The practice of feeding dogs a raw food diet has become very popular over the past years, partly influenced by Ian Billinghurst, the Australian vet who believed that dogs would thrive on a raw food diet because it is similar to the natural diet of wolves, the ancestors of domesticated dogs.
A raw diet is often referred to by the acronym BARF (Biological Appropriate Dog Food), which primarily consists of uncooked meat, vegetables, and fruits. Dogs on the raw diet are often kept away from processed dog food, most of which contain harmful preservatives, additives, and fillers that dogs have a hard time digesting and which may also result in serious health problems.
Unlike commercially produced dog foods, a raw diet is a natural diet for dogs which could be prepared from the comfort of the home at almost the same amount spent on commercial dog food. Making your dog food is without question the best way to ensure that your dog gets the health benefits of what he feeds on and the raw diet is one of the best options available.
I once had my dog on a raw diet while boarding him at the Red Ruff Inn in Cheyenne and the owner indicated that they were feeding him far less than he needed, which may have resulted in weight loss. So make sure that you’re feeding him enough always.
To start feeding your dog on a raw diet, you can give him meat along with the bone. The meat does not have to be expensive to serve its nutritional purposes, and you should try to alternate it with any of the following: turkey neck or wings, pig feet, chicken wings, etc.
Try to avoid meats containing small pieces of bones that your dog could easily choke on; however, this does not include uncooked chicken bones which are quite easy for dogs to crush and swallow and best of all, the calcium in the bones are healthy for dogs. Cooked bones can splinter, and dogs could easily choke on them. Also, avoid cooked fat which can cause pancreatitis in dogs.
Here are a few great reasons for feeding dogs and puppies a raw diet dog food:
1. By feeding processed dog food, most dogs experience periodontal disease within four years. When feeding your dog raw dog food, periodontal disease is practically not existent.
Periodontal disease is where bacteria is allowed to enter through the mouth due to unclean teeth and cause numerous health problems.
2. Dogs perform best on a raw diet. High-performance dogs, such as greyhounds and sled dogs, have been fed raw diets and shown an increase in their performance levels. No wonder pet owners are turning to a raw diet to see an increased benefit of better health in their companions. Feeding artificial processed diets have resulted in many dangerous health issues, not even including the pet food crisis. That is another issue altogether.
3. By eating a raw diet, your dog will not experience the obesity found when feeding a commercial diet. Dogs become more fit and energetic on raw fed diets. Many owners and breeders feeding raw have found improved coat conditions, reduced coat loss, and leaner, a healthier overall condition in their dogs.
While the meat and bone could go for the morning diet, in the evenings you should provide a mixture of vegetables, meat, and fruits. To ensure that your dog eats all the vegetables, you should puree the mixture in a food processor and then mix them to form ground beef. This mixture could then be frozen to be served to your dog when needed and make sure that this mixture is no more than 50% meat. Unlike human beings that derive a lot of their energy from carbohydrates such as grains, rice, corn, bread, etc., dogs derive a lot of their energy from fats and what this means is that meat with a high fat content such as ground meat will be an excellent choice.