Benefits of a Raw Food Diet for dogs and cats
Over the past ten years or so, raw food diets for dogs and cats have become more popular. Based on the idea that a raw diet is similar to a dog or cat’s ancestral diet and therefore more appropriate for them, the raw pet food industry has grown dramatically. At J&M Aquatics and Pet Center, we’ve long believed in the benefits of a raw food diet, whether you choose raw frozen or freeze-dried options.
Most raw diets include uncooked animal meat, organs and bones. Sometimes added to these are fruits like berries and vegetables like peas. Some brands also add in vitamins, probiotics, and antioxidants.
The benefits of a raw food diet for dogs and cats include:
- Better weight control
- Healthier skin and coat
- Fewer allergies or allergy symptoms (due to the lack of grains like corn, wheat and soy in raw diets)
- Better digestion (again, due to a lack of grains)
- Healthier teeth – being able to chew on whole bones (with supervision) is great for a dog’s dental health
There are a few downsides, but they’re small in comparison to the benefits for your pet. With frozen raw food especially you’ll need to treat it as you would any raw meat: wash your hands thoroughly after touching and keep your counters clean. You may also want to wash your dog’s bowl afterwards too. Dogs are less susceptible to infections like E-Coli than humans, but by washing his bowl you’ll be protecting everyone.
Raw food also isn’t as convenient as kibble, though freeze-dried foods are fairly easy to use: you just add water! Our cats love Stella and Chewy freeze dried frozen nuggets just as a dry treat (which is fine, as long as you make sure they’re drinking plenty of water) but mixing these up with a little water also makes a good alternative to traditional wet cat food too.
There are a variety of brands these days safely producing raw frozen and raw freeze dried products, like: Stella and Chewy, Vital Essentials, Primal (which also provides raw goat milk for animals), Instinct and Nature’s Logic. You can find these brands and others at J&M Aquatics and Pet Center and we can answer any othe questions you have about a raw diet for your pets.