Understanding Raw Pet Food and It's Impact On Your Pet's Health
Want in on a little secret? Your pet LOVES food! Okay, so that's not really a secret since there's some obvious tail-wagging and purring going on come dinner time. But pet food needs to do more than just taste good. It also needs to be healthy and nutritious, which is where raw food comes in.
But is raw food really the best choice for your four-legged friend or friends? Let's find out!
What is Raw Pet Food?
As you likely know, dogs and cats are carnivores, meaning meat is their primary diet. For their ancestors without us around to cook for them, this meant raw game meat. This also meant heat didn't destroy the food's enzymes and nutrients, and it gave animals tooth-friendly, calcium-and-marrow-rich bones to gnaw.
Today, raw pet food is likely to consist of organ and muscle meat, eggs, yogurt, fresh fruits, veggies, and whole or ground bone.
What Are the Benefits of a Raw Diet?
Supporters of raw pet food tout many benefits of such a diet, such as:
- Shinier coats
- Healthier skin
- More energy
- Smaller poops
- Cleaner teeth
- Better breath
Sled dogs and racing greyhounds are also fed raw diets to support their high energy and fitness needs, as are many working dogs.
Can I Make My Own Raw Pet Food?
You can make your own raw pet food, though keep in mind that companies hire nutritional scientists to determine the most nutritious formulas for dogs and cats. This means you should start with a trip to your veterinarian for a referral to a specialist in pet nutrition to help you put together a healthy eating plan.
From there, it's a matter of sourcing meats, bones (and/or bone meal), and other ingredients such as eggs or berries that the nutritionist recommends. Remember that just like you, animals need the healthy fats and nutrients that grass-fed meats offer, not to mention farm animals live better lives on green pastures.
Still, some feel that pets should only get fully-cooked food, which in some cases may have merit.
The Downside of a Raw Diet, and the Solution
Some feel that a raw diet isn't a good idea since pets are susceptible to food-born pathogens and illness. This can be especially dangerous for puppies, kittens, and dogs with pancreatic cancer. Harmful bacteria can also infect humans, and care should be taken not to cross-contaminate your food or cooking surfaces when preparing raw meat.
But microorganisms need moisture to survive, which is where freeze drying comes in. By removing the food's moisture in a frozen vacuum, the likelihood of contamination is greatly reduced while maintaining the food's raw integrity. This also means there is no need for refrigeration or preservatives.
The Best Source for Raw Freeze Dried Foods
To reap the benefits of a raw diet for your pet without all the work, expense, and contamination risk of making your own, Pets on Broadway has a wide variety of high-quality raw, freeze dried foods for your dog or cat.
Need help figuring out which is best? Our friendly, knowledgeable staff are happy to help you make the right choice for your furry best friend. That way, you can concentrate on is the important stuff: giving them all the love, belly-rubs, and affection they deserve!
Check out our dog raw food here.
Check out our cat raw food here.
We here at Pets on Broadway highly recommend Stella & Chewy's raw products including their Raw Blend Dry Kibble, Freeze-Dried Meal Toppers and Morsels, and their Stella's Solutions Freeze-Dried Raw Supplement Toppers.
Want to learn more about RAW? Check out our Raw Food Series here.
- Pt. 1 Raw Food Series: What is Raw Pet Food
- Pt. 2 Raw Food Series: Benefits Of Feeding Your Pet Raw
- Pt. 3 Raw Food Series: Common Misconceptions About Feeding Raw