Recently I have received many inquiries regarding raw food. Overall, we have had Chino on raw dog food for almost a year and have been extremely delighted with it some of the benefits that we have experienced from doing so are as follows:
  • Less shedding
  • Clean teeth (no need for brushing or dental vet visits)
  • Smaller stools
  • We have visited the vet once for a routine visit and shots (whereas before we were constantly there because he was scratching excessively until he bled from allergic reactions)
  • Regulated his weight gain as a puppy he did not get big rapidly – gradual weight increase
  • Helped with muscle development because he is chewing through bones etc.
  • Shiny coat

Feeding a raw food diet also gives your dog a large variety that kibble does not. You can feed a wide range of different proteins such as:
  • Fish (rich in omega which helps with shiny coats, mackerel and salmon are good)
  • Pork
  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Duck
  • Lamb
  • Venison
  • Eggs

Raw food is fed depending on your dog’s weight and activity level there are various raw food calculators online that will calculate the amount of food you should be feeding your dog, usually it is between 2-3% of their weight.  At first it is recommended that you stick to one protein source before introducing the vast variety.

Many people believe that raw food is very pricey but dependent on how much of it you are feeding it can cost as low as $1.50 a day depending on the protein you are feeding and weather you are buying bulk from a butcher or commercial packaged at your local pet store. Feeding raw does not mean that you are buying your dog a New York T-bone steak all the time sometimes organ meats and bones with a bit of meat are sufficient enough for a meal depending on the weight and at your local butcher these are the meats that no one wants therefore they are discounted.

Unlike changing your dog’s dry kibble food which is recommended you do it gradually over a period of time the switch from dry to raw can be done cold turkey without the huge side effects that come from switching from one dry food to another.

Various myths surround the feeding of raw food ranging from bones being dangerous for your dogs (when raw they are not dangerous, chicken bones are soft and bendable when raw when a chicken bone is cooked it when it becomes an issue and can splinter and become a choking hazard).

Another common myth is that dogs become aggressive after eating raw food because they get a taste for blood this is completely FALSE.  Think about it when you eat sushi or a steak do you become an aggressive blood sucking vampire? Exactly.

If you are thinking of feeding your dog raw keep in mind that dogs do not NEED vegetables and fruit but if you’d like to incorporate them into their diet be sure to puree them (think baby food) so that they are able to digest them properly and they should also be raw not cooked as they lose nutritional value. You can also add raw eggs to your dogs food and it’s an added treat for them.

Also keep in mind that cats can also be on a raw food diet, for those of you who own both – having one source of food for both animals could be easier.
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Editor's Note : For Dr. Cliff's recent opinions on the raw food debate, click here.