There is a new, very popular trend hitting the pet food world. Some people swear by it, some people are totally against it. Either way, I've done some research to try and better understand the good and the bad of a raw diet for your dog.
First let me start by saying that we at Kennedy's Biscuits are not promoting or against a raw diet for your pet. Your pet is your pet, and how you see fit to feed your pet is your business. However, we can try to put as much information out there as possible. This isn't going to be some long, drawn out blog about a raw diet... it's just going to be my own personal interpretation.
Tom and I rarely ever get any time off. We go pretty much nonstop, and the few moments we do have at home that aren't involving work normally do turn in to us talking about what we are going to do next. Raw has been the topic a few different times, but we aren't ready to jump on the bandwagon just yet. I've spent many hours researching online and watching documentaries about a raw food diet. While it's great for your pet, there are many things you need to consider.
First, don't just run to the grocery store and grab a pack of hamburger, feed it to your dog, and think that they will be healthier than ever because they're now eating a raw diet. Domesticated dogs that we know and love today started out their species as wolves (there is only a 3% difference in their genetic makeup). We all know that wolves are hunters, and the food they eat is raw. However, in several of the documentaries I watched on them, it is reported that meat isn't the only thing that wolves eat. In one case study, the contents inside of a deceased wolf was studied, and it was found that 35-40% of the contents weren't actually meat at all, they were plant matter. What does that mean? Wolves eat plants, too. Vegetables, berries, grass. But... wait... wolves are carnivores, right?
So, what does this mean? It's confusing, I know. Think of it this way... we know that our own bodies function and remain healthy with a proper mix of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. We can thrive if the mix is correct. Your dog is no different, a wolf is no different. They, like us, need the proper mix. Meat doesn't provide everything, they still need more to thrive, so they get it where they know it will be provided... fruits, vegetables, plants. At the end of this blog, I will give you an idea.
Another factor to keep in mind is your own personal health. While sickness from raw meat may not affect your dog the way it does us, you need to keep in mind that you will be handling that food. Not only that, you will be handling your dog that has ingested that raw food. In essence, you could become sick simply because your dog hasn't been properly cleaned after ingesting a nice big helping of the raw food diet you've decided to feed him/her. The mouth area, and in Milward's case the ears, should probably be cleaned up after eating if a raw diet is your choice for your dog.
One last thought I'd like to add is the meat itself. If you have, or plan to put, your dog on a raw meat diet, consider where the meat is coming from. Obviously, if you are considering it, then you want your pet to have some of the best nutrition available. I would suggest sourcing a local farm for all of your meats so you know exactly where it came from. Go for meats that are healthy and farmed locally. You don't want to be feeding your pets raw meats that are full of prescription medicines, hormones, and enhancers. Not only that, you'd be helping to support a local farmer... and you simply can't go wrong in that scenario.
I'm wrapping it up, I promise. But here is what I think you should take away. If you plan to put your dog on a raw diet, do your research. Make sure that the mix of meats, vegetables, and fruits is suitable... and your dog is getting all of the vitamins and nutrients it needs. A good quality kibble, such as ours, will have everything that your dog needs to thrive. Mix the two together... equal parts raw with our fresh and healthy kibble. This way, you know your dog is getting all of those vital vitamins and nutrients that they need. We actually have several patrons currently doing this, and the results are great. Do your research, do your research, do your research. Your dog's diet is very important for their health and well-being.