Choosing the right diet has always been one of the major concerns of a responsible pet parent. The topic of raw food diets has ever since been controversial. Some consider it to be a good diet and the popularity of these diets consisting of raw meat, bones, veggies, and fruits are somewhat increasing. The Raw dog food diet has said to have some reportedly healthy benefits which include shinier coats, healthier skin, cleaner teeth, and high energy levels.
What Exactly Is a Raw Diet? Is It That Good?
Raw diets are basically diets for your pets which consist of muscle meat from the animals (raw meat), bones, organ meats (Liver, kidney, etc.), raw eggs, some dairy products, fruits, and vegetables. This food is not cooked before feeding.
There are basically two main types of raw diets which include the commercial and the home-prepared. Home-prepared raw diets for pets mainly consists of raw meat, bones, veggies, fruits along with supplements and grains. Whereas, the commercial raw diets for pets are mainly frozen or fresh.
However, there has also been a lot of talking about the growing health risks which come along with this raw diet.
Firstly, dogs might be omnivores but feeding them a diet equivalent to their wolf cousin may not be a great idea. Dogs do not have a requirement of meat in their diets as they are not obligate carnivores.
Not Nutritionally Balanced
Raw diets may not be as ideal as you might think them to be as they are not nutritionally balanced. There are no vitamin and mineral Standards established in a raw diet. For this reason, many dogs use weight on a raw food diet. Your pet might need some supplements while on a raw diet.
They are low on calcium and phosphorus while having excessive Vitamin A and Vitamin D in them. Over time, this can easily cause a nutritional imbalance in your pet. A balanced diet which is complete in all nutrition will supply all the essential amino acids to your pet. These somehow are present in a raw diet. Peas and soybeans are some healthy plant sources of these amino acids.
Add vegetables to make up for the missing nutrition may also fail because most of the pets do not digest raw vegetables very well. Also, most of the nutrients in these raw vegetables are rendered only after being slightly cooked.
As dogs are omnivores, they have adapted to be able to absorb a wide variety of nutrients and they definitely do not need raw meat.
Parasites and Bacteria
The raw diet of your pet can also be a reason for infections around the house. This carries a risk of exposure to parasites and different bacteria. Cooking is the best way to get rid of all these pathogens.
Reports show that these disease-causing bacteria were found in the raw diets and none were found in any of the other dog foods.
Effect to Humans
Raw meat, organs, and bones include certain parasites and bacteria in them which can also affect humans. Contamination is common while preparing meals. It can also happen while cleaning the food bowls. When you come in direct contact with your infected pet, these pathogens can easily be transferred to you. This can happen while your pet licks your face or hands. Humans can also be exposed to these harmful bacteria and pathogens while cleaning up the pet’s waste which has been infected.
Health Risks Involved with Raw Food
A raw diet also comes with a number of health risks which also include cancer. Meat, bones and other animal products including cheese and milk contain a lot of toxic chemicals. Red meats are considered carcinogenic and thus are unhealthy for our pets.
Also, dogs cannot process the diets which are high in animal protein. This can, in turn, cause sensitivity to these ingredients. Some dogs may develop gastrointestinal issues while on a raw diet. This could also diarrhea especially if your pet has a weak or a sensitive intestinal tract. However, these symptoms may only appear while switching to a raw diet and may not be permanent.
Cost and Time
A raw diet might be expensive and it might also consume much of your time. If you wish to serve your dog a raw diet, it is highly recommended that it is balanced. Preparing a balanced raw diet for your dog every single day can be much of a task. Preparing a home-made raw diet may not fit easily into your schedule every day as it takes time and energy. Also, if you have a tight schedule and are mostly traveling then it may be a problem again.
When it comes to convenience, a raw diet may not be the best option.
Not the Healthiest Diet
Vets too are not so much in favor of this raw diet. They have been warning people about the potential risks that these raw diets have for your dogs and cats. Not only for the pets, but these are harmful to the human owner and the family as well.
Thus, the raw diet for your pet may not be as healthy as you might think it to be.