Raw food, meaning meat, bones, fruits and vegetables, has long been the diet of sled dogs and racing Greyhounds. However, in recent years, it has become a popular brand-new means of feeding the household pet. The jury is still out, and lots of manufacturers are attempting to wow customers with the birth of “natural” foods. Some raw food diets, not as extreme as the Biologically Appropriate Raw Food diet, are now offered in the refrigerated section of pet stores. There are lots of reasons some veterinarians are now advocating this brand-new pet food practice and reasons why just as lots of are versus it.
Many veterinarians have begun touting the benefits of a raw food diet for dogs and possibly cats. They believe the current pet diets high in grains and processed corn is damaging lots of animals’ health. By returning to the raw meats with bones, they believe dogs will have cleaner teeth, shinier coats and healthier skin. lots of believe it can also cause the dog’s to have firmer stool, reduce allergy symptoms, and help control weight.
Experts believe poor nutrition is the root of lots of pet ailments today. They believe the cause of skin disease, arthritis, bad breath and poor teeth can all be traced back to the poor nutrition being fed dogs today. A raw diet can offer your dog much healthier options and give them much more energy. It is believed that altering your dog’s diet to offer them better nutrition can even reverse or negate the effects of arthritis.
The common name for one of these raw diets is the acronym BARF, meaning Biologically Appropriate Raw Food or Bones and Raw Food. Ian Billinghurst, a veterinarian, believed the natural, raw feeding practices should be extended to family pets, and created BARF in 1993.
While there are lots of who have gotten on board the raw food diet, there are just as lots of who are not convinced. Other veterinarians, and the FDA, concede that the risks from raw food outweigh the benefits. There are some concerns about the risks to human and dog health due to the bacteria found in raw meat. Because of their shorter digestive system and highly acidic stomachs, E. Coli and Salmonella are not top concerns for dogs, but they are for their human counterparts.
There was also some concern that the raw diet was nutritionally imbalanced if given to dogs for extended periods of time. There are some needs for carbohydrates for our current dogs, and removing them from their 50% grain diet may cause negative effects. With the more recent breeds of dog, they are not genetically engineered to process bones the way they would have in the past. This creates risk of choking or internal punctures following eating a bone.