An Analysis Of The Raw Food Diet For Dogs From The Perspective Of A Veterinarian
Raw diets, also known as “Raw Meaty Bones” (RMB) for dogs, refer to the practice of feeding canines uncooked items, most notably meat and bones. As the name suggests, raw diets for dogs consist of raw meat and bones.
When compared to feeding commercial food, this diet choice calls for a far higher level of organization, planning, and forward thought on the part of the person feeding the diet.
In addition to this, there have been no scientific studies conducted to this day that demonstrate that the use of this diet alternative is, in fact, superior to the consumption of commercially produced dog food.
On the other hand, many pet parents who choose to feed their dogs raw food assert that this choice results in healthier canines.
The Philosophy That Drives Raw Food Diets
Those who advocate feeding dogs raw food argue that in the wild, dogs would only consume raw food and that this proves that preparing food is an unnatural practice.
In addition to this, they feel that the process of cooking decreases the nutritious content of the ingredients. It is a common argument that has been used to support the feeding of raw diets to dogs.
This argument asserts that because dogs and wolves share the same genetic makeup, it is more natural for dogs to consume a diet that is comparable to what wolves would consume in the wild.
On the other hand, research conducted by scientists has demonstrated that this statement is not accurate and that dogs and wolves do not share the same genetic makeup at all.
Studies have indicated that dogs have a stronger ability to digest starch and carbohydrates when compared to wolves, which disproves this argument when it comes to a justification for giving grain-free diets to canines.
Several Varieties of Raw Food Diets
Raw diets can be broken down into two primary classifications or models, each of which varies in terms of the quantity and kinds of meat that it includes.
The Prey Model diet encourages feeding of ideally “complete prey” in order to mimic what is thought to be in the diet of a dog while it is living in its natural environment.
It is encouraged to offer as wide of a variety of meats as possible, and the types of prey that can be given include whole chickens, turkeys, game birds, and rabbits, among other game birds and poultry.
The prey diet typically consists of eighty percent meat, ten percent bone (which should be of adequate size for the dog in question), and ten percent organs, with the liver accounting for fifty percent of these percentages.
In addition, a limited quantity of vegetables and, on occasion, other supplements, such as fish oils, which assist enhance the levels of fatty acids in the diet, may be included.
Biologically Appropriate Raw Food (BARF)
The BARF diet was first proposed by Dr. Ian Billinghurst and typically consists of between 60 and 80% raw meat and bones (50% raw meat with bones).
The remaining 20 to 40% of the diet consists of fruit and vegetables, organic meats, eggs, dairy products, and sometimes some seafood. Certain variants of the BARF diet are already prepared and available for purchase on the market.
Risks Of Feeding Raw Diets To Dogs
In recent years, there has been a rise in the popularity of feeding raw diets to dogs.
However, before you decide to provide your dog with this type of food, there are a few things you should take into consideration, in addition to the lack of scientific evidence that supports the benefits of raw diets.
The majority of veterinary organizations do not recommend feeding raw foods to animals because of the potential health hazards that are associated with doing so.
The potential dangers and drawbacks of feeding dogs raw food diets are broken down into the following points:
- A dog that is fed a raw diet runs the risk of developing nutritional deficiencies and imbalances, such as an excess of vitamin D and vitamin A, an imbalance of calcium to phosphorus, and a lack of calcium, phosphorus, zinc, magnesium, and potassium. This risk is increased when the dog is fed raw meat.
- Raw diets frequently include microorganisms and bacteria, such as Salmonella and E. coli, which are the leading causes of food poisoning. This is because raw foods are not pasteurized, which kills harmful organisms. In a home where there are small children or members of the family who are immunocompromised, this is an essential factor to take into consideration. It is possible for people to become infected with these organisms either by direct contact with contaminated food or through the excrement of infected dogs.
- Sharp bones or bones that become splintered after being chewed on by the dog have the potential to either burst the gut or become caught in the intestine, which can cause the intestine to become blocked. Both of these conditions pose a risk to the patient’s life and necessitate surgical intervention.
- When chewing on bones, there is a significant possibility of breaking teeth.
- Raw food can be difficult for certain dogs to digest, especially elderly dogs, dogs with weak dentition, or dogs with any ailment that affects their capacity to absorb certain nutrients, such as diabetes or inflammatory bowel disease.
- Hyperthyroidism has been linked to raw food diets.
- If a dog has a tendency to hoard its food, feeding it a raw diet, particularly bones, might make the problem worse and increase the dog’s level of social hostility against other people and animals.
- Last but not least, raw diets can be messy, which is something that should absolutely be taken into consideration whether a dog lives in a tiny apartment or is served inside the house.
Theoretical Advantages of Providing Canines with Raw Diets
The following is a list of benefits that proponents of raw diets for dogs claim to see, despite the fact that these beliefs are neither held by the vast majority of veterinarians nor are they supported by any significant scientific research:
- Because bones have an abrasive effect on teeth, they assist to minimize the building of tartar, which in turn leads to healthier teeth and less offensive breath.
- Because the enzymes in raw food can help with digestion and improve the biological availability of nutrients, eating raw food can result in improved digestion and availability of nutrients for absorption.
- A lower possibility of developing nutritional deficiencies as a result of the consumption of a large number of different foods.
- Feces are produced in lower volumes and have a milder odor due to this condition.
- Improved skin health and a shinier coat, in addition to increased muscle development and a reduction in the accumulation of fat
- Reduction in the severity of the symptoms associated with certain disorders, such as arthritis.
- The increased time spent eating and chewing can give increased mental activity and a respite from boredom.
Suppose you decide to give your pet raw food, despite the fact that veterinarians do not suggest it. In that case, it is essential that you choose a diverse assortment of fresh products of the highest possible quality in order to provide the most nutritionally balanced diet that you can.
To Sum Everything Up
Dog owners should give careful consideration before making the choice to go to a raw food diet for their canine companions.
Although proponents of this sort of food assert that it comes with a variety of advantages, there is not yet any conclusive scientific proof that genuinely supports these claims, and from a veterinary professional’s point of view, the drawbacks unquestionably outweigh the benefits.
Questions People Also Ask: (FAQs)
Is It Healthy For Dogs To Eat Raw Meat And Bones?
The American Veterinary Medical Association discourages “the feeding to cats and dogs of any animal-source protein that has not first been subjected to a process to eliminate pathogens, because of the risk of illness to cats and dogs, as well as humans.”
This is because “the feeding to cats and dogs of any animal-source protein that has not first been subjected to a process to eliminate pathogens,”
Can I Feed My Dog Raw Food every Day?
Is it okay to feed my dog raw meat? The American Veterinary Medical Association advises against feeding your dog raw meat since it does not give the balanced nutrients that your canine friend requires in their diet.
This recommendation comes from the American Veterinary Medical Association. Consuming raw meat on a frequent basis may elevate one’s risk of developing nutritional deficiencies.
Do Veterinarians Encourage Raw Food For Dogs?
Feeding your pet raw food can present a number of challenges, particularly if it is cooked at home. Our veterinarians do not advise making your own pet food, either cooked or raw, because, without the assistance of an expert in pet nutrition, a homemade diet may be nutritionally unbalanced, which can lead to your pet becoming ill. This is true even if you cook the food first.
Is It True That Raw Food Is Superior To kibble?
Is kibble or raw better for dogs? A raw diet is the superior choice for your dog since it is fresh and made up of foods that are biologically appropriate, which will improve your dog’s health.
Both kibbles and raw have positive aspects, but a raw diet offers more advantages. In addition to this, the high-heat procedure that kibble goes through destroys many of the nutrients that were originally present in it.
Why Do Veterinarians Recommend Against Feeding Raw Food To Dogs?
Pet owners are strongly discouraged from giving their dogs raw or unprocessed meat, eggs, or milk by a number of organizations, including the American Kennel Club (AKC) and the American Veterinary Medical Association.
Pathogens, such as E. coli, listeria, and salmonella, can be carried by raw meat and dairy. These pathogens can make people and pets sick, and in some cases even cause death.
Is Frozen Raw Dog Food Safe?
Raw food can be frozen at the point of origin and kept at this temperature until it is defrosted at temperatures under stricter control, hence lowering the likelihood that bacteria will grow on the food.
Raw dog food is guaranteed to be as risk-free as it possibly can be by undergoing stringent and routine safety inspections, procuring high-quality ingredients, and carefully storing these components.
Do Dogs That Are Fed Raw Food Require More Frequent Deworming?
When switching to a raw diet, it is strongly advised that you perform worming on a more regular basis. When I fed my dogs raw food, I dewormed them every three months, and I never had any issues as a result of this practice. I really hope this helps.
What Kinds Of Raw Meat Are Safest For Canines?
The majority of people who feed their dogs raw meat believe that their canine companions should have muscle meat (such as hamburger, chicken, and turkey), a variety of organ meat (such as heart, liver, and kidneys), whole fish, and raw meaty bones (aka, RMBs).
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