If you love your dog, you probably want to feed him the best food you can for their health and longevity. That’s where a raw food diet for dogs can be beneficial. For many owners, turning to a raw dog food diet has provided impressive results in terms of their dogs’ health, weight, and appearance. Many people believe that feeding your dog the way nature designed it means they will get vital nutrients from natural sources, leading to better health.
If you have questions about feeding your dog raw food, this guide is for you! Below is everything you need to know to get going on a raw food diet for dogs.
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What Is A Raw Food Diet For Dogs?
Raw food diet for dogs isn’t complicated. At its simplest, a raw dog food diet is simply uncooked dog food. But it is much more than just the raw diet ingredients. The idea is to feed your dog the way its ancestors ate centuries ago – the way they were designed by nature to eat.
Whether a dog is domesticated or not, they are still carnivores and were designed to digest meat, organs, and bones. However, it is a common misunderstanding that a raw food diet is meat only. That is much of the diet, but the diet usually includes meat, organs, bones, and some vegetables for the best nutrition.
So, you cannot simply toss two pounds of raw hamburger in your dog’s dish and walk away. You need to be sure your dog has a nutritionally balanced meal every day. If the dog does not get enough of the right nutrients in its food, he could suffer from malnutrition and health problems.
Is A Raw Food Diet Better?
If you are reading this guide, you are thinking about a raw dog food diet and wonder if it is better than regular dog food.
In our modern age, most dogs eat store-bought dog food. But have you noticed that many dogs have high rates of obesity, cancer, and diabetes? It’s true. Your dog’s diet could be a part of its health problems. As dogs deal with more of these serious illnesses, many owners and vets have turned to a raw dog food diet.
Here are some good reasons that suggest that raw dog food may be better for your pooch:
Gets Rid Of Sugar And Carbs From Their Diet
Mass-produced dog food is often full of carbohydrates, sugars, chemicals, and highly processed ingredients. Even with the best store-bought bag food, ensuring your pooch gets a healthy diet is harder. Feeding your dog raw food allows you to get better control over what your dog eats so they are in better health.
You also replace unhealthy carbs, sugars, and additives with natural, highly digestible, and healthy food. Raw dog food believers think feeding dogs in this way provides a better coat and skin, healthier joints, better digestion, and a healthier weight.
Dogs Are Carnivores
While dogs are considered omnivores, meaning they can live on meats and plants, their ancestry tells us that they are scavenging carnivores. This means that dog can adapt to the nutrients that are available to them in their environment. They will look for raw dog food sources and eat what they can find. Dogs can live on plants and dog food if they must, but they are always better off with a diet full of meat protein.
If you feed your dog raw food and meat, you can avoid obesity, diabetes, arthritis, and other health problems in your pup.
Dogs Are Designed To Eat Meat
Digestion begins in the mouth. But the act of how a dog chews sets them apart from other animals that are better suited for a plant-based diet. First, their saliva does not contain enzymes to break down carbohydrates (as ours does). Also, their teeth are shaped to tear apart meat and bone. This is not an accident!
Because their saliva does not have the digestive enzyme amylase, carb-focused dog food is harder for them to digest. Also, like most omnivores, your dog has incisors and canines in the front of the mouth and molars and premolars in the back. However, your dog’s teeth fit together like a pair of scissors and are not made to grind up food like human’s.
Also, you will see that dogs do not usually chew their raw food much. This is because they are not designed by nature to do this. Instead, they use their teeth to chop up raw dog food into small chunks so they can swallow it.
Next, their stomach contains more acid than ours. This means they can more easily digest meat safely even when it contains bacteria. Dogs have bigger stomachs that can hold their food longer than ours. The acid brakes down their food into chyme and reduces the bacteria levels.
Chyme is a combination of pet food, acid, and digestive juices that move the food into the intestines so it can be broken down more. If the stomach did not contain this much acid, the dog would have a hard time processing meat and bone.
More Benefits Of A Raw Food Diet
We hope we have convinced you that your dog is designed for raw dog food, not pet food on the shelf. Now, let’s look closer at some of the best benefits of a raw dog food diet:
- Back to nature: Eating a natural dog food diet means reducing food allergies, diabetes, cancer, and obesity in our dogs. These health problems were much less common when dogs were not domesticated.
- Less smelly poop: A raw dog food diet reduces the quantity and odor of their feces. It also will be more consistent and will not need as much clean up.
- Better fur coat: Natural food has more moisture and essential nutrients, providing a shinier coat and less shedding.
- Fewer weight problems: A raw food diet is easy for your dog to digest. It also is calorie dense so you can give your dog less food. But it will give them more energy and reduce their weight.
- Improves renal function: Dry dog food does not contain moisture. But raw dog food is packed with moisture and nutrients, so they have better renal function.
- All-natural ingredients: The vitamins and nutrients in raw food are much easier for the body to absorb than the nutrients in cooked dog foods.
- Better teeth: The enzymes in raw food improve dental health. There are fewer harmful carbs in natural dog food so there is less plaque buildup that causes tooth decay.
- Better metabolic efficiency: Raw food offers higher metabolic efficiency that gives your dog more energy and stamina.
- More flavor: Natural food tastes good! Your dog will devour their raw food in a way that they never do with regular dog food.
Raw Food Diet For Dogs: What To Feed Your Dog
When considering what to feed your dog, think of BARF – this stands for Biologically Appropriate Raw Food. A proper raw food diet is high in meat protein, moderate in fat, and has few carbohydrates and vegetables. The diet should largely consist of muscle meat, meaty bones, organ meats, and a small number of fruits and vegetables.
Some pet owners like to switch their dogs to a BARF diet slowly. This may be best if your dog has digestive issues or a sensitive stomach. However, if your dog has a strong digestive system, you can fast them for 12 hours and start their raw food diet the next feeding time.
How Much Raw Food To Feed Your Dog?
Here are some guidelines for how much raw food to feed your dog every day:
- 100-pound dog: Two to three pounds per day
- 75-pound dog: 1.5 to two pounds per day
- 50-pound dog: One to 1.5 pounds per day
- 25-pound dog: Eight to 12 ounces per day
So, you should feed him about 15% of their body weight daily. When you start your dog on raw food, you may choose to combine a 50/50 mixture of raw food with high quality dog food. Keep in mind that not all dogs do well on a raw food diet and others will need to get used to it.
If your dog has immune system issues, a raw food diet could create problems. While most healthy pooches can handle a raw food diet with raw meat, good hygiene is still important. If you are worried about him choking on meat and bones, consider grinding these ingredients to a fine consistency.
You also should keep your vet informed about the change you are making to your dog’s diet. However, many people who are fans of raw dog food say you will see such a positive impact on your dog quickly, switching to raw food is well worth it.
Summary of Raw Food Diet For Dogs
We hope we have convinced you of the benefits of feeding your dog a raw food diet. Your pooch will be healthier, leaner, look better, and possibly live longer with a raw food diet.