Is raw food good for dogs? Let’s Explore

Raw food diet for cats

The raw food diet has also become popular among cats and their owners. Like dogs, the wild ancestors of cats survived on raw, whole ingredients (with a greater focus on meat, since cats are meat-eaters by necessity. Swapping processed food for a raw diet has many of the same potential health benefits for cats as it does for dogs. It also carries many of the same risks. Both must be balanced for your pet’s specific nutritional needs, so talk to your vet before adding raw foods to your feline’s feasts.

Health benefits

A raw diet can help your dog have more energy, healthier skin, and cleaner teeth. Meat on the bone can reduce bad breath and improve dental hygiene in dogs . The high protein content of a raw diet can also help your dog’s muscles get stronger.

Raw dog food diet: What it is

A raw dog food diet typically consists of:

  • Muscle meat, often still on the bone
  • Bones, either whole or ground
  • Organ meats such as livers and kidneys
  • Raw eggs
  • Vegetables like broccoli, spinach, and celery
  • Apples or other fruit
  • Some dairy, such as yogurt
  • “For most animals, it’s more beneficial than processed foods,” says Doug Knueven, DVM, of the Beaver Animal Clinic in Beaver, Pa.

    Knueven specializes in holistic medicine and also consults for Nature’s Variety, a Lincoln, Neb.-based manufacturer of frozen raw food diets as well as cooked dry and canned foods.

    Barbara Benjamin-Creel of Marietta started giving raw food to her three dogs after Scooter, a German Shepherd, was diagnosed with cancer. The diet change came too late to help Scooter, she says, but the other dogs are thriving after two years on raw dog food. The 11-year-old dogs seem more energetic, and one with chronic digestive problems tolerates the raw diet better.

    “The change in the coat was pretty immediate,” Benjamin-Creel says. “Also, their breath was much better.”

    Benjamin-Creel makes the food herself, giving yogurt in the morning and raw ground pork, turkey, or beef mixed with some rice in the evening. To cut costs, she stocks up on ground meat when it’s on sale. “It’s not cheap,” she says, “but I think we’ve avoided a lot of old-age issues.”

    The cost of a raw dog food diet varies with the ingredients used and how it is prepared.Â

    Are Organic or Raw Food Diets Better for Your Pet? – Ask A Vet

    The latest issue of Petplan’s PetPeople magazine featured an article by animal nutritionist Marge Chandler on the risks of raw food diets for dogs (scroll down to read it).

    This article caused plenty of debate on our Facebook and Twitter feeds, with people in favour of the diet keen to point out its potential benefits.

    To provide the other side of the story, we spoke to Liesbet Lester, a vet and advocate of the diet…