By Nancy Cope
Many dog owners are pondering whether to switch their pets to a raw food diet.
Here are some pros and cons to consider:
Pros of a raw food diet
Your dog can have a shinier coat thanks to a raw food diet.
Many of the dog food products that you find in stores contain only some of the nutrients that your dog needs, including the oils that give your dog a shiny coat. Raw meat and other foods contain those nutrients, so your pet can get a balanced diet for a healthy coat.
Your pet can have much healthier skin as well because the nutrients in the raw foods can nourish his skin and toughen it against fleas and ticks.
Your dog’s teeth can be toughened and cleaned by raw food, especially if you give him a bone to chew on. As he chews the bone, his teeth rub against it. This rubbing not only cleans off the teeth but actually helps to strengthen both them and the gums against decay, wear, and tear.
Your pooch can have much more energy. Rather than eating processed food that your dog’s body takes longer to metabolize, you can give him raw food that can be easily digested. This means that his body will be able to extract the energy from the food consumed, and thus your dog will have higher energy levels.
Your dog’s stools will be smaller, which will be a huge benefit for you. Seeing as there is less food going to waste (processed food that cannot be digested is eliminated, but raw foods are easier for your dog to process), there is less risk of huge dog plops around your home.
Cons of raw food diet
Your dog is at risk of bacteria that is found in meat causing health problems. Just like bacteria can cause health problems in humans it also can cause all kinds of problems in your dog.
Your pooch may not be eating a balanced diet, and this can cause health problems. The good thing about dog food is that the food offers a good balance of nutrients, but eating only raw foods for a long time can actually cause deficiencies in your dog’s body that can lead to more serious problems.
Your dog may end up chewing too hard on a bone, which can result in him breaking the bone and swallowing the slivers. This could lead to punctures in the dog’s organs. The bones could also potentially crack the dog’s teeth, which makes it painful for the dog to eat.
There is no established scientific evidence that a raw food diet is better for your pet, so it is important that you understand the benefits and drawbacks of both kinds of diet.
Many canine health experts have noticed that feeding dogs a diet of raw food and dog food has had a beneficial effect, but in the end it is entirely up to you. Make sure that you are safe when feeding your pet raw food, ensure a balanced diet with sufficient nutrients, and you will find that your dog is healthier and happier than ever.
Nancy Cope is the owner of four rescue dogs and Pampered Dog Gifts.