Feeding Raw: What are the benefits?
What is raw feeding?
Dogs have been around since long before kibble was invented. Nature tells us they are carnivores and it would be difficult to deny that dogs are designed to eat meat. Raw feeding allows them to get back to nature and eat as they were intended to. In fact, a balanced diet of raw meat, bones, herbs and vegetables can bring a whole heap of benefits to the table for your dog too.
So, what are the benefits of feeding raw?
Because it is 100% natural (no grain, additives, bulking or high temperature processing) your dog will likely find it easier to digest. It can even help sensitive guts! Also, because there is less waste there is also less to come out of the other end too! That alone is a huge plus point, if you ask us!
Chewing raw bones helps keep teeth clean. Much like it does for carnivores in the wild. Raw food also contains naturally occurring enzymes which can help protect your dog's dental health.
Coat and skin:
Thanks to carefully selected ingredients, many people will notice a shinier coat and even better skin condition after switching to a raw diet.
Other reported benefits:
- Balanced temperament with less hyperactivity
- Highly palatable
- Older dogs with increased vitality
- Less flatulence
- Reduction of allergies and other intolerances
- Reduced inflammatory issues or joint inflammation
Getting started: switching from kibble to raw food
If you feel cautious, you can help your dog make a gradual change from kibble to raw food over a seven day period. However, because of the different enzymes needed to digest protein and carbohydrates (raw food and kibble) it is not recommended you feed them at the same time. They are best fed in separate meals until the switch is complete.
Storage, prep and hygiene:
Raw meals should be kept in the freezer. Just defrost what you need over night in the fridge. If you are in a rush, Cotswold Raw suggest defrosting in some hot water in the sink, or Natures Menu suggest a couple of hours at room temperature. Nothing that's been defrosted should be frozen again. Using the microwave to thaw food is not recommended as this could change the composition of the raw meat. As would attempting to cook it.
Treat raw meat as if you were preparing it for yourself. Use separate utensils and clean surfaces and hands thoroughly. Raw dog food presents the same hygiene and contamination issues as the raw meat we cook for ourselves - no more or less.
Which raw feed should I choose?
In the Selby pet shop we now stock 2 brands of raw dog food: Cotswold Raw and Nature's Menu.
Cotswold Raw 80/20 ACTIVE recipe is formulated for the active working dog. Whereas their 70/30 ENHANCED recipe is specially created for older or less active dogs and contains a joint care supplement, less fat and more vegetables.
Natures Menu has 3 ranges. Country Hunter contains only the finest ingredients and is boosted with super foods to enhance vitality. The Original range is a hassle-free, balanced and complete food. The Home Prepare range allows you to select your own combinations of meat, vegetables and fruit to create meals at home.
Why not pop into the Selby store and see the raw food ranges for yourself. If you're still unsure whether it's the right choice for your dog, we're always on hand to offer help and advice.
08 September 2021