Need to Knows about Raw Food
Racing greyhounds and sled dogs have long eaten raw food diets. Extending those feeding practices to the family pet is a more recent idea, proposed in 1993 by Australian veterinarian Ian Billinghurst.
What is Raw Feeding?
Raw feeding is exactly what it sounds like – feeding your pet raw ingredients, rather than the traditional cooked food that is more commonly available. Raw diets usually contain a combination of raw meat and other uncooked ingredients such as fruits and vegetables.
Potential benefits of the raw dog food diet include:
- Shinier Coats
- Healthier Skin
- Cleaner Teeth
- Higher energy levels
- Smaller and Less Smelly Stools
What about my dry food?
The ingredients in dry food are processed together and cooked. Required ingredients include: protein sources such as beef, poultry, fish, and eggs; grains; cereals; and vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. All dry dog foods need preservatives to prevent the fat from becoming rancid. Some brands are heavy on carbohydrates or have low-quality ingredients and added sugar.
Does that mean its bad?
Read the label. Look for a food that has a protein as the first ingredient, not a grain. The best dry food has a single source of protein, such as lamb or chicken. Grain-free diets exist, but carbohydrates are required for energy, and the choice of grain is important since some dogs have sensitivities to wheat, corn, or soybeans.