ChoiceStorm

Should I feed my dog using the Raw Food diet?

 

Photo credit: lemort from morguefile.com There is a new trend to feed dogs (and cats) on the raw food diet, rather than on a kibble or canned food diet.  This page discusses the pros and cons of the raw food diet for dogs and discusses the science behind the diet approach.

 

The raw food diet is healthy

The raw food diet is unhealthy

Introduction

The raw food diet is sometimes called the “biologically appropriate raw food” diet.  It is a very healthy diet for dogs.

Introduction

The raw food diet is new and untested.  Benefits are unproven and side effects of feeding raw may be risky.

Evolutionary Requirements

Dogs have historically been wild and would have eaten their prey raw.  They do not have problems with the bacteria in raw food.

Dogs evolved from wolves more than 11,000 years ago1, but kibble and canned food are very recent additions to their diet.  Until recently dogs were fed either table scraps or what they were able to hunt themselves.

Evolutionary Requirements

The main reason raw food is not appropriate because dogs have evolved to eat kibble.(citation required)  They may have eaten a raw diet at some point, but unless you are trying to induce evolution in future generations of dogs that you breed, it's not a biologically appropriate diet in your dog at this point in time.

Studies have shown that dogs, which evolved from wolves more than 11,000 years ago, have evolved an ability to eat rice and potatoes and a much more varied diet than their predecessors.1  

Dietary Balance

Finding a vet who supports raw food diet has been difficult in the past, but is getting easier as information spreads.  Any vet can help provide information to ensure that a pet owner feeding raw provides an appropriately balanced diet.

Brand name dog food is designed to be cheap and long lasting.  Kibble dehydrates dogs in an unhealthy way and requires them to drink large amounts to account for the moisture which is pulled out of their systems.(citation required)

Dietary Balance

Raw food is a Raw food may not have the correct balance of nutrition which is carefully prepared in kibble and canned food.  The improper balance of nutrition by owner mixed/prepared raw diets can lead to deficiencies over time.

Brand name dog food has been scientifically tested to ensure proper nutritional balance2.

Safety

Managing the risks associated with raw food bacteria is not difficult.  Raw food should be treated the same way as any meat before it is cooked.

Dogs and children do need to be taught the safety concerns with raw diet.  Food which a dog has had contact with should not be considered OK for human consumption.  This is another easy risk to manage.

Safety

Raw food has higher levels of bacteria which may cause illness in the dogs or in the owners if the food is not handled carefully.  Dogs fed on raw food become carriers of bacteria and can pass it on to others.

Cost

The raw diet is more expensive than kibble or canned food, but the benefits to the health of the dog offset the cost.

Cost

The raw diet is more expensive, costing up to $8 per day instead of $1 per day for grocery-store kibble2.

 References:

1) Diet Shaped Dog Domestication: Science Now: http://news.sciencemag.org/plants-animals/2013/01/diet-shaped-dog-domestication

2) Raw meat for dogs: Is the theory half baked?: The Globe and Mail: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/relationships/raw-meat-for-dogs-is-the-theory-half-baked/article4401112/

Should I feed my dog raw food?

Should I feed my dog raw food?

3

Votes

Yes, people should feed their dogs raw food.
0

Votes

Undecided.
0

Votes

No, people should not feed their dogs raw food.
New:
1 Votes left

jVoteSystem developed and designed by www.joomess.de.

 

  • No comments found
Add comment

This page is compiled and maintained by the ChoiceStorm community.  

Login or create an account to edit this page or make corrections.

See How you can help to learn more

© Copyright 2013 ChoiceStorm