by Christine Busaba
We've seen a ton of raw curiousity recently - people who've heard about the benefits of a raw food diet or have heard it mentioned at the vet's office or have seen it in the aisles of a pet store. People who feed raw are some of the most ardent evangelists of any diet for dogs. You've probably heard them talking about it in a dog park. They're the ones who've seen the benefits for themselves and can't imagine feeding anything else. If you're considering switching to a raw food diet though and want to learn more, you probably want to know what some of the pros and cons are of a raw food diet for dogs are and what you should take into account before you make the switch for yourself.
- A completely natural, unprocessed way to feed your dog - A growing body of evidence points to the health benefits of raw food and to the dangers of commercial pet food manufacturing. Commercial pet food is made with the lowest nutrient ingredients (predominantly starches and low quality meats), little to no quality standards and is then cooked at ulta high temperatures (as high as 900 degrees F) that evicerates any remaining nutrients and strips the food of any moisture. With raw food, what you see is what you get - lean meats, fatty organ protein, vegetables, and bone meal for a complete and balanced diet. Nothing is hidden in how it's made or what's inside of it.
- A huge array of health benefits - We've seen first-hand the well-researched benefits of raw food diets for dogs, which often include: fresher breath, ideal weight maintenance, a stronger immune system, smaller and less odorous bathroom breaks, decreased dehydration, softer and shinier fur, reduced itching and scratching, less tartar build-up on teeth and stabilized energy levels. And honestly, the list could go on. It's simple in reality: feeding your dog whole foods, high quality ingredients and nutrients helps with most of the common ailments that dogs face.
- Safety - Every year there are dozens of pet food recalls due to low quality ingredients and the processing required to make the food. With raw food, the ingredients are clean and transparent with no additional processing.
- Personalization - If you go the route of preparing your own raw food for your dog, you get ultimate personalization and customization. Much in the same way that we get to eat to our own body's needs, preparing your dog's raw meals means you get the the same level of personalization whether that be from a portion perspective or adding in extra greens and nutrients.
- Convenience - It can be time consuming to feed your dog a raw food diet. You may have to go to butchers to get specific cuts of meat to make sure you have the right balance of lean proteins and fatty organ meat. You then have to prepare them in the right quantities for your dog's meals. It's also challenging when you travel because the meat requires refridgeration and is not shelf stable, so if you're someone who travels often, it might not be the most convenient option
- Price - Raw food diets can definitely get pricey. High quality cuts of meat add up in cost far more than the cost of kibble, mostly because the ingredients in kibble are insanely cheap and low in nutrients (low quality grains and almost non-existent and non-digestible meats), but still, it's a factor to consider if budgets are tight. One route we've seen people take is incorporating raw food into half of their dog's meals to keep costs down.
- Potential nutrition gaps - The key to a raw food diet is a complete, balanced diet. It doesn't just mean dropping in a raw cut of steak into your dog's bowl. but that's unfortunately where a lot of people struggle. A raw food diet needs to meet your dog's macro and micronutrient needs. Things like blended greens and antioxidants found in blueberries are vital to a complete diet, but without adding in some of those greens, your dog might end up with nutrient gaps in their diet.
Because the cons seem to center on the barriers to successfully feeding raw rather than the nutrition benefits, we wanted to make it as easy as possible. We try to learn as much about your dog as we can through our survey, so we can pre-portion your dog's meals for his or her specific caloric needs. Every Maev raw meal is a balanced and complete raw food diet filled with lean meats, fatty organ meat, blended greens and bone meal. Because it's shipped frozen and stored in your freezer, you don't have to deal with a mess. We wanted to make it as easy as we possibly could for you to give your dog the very best.
Not sure where to start? Take our survey to get a custom plan for your dog.