Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Raw Diets for Cats and Dogs
Your pets are members of the family, so you want to treat them with all the love they deserve. One of the best ways to keep your pet happy and healthy is to feed them the highest quality food possible!
Although Kibble is the most popular food for pet owners, many grocery kibble’s on the market use filler grains that don’t provide nutritional value and might even harm your pet. Your cats and dogs aren’t meant to eat that way.
Dogs are best fed as carnivores and cats are obligate carnivores, meaning they need to eat meat. Neither have any real biological need for carbohydrates. Psst, that’s why it’s not listed on the food bag.
All kibble must contain a starch to create a binding agent in order to be that perfect kibble shape. What is used by companies in their kibble varies and can mean the difference between a quailty kibble, or one filled with junk.
Since kibble needs to have some binding agents, this means something other than meat is in your kibble. (Think of it like meatloaf which uses breadcrumbs or eggs to make it all stick together and keep its shape.)
That product, whether it be low quality grains, higher quality grains or grain free, will help create its carbohydrate percentage.
Look at it like this:
Raw = a nice raw apple
Kibble = Apple Jacks
Which would you rather feed your pet?
Our philosophy is “a better diet for a healthier pet”. One of the easiest ways to keep your pet healthy is through a wholesome, natural, and nutritious diet!
Why go raw?
Raw is the most biologically appropriate diet for canines and felines, meaning it mimics what they have eaten historically and in the wild. Commercial raw diets are also the least processed foods on the market and are easier to digest.
What’s it made of?
The majority of commercial raw is = muscle meat tissue and fat with organ meats. Not needing to be a cute little round cooked nugget means raw has minimal carbohydrates such as pumpkin, fruits and veggies. There’s also usually a calum source like bone or egg shell.
But let’s take a closer look at the benefits and disadvantages of a raw diet to help you make an informed decision.
More benefits of a raw diet
Easier to digest. When food is easier to digest it means your cats and dogs get more nutrients.
Higher nutritional value. Think of it like human food, the more processed it is, the less nutritional value you get.
Easier to maintain a healthy weight. Your cats and dogs stay at an optimal weight because raw doesn’t have any fillers or carbohydrates. A raw diet is also a great way to help overweight pets lose weight in a healthy way.
Pets seem to prefer raw meat over kibble. It’s like if you were given the choice between cereal or bacon, which would you choose?
- Could help with allergies
- Healthier teeth and gums
- Shinier coat
- Healthier skin
- Stronger heart
- Stronger immune system
- Lower medical bills
- Firmer stools
- Builds, repairs and maintains muscles
- Stronger bones
- Fights off illness
- More energy
- Helps with brain function
- Prevents disease
As you can see there are tremendous benefits to raw feeding, but let’s take a look at some of the concerns.
Common concerns and questions about a raw diet
Can’t be delivered. Since raw food is frozen you have to pick it up from the food store.
Doesn’t have as much research behind it. Most raw food companies are small to medium companies and don’t have the resources to fund feeding trials and other types of research. Natures Variety has helped fund a raw study that is ongoing as of this publication.
Can be messier than kibble. Think of raw like feeding a canned wet diet. There’s a little more mess.
Requires freezer space for storage.
Can be more expensive. Just like if you are eating healthier, whole foods, you’ll invest a little more for the higher quality.
Can be difficult to travel with. Although you can’t travel with frozen raw there are freeze dried options for you.
Pathogens. There’s a lot of talk about harmful bacteria, like Salmonella and Listeria in raw food, but don’t worry, commercial raw is bound by law to carry zero pathogens. Did you know legally your human food has approved levels of harmful pathogens?
So there you have it. Everything you ever wanted to know about feeding a raw diet to your cat or dog. Did we miss something? Please leave your questions in the comments or pop by your local Bend Pet Express to discuss your options and get started on a raw diet. There are many options depending on your pet’s needs and your budget.