There has been a lot of debate recently over what types of food are best for dogs, commercial food versus homemade food, raw food, cooked food, etc. There are advantages and disadvantages associated with all of these diets, and in this article, we will cover the views on the raw food diet for your dog, covering both sides of the issue, so that you can make your own decision.
There are many benefits that your dog will receive from being on a raw diet, according to some vets. If you choose to allow your dog to have bones, then some say that their teeth will stay in better shape, and will be cleaner, than those on other diets. This could potentially mean less money that you have to spend on dental care at the vet’s office, which is considered to be an added bonus for you, the dog’s owner.
Many dogs’ digestive systems are better able to tolerate raw food than commercial dog foods that are filled with by-products and preservatives. You also don’t have to worry as much about potential food allergies, since you know exactly what is in the food that you are giving to your dog.
Another belief is that dogs that are on raw diets have significantly reduced risk of becoming obese, which can cause many serious health problems, just as it does for humans. They are only eating what they need, without getting all of the fillers that many commercial dog foods contain, which cuts out excess calories.
One of the most common complaints that dog owners have about a raw diet is that it takes a lot longer for them to prepare their dog’s food than normal. They can’t just go to a bag and scoop out kibble into a bowl; they have to actually prepare the food, much as they would for themselves. You have to have enough meat on hand to feed your dog, you have to measure out the correct amount, and then mix it with the proper amount of vegetables, and bones if you choose to go that route. You have to determine how much food your dog should eat each day, depending on his or her ideal body weight, and then either prepare the food on a daily basis, or prepare it in batches and store it in the freezer until it is needed. Either way, you have a lot more time invested in the entire process, and for busy families, this isn’t always an option.
When you purchase meat, depending on where you live, it can be pretty expensive, so you will likely have to spend more money on a raw diet than you would a commercial dog food diet. To make this option more affordable, you will need to look for sales and then buy as much as you can afford and store it appropriately, which could also mean investing in a separate freezer, if you don’t already have one on hand.
Anytime you think about raw meat, you have to think about parasites and bacteria, which could be potentially harmful for your dog. Some meats are more dangerous than others, for example pork, but in general, you should be okay. Raw beef and chicken usually don’t pose any problems for dogs, as long as it is stored properly at the correct temperatures.
You will need to decide whether or not to give your dog bones. Some vets say that you should never give your dog any kind of bone, because they could choke, or the bones could damage their digestive system, but others say as long as you are careful about the types of bones you give, this isn’t a problem. Many advocates of the raw diet grind bones up and mix them in, but again, that is your choice.
If you are thinking about putting your dog on a raw diet, you need to take the time to look at all of the information you can find, and then make your own decision based on your findings. The raw diet requires a commitment from you the dog owner, both financially, and time-wise, if you aren’t prepared for that, or aren’t certain that is the way you want to go, then you might want to think about other options.