For most of us, our pets are just as much a part of the family as our kids. So why is it we don't feed them as well as we feed our kids? That's a good question, especially when it could mean a longer, healthier life. Most pet parents try to buy the highest quality dry or canned food they can afford; however, that's really not the best way to go. Processed pet foods generally contain unknown ingredients, as well as a myriad of preservatives, none of which we would ever think of feeding to our children. So what's the solution? Well, why not feed your dog the types of food he would be eating in the wild. That's the best possible option for keeping your beloved pets happy and healthy.
What is a Raw Food Pet Diet?
A raw food pet diet will usually consist of a muscle meat, ground or whole bones, organ meats, raw eggs, a variety of fruits and vegetables and some type of dairy like yogurt. You've probably heard the term "BARF Diet," which is an acronym for Biologically Appropriate Raw Food. So essentially that term is referring to a raw food pet diet.
What Are the Benefits of a Raw Food Pet Diet?
The benefits of a raw food pet diet will vary from pet to pet and from breed to breed. And, it can also depend on the overall health of each pet. However, there are several general benefits that are consistent for most pets on a raw food diet.
- Healthier skin and coats
- Cleaner teeth, fresher breath
- Fewer pet odors
- Smaller stools
- Higher energy levels
- Longer life expectancy
- Fewer health issues
What to look for in a Raw Diet
There are many pre-packaged raw food products available for purchase. What you need to look for is a food that for dogs contains a minimum of 75 percent meat, organs and bones and a maximum of 25 percent fruits and vegetables. And for cats, a food that contains 88 percent meat, organs and bones and about 12 percent vegetables.
How Do I Prepare a Raw Food Diet for My Pet?
Using the ratios we mentioned above will help you prepare a healthy, balanced raw food diet for your pets. There are also some other additions you can make to your pet’s raw food diet that would be beneficial, such as: adding probiotics, enzymes and super green foods. These aren't required, but adding them can really enhance your pet’s energy and vitality. However, it's still best to talk with your veterinarian or other professional before you begin to make sure your particular pet doesn't have any special needs. There are plenty of raw food pet recipes that can be found online so you can experiment to see which ones your pets like best. But again, just remember to talk with your vet first before proceeding with your pet's new raw diet. You'll also need to familiarize yourself with the foods that are harmful to pets so you don't accidentally add something that's healthy for humans, but harmful to pets.