacteria
While dealing with raw food, the chances of cross-contamination are pretty high. Therefore, not only will your dog get infected with parasites or bacteria, but it can leave you vulnerable too.
Provides an unbalanced diet
Traditional dog food ensures that your dog gets all the nutrients it needs. With raw food, however, you must be more watchful about the fats, proteins, and vitamins you include in the meal so your pet stays healthy.
Thus, providing a balanced diet through raw dog meals can be challenging.
Potential choking hazards
Since raw food often contains bones, there are chances that your dog could choke on the little pieces. The chunks of the bone can also damage their intestines and stomach or break a tooth.
Final thoughts on raw dog food
Commercially prepared food can often induce allergies and food sensitivities in dogs, so dog parents tend to choose homemade meals, which entail raw dog food.
While it all comes with pros and cons, it’s always best to consult your veterinarian before formulating a meal plan for your dog that offers them all the necessary nutrients.