WHY FEED RAW?
BENEFITS OF A RAW DIET
HOW TO FEED RAW
THESE QUESTIONS CAN BE ANSWERED HERE.
WHY FEED RAW?
Remembering that the dog is a pack animal and that even eating was a survival action, in that the individual dog had a certain time to eat as much of the good part of the animal before the rest of the pack, so the canine digestive system had to deal with large amounts of food at irregular times. The canine stomach is large and muscular, allowing for large amounts of food to be digested in a short period, leading to an engorged stomach. This enabled the animal to eat enough to sustain itself for as long as possible. The stomach is a magnificent acid machine, allowing whole bone pieces to be ingested and broken down into a powder-like substance. The same acid allows the canine to eat rotting carcasses, full of harmful bacteria, in times of desperation and be unaffected.
As the pancreas of the dog doesn’t contain as many active enzymes as the human pancreas to help the stomach acid break down food, the dog needs to source these active enzymes from the food it eats. For dogs, meat enables this process to occur naturally. Cooked food of any type for the dog, has no active enzymes as they are all dead due to the cooking process, so the dog’s stomach acids must increase to unhealthy levels, much higher levels than in the wild, to digest even some of these products.
Amylase is found in the saliva of humans and is used to start breaking down starch in the mouth, as it takes time to break down grains and starches. Canine saliva does not contain enzymes and is only used as a lubricant for swallowing large pieces of food, so the canine increases amylase through the pancreas which is smaller than the humans to help break down these products. The intestine and the bowel of a carnivore are much shorter than a human’s, allowing for quick absorption and elimination of food and waste product. Carnivores have also evolved to absorb almost all of the water content from prey items. This allows a carnivore to be hydrated for long periods without needing a water source.
BENEFITS TO RAW
Cleaner teeth and fresh breath.
Better weight control.
Shinier, healthier skin and coat.
Reduction of allergy symptoms.
Harder, smaller, less smelly stools.
Increased mobility in older animals.
More energy and stamina.
It is estimated that 75-85% of domesticated cats and dogs suffer from periodontal disease at a level requiring treatment by 3 years of age. Kibble and canned food provide no dental benefits. It is said that kibble is crunchy so it cleans the teeth, which is the equivalent of claiming that hard cookies will clean your teeth. By eating raw meaty bones your dog has to chew through soft bone and meat, this scrapes the plaque off the teeth and provides a gum massage that increases circulation. Recreational bones do not have the same effect; these bones are harder than your dog's teeth and so instead of crunching through these types of bone your dog just grinds away eventually wearing down their teeth.
Dogs and cats have a very short, acidic digestive system that is designed to digest food quickly and effectively, greatly reducing the threat of bacteria. Dogs are technically a sub species of the wolf, sharing extremely close genetics and nutritional needs. Cats are considered obligatory carnivores, meaning that they MUST eat meat in order to survive. Our house cats are no different than the hardy barn cats that live off of mice out in the country.
When we feed heavily processed meat, grains, and fillers, we are forcing our companion carnivore's digestive system to do something that it is not designed to do. Cats and dogs have no nutritional need for grain; they do not have the digestive enzyme amylase, which is needed to digest grain. This places a huge strain on their pancreas because it is always working overtime breaking down foods that it is not designed to. Kibble also absorbs water like a sponge which can contribute to chronic diarrhea and long term bowel disease. Chronic dehydration from years of eating kibble can also contribute to crystals and kidney disease. When we feed our companion carnivores a species appropriate diet of raw meat, bones, and organs, their digestive system works in sync with the food that they are designed to eat and does not become worn out due to years of over-exertion.
Everyone can appreciate this benefit! Raw meat, bones, and pureed veggies and fruit are digested more completely than cooked grains and meat. This means less waste! Raw fed pets have very small poops that are chalky in texture, when left out in the sun for a couple of days they generally turn to dust. This is a much welcome benefit considering the large globs of extremely offensive smelling feces produced from pets that are fed kibble.
A natural, raw diet produces a beautiful, shiny coat. This is due to the extremely high nutrient value and all of the undamaged essential fatty acids. You will also notice less “pet odor” and a less greasy feel to the touch. Animals will often detox through their skin which is why so many pets have a greasy smelly coat.
Many pets have allergies, it is usually shown in their skin and coat. Most pet foods are filled with grains, fillers, dyes, and preservatives. It is common knowledge these days that the ingredients in most pet foods are appalling. Pet allergies are often caused by feeding an inappropriate diet of grains and rice. Some pets may also be allergic to different kinds of proteins as well. It is interesting to note that it is possible to be allergic to something in cooked form and not in the raw form. Allergies can also be environmental; pets with heightened immune systems are susceptible to the effects of environmental allergies. Many animals suffer with extreme itch caused by allergies all of their lives, and their owners are usually at a loss to help them. Many pets are treated with antibiotics and steroids, and the cause is rarely considered and the answer is often as simple as switching to a biologically appropriate diet.
Reduced Risk of Arthritis and Bone Disease
The crippling effects of arthritis and bone disease is astonishingly common. Some of these effects are genetic, however they are also largely due to diet. Diets high in carbohydrate and low in essential fatty acids can lead to increased inflammation and hence worsen arthritis symptoms. Studies on people are now finding a link between diet and the effects it has on arthritis and inflammation. They are finding that certain foods high in essential fatty acids and omega fatty acids decrease inflammation and ease suffering. Raw diets are full of these nutritional benefits. Bone disease begins with puppies and kittens. Before an animal is fully grown their bones are soft and vulnerable to excessive force and incorrect nutrition. When puppies are grown too fast, they will begin to experience structural problems. Many kibble diets are often too high in calories and certain minerals causing rapid growth spurts and uneven growth, which can potentially lead to joint disease such as hip and elbow dysplasia. Puppies fed a raw biologically appropriate diet tend to grow more slowly and steadily without painful growth spurts and uneven bone growth.
Low Impact Exercise
Chewing on raw meaty bones provides great exercise for the jaw, neck, forearms and shoulders. This kind of exercise is especially beneficial for growing puppies. Chewing is also very relaxing for dogs, it can be compared to meditation or a “runner’s high.” This is a great stress reliever for dogs and you will often find that after eating a raw meaty bone that takes a bit of work your pup will be pooped.
Fewer Trips to the Vet
This is probably the most notable benefit. The health benefits of a raw, natural diet are too numerous to list here. Preventative medicine is a common phrase these days; nutrition is the cornerstone to health and vitality for every species.
HOW TO FEED YOUR PUPPY?
Where to begin? Here are a few great resources to get you started.