For so many people, a controversial topic is raw food pet diets. There is; however, little doubt in the fact that their popularity continues to rise. For a growing number, a healthy alternative to those foods which are commercially processed is feeding dogs and cats raw meat.
They also see it as a return to their natural eating habits. On the other side, those critical of this process point out that our modern furry friends have advanced far from their original wild start and in fact are actually hurt rather than benefited by their eating raw meat, vegetables, and bones. The fact of the matter is that it is somewhere in the middle that the truth actually lies.
Proper Balance Is Vital To A Good Raw Food Diet
It used to be believed by veterinarians and scientists that domesticated cats and dogs had in fact adapted to an omnivorous diet after their spending thousands of years living among humans. The fact is; however, that even though they have the ability to follow a human diet much better than their wild ancestors could, for their main source of food, they still depend on meat.
Rich in starch is processed dog and cat foods and starch is a sort of carbohydrate that carnivore animals do not easily process. And because pets are not able to process this diet which is essentially grain-based, there has been a great rise in their being subject to diabetes. But the answer isn’t making a sudden U-turn and feeding raw meat to your pet. The reason for this is the fact that all the nutrients required by your pet to stay healthy are not contained in that meat.
What you have to do is to complement that raw meat with other foods. Fewer health problems occur in pets fed with a balanced diet and the chances are far less they will suffer from arthritis, diabetes, inflammation, obesity, and diseases of the urinary tract than those who on starch-heavy processed foods are fed.
To Supplement Your Pet’s Diet, Use Additives
Even though carnivores by nature are our dogs and cats, adding to their meals small amounts of vegetables, eggs, and cooked grains is the best way to administer the vitamins and minerals that they need. A good example this is so can be found in the many additives contained in commercially produced raw foods.
A formula commonly used among manufacturers is the BARF diet and it tells us that a meal is best when it is 50% raw meat with the rest being other ingredients and additives. Included in this will be animal-based ingredients such as bone, eggs, and organs, but also foods such as vegetables in small additions.
The combination of these ingredients help make certain the pets do intake the proper amounts of necessary nutrients like Omega 3, which from a strictly meat-based diet they would not get. You can also help get the most out of the diet for your pet by using minced vegetables and juicing or cooking them so they will be easier for your pet to process.
Transitioning Over To A Raw Meat Diet
For the owner, it can often be a difficult task, switching a pet’s diet. It is not uncommon to notice animals suffering from diarrhea problems because the time necessary to get used to their new diet they didn’t have. The sad thing is that this often leads owners to think the new diet is the problem and they wind up returning back to processed foods for their pet.
Rather than the sudden change of food, the majority of veterinarians will actually blame diarrhea on bacteria. To changes in their diet, dogs and cats are truly very sensitive, so the best course is to make a step-by-step transition and not simply an overnight one. Doing so will allow the pet’s metabolism proper time to be able to more easily adapt.
Introducing the new food as a treat is the best way to get started, as opposed to simply mixing it with the old processed food. Processed and raw foods are digested differently by dogs and cats, so by mixing them together, you will be making your pet get inflammation. It is better if for several days you keep raw food being used as a treat, while you continue to monitor the pet’s stool. If that stool continues to be normal, keep increasing the raw food quantity until the old food can be completely discontinued.
The limitations of processed foods continue to be learned by pet owners, as raw meat diets continue to gain popularity. Your dog or cat will feel more healthy with the raw foods and their chances of having to deal with illnesses like diabetes and others will be greatly reduced. It is strongly suggested that you take the time to consult with a professional on just what additives to feed your pet, should you want to make the very most of this change.