When we talk about raw meat, we assume it must be cooked before we eat it (and we wash our hands after we touch it). Good rules to follow for human consumption in order to avoid potential health issues. But it’s different for our pets, who not only can eat raw foods but in fact thrive on a less processed, higher protein diet.
The health benefits? Numerous
•Healthy coat and reduced shedding
•Improved oral hygiene (yes, even better than crunchy kibble)
•Weight management •Better digestion and natural probiotics •Less stool (every pet owners dream scenario)
•Mobility and energy support
So then why isn’t raw food on every dog or cat’s diet? There are seemingly plenty of barriers, but after some consideration, the benefits generally outweigh the challenges.
Raw Food is Meaty. It’s actually more than that. Most packaged raw meals contain a mix of meat protein with fruits and vegetables to create a complete and balanced meal. Just read the label and you’ll recognize all the healthy ingredients without the extensive preservatives.
Raw Food is Messy. Not necessarily. Raw comes in numerous forms including freeze-dried. It’s absolutely still raw – in fact, it’s normally exactly the same mix of ingredients. But instead of staying frozen, it goes into a deep freeze to remove all the moisture. Freeze-dried has all the health benefits of raw while staying in your pantry and not in your freezer.
Raw Food is Pricey. Yes and no. It’s definitely more money per ounce or pound than traditional kibble. But taking into account that raw portions are more nutrient-dense, you actually feed less. So the cost per bowl goes down, and the health benefits go up.
Raw Food is a Drastic Change. Doesn’t have to be. Just remember – some raw is better than no raw. Topping your regular kibble diet with freeze-dried food provides supplemental nutrition and allows you to feed less kibble (helping to avoid obesity over time). Or complement your kibble with splashes of frozen goat milk to improve digestion with natural probiotics.
One last ideological roadblock –
Raw Food is Dangerous. Not so. Dogs and cats are carnivorous animals by nature whose physiology can process raw meat. Raw feeders definitely need to be washing hands and bowls after every meal.
So whether you wade in or jump in with both feet (or all four paws), don’t be afraid to consider a raw diet. Do your research. Evaluate frozen and freeze-dried. Consider toppers or meals. Check the ingredients and do your math. You may ultimately realize – like many pet parents – that infusing raw into your pet’s diet takes health and wellness to the next level.