Have you heard? Raw food diets are all the rage. They are becoming increasingly popular amongst humans, who historically have been the only species to cook their food. Perhaps people are catching on, since it seems intuitive to believe that if animals survived eating nothing but a raw food diet in the wild, why shouldn’t we be able to do the same? The sad reality is, pet food companies have adopted the human way of making food, by cooking it and adding plenty of starch, rather than sticking to the most natural way animals have eaten. Fortunately, the tables have been turning.
What is in “Raw Food”
- Raw food products might have anything from raw animal meat, skin, bones, fat, cartilage, eggs, and fish, to fruits and vegetables. Meat can be sourced from turkey, duck, chicken, quail, rabbit, venison, beef, etc. The products are ideally supplemented with probiotics, minerals and vitamins to help strengthen and equip pets with the nutrients necessary to digest the food with ease.
- Watch out for pet food marketing strategies. For example, many “Grain-Free” products claim to be beneficial, but are actually full of starches and unhelpful additives or fillers. Therefore be certain to look for a Starch-Free diet instead of a “grain-free” product for your pet. Analyze “raw food” products the same way, as many companies might incorporate raw food that is not worth consumption!
- Be wary of labels like raw meat “by products” or cleverly disguised ingredients which are recycled oils from restaurants, or rancid body scrapings from the slaughterhouse. If you have any doubts, call the pet food company directly and ask them questions about where their source their ingredients.
Balance your pet’s diet. While raw food is by far one of the most beneficial ways to nourish your pet, keep their diet balanced and filled with nutrients that will reinforce their immune systems. Since raw meat can be laced with contaminants from time to time, fortify your pet with probiotic supplements, and a balanced protein and vitamin-rich diet. That way, if he does ingest bacteria in a raw meal, his body will be able to digest it without serious discomfort.
While there are many varying opinions about the effectiveness of a raw diet, studies have shown significant improvement to health when a significant quantity of raw food is added to any regime.