In the wild, canines hunt for game in packs, and eat the meat raw. If you have watched a documentary on wolves or wild dog you can bear witness they look healthy and well fed. In the domestic setup however, we often feed them kibble specially designed to meet their nutritional needs. But what if we just let them have what their counterparts in the wild eat? What would happen if we fed our pets raw food and let their systems which are wired to take raw meat do its work of extracting nutrients and dispose waste? Here are the benefits and risks of raw foods for dogs.
Feeding dogs with a raw food diet results in the passing of firmer stools, and the stools are smaller in size. The stools passed from feeding on kibble are larger, and sometimes loose in comparison.
Improved digestion is another benefit of feeding dogs with raw food. In addition, the dog starts to show healthier skin and coat, although if you are transitioning her from kibble to raw food there is a detoxifying period for some time. This period is characterized by passing stools with mucus, shedding a lot of hair, and producing usually large amounts of ear wax. If you continue feeding your dog with raw foods the changes will resolve on their own.
Since dogs are naturally carnivores, they are at their optimum weight when being fed with raw foods. This means feeding them with raw foods leads to better weight management.
However, raw foods lack the convenience of kibble. While you can just pour the food into the dog’s bowl with kibble and be done with feeding, raw foods require more work. There is also increased risk of contamination with bacteria such as salmonella to people handling the raw dog foods.
In addition, in case the meat is rancid, the dogs can get serious infections that can lead to death. To avoid this, always ensure the meat is fresh and from a reliable supplier.
The best way to transition a dog from kibble to raw foods is to do it gradually. A dog whose digestive system has only had to digest kibble since birth needs adjusting to raw foods at a gradual pace. Changing from kibble to raw foods drastically could lead to stomach upsets such as diarrhea, which you might wrongly interpret as your dog not being meant to eat raw food at all, an assumption which would be untrue.
Raw Foods for Dogs