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What Beginners Should Know About Raw Dog Food Nutrition

April 20, 2019 4 min read

Raw Food for Dogs

What is a Raw Dog Food Diet?

Raw feeding for dogs is the act of feeding your domestic dog a diet of raw meat, edible bones, and organs. There are many different diet models to consider with this.

Read More:PREY vs. BARF Diet For Dogs.

While this seems simple, it is still relatively a hard concept to grasp for many. A lot of this can be attributed to the fact that we have been conditioned to believe otherwise over the last 50 years through creative marketing from large pet food companies. But before that, what would your dog eat in the wild? We all know dogs can't cook!

Why Should You Feed a Raw Diet?

The short answer is because it's the natural diet for dogs – wild or domestic. Subtract humans from the equation, and our canine companions would go back to hunting and eating prey animals without any hesitation. Some even do this today, taking down the occasional bunny or squirrel, much to their owner's dismay, all while leading a luxurious life as an indoor pet with 2 square meals a day. It's just their instinct!

 

Dogs Hunting Prey

The raw feeding community believes that this diet is superior to cooked or processed foods for pets. Again, this is because it's what our dogs are designed to eat. Plus, it's REAL DOG FOOD. Raw diets contain fresh, raw, unprocessed foods that are unadulterated and packed with nutrition. You really can't beat that.

If you need a human-based comparison, the raw diet for dogs can be closely compared to feeding ourselves in the Paleo or Primal fashion. Which has an emphasis on whole foods- REAL dog foods? A few other common terms that you will find out in the world when talking about a raw diet for dogs are:

If you need further convincing, think back 50-100 years ago when we didn't even have kibble or canned food as options for our animals. They made it this far. And, arguably, they were better off way back before the availability of modern processed diets.

Unfortunately, pets today are suffering from the same type of diet-linked degenerative diseases that we are seeing in the human population, like cancer, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, and many-many other terrible afflictions. These issues do not occur in the wild. Let me say that again; these issues do not occur in the wild. They are a direct result of human influences on their diet. Further convincing, think back 50-100 years ago when we didn’t even have kibble or canned food as options for our animals. They made it this far. And, arguably, they were better off way back when- prior to the availability of modern processed diets.

Unfortunately, pets today are suffering from the same type of diet-linked degenerative diseases that we are seeing in the human population like cancer, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, and many-many other terrible afflictions. These issues do not occur in the wild. Let me say that again,these issues do not occur in the wild. They are a direct result of human influences on their diet.

Puppies in nature

Regardless of your personal views, raw feeding has been around for thousands of years. Well before the Paleo Diet exploded into mainstream popularity. Or before kibble was even invented. How's that for ancestral?

Top Benefits of Feeding a Raw Dog Food Diet

A few of the top benefits you will see from feeding a raw dog food diet are:

  • Significant changes in poop size & smell!
  • Shiny, smooth, and oil-free coats
  • Flake-free and itch-free skin
  • Chronic allergies and infections subside and/or disappear
  • White teeth, free of tartar and dental disease
  • Decreased visits to the vet
  • Odorless breath and body
  • Improved energy and vitality
  • Mental stimulation from working at mealtimes
  • Manages Weight & Muscle Mass
  • Moisture & Renal Function
  • Bioavailability of Raw Ingredients
  • Natural Nutrients

Top Raw Dog Food Diet Models

P.R.E.Y. Model

This diet operates on the principle that dogs are true carnivores and have no dietary requirements for plant ingredients. Prey model raw (PMR) feeders believe that domestic dogs should follow in their wolf ancestor’s footsteps, eating what they ate for thousands, if not millions of years. This means consuming a diet that mimics wild dogs and wolves.

A typical prey model diet is designed to mirror what a wolf would consume in the wild. If we dissect common prey animals, we will find the following is true on average:

  • 50% lean muscle meat (ground beef/chicken/turkey/etc)
  • 38% organ meat (this figure includes skin but is replaced with other more readily available organs)
  • 12% bone and supplements

B.A.R.F Model

The BARF diet was pioneered by the well-known Australian Veterinarian and author Ian Billinghurst. Today, the BARF diet is commonly referred to as the “Bones And Raw Food” diet or the “Biologically Appropriate Raw Food” Diet. Regardless of what you call it, it is generally accepted that this diet model is a mix of meat and plant matter- acknowledging that dogs are sometimes opportunistic in their feeding behaviors and do not subsist on a diet entirely made up of meat.

The general blend for a BARF diet is outlined here:

  • 58-68% lean muscle meat (think ground beef/chicken/turkey/etc)
  • 12% of raw meaty bones
  • 10-15% of organ meat
  • 10-15% fruits, veggies, and supplements

 

Read More:Benefits Of Raw Feeding | How Much Food Should I Feed My Dog