Is Raw Dog Food Good

Is Raw Dog Food Good

Deciding what to feed your faithful canine companion can be a tricky task. As a loving pet owner, you want to make sure Fido is getting as much goodness as possible from his diet. But with pros and cons to each type of dog food being preached throughout the pet sphere, how do you know which one to put in your best pal's bowl?

Owned a dog before? This can be a strong factor when it comes to deciding your dog's diet. Or maybe you're about to be the proud parent of a playful new pup, and so breeder recommendation makes the basis for your food choice. And who could forget the allure of visual advertising? With each shiny brand promising only the best in quality for your four-legged friend.

Any high-quality complete dog food will contain substantial nutritional benefit, so how do you choose the one that sits the best with Fido? Read on to find out how to make an ultra-informed decision the next time you find yourself hovering in the pet food aisle.

Wet Food

Your dog carries some spectacularly human characteristics, one of which being that they don't always drink as much water as they should. This is where wet dog food steps in - to provide a source of hydration. This can also be beneficial for weight watching, as it means that fido can partake in a larger portion size without adding more calories to their diet. Result! Whilst providing high protein content, wet food also contains fewer carbs than kibble, meaning dogs with existing weight issues or food sensitivities can reap the rewards.

For older dogs who find their sense of smell fading away or if you have a poorly pooch with a dwindling appetite on your hands, wet food with its richer flavour is usually more appetising and will assure your pal that they are getting the proteins, vitamins, and minerals they need to maintain their health. Wet foods are also a good option for dogs with misaligned jaws or missing teeth.

And the negatives? Feeding your dog a wet food only diet tends to encourage the development of tartar, so dental hygiene should be monitored and tooth brushing maintained. Some owners also find that wet food creates more of a mess at mealtimes. And in terms of looking after those pounds? Wet food has a slight economic disadvantage in that it spoils more quickly.


Dry diets are by far the most convenient type for chowing down. Food can be left out for daily grazing, so not only will Fido be able to eat at his own pace, but you can step foot outside of the front door for a short while knowing there is a full bowl of food available.

A useful attribute of dry kibbled dog food is the range available for varying doggy needs. From ages to breed and various health requirements, choices are available for feeding dry food at the dinner table. Kibble is also easy to carry when out and about, so ties in perfectly for those with more active lifestyles. And for those who find Fido's eating habits a little on the sloppy side, a dry diet could be a suitable choice for a simple clean up.

It is important to be mindful of dry diets, as they can be very concentrated. Make sure not to overfeed, otherwise you may find the pounds slowly creeping onto your pooch. Price can also be indicative when it comes to quality, and with so many brands competing, be sure to check the ingredients when weighing up your choice. Lower quality brands can contain binding agents, chemicals, and additives.

Some experts believe that dry dog food is to blame when it comes to bloating, with significant air pockets found in lower-quality kibble. It's therefore important to find a brand with a high protein content and natural ingredients. Grain-free foods can also provide a hypoallergenic alternative for dogs with sensitive digestion.

Raw Food

The raw meat, or 'BARF' diet (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food), is a fairly new phenomenon in the pet world. As the name would suggest, this diet comprises of raw meat, ground-up bones and offal. The idea behind these diets is that by treating a domestic dog's diet to that of one eaten by dogs in the wild mean health benefits galore. These include:

  • Shinier coats
  • Healthier skin
  • Cleaner teeth and fresher breath
  • Higher energy levels
  • Less waste produced and improved digestion

    When looking at the potential benefits, it's understandable as to why many pet owners are turning towards this movement. And certain dog owners have suggested it is the absence of unnecessarily processed ingredients or additives in this diet that help to eliminate allergies.

    However, few studies have been undertaken to prove or disprove these benefits. a study conducted in 2002 on ten client-owned dogs, found that 80% of raw chicken diets were culture positive for Salmonella, whilst none of the commercial dry foods were positive.

    There has been an increasing trend for pet owners to feed their animals raw meat. If you haven't jumped on this bandwagon yet, then you may be wondering what the attraction of raw meat is. The trend has been driven by the desire to provide the most natural diets for pets and to avoid the additives in proprietary pet foods. Some owners believe that raw meat can help tackle health issues such as skin problems and allergies. The foods concerned can feature meat, bones and offal and can be frozen and then fed to pets when required. But scientists are now warning that raw meat foods contain pathogens which present a threat toboth the animals and their owners.

    New Research into Raw Meat Diets

    Researchers have been keen to point that there is no evidence of any health benefits for dogs and cats which eat a raw meat diet and that this food can cause injuries, growth problems and illness. Raw meat can be deficient in important nutrients that pets need to remain in the best of health. The latest study undertaken by Utrecht University in the Netherlands found that meat can be infected with bacteria and parasites. In the journal Veterinary Record, the researchers have described how they analysed samples from 35 raw meat diet products across eight brands in the Netherlands where more than half of all dog owners are thought to feed their dog, at least partly, with raw meat.

    Disturbing Test Results

    A disturbing 23% of the products that the scientists tested contained a type of E coli that can cause renal failure in humans and 80% of the products across seven brands contained antibiotic-resistant E coli. Listeria was found in more than half of the products, salmonella in 20% and Toxoplasma gondii in 6%. Unfortunately, the bacteria remain dangerous, even if the food is frozen. The potential risks of raw meats have been known for some time but the Dutch study was the first to look at commercially available foods. These foods clearly do not remove the risk of pathogens often found in home-prepared food and drug resistant bacteria were found during the tests.

    Health Warnings Required

    People generally cook the meat they are going to eat themselves and this process removes the pathogens. But the pet food is a very different story. Scientists are now suggesting that the foods containing raw meat should carry warnings about the risks and that vets should discuss raw meat diets with their clients. There is no evidence that raw meat diets offer any benefits to pets including relief from allergies. Both dogs and cats are almost certainly more likely to prosper on a diet of good-quality complete foods. The leading pet food brands conduct extensive research to formulate recipes which feature all of the nutrients that animals need and are available for animals of every age including those with sensitive stomachs and intolerance to grains.

    Whilst some dogs can live happy and healthy lives on a raw food diet, there has been some research into potential negatives of this, experts have advised pet owners to proceed with caution when preparing a well-balanced diet for their pals from scratch, as any mistake can lead to serious problems if an unbalanced diet is being fed over a long-period of time.

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