We all know the benefits to ourselves of eating raw fruits and vegetables for their live enzymes, vitamins, minerals and nutritive value, and the same applies for our dogs. A raw diet is about matching as closely as possible to what a dog would eat in the wild, i.e. whole small animals such as birds, rabbits, rodents etc, together with some larger prey such as deer and other medium sized herbivores as well as some opportunistic prey, perhaps the uneaten remains from another larger carnivore, or other natural carrion.
Why a Raw Diet?
If you compare the physical body to that of a car engine, in order for it to perform properly, it must be supplied with the correct fuel and lubricants. Cheaper or incorrect fuels, often lead to accelerated wear and tear and eventually break down. Our dogs bodies work on the same principles, and a species appropriate raw diet is the only diet that will maximize health and longevity.
Most manufactured dog foods contain a long list of additives, preservatives and grain products. Grains make up the majority of processed, commercial dog food company food sources because they are a cheap way to fill the dog up. Ever wonder why you feel hungry after filling yourself up with Chinese food? It's the same principle. Dogs do not have the digestive enzymes or system to cope with grains. Grains are one of the biggest sources of allergies in dogs. Many people find when they switch to a raw meat and bone diet, the allergies their dogs had disappear. This is a common result.
We as human beings, need to get over our veterinary induced fear of feeding whole meaty bones to our dogs. Dogs need whole bone - they were designed to use their teeth to gnaw apart whole raw carcasses, including meaty bones and organs. It is actually "unnatural" for them to eat food that's been reduced from its whole, unadulterated state into a soppy pile of mush then reformed into coloured nuggets. Those sharp teeth in your dog's mouth are there for slicing, tearing and crunching through whole foods - not for gumming up ground pulp which then sticks to their teeth. Over time, a regular diet of ground food can cause plaque and tartar to build up on the teeth, and this can cause gum disease, which can lead to a myriad of health problems. Gums that are weak, inflamed and unhealthy can't support the teeth properly, and dogs that are fed ground foods for a long period of time may risk tooth loss.
Gingivitis and periodontal disease are also an indication of a chronic presence of an increased amount of unhealthy bacteria in the mouth. That bacteria, which is regularly swallowed, in turn affects the entire system. Over time, this can be a major contributing factor in many serious systemic diseases.
So What Are The Benefits To Feeding Raw?
One of the great benefits of feeding whole raw food is that it requires some work on the part of the jaws and teeth to hack away at fleshy fibers and bones, and this takes some time. The time it takes to gnaw away at whole meaty bones to the point where swallow-able sized hunks have been torn off, gives the gut time to activate its gastric juices so that when the food finally does hit the stomach, it has a much better chance of being properly digested. Conversely, feeding commercial or even ground food encourages speedy gulping, because it requires no effort or time to consume it, so it arrives so rapidly into the dog’s stomach, that often there's no time for its necessary digestive acids to be fully excreted resulting in poorly digested meals. Such meals may end up causing irritation or indigestion, which can mean a greater chance of them either being vomited up, or coming out the other end in a less than desirable form.
The psychological and physiological challenge of tackling large raw meaty bones is invaluable for the dogs general satisfaction, increased vitality and quality of life. Feeding raw, particularly large pieces, gives our dogs the opportunity to really get a mentally stimulating experience as it takes a lot more mental and physical work for a dog to rip and tear meat off and crunch through bones, often they have to stop and work out exactly how to tackle it. Anyone who feeds raw will know the enjoyment alone from watching their dogs eating and enjoying their meal.
Improved Skin and Coat
This can be one of the first changes you will notice when you start feeding a raw meaty bone diet. If those persistent skin problems suddenly disappear or improve, and you no longer need vet visits, medicated washes, antibiotics, cortisone shots and cortisone tablets, it has to mean something. It is really difficult to ignore the deeply colored, lustrous, thick and healthy coat on a raw fed pet!
Stronger Immune System
A raw diet normalizes and strengthens the immune system. Because the raw meat and bone diet contains a good balance of essential fatty acids and other immune normalizing and strengthening nutrients, it reduces inflammatory conditions and eliminates infections.
Leaner Body Mass
By feeding a Raw meat and bone diet, your pet may lose unwanted fat and gain that much desired increase in muscle mass. This not only makes your pet look better, it increases your pets metabolic rate, its activity levels and its healthy life-span. The effect will be more rapid if you begin a routine exercise program with your dog.
Improved Stool Volume and Odour
Once again, this reflects the improved health of the immune system and the remarkable difference that bone eating makes in the production of firm stools. In addition, since commercial dog food usually contains a high percentage of carbohydrate based ingredients such as grains, corn and soy which are unnatural to a dogs digestion, the waste product is unnatural, smelly and takes considerably longer to decompose.
Improved Degenerative Disease
People who switch their older dogs to a raw diet often find that whatever degenerative disease their pet has contracted, becomes less of a problem now.
After a few months you can expect to see much greater mobility in your pet. This is part of the reason so many older pets have a new lease on life when switched to a raw diet.
At Milner Feeds we are proud to offer a wide selection of Raw Dog foods that you pooch will love! Come in and check out our fully stocked freezers!
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