When it comes to dog food, many think of the pre-packaged, dry kibble that is available at many retailers. Whether it's due to the convenience, or a lack of understanding of the potential downsides of dry kibble, this overly processed food is what many dog owners turn to.
But just like we enjoy variety and fresh foods in our own diets, dogs like to mix it up, and there are numerous health benefits from feeding your dog real ingredients. In this article, we’ll cover what Prey Model Raw is, precautions about the diet, and some great raw products for your pup.
What Is Prey Model Raw (PMR)?
The prey model raw (PMR) diet is defined by feeding only whole prey without any added plant ingredients, the thought being that this offers a more natural way of eating, similar to how their wild canine counterparts eat.
Using a semi-flexible ratio of 80/10/5/5, a PMR diet is focused on supplying your pet with a “whole” animal, consisting of the following:
- 80% muscle
- 10% bone content
- 5% liver
- 5% other organs
The goal of a PMR diet is to eliminate processed ingredients often found in commercial dog food, as well as potential negative side effects that accompany a plant-based diet. A true prey model raw diet resembles the natural feeding tendencies of both dogs’ and wolves’ common ancestor, a prehistoric wolf that lived in Europe and/or Asia anywhere between 9,000 to 34,000 years ago, according to various studies. And you can bet that the ancestors of our beloved pets weren’t munching on kibble ‘n bits.
Precautions with PMR
As with any raw animal products, there are certain precautions to be aware of before making any changes to your dogs diet.
It’s most important that dog owners understand that PMR is not a complete diet. Prey Model Raw typically does not contain vegetables or fruit, or any added vitamin or minerals. When fed alone, it is not considered a healthy meal option for your dog, as it is missing key nutritional elements like zinc, manganese, and vitamin D3 and E.
And finally, know your source. Unfortunately, some companies source raw material unfit for human consumption and/or denatured raw material. Be wary of pricing that seems too good to be true, and make sure to educate yourself on the company you’re buying from.
Benefits of a Completed and Balanced Raw Diet
The healthiest diet for your dog is a complete and balanced raw diet—single-source, grass-fed and organic meats paired with a small blend of veggies that are fresh, uncooked and wild. When fed a truly balanced diet, your dog can experience many benefits, such as:
- Better Oral Health. Eating a raw diet is a natural way to clean your dog’s teeth and keep gums healthy. Plus, a cleaner mouth means better breath. When a dog instead gnaws on a hunk of meat and bone, it helps naturally scrape off tooth plaque and eliminate odors, and contains live enzymes that kill harmful gum bacteria.
- Healthier Coat. Dog lovers know what it’s like to be around a pup whose coat leaves an oily, dirty feeling on your hands after a scratch behind the ears. We can all agree it can be an unpleasant experience. With a raw diet, however, you can get rid of that all-too-common “dog smell” and skin oils caused by an imbalance in vitamins and minerals. Implementing an overall healthier diet made-up of natural nutrition sources will give your pup a softer and odor-free coat that you’ll just have to hug.
- More Energy. If you’ve noticed your dog slowing down after a short walk or just a few throws of the ball, he may not be getting the proper nutrition. Upgrading to higher-quality, all-natural meat and other whole ingredients will supply them with the proper nutrients their bodies need to work at maximum efficiency.
- Control of Allergies. Just like people, dogs can have food allergies as well. And, like us, they can cause a host of problems, from itching to swelling to infections and beyond. While no diet is 100 percent hypoallergenic, a raw diet is much less likely to cause similar food sensitivities and intolerances. This is because low-grade food contains empty calories, refined carbohydrates and preservative chemicals that affect a dog’s system negatively.
- Stronger Immune System. Raw diets are not cooked or processed like other types of dog food. Your pet gets more nutritional value from eating completely unaltered foods, and they’ll gain such immune-strengthening benefits like anti-inflammatory and chronic disease prevention.
Note: you do choose to transition your dog to a complete and balanced raw diet, make sure to do it slowly. The complete transition can often be accomplished within a week; however, the key is to go slowly, as you would with any dietary change.
To start, we suggest fasting your dog for a half day to a full day before their first meal to increase their appetite, and then feed a small amount to see how they enjoy it. If this goes well, keep replacing the original diet bit by bit with the new raw diet.
Best Raw Products for Your Pup
When it comes down to it, creating your own dog food recipes may be too time consuming, too costly and too much potential risk to make the process worth it. The good news is that there is a less intimidating approach to going raw -- choosing a carefully crafted dog food that provides the same benefits to your dog that they’d get from eating fresh prey in a hassle-free form.
Raw Bistro’s raw dog food products are made from USDA-inspected, human-grade ingredients that are deliberately balanced to keep your dog happy and healthy. Take a look at some of our more popular options below:
- Frozen Raw Dog Food: Enjoy our frozen line of nutritional entrees, made from 100% grass-fed beef, free-range poultry and other non-factory farmed animal protein sources, as well as organic veggies and fruits. These products are complete and meet nutritional standards set by AAFCO, NRC, FEDIAF.
- Limited Ingredient Raw Dog Food: Your dog will be licking their chops when they taste this raw diet dog food, made from humane, ethical ingredients and no added vitamins, minerals or plant-based ingredients. This limited ingredient diet is for pet owners that prefer to tailor their pets’ individual needs. It is most closely aligned with PMR, but does not contain fur, heads, or feathers.
If you’re thinking about feeding your dog a healthy, holistic diet, consider the benefits that real ingredients can provide. Not only does this provide short-term perks like a more energetic pup and a healthier coat, but can also benefit dogs over the course of their lives.
As a pet owner, we want the best for our pets, and what we feed them plays a large role in this. With a little planning and commitment, providing a healthy diet can help your dog live its best life.