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Raw dog diet

Raw Diet for Canine:

A recent trend in caring for pet dogs has been the emergence of raw dog food diets.

The question however arises whether these new diets are here to stay, carving a niche as a perfect meal plan or is just another unsafe fad?

Natural raw dog food is a controversial choice for feeding your pet dog. But the popularity of a raw dog diet which emphasizes on fresh produce such as raw vegetables, raw meat and bones, to elaborate, is a rising trend, that has been adopted by many pet owners.

Specific dog breeds such as racing greyhounds and sled dogs are usually maintained on raw dog food diets, due to the nature of services that the dog provides. However, some veterinarians are of the opinion that extending the same natural dog food which is raw to family pets is just as good in boosting a dog's health.

One particular raw dog food diet, known as the BARF diet, (an acronym for Bones and Raw Food or Biologically Appropriate Raw Food) has seen many takers among pet owners. Proponents of the BARF diet believe that dogs have survived on an evolutionary diet comprising raw meat, bones and scraps of fresh vegetables, prior to becoming domesticated. Veterinarians who adhere to the BARF diet consider commercial pet foods or grain-based cooked foods harmful to the health of a dog.
Some potential advantages of a raw dog food diet that supporters claim include:

  • Glossier coats
  • Cleaner teeth free from plaque and residue
  • Greater stamina levels
  • Less offensive and smaller stools
However, most animal experts believe that there are numerous risks associated with a natural raw dog food diet for pet dogs. Some of these risks include:
  • Greater risk of infection to humans and dog health from the parasites and bacteria in raw meat
  • Detrimental to the health of pet dogs if extended for a longer period of time since the diet is highly unbalanced
  • Raw bones in the diet likely to choke the pet dog while swallowing, break teeth, or cause a puncture in the internal organs of the body
  • No conclusive evidence or scientific advantages related to raw dog food diet (It should however be pointed out that the evidence against processed and cooked foods has been mounting)
Today, there are a host of raw dog food diets, including commercially processed frozen raw dog food and freeze-dried raw dog food, as well as a combination of frozen meat and grain-based dog food blended with vitamins that can be easily procured by the pet owner at a local food mart. Typically, a raw dog food diet consists of
  • Meat that is still clinging to the bone,
  • Whole or ground bones,
  • Organ meats including liver and kidney,
  • Raw eggs,
  • Fresh vegetables such as spinach, celery and broccoli,
  • Fresh fruits such as apples and bananas,
  • A small quantity of dairy product such as yogurt
Some pet owners who offered their pets, raw dog food, saw a tremendous change in their energy levels as well as digestion. These pet owners believed that raw dog food diet is far more beneficial for their dogs as their pets tolerated the raw diet better than the cooked ones. There were dramatic changes in the appearance of their coat as well as their breath. However, health experts caution pet owners against offering their dogs, raw dog food, and advise them to choose a diet that is well-balanced for their dogs' overall good health.
  Submitted on May 7, 2010