Why feed Raw
The benefits of feeding a balanced raw diet become apparent relatively quickly after you begin, you also have the peace of mind that you are feeding a species appropriate diet.
We have noticed with our own dogs that their fur has become thicker and shinier, filled-in in places where they were bald before, including an all-round improvement in their general health and digestive health too.
Our dogs look better, lean and well-toned too. Our vet visits are fewer. However, please ensure that you do take your fur babies for their annual check-up. The other huge benefit for us was, their stools have gotten smaller and definitely smell less; this makes the task of picking them up a bit more pleasant too.
A species appropriate diet
Feeding your furry friend a balanced raw diet, is feeding your pet what they were designed to eat. Humans have been selectively breeding dogs and cats to look a certain way, or to perform certain task for thousands of years, but internally they remain relatively unchanged. Cats and dogs still have sharp teeth, jaws that can only move up and down, and short gastrointestinal (GI) tracts.
All of these factors show that dogs are meant to eat prey animals, sharp teeth are designed to rip flesh and then gulp it down with limited chewing. In contrast, herbivores (animals meant to eat plant matter) have flat teeth and their jaws move side to side, this enables them to chew plant matter for long periods as a way to predigest the food.
The short GI tract enables dogs to deal with more pathogens; the idea is to digest food as quickly as possible, to limit exposure to pathogens. Dogs would not naturally eat sterilized food, they are scavenger carnivores, meaning they would hunt to feed themselves. However, they would also eat other things they come across, which would include fruits, vegetables and any dead animals.
Cats are more selective and pickier, and it is unlikely you would find a cat scavenging, as most of their food would come from hunting live prey. Given half a chance, cats still do hunt rats, birds and lizards.
The idea behind feeding a raw diet is that you are feeding what the species is meant to eat or a Biologically Appropriate Raw Diet (BARF). When we look at what your dogs or cats ancestors ate it would primarily be made up of prey animals, this means that their diet was “moisture dense.” They would also eat most, if not all of the prey, this gives you a good idea of what their diet should consist of today!
A whole animal is made up of meat, organs, bone, fur and/or feathers that is what your pets ancestors used to eat. This is why it is so important to ensure you are feeding a balanced raw diet. Your furry friend requires the various nutrients that come from the whole prey, and leaving parts of it out can lead to serious health complications.
Why raw food is preferable to pellets/kibble.
Commercial pet foods are relatively new, only about 160 years old.
This shows that dogs and cats have been eating commercial kibbles for a relatively short period of time, in comparison to how long they have been domesticated which is thousands of years. Therefore, the health implications in those 160 years has been remarkable.
Dogs and cats are highly adaptable animals, which is why we have fooled ourselves into believing that kibble is good for them. Since your dog or cat does not immediately show negative results from eating kibble/pellets, we are led to believe it must be good for them!
However, surviving on a processed diet does not mean that it is good for your dog or cat, and it certainly does not mean it is best for your animal.
Negative aspects of pellets/kibble
These products are filled with plant-based proteins and non-specific animal proteins (this means non human-grade) to keep the costs low.
They are dry; which as shown above, is unnatural, as dogs and cats are meant to eat “moisture dense” foods.
The processing used to make them shelf stable destroys much of the nutrient content of the food. These nutrients are then added back in syntheticform to make it meet basic nutrient requirement for your pet.
Benefits of a raw diet
A raw diet is not highly processed. Not stripped of nutrients. It is in its natural form, which means your pet can easily digest it, and their body will uptake all nutrients they need in the most natural form.
There is a wealth of information for you to look at.
The Facebook group “We feed Raw SA” has many like-minded people on it.
Be sure to check that out!
Also, check out this video from Dr Karen Becker a holistic vet.
Our own facebook page;