I wish I started Mylo on a Raw Diet since he was a puppy because of all the benefits. We were hesitant to even think about feeding raw due to the many myths and lack of knowledge. Some of our thoughts were: Raw food? You have to be kidding me! The meat has to be cooked. My Dog doesn’t like raw meat.
Changing to raw requires a lot of homework as there is so much information to digest like canine nutrition and the pros and cons of a raw diet for dogs. Feeding raw doesn’t have to be complicated, but it’s not as easy as tossing a cup of kibble in a bowl, although the benefits for your pooch are priceless!
Since Mylo was a puppy we feed him “premium kibble” or “natural gran-free kibble” as the companies label it. Every six months or so, we switched to another “premium kibble” because it seemed that Mylo was getting bored of the same kibble and didn’t want to eat it. On top of that his stool was always soft and he had gasses. Thus we began our search for other options.
To see if a raw diet was right for my Mylo, we did a lot of research and decided to feed him a raw diet for 2 months to see if the diet worked for us. He ate pre-prepared raw dog food that comes in frozen containers from a local company. We actually visited the location, had a tour and spoke personally with the owner to find out where the meat came from and all the details. Some people asked us why we didn’t go to a butcher instead of getting frozen meat? Well, although we found a few butchers and farms where we can get the meat and bones for a very cheap price, we decided the frozen meat suited us best. Less time consuming and still at a very reasonable price. We hope we can encourage you to think about switching your dog to a raw diet. We, aren’t going back to kibble!
Following are a series of questions/answer from Lindsay Stordahl blog at That Mutt that were very helpful for us while searching information about Raw Diet:
What is a raw diet for dogs?
A raw diet for dogs is simply that -RAW: raw meat, raw organs and raw bones along with raw fruits and raw vegetables.
Why is a raw dog food diet healthy for my dog?
Dogs can get by on a heavily processed diet just like us, but it’s not the healthiest. A wide variety of fresh, unprocessed foods contribute greatly to a dog’s overall health. Thus a raw, organic dog food is the the best option for my dog.
Why can’t I cook the meat for my dog?
Dogs ate raw meat for thousands of years before “dog food” was invented. Raw meat and raw vegetables are healthier for most dogs than cooked food because cooking destroys the enzymes needed for superior digestion and nutrient absorption and these enzymes survive the freezing/defrosting process just fine. Thus, yes I can cook the meat for my dog, but why would I?
Why is dry dog food kibble bad for my dog?
The first two ingredients in a dog’s food should be high-quality proteins. Other ingredients should be high-quality fruits and vegetables. GRAIN is not necessary, and all corn and by-products should be avoided.
What is a by-product? When an animal goes to a slaughterhouse, only about half of that animal is used in human foods, these “other parts” (heads, feet, blood, unborn babies, etc.) are considered by-products and are used in pet foods.
“Meat meal,” “poultry meal” and “by-product meal” are also common ingredients in pet foods. The term “meal” means the ingredients have been rendered. Rendering plants take all the random, leftover body parts and boil them down to a broth. Although the high temperatures kill bacteria and parasites, the natural enzymes and proteins found in raw ingredients are also destroyed.
What is an enzymes? Enzymes are important for digestion and nutrient absorption. When food is heated above 118 degrees Fahrenheit, the enzymes are destroyed. For the same reason, you should include raw fruits, vegetables and nuts in your own diet.
An animal that died on the farm may not reach the rendering plant for several days. By this time the carcass is highly contaminated. Although so called “4D” animals (dead, dying, diseased or disabled) are now banned as ingredients in human food, they are legitimate ingredients for pet food. There are also no laws or regulations against using rendered, road kill horses, dogs or cats in pet foods. To be sure, only buy dog foods with specific proteins in the ingredients such as duck or lamb, not “poultry meal” or “animal by-products.”
Many pet foods also contain brewer’s rice as the first or second ingredient, which is an inexpensive rice by-product that contains no nutritional value, according to the Association of American Feed Control Officials. The AAFCO sets (unenforced) standards for the quality of livestock feed and pet food.
If you do decide to feed your dog rice (most dogs don’t need grain in their diets), make sure it’s whole grain brown rice.
Commercial dry dog food is also loaded with chemical preservatives, sweeteners and dyes, according to Born Free. None of these ingredients provide any nutritional value to a dog. They are used to improve the taste and appearance of the food. Potentially cancer causing chemicals such as BHA, BHT and ethoxyquin are permitted in pet foods as preservatives.
After reading all the above information we were sure that I raw diet was a better option for Mylo. But just to go a bit further, here are some other reasons we found on the internet, live chats, conversations and groups on Facebook that have their dogs on a raw diet.
A raw diet is the healthiest diet for dogs because it consists of real, raw meat without any preservatives or by-products. It could also help to prevent cancer and many other health problems like obesity, allergies, diabetes, heart disease and so much more. For more information about preventing cancer click HERE.
The life span of a dog depends on the breed. Mylo is a boxer and hoping for 10 years its a high target. It is my responsibility as his mom, owner, best friend, to ensure he has a healthy long love. Preventing is the key! Also, a natural raw diet makes it easy to add more variety to your dog’s food. Check the second part of this post and learn about the myths around raw feeding and Mylo’s changes after starting his new raw diet. Raw Diet For Dogs | The Journey (part 2)
Tail-Waggers Dog Walking & Pet Sitting provides professional pet care through daily dog walking and pet sitting services in Aurora, Richmond Hill and Newmarket area of pet owners. Our passion is to care for your pet as we would for our very own to ensure your pet receives the daily exercise and mental stimulation he much needs to be in a balanced state of mind and live thus a long happy healthy life.