Advantages and Disadvantages of Raw Feeding Your Dog
Introduced in 1993 by Ian Billinghurst, the idea of feeding dogs raw food is fast becoming a trend among pooch lovers today. And since his book, Give Your Dog a Bone, was published, more advocates for raw feeding have come out, pointing the many benefits it can bring our animal companions. These include:
Shinier Coats and Higher Energy Levels
A lot of dog owners report that raw feeding their canine immediately helped improve their coats, making it brighter and sleeker. They also assert that raw food has made their pets livelier and more energetic.
Healthier Skin and Fewer Allergies
Many of its advocates also claim that raw feeding canines can also promote better skin conditions, with some of them even claiming that it can help cure allergies! However, this would depend on what skin condition your pooch is suffering from; it’s best if you consult your vet first before using raw food to alleviate your pet’s dermal problems.
Better Dental Health and Hygiene
Cooked dog food, even the best puppyfood, can make your pet’s teeth become discolored over time, and it can also give them bad breath. Raw dog food helps prevent these problems in two ways: First, the bone fragments that come with the uncooked meat has abrasive properties that help strip off gunks and stains from your canine’s teeth; and second, raw dog food has little to no carbohydrates (carbs is one of the leading causes of bad breath).
Improved Digestive Functions and Smaller Stools
Canine poop produced by raw food comes smaller and less smelly than those yielded by cooked or grain-based dog food, making it a bit easier for you to clean up after your pet’s mess. Raw dog food diet also reduces the chances of your pet having a bloated stomach, as well as improving their anal glands for smoother bowel movements.
Hold On There!
However, the idea of raw feeding dogs wasn’t so well-received by other people. It was especially frowned upon by many mainstream veterinarians, who in turn pointed out the risks raw feeding can bring out pets. Check out some of them below:
Many studies show that raw dog food is at risk of being contaminated by harmful microbes. A 2006 research shows that many of the fresh meats used for canine consumption come teeming with salmonella and E. Coli bacteria. This can pose a danger for both dogs and their owners since these germs can be passed in the feces.
Bone Fragment Risks
Detractors also disapprove raw feeding dogs because they believe the bone fragments it contains are hazardous for the canines’ health. Indeed, there are some cases of pets choking on bones or having their stomach linings punctured by sharper bits thereof. And although bone fragments tend to be softer and more comfortable to digest, it still hasn’t put off the fear shared by many pet lovers regarding raw feeding.
According to many veterinarians, feeding your canine raw food can inadvertently cause your pet to suffer from an unbalanced diet. For example, Lisa M. Freeman, DVM, Ph.D. pointed out that the shinier coat dogs enjoy due to raw food is actually the result of the high amounts of fat that comes with the diet. Another vet, Joseph Wakshlag, DVM, Ph.D., further explained that too much fat could elevate the chances of your pet having anemia; he went on to claim that raw dog food lacks enough phosphorus and calcium to promote bone and dental health for canines.
Before You Make the Change
If you’re considering switching your canine’s diet from cooked-slash-bought to raw, then it’s best if you weigh both its subsequent pros and cons first. And while the advantages and disadvantages mentioned above are credible enough, none of them has been scientifically proven yet. So tread carefully.
Author’s Bio:Deinah Storm is a pet lover from the US that’s had cats and dogs all her life. When she’s not walking the dogs with her family, she spends time writing informational and interesting blogs about pets to share with pet lover communities.