Feeding a raw diet to your pet has become very popular over the last few years. After all, wasn’t raw the original food our pets ate and on which they thrived.
While there is a lot of controversy about the topic, mainly from some pet food manufacturers, feeding a raw diet has much to recommend it.
The naysayers claim that there is too great a risk of salmonella from eating and handling raw meats. The risk for pets is minimal as their digestive tracts are a bit different from ours. And how often during the week do you touch raw meat when preparing to cook for the family. Just wash your hands thoroughly after handling the meat (sing Happy Birthday twice as you wash). Clean any counter tops well where the meat was prepared. It’s a simple matter of practicing good hygiene.
All the reviews we’ve read written by people who have switched their pets to raw have been positive. Here’s a list of some of those comments:
- Improved skin and coat with little body odor
- Allergies have cleared up
- Smaller amounts of poop and less smelly
- Cleaner teeth
- Few if any digestive upsets
- Good appetites with healthy, stabilized weight
- And cutting down on all those vet visits
The only negatives we’ve come across are, depending on where you live, the cost of raw if you have multiple pets and assuring that you have the correct balance of vitamins, minerals and supplements, many of which are provided in pre-made raw food.
There are many books available to help you prepare a raw diet, including:
- Dr. Becker’s Real Food for Healthy Dogs and Cats by Beth Taylor and Dr. Karen Becker
- The Naturally Healthy Dog by Sandra Bailey
- Raw and Natural Nutrition for Dogs by Dr. Lew Olson
- and many more.
There are a number of pet food companies that have prepared packages of raw food diets. Check online for the one that fits your needs. There are also online groups for raw feeders that offer lots of good information.
Finally, feeding raw, cooked or commercial is your choice. Don’t feel pressured and do your research before making any changes. If you do decide to go raw, make the change gradually to avoid any upset tummies.