Raw Food Diets

The Resource for Everything About Dogs

Raw Food Diets

by Melissa Steele

Trends and fads in diets have always garnered attention in the media and, at times, even sparked debates. Considering this, it was probably just a matter of time before pets got pulled into the fray.

Believe it or not, a major movement called feeding raw is becoming popular with pet owners across the country.

What is Feeding Raw?

Basically, this refers to a diet comprised entirely of natural foods. In other words, it excludes any kind of commercial pet food. For example, instead of a cup of kibble, you would serve your dog a raw egg or a piece of a (raw) chicken. The idea here is to mimic how an animal would eat in the wild. So instead of cooked and processed food, it would be food in its most natural form.

Is Feeding Raw Safe?

Not all pet owners and vets will support the feeding raw movement. There are several possible reasons for this. First, it can be a burden on your lifestyle and on your pocket. It?s not always easy to find a supplier of chicken carcasses or organ meat, and it can be expensive to purchase these things. Obviously, buying pre-packaged foods is an easier and cheaper solution.

Next, some vets have a personal stake in the foods they offer. For example, they may earn a percentage on every bag of food they sell to their clients. In addition, since feeding raw is a relatively new trend, not all vets learn about it in their schooling.

But those who have jumped on the raw food bandwagon will be the first to tell you that most packaged pet food, even the ?natural? brands, have altered ingredients and components that are unnecessary and potentially harmful to animals. For example, many claim that dogs and cats do not need to eat grains, fruits, or vegetables and, in fact, these ingredients may upset an animals? digestive system. They would go on to say that by following a raw food diet and controlling exactly what your animal eats you are bound to have a healthier, happier pet.

What are Benefits of a Raw Food Diet?

According the followers of the raw food movement, your pets will benefit in the following ways:

Healthier teeth and gums
More attractive breath and overall odor
Fewer stools
Healthier digestive system
Stronger jaws and muscles (from chewing meaty bones)
Fewer allergies
Better weight control

Those who follow a raw food diet for their pet also claim that their pets have more energy, a sunnier disposition, and are healthier all around.

The Trouble with Raw Foods

Well, if feeding raw is so beneficial, why isn?t everyone doing it?

As we stated above, this movement is relatively new on the scene, so there have not been many long-term studies that show the pros and cons of feeding raw. Until these are available, many pet owners will choose to stay with the familiar?namely, the packaged goods.

Also, not all pet owners want to handle carcasses and animal parts or watch their pets tear into them for a meal. Although it is possible to argue that there is nothing ?unnatural? about this, we can not blame people for cringing at the sight of Fluffy gnawing on a lamb?s neck.

And, of course, there is always a danger of infection whenever dealing with raw meats of any kind. Although raw foods die-hard will downplay this risk, it definitely exists.

We think it is safe to say that a raw foods diet is not for every pet or every pet owner.

Melissa Steele is a freelance writer for PawDigs.com This site features Pet Essentials with Style including stylish dog beds of all sizes and styles.

Melissa Steele - EzineArticles Expert Author

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