What Is A Raw Diet for Dogs And How Does It Work?
For a long time I have always questioned why people would give their dogs raw food. I thought it was more than likely bad for them considering the meat is not cooked. It was also not common or a popular choice i seen growing up. I want to explain how you can implement a raw diet to your dogs diet if you so wish, and also, what is a raw diet for dogs?
How Did Raw Start?
The first dog food on the market was invented by a man named James Spratt. He introduced dry dog food to the public eye in 1860. They were called Spratt’s Meat Fibrane Dog Cakes. Dog cakes became popular and that is what many Americans decided to feed their dogs. At the time raw foods was mainly given to racing sled dogs and greyhounds.
An Australian man named Ian Billinghurst seen dogs where he lived fed a raw diet until the convenient dog cakes came out. He went into a Veterinarian school with doubts whether dry food was actually as healthy as it was advertised. In his school, they preached that dry food was healthiest. As a lot of people know, a popular food isn’t always a healthy one. Ian seen a lot of dogs with ear infections and other issues. He started experimenting on his own dogs to see if he could get those health issues reduced. After giving his dogs raw meaty bones and house scraps they had no more health issues. He began recommending similar diets to clients he served to solve health issues caused by the dry dog food.
What Is A Raw Diet?
A raw diet for your dog consists of meat ( muscles or organ), crushed or whole bones, fruits, vegetables, raw eggs, and dairy. It is also known as BARF. BARF stands for Bones And Raw Food or Biologically Appropriate Raw Food. This diet is made up of around 70% meat, 10%, raw edible bone, 5% liver, 5%, secreting organ, 7% vegetables, 2% seed or nut, and 1% fruit. This is a diet based on what dogs used to eat in the wild. There are calculators online that can tell you how much to feed your dog depending on their weight and activity level.
When switching you want to start slowly so you don’t have a dog with diarrhea or an upset tummy. It is recommended to start with one protein and feed it for week. Once you go a week without any issues then you can move onto the next protein.
Benefits Of Raw
Your dog will have a shinier coat and healthier skin. Raw food helps their teeth and keeps away gingivitis. Chewing on a bone actually releases endorphins in a dog and that keeps them happier. Dogs on a kibble diet take eighteen hours to digest their food. Raw food only takes them six hours!
Once you cook food it kills healthy enzymes found in meat and vegetables. These enzymes are used to digest food properly. Some dogs have a hard time digesting grains. That can be a big issue because a lot of dry foods contain high grain content. The high grain content is there to hold food together easier. When a dog is on a good raw diet they have smaller and less smelly stools because they have proper digestion.
Anal glands are located on each side of your dogs butt hole more towards the bottom. They are supposed to naturally express when your dog goes bathroom so they do not fill up. If your dog has soft stools too often, your dog will not empty them naturally. This is when they become blocked and inflamed. This is not comfortable and is irritating for your dog. Once you see them scooting on the floor a lot or licking their butt, these are the common symptoms. Dogs on a raw diet usually don’t have this issue.
Are Bones Actually Dangerous?
People are always told bones are bad for your dog because they will break or cause internal issues if they splinter. The American Vetinarian Medical Association does not approve of a raw diet. They think deadly pathogens in the food will make your dog sick. The bacteria in a raw diet has bacteria that can make a dog and even human sick. They also say bones can cause internal punctures or choking.
What the American Vetinarian Medical Association doesn’t seem to realize is dog’s can deal with low levels of bacteria and can eat stuff us humans can’t handle. Saliva in a dog mouth is actually made with antibacterial properties so they can eat raw foods. They were made with a short digestive tract so they can digest the raw meat they intake. Dogs have digestive juices that are designed to eliminate food and kill bacteria.
Yes, dog bones are safe as long as they are not cooked! Cooked bones are the ones that break and cause issues. A dog is an ancestor of the wolf. The wolf Latin name is Canis Lupus and the domesticated dog is Canis Lupus Familiaris. They have always eaten raw food and bones in the wild with no issues. Dogs teeth are designed for cutting and ripping, along with powerful jaw bones. Most people don’t realize that a dog jaw goes up and down, but a herbivores mouth will go side to side for eating vegetation.
Ninety percent of a dog’s serotonin is located in the gut. When your dog is fed raw meat and bones, the health and balance in your dogs gut will function properly and communicate what it needs to the brain. You want your dog to have serotonin effectively functioning otherwise you may see depression, aggression, or destruction behaviors from your dog.
A Balanced Diet
The raw diet is all about giving your dog balanced nutrtiion they need to be healthy. Not everyone is going to use raw but I feel it is important for everyone to know that with the right sanitary actions and safety precautions, this is a great diet plan for a dog. Sometimes we forget that dogs once had to fend for themselves. They are still capable today if they needed to be. Knowing that dogs were designed to digest bones should take away fear of chocking and other issues associated with it.