Like humans, a great way to increase a dog’s health and lifespan is through a balanced and healthy diet. To humans, a healthy diet might equate to a low-sugar diet or a keto diet. To dogs, this means a raw diet. A balanced raw diet will provide them with the nutrition they have always naturally depended on- making them a healthier, happier, long-living pup!
A complete and balanced doggy diet consists of proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, carbs, and water. When a diet is missing even one of these components, your dog is susceptible to nutritional deficiencies. Unfortunately, this is extremely common in kibble brands.
Most kibble brands lack components like water and proteins or contain the bare minimum. This is why feeding your dog solely kibble will cause long-term health issues for them. Kibble is baked at a very high temperature, which usually destroys most of the nutrients included. There are also a handful of synthetic flavorings added to kibble which could be detrimental to your dog’s health. Kibble is high in starches and low in proteins and is like doggy McDonald’s. Imagine how you would feel if you ate McDonald’s every day!
So if not kibble, what should you be feeding your dog? The answer to that is straightforward- a BARF (Bones and Raw Food) diet aligns best with a canine’s natural needs. A BARF diet contains all the key components to a healthy diet, which is what makes it the best food to be giving your dog.
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If you have a puppy, you may be wondering if a raw diet is the best choice for your dog. Compared to adult dogs, puppies have fairly sensitive stomachs, and you may be worried that a raw diet would aggravate that. A puppy’s immune system also isn’t fully developed until they are 14 months old, which may also be a concern for you. **While raw food may seem like a daunting choice for your puppy, it actually has tons of benefits!**
Surprisingly, the sensitivity of puppies’ stomachs can be resolved with a raw diet. Since raw food isn't nearly as processed as kibble, it's a lot easier for dogs to digest. Your puppy's stool will appear to be smaller, and it won’t smell as much as it does on a processed diet! Along with digestive benefits, your dog will also experience many physical benefits- such as a shinier coat, clean teeth, a leaner build, and vibrant energy!
If you are concerned about your dog contracting the disease from a raw diet, you should know that dogs’ bowels are exceptionally different from our own. A dog’s stomach has an average pH of 1, which most pathogens (such as E. Coli and Salmonella) can’t survive in. In addition, a dog’s digestive tract is significantly shorter than that of a human’s, preventing any growth of bacteria. The nutrients provided in raw food have even shown to strengthen a dog’s immune system, making it harder for pathogens to affect them at all!
At Cali Raw, we make a specific food formula designed for puppy consumption, adding in growth-enhancing nutrients. A more in-depth guide for puppy feeding is available.
If you decided to feed your dog a raw diet, you may be stuck on how to start. Feeding your dog a homemade raw diet is not only challenging but incredibly expensive- which is why it’s a great idea to purchase your dog’s meal from a reliable source.
At Cali Raw, every meal is calculated to your dog’s weight requirements, age, and energy level, including every nutrient needed for a healthy and happy pup. You won’t have to worry about measuring the correct amount of ingredients or purchasing the right amount of meat. There are also supplements and vitamins present in Cali Raw’s formulated diets, making it a great choice for raw feeding!
Interested in starting? Book a consultation!
At Cali Raw, we base our nutrition on AFFCO’s guidelines.
AAFCO is the Association of American Feed Control Officials who regulates the distribution of animal food and drugs, creating guidelines for nutritionally correct pet food. We carefully follow AAFCO’s dog food guidelines in order to formulate the most balanced meal for your pet.
AAFCO chooses not to approve or endorse pet foods, so there technically is no “AAFCO-approved” dog food. However, you can determine the quality of food by viewing AAFCO’s standards and how well the company lives up to them.
BARF is a grain-free raw dog food using a generous amount of named
meats as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.
Highly recommended.” - Dog Food Advisor
Since AAFCO bases their regulations on dog food off of how complete and balanced it is, you can see that raw food is high on their list. Keep in mind that this is not Cali Raw’s exact formula; the ingredients in our food are tweaked to suit your pup even more, by their specific breed and age standards.
In the end, it’s up to you to decide what may be a complete and balanced diet for your pup. If a raw diet is outside of your price range, feeding your dog half kibble and half raw food has shown to have lots of benefits. Be sure to choose what is in the best interest for your dog’s health, since you know them best- they will love you unconditionally no matter what!
If a BARF diet interests you, be sure to check out our Guide to Raw Food for Beginners!