Myth Busting Raw Food Diets for Dogs and Cats
Just like when we eat raw food, we need to ensure that we are feeding our pets the sort of clean, high-quality food that we would eat ourselves. When managed correctly, a raw food diet or partial diet can be exceptionally healthy for your pet and keep them living vibrant and active lives for years. And, just like us, you are what you eat so feeding your pets low-quality, over-processed food products day in and day out can lead to health issues and deficiencies. Here are a few myth-busting facts about raw food diets that you can take to the bank. Or, to our store, because we have tons of really great raw food to try!
We will say this, when considering a transition to a raw food diet or partial diet consider that your pet will go through an adjustment period. After living off kibble for their lives, their tummies are used to a certain type of food. Just like you and I, if we suddenly change to some exotic food we may have a … reaction. You know… The same thing can happen to your pet, so be prepared. While a little runny poop might be alarming, it’s just the pet adjusting to a new diet with a lot more moisture. It’s no biggie.
Myth 1: Raw food is smothered in salmonella and bacteria and your pet will die!
Okay, that might be a bit gratuitous, but we hear similar sentiments all the time; this is just fear-mongering. While ALL things carry bacteria from your fingers to apples, lettuce, toys, door handles, cell phones (you don’t want to know), get what we’re saying? It’s true that raw food that isn’t handled or stored correctly can lead to an increase in harmful bacteria, the handling of food should carry with it some basic common sense.
It’s a fact that both dogs and cats carry traces of salmonella in about 20-30% of all healthy pets. To limit any exposure to harmful bacteria, handle your pet’s raw meat/food as you would your own. Wash your hands before and after handling raw food. Serve the food shortly after thawing or immediately after prep. The rest should just come naturally.
Myth 2: Raw food diets for pets are unhealthy.
Again, this just isn’t true when applied with proper direction and common sense. It’s not healthy for humans to exist solely on fast food, right? I hope you said yes. Likewise for your pet. Dropping a handful of ground beef into your dog’s bowl isn’t going to be healthy over time, although doggo might wolf it down every time. Raw diets are a significant shift from over-engineered dry food that, depending on what you buy, is providing most of the required nutrients for a healthy diet. It just tastes like sawdust.
A raw food diet should be well researched and planned out with the help of your vet or a pet nutritionist possibly through your local pet store. Raw food diets can certainly deliver sub-optimal nutrition if it’s managed incorrectly, and who would do that to their pet?
Myth 3: Raw food diets are expensive and cumbersome.
As with all food, this can certainly be the case. A pre-made lasagne is many times the cost of the ingredients; the same goes for raw food diets. Companies that develop highly nutritious bricks of frozen, pre-made raw food dinners are providing an understandable convenience which is accounted for in the price. It takes a great deal of research, testing and regulatory hopscotch to produce a retail-approved product that meets all of your pet’s dietary needs. That adds up to a little more overhead but with the added assurance of the amazing, fresh and fully balanced diet, it’s well worth it in the end.
You will quickly fall into a rhythm of moving food from the freezer to the fridge and finally to the bowl so the food is only thawed for the least amount of time. You’ll get a kick out of watching your pets eating carrots and brocoly and other yummy vegetables.
Consultation and proper food handling will save the day.
All that aside, there is certainly the potential to do harm to yourself and your pet when choosing to feed a raw food diet that hasn’t been vetted by a pet nutritionist or your vet. This is why the pre-made options are very convenient but come with a higher price tag. There’s no guessing, it’s balanced, clean and processed according to approved food prep regulations.
Mishandling raw food can and will cause health issues and possibly, very serious health issues; as it would for humans. At the end of the day, transitioning to a raw food diet should be carried out in stages by slowly adding portions to your pet’s existing diet. Over a few weeks, your pet (your pet’s digestive tract) will adjust to the new meals and you’ll be off to the races.
Thinking of giving raw food a try? We have a whole host of assorted raw food options from very reputable companies. Here are just a few options to browse. Don’t hesitate to give us a call and chat about what might be a good fit for you and your fur-kids.