Raw Food Diets (RFDs) have grown in popularity in recent years. The popularity stems from pet owners hoping to feed their dogs foods that more closely resemble how they would have eaten in the wild.
RFDs include uncooked muscle meat, organs and bones from various mammals, fish and poultry. It may also consist of unpasteurized milk, uncooked eggs and raw fruits and vegetables. Although it’s a raw, meat-based diet, it may also include cooked grains.
A diet consisting of raw meat, fruits and vegetables may seem to resemble the diet of wild dogs, but it’s important to note that they have a much shorter life expectancy than domesticated dogs.
THE BIOLOGICAL EVOLUTION
As a species, the dog is a member of the Carnivora order, a large group of animals that share a similar tooth structure. The dietary needs of animals belonging to this order vary – while some have an absolute requirement for meat (carnivores), others can meet their nutrient requirements through eating plant material (herbivores) or a combination of meat and plants (omnivores). Dogs and humans are two examples of omnivores.
Because of the dietary needs of dogs, both their tooth structure and intestinal tract have become adapted to an omnivorous diet. This means that, under normal circumstances, dogs can meet their nutritional needs by eating a combination of plant and animal foods. The source of the proteins and fats is less important than the quality and digestibility of these essential components of the dog’s diet. Dogs can thrive if they are fed a properly balanced vegetarian diet. However, an all-meat diet would be unbalanced and would not meet all of a dog’s nutritional requirements.
RAW VS COOKED MEALS
Domesticated dogs have adapted over millennia to consume diets provided by their human companions, including foods that have been cooked. Dogs can actually digest complex carbohydrates more easily once they have been cooked. Feeding raw diets can carry a number of risks to the dog as well as people in the home.
Feeding a diet consisting primarily of raw meat may not provide the complete and balanced nutrition your dog needs. This is especially true in rapidly growing and developing puppies as their dietary needs are quite complex. The same is true for senior dogs who may have a weaker immune system and more sensitive digestive systems.
Properly cooking meat and carbohydrates (like we do with our dog foods) can make the food more digestible. When foods are easily digested, dogs can use more of the nutrients more effectively for producing energy, building muscles and supporting their immune systems.
RISKS TO GIVING DOGS RAW MEAT
In addition to the risk of nutritional deficiencies, raw meat does pose other health risks. Not only does it pose a risk to your dog, but it poses a risk to you and your family, according to an FDA study. Raw meat is likely to contain harmful bacteria like Salmonella, Listeria, E. coli and more.
Cooking meat to a safe temperature kills off those harmful bacteria. By feeding uncooked meat, there’s a higher risk your dog will develop a foodborne illness or other type of bacterial infection.
Additionally, there’s an increased risk you or a member of your family will come into contact with the bacteria and develop a foodborne illness. Handling the raw meat, letting your dog lick your face, cleaning up his feces or touching any contaminated surfaces increase the risk of infection.
PUT YOUR DOG’S HEALTH OVER HEARSAY
While the benefits of feeding raw meat to dogs need a lot more research and understanding, other raw foods, like certain fruits and vegetables, are safe and even healthy.
Your dog may enjoy any number of fresh fruits and vegetables, like bananas, carrots and apples. Although these foods may be safe and healthy, it’s important to keep the 90/10 rule in mind. This means 90 percent of your dog’s daily calories should come from a complete and balanced dog food. The other 10 percent can come from treats.
The PetChef offers you a healthier choice of meals for your fur babies! Meals that are made with real, fresh and human-grade ingredients and customised to meet different food requirements.
To order your trial pack or enquire for more details, reach us at 9136946065.