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Dr.Tail

Raw Food Diet for Pets: Is it Good or Bad?

It is not safe to provide raw food to your pet.
Photo by Alex Gruber on Unsplash

Should every pet follow a raw food diet? Because pet parents want to provide the best for their pets, many express doubts on whether a raw food diet is healthy. If you do not know much about raw food diets and would like to know more, let’s take this opportunity to find out.


What is a Raw Food Diet?: Going back to Mother Nature

The term "raw food diet" refers to a diet that combines raw meat, fruits, vegetables, and uncooked items. Raw food diet advocates argue that since pets have consumed raw food since ancient times, their DNA is used to consuming raw food.* When you think about it, pets have only been eating dry and canned foods for a short time. Hence, the argument of the advocates seems credible to some extent. *Nonetheless, let’s keep in mind that there has been no research that proves a raw food diet’s superiority over a commercial diet.


Benefits: A long, healthy life in good health

Raw food diet advocates claim the following health benefits:

  • Natural weight control
  • Cleaner teeth and fresher breath
  • Shinier coat
  • Healthier skin
  • Smaller stool
  • In addition to these benefits, the advocates mainly emphasize longevity. They argue that a diet composed of raw items extends the life of pets by a maximum of 3 years. Furthermore, they argue that a raw food diet can save money because a healthy pet requires fewer visits to the vet.


    Risks: Pet parents are not experts in pet nutrition

    According to the PetMD, the following are the most mentioned risks.

  • Unbalanced diet
  • Bacteria, parasites; as well as the risk of cross-contamination
  • Potential for bones to choke a pet, cause fractures in teeth, or cause internal punctures
  • The commercial diet, veterinarians agree, is the best option. When creating a diet plan for your pet, you have to consider the risks based on the health conditions of your pet. However, it’s hard to come up with a plan when you are not an expert in nutrition. It is also quite time-consuming to figure out what ingredients to be careful about if your pet has a chronic disease.


    Summary: Dogs are not wolves; cats are not tigers

    There is no reason to go out of your way to feed a raw food diet, especially if you have to take a risk. However, if you still want to try a raw food diet for your pet, you should combine it with commercial diets and low-risk ingredients that your pet can enjoy in a variety of ways. To wrap up, I’ll attach a link to FDA-recommended safety guidelines, so don’t forget to check it out!


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    References

  • https://www.hillspet.com/dog-care/routine-care/keeping-adult-dog-healthy
  • https://www.allthebestpetcare.com/pet-nutrition/raw-food-for-dogs-and-cats/
  • https://www.hillspet.com/dog-care/nutrition-feeding/dangers-of-raw-diets-for-dogs