The Benefits Of Transitioning Your Dog To A Raw Diet
Dogs are carnivores. As such, they should be eating a diet of predominantly meat. Equally as important, it should be raw. Animals don’t cook their food. Your dog needs raw muscle meat, organs, fatty tissue, bones, and a small amount of carefully selected fruits/vegetables.
Outlined below are a few top-line benefits that you will notice after starting your dogs on a raw diet. We will go into more detail further down on a few of these subjects.
A few of the benefits of a raw diet for dogs:
Major changes in poop!
Shiny, smooth, oil-free coats
Flake-free and itch-free skin
Chronic allergies and infections subside and/or disappear
Improvements in your dog’s stool are one of the first things that new raw feeders comment 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).
Since your dog is actually utilizing almost all of what it eats, raw-fed dogs go less often and there is much less that ends up in the yard too! And, whatever does end up in the yard will dry up and crumble into the soil in a matter of days! This makes yard cleanup duty a breeze!
Raw fed dog owners also often comment on their dog's poops being less foul-smelling. Now, it’s still poop. But, once you see it and smell it you will believe it! And, you will almost always be able to pick out a kibble or can-fed dog at the dog park or on the street just by looking at its poop! Dogs on traditional diets typically have soft-loamy stools that stink to high heaven!
Skin & Coat Improvements
Despite what you see portrayed on the endless sea of bags and cans at the pet store and on TV commercials, many dogs that are fed commercial diets have a dull, lackluster appearance to their coats. Just as our hair can be damaged and take on a lifeless look, proper care and treatments can leave it luxurious and smooth. The same is true for your dog’s coat. But, instead of fancy salon treatments, feed them a raw diet!
A dog that eats raw dog food will have a smooth and shiny coat. 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 good for either party.
Thankfully, even these dogs will see an improvement in their coat once they transition to a raw 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 are skin problems. Many of them have dry-flaky skin much like dandruff in humans. And, others have itchy skin that they just can’t seem to stop itching or licking, in turn, driving their owners mad.
While not all skin issues are a result of diet, dogs eating a raw diet will have a more robust and healthy immune system. This will ultimately lead to improved skin and coat.
It’s crazy to think about it. But, allergies have become a sort of disease of civilization that is completely man-made and stems entirely from processed foods. This is true for both 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.
Food allergies can cause digestibility issues, skin issues, reoccurring ear/eye infections, and much more. Some animals have even developed allergies to cooked proteins but not the raw ones. Consider for a moment the “chicken allergy” epidemic that is out there today. If you were to poll pet parents today, conservatively we would venture that almost 8-9 out of 10 pet parents would say that their dog has or had a chicken allergy. This is just ridiculous!
Once on a raw diet, most dog owners are amazed to see their dog’s previous allergies clear up completely. Mind is blown!
Dogs that have been fed commercial dry or canned foods have poor dental hygiene. It will not always be apparent in their younger years. But inevitably, the starchy ingredients will start to accumulate and cause tartar buildup and will eventually lead to dental disease.
Dental Disease in dogs is a serious matter. It can lead to absconded roots and teeth that need to be extracted. Infections in the mouth can also occur that can cause more serious secondary infections elsewhere in the body. To top this off, teeth cleanings are not cheap and can often be dangerous when opting to go the sedation route.
In order to negate as many dental issues as possible for pets being fed a traditional diet of canned or kibble, proper preventative care is necessary which includes brushing the dog's teeth, providing dental chews, and ideally recreational bones.
In the wild, wolves' teeth are pearly white. They haven’t seen the first bit of modern dentistry or a toothbrush for that matter! This is because they are eating their natural diet.
The good news is that your dog can have the same pearly white teeth as their wild relatives too if you feed them raw. It is literally no work on your part. No more brushing, fancy dental chews, or expensive trips to the doggie dentist.
The key here is that when feeding a raw diet, there are not the same sugary or starchy components to the food that you find in kibble or canned food that promote the formation of tartar. Just fresh raw meats and select fruits/vegetables. If you add recreational raw meaty bones to your dog's diet on top of raw food you will further accelerate their teeth’ return to its natural state.
Every time they rip, shred, tear, and crunch down on bones they are receiving thorough teeth cleaning. Crunching and grinding their teeth on bones naturally scrapes and removes plaque and tartar from the teeth!
Vet Visits Decrease
The best way to look at raw feeding is that it 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 a dog eats 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 when your dog will need less veterinary care and will 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, or are in such poor health condition that they are in pain up until the day their owners have to make the heart-wrenching decision to put them down. Raw-fed dogs will remain healthy up until the end and typically 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 (we humans too). But, they are not supposed to smell bad all the time. Animals in good health do not have bad odors.
Owners who feed their dogs a raw diet report that previous bad breath and coat odors dissipate significantly with time. Now, this doesn’t mean that your dog will walk around smelling like a bouquet of flowers. But, it’s more of an absence of smell.
Raw-fed dogs are also less gassy. This is because their bodies are digesting things that they are meant to eat rather than inappropriate items like grains, starchy vegetables, or high fiber items that upset their tummies.
Energy & Vitality Improves
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 will experience improved energy and vitality when they switch to a raw diet. The energy that they receive from food will also be more evenly distributed throughout their day because it is no longer subject to huge peaks and valleys with blood sugar. Traditional dog diets are very high in carbohydrates and cause insulin spikes in response to blood sugar spikes caused by these foods.
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 the way that they are designed to be fueled.
Mental & Physical Exercise
One of the biggest things that people notice about their dogs when they switch to raw is how excited they get at mealtime. We hear comments all the time about how people’s dogs just aren’t that food motivated. What proves true in almost all of these instances, is that their dogs just are excited about what they’re eating! 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, they are typically satiated after their meal and ready to calm down for a bit. This isn’t always the case on a traditional diet due to the high level of carbohydrates (sugar) in the food. Just like with humans, carbs burn fast and we’re hungry again in short order. Sound familiar?