With the recent surge in the popularity of raw dog food, the question of what to feed our canine companions is more prevalent than ever. And unlike the readily-available education about kibbles strewn around the internet, there seems to be very little information on switching to raw and the benefits that can bring. That’s why we’re here to highlight some of our top reasons for why making the change in your dog’s diet can be so wonderful!
You know the feeling when you’ve finished a bag of fast food? Where you feel heavy and bloated and just generally less energised? The same phenomenon happens to our dogs! The processing and heating of the proteins they need to survive actually kills off the important, natural enzymes found in the raw foods. Not to mention, it produces more starch, which, in combination with the added carbs from the fillers, causes their endocrine system to work overtime to try and digest.
Our dogs have very short and very acidic digestive systems that have adapted to digest raw protein very quickly. This allows them to extract the full nutritional benefits of their food before the harmful bacteria cause them any harm. It essentially guarantees them the ability to take advantage of the natural antioxidants, fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals without the worry of threatening bacteria. Feeding biologically-appropriate food allows their system to do what it does best.
Kibble, on the other hand, is packed with carbs and starches that are harder for their systems to digest naturally, while also providing less nutritional value. This leads to an overall slowing of their digestive system, making way for an increasing rate of obesity and poor health, if managed improperly. Not to mention, the fillers in kibble formulas often tend to absorb much more water, often resulting in diarrhea and dehydration.
Improved Dental Health
If you’ve brought your dog into the vet at any point in the last few decades, chances are you’ve had a conversation about your dog’s teeth. While we’re used to scrubbing away the plaque and tartar buildup in our own mouths every morning and night, most of us have never even thought of it for our dogs! Dogs survived for thousands of years without having a toothbrush stuck in their mouth, so why are periodontal diseases such a concern now?
The increase in sugars and carbohydrates found in kibble formulas has a lot to do with it and, as we all know, are leading contributors to an increase in plaque and bacteria in the mouth. But that doesn’t mean we need to start scrubbing away at our dog’s teeth to scrape it away!
Dog’s teeth are naturally built for eating raw bones (specifically raw, as cooked bones become brittle and can splinter), and their strong jaws and sharp teeth make it easy for them to rip away at the meat and tissue. It’s not only easy for them, but the process of doing so actually scrapes away at plaque in the process, also, cleaning their teeth naturally. Plus, the chewing of soft bone and meat also helps to promote circulation in the gums for better health in their mouth overall!
Improved Coat & Skin
As anyone who has ever eaten a plate of bad shrimp can tell you, any upset in our day-to-day biological processes can mean big impacts on how we feel, both inside and out. And, again, the same can be said for our dogs. A diet loaded with excess starches disrupts the natural flow and gut flora in their bodies, creating a need for detoxing, which comes through in their skin and coat (as well as their stool). This can often lead to a smelly and greasy-feeling coat, as well as itchy, scratchy skin irritation from dehydration.
A raw diet will fuel your dog’s body in the way it was intended—with high nutrient value and undamaged fatty acids. These result in hydrated skin, along with a shinier coat that won’t stink, as the nutrients are put to use without the need for detoxing.
Other Benefits of a Raw Food Diet
Other benefits you could see from introducing your canine companion to a raw diet can include:
- Healthier Bones: Diets that are high in carbs and low in essential fatty acids can lead to improper bone growth and overall bone health, leading to arthritis and bone disease. Raw diets contain the necessary minerals, nutrients, and fatty acids needed for strong, healthy bones.
- Better Weight Control: A more effective digestive system fueled by foods with high nutritional value can prevent obesity!
- Fewer Allergy Symptoms: The top allergens for dogs are from wheat and corn, along with the fillers, dyes, and preservatives in kibbles. The removal of these can prevent some of the nasty symptoms that end up costing a pretty penny at the vet’s office.
- Smaller, Harder, and Less Stinky Stools: With raw foods being digested more completely, the resulting waste will be smaller and less pungent in smell. Not to mention there won’t be as much water being soaked up by the fillers, so picking up after them will be a breeze!
- More energy and stamina: Carbs are great for offering a short-term surge in energy levels, but the highs are often followed by deep lows. A diet rich in proteins and nutrients, on the other hand, stabilises energy levels.
- Stronger immune system: As with kids, more exposure to viruses, bacteria, and parasites will give our dogs a stronger resistance to disease and infection.
- Fewer Trips to the Vet: With the liver, pancreas, and bowel all working better, the improved health of our dogs can mean more money saved when we make fewer “What’s going on with Fido?!” trips to the vet.
While we may not be used to the idea of it anymore, dogs are made for eating raw just as much as their ancestors were. A return to that diet can mean big benefits not only for them, but for us, too! To learn more about switching to a raw diet, visit us today and let’s set you and your pup up for success.