Science Backed Benefits of Feeding Raw + Why Some Is Better Than None
Whether you are a new pet parent or not, chances are you’ve heard about the benefits of raw feeding and you may be wondering whether or not going raw is right for you. In recent years, raw dog food diets have taken the pet food industry by storm. So what’s all the buzz about and are they really all that they're hyped up to be?
Our take: absolutely. As people are beginning to understand the role nutrition plays in health, switching to a species appropriate diet just makes sense. While it may be cheaper on the wallet, your dog most likely isn’t getting all the nutritional benefits they need from standard commercialized kibble - the key is to understand your dog's eating habits and how it could be affecting their energy levels, food sensitivities, and overall health.
In this article, we’ll give you the raw truth on species appropriate diets and dive into some of the science behind raw feeding.
Benefits of Eating Raw
Our general day to day health starts with the foods we eat. When you are filling your body with fresh, nutritious ingredients every day, you're bound to feel so much better than when you grab for the highly-processed snacks - especially in the long run. Well, the same goes for our pets!
There are a few key reasons to why pet owners across the country are beginning to gravitate towards raw diets. Here's what you can expect from transitioning to a raw diet:
We all want what's best for our dogs. Providing them with a complete and balanced raw diet is just what they need to keep up that vibrant health! Some amazing benefits you will be able to see after making the switch include:
- Cleaner teeth and fresher breath
- A leaner and more muscular build
- Cleaner and healthier ears
- Vibrant, calm energy
- Glowing coats and shining eyes
Feeding raw is the most natural way to feed your pet. Dogs evolved to be scavenging carnivores and rely on the nutrients they intake to keep their bodies functioning properly - while most kibble and dry food mixes are likely to meet basic nutrient standards, they aren't in a biological form which means your dog could be ingesting more synthetics and highly processed ingredients.
Raw dog food diets are focused to provide the proper nutrient requirements for dogs - you'll want a good mix of the essentials: protein, vitamins, minerals, fats, and of course, water!
Navigating Medical Conditions
Raw feeding is a great way to help your dog navigate any medical conditions that they may be struggling with. From obesity to food allergies, a raw diet can improve your dog's nutrition to treat symptoms from the gut.
Some Is Better Than None
Every dog deserves the diet that they were meant to eat. Eating a fully raw diet would improve health concerns that many dogs today are ending up in the vet clinic with. Now more than ever, veterinarians have routinely seen diet-related symptoms arise in otherwise healthy dogs. This can include anything from severe diseases like diabetes and obesity, to more mild irritants such as skin itchiness, low energy levels, and more.
Generally these adverse effects occur from dogs not getting the full nutrition they need. Commercialized kibble is filled with food additives and preservatives that is essentially junk food. You get what you pay for - what’s cheap for us is cheap for your dog.
On the other hand, a fully raw dog food diet can end up being more than you’d like to spend, especially if you have more than one mouth to feed. That's why we highly recommend incorporating any bit of raw into your dog's diet that you can - here's how:
- Mix raw food in with their current food (kibble or not)
- Use raw food as a meal topper
- Break into bits and use raw food for treats
The "Raw" Proof
There seems to be a sea of information out there when it comes to raw feeding. Everyone and their vet seems to have an opinion on whether or not a raw diet is the right move because there isn't much scientific evidence from studies out there that is widely available.
On the one hand this is true, but note that the majority of funding for studies such as this come from processed pet food companies who have no interest or financial gain in funding studies revolving around raw diets. On the other hand, most raw pet food producers are small operators without the resources necessary to conduct this very expensive research.
However, we must remember that dogs and cats have been eating raw diets out in the wild for as long as they've existed - and their biology hasn't changed much. The scientific backed proof comes back to your canine's instinctual relationship with their prey (or meal) and what is biologically appropriate for them to consume.
One of our favorite sources for science-backed material is Dr. Karen Becker, a proactive and integrative wellness veterinarian devoted to making your pet's health accessible. In her advocacy for a species-appropriate diet and research on the science behind raw, Dr. Becker describes the fact as "just because dogs and cats have been domesticated doesn't mean their metabolic machinery has evolved to function on an entirely ultra-processed diet".
Dog expert Rodney Habib explores similar ideas in his research into helping dogs live longer and healthier lives as they were intended. Both Rodney and Dr. Becker list excellent resources for how you can benefit your pet’s health through simple diet changes in their guide The Forever Dog, in which they obtain the raw truth from top geneticists, microbiologists, longevity researchers, and even interviewing people whose dogs have lived into their 20s and 30s.
Go Raw with Raw Bistro
All of our products at Raw Bistro are formulated as a true rotational diet - this means your dog is getting optimal nutrition in a variety of forms and flavors.
Choose from some of our forever favorites to get your raw journey started:
- Our entree line of frozen raw dog food provides a complete & balanced, diversified diet - opt for the 3 lb. bag of 2 oz patties in chicken, beef, turkey, lamb, or bison.
- Dehydrated dog food is a convenient, shelf stable alternative with the same ingredients and same recipe you know and love.
- All products come in small amounts that you can add to their current diet for easy mixing and portioning.
When it's time to restock on the dog food, check out Raw Bistro's true rotational raw dog food diet. Visit your local, independent pet store or browse our products page to add to cart today!