Dogs are carnivores. They should be eating a diet of predominantly meat. Importantly, it should also be raw. Animals didn't cook their food when they lived in the wild. Your dog needs raw muscle meat, organs, fatty tissue, bones, and a small amount of carefully selected fruits/vegetables. When we feed them this way, we can observe firsthand the tremendous benefits of raw dog food.
Improvement in your dog's stool is one of the first things that a new raw feeder comments on to other dog owners and friends.
Not only will there be less of it, but it will also be much much easier to manage (firm vs. loose).
Kibble is full of fillers and carbs that your dog doesn't need. So, when you switch your dog's diet, they will be utilizing almost all of what they eat. Raw fed dogs go less often, meaning there is much less that ends up in the yard! Whatever does end up in the yard will dry up and crumble into the soil in days, making yard cleanup duty a breeze!
Raw fed dog owners often comment on their dog's stool smelling less foul. It is still poop, but you will notice the benefit once you see and smell it! After, you will be able to pick out a kibble or can-fed dog because dogs not on a raw diet typically have soft-loamy stools that stink to high heaven!
Despite what you see portrayed on the endless sea of bags and cans at the pet store and TV commercials, many dogs fed commercial diets have a dull, lackluster appearance to their coats. Instead of fancy salon treatments, feed them a raw diet! Like how we need certain nutrients to keep our skin and hair healthy, the same is true for your dog.
A raw-fed dog's coat will be smooth and shiny.
Dogs fed canned or kibble typically have oily and smelly coats. We have all encountered dogs like this, and they generally leave you with a greasy film on your hands that you can smell for hours. Not suitable for either party.
Thankfully, even these dogs will see an improvement in their coat once they transition to a raw food diet. The oily feeling and odor will subside over time, and a much nicer-smoother coat will emerge.
Another common problem that many dogs on traditional diets have is skin problems. Many of them have dry-flaky skin, much like dandruff in humans. Others have itchy skin that they keep scratching or licking, driving their owners mad.
While not all skin issues result from diet, dogs eating a raw diet will have a robust and healthy immune system. A better diet will ultimately lead to skin and coat improvements.
It's crazy to think about, but allergies have become a disease of civilization exacerbated by man-made foods and can stem from processed foods for humans and dogs.
While some of us and our pets may have sensitivities to a few environmental factors, almost all allergies are related to the food we consume.
Some animals have even developed allergies to cooked proteins but not the raw ones.
Consider for a moment the "chicken allergy" epidemic present today. If you were to poll pet parents conservatively, we would venture that almost 9 out of 10 pet parents would say that their dog has or had a chicken allergy. Ridiculous!
Once on a raw dog food diet, most dog owners are amazed to see their dog's previous allergies clear up completely. Mind, blown!
Read More: Allergies & The Raw Diet.
Dogs fed commercial dry or canned foods have poor dental hygiene. Their poor dental hygiene will not always be apparent in their younger years, but the starchy ingredients eventually accumulate and cause tartar buildup.
Eventually, kibble and canned foods will lead to dental disease.
Dental disease in dogs is a serious matter that can eventually lead to absconded roots and teeth being extracted.
Infections in the mouth can also cause more serious secondary infections elsewhere in the body.
Teeth cleanings are not cheap and can be dangerous when taking the sedation route.
To negate as many dental issues as possible for pets fed a traditional diet of canned or kibble, proper preventative care is necessary, such as brushing the dog's teeth, providing dental chews, and ideally recreational bones.
In the wild, wolves' teeth are pearly white despite not seeing the dentist or a toothbrush because they eat a natural raw diet.
The good news is that your dog can have the same pearly white teeth as their wild relatives, too, if you feed them a raw diet. No more brushing, fancy dental chews, or expensive trips to the doggie dentist. No work on your part.
When feeding a raw diet, the key here is that there aren't any unnecessary sugary or starchy components that you find in kibble or canned food which are ingredients that promote tartar formation.
Their diet should be fresh raw meats and select fruits and vegetables. If you add recreational raw meaty bones to your dog's diet on top of raw dog food, you will further accelerate their teeth' return to their natural state.
They receive thorough teeth cleaning every time they rip, shred, tear, and crunch down on bones.
Crunching and grinding bones naturally scrape and remove plaque and tartar from the teeth!
Read More: Which Bones Are Safe For My Dog?
The best way to look at raw feeding is an upfront investment in your dog's overall and long-term health. Your dog will be far healthier and happier when eating a biologically appropriate raw diet.
When dogs eat this way, they absorb all the nutrients from their food, making their immune system, digestive system, and other bodily functions stronger.
All of this will pay off over time as your dog will need less veterinary care and avoid contracting more serious diseases as they age.
While this is difficult to think about, most dogs fed a traditional diet their entire lives die in agony due to some degenerative disease, like cancer, or are in poor health. They are in pain up until the day their owners make the heart-wrenching decision to put them down. Dogs fed a raw diet will remain healthy until the end and pass peacefully in their sleep.
I know what way I'd like to go if I were a dog.
Everyone knows that dogs can sometimes be a little smelly (us humans, too). But, they are not supposed to smell bad all the time.
Animals in good health do not have bad odors.
Owners report that bad breath and coat odors dissipate significantly after starting a raw diet. Now, this doesn't mean that your dog will walk around smelling like a bouquet! It's more of an absence of smell.
Raw-fed dogs are also less gas because their bodies are digesting biologically appropriate things. When fed biologically inappropriate items like grains, starchy vegetables, or high fiber items that upset their tummies, dogs are gassy.
If you have younger dogs, you're probably trying to find ways to get rid of their excess energy. But, regardless of age, all dogs experience improved energy and vitality when they switch to a raw diet.
The energy dogs receive from food will be more evenly distributed throughout their day because it is no longer subject to massive peaks and valleys with blood sugar.
Traditional dog diets are very high in carbohydrates and cause insulin spikes in response to blood sugar spikes.
Owners of old dogs also report that their senior now acts and plays like a puppy again. You may even see your dog start to engage in new behaviors like more active sniffing around the house/neighborhood or interest in things/toys that they were not interested in before. It's amazing what happens when we start to fuel them how they are designed to be fueled.
One of the benefits for dog owners, when they switch their dog's diet to raw, is how excited their companion gets at mealtime.
We hear comments all the time about how their dogs are not that food motivated. In almost all of these instances, what proves true is that their dogs are not excited about what they eat! You and I wouldn't get that excited about the same bland-tasting meal from a bag every day, twice a day, for the rest of our lives either.
There is also a high degree of mental stimulation that occurs when your dogs eat a raw diet.
It gets them back in tune with their nature. It's primal, and they feel like a dog again!
Moreover, dogs are satiated after their meal. This isn't always the case on a traditional diet due to the high level of carbohydrates (sugar) in the food. Just like humans, carbs burn fast, and we're hungry again in a short time. Sound familiar?
Read More: 12 Reasons To Start Raw