Is raw food a good choice for my dog?
My dog was THE pickiest eater. Emphasis on the WAS. I would buy him a type of kibble, he would like it for a couple of days and then like clockwork on day three, I would fill his bowl, he would walk up, take a sniff and walk away. So, off I would go to the pet store to try my next brand only to start the same cycle over and over. I tried wet food, dry food and even freeze dried food with crunchy toppers. Then there was the small batch stuff from New Zealand that cost more than my food! He also enjoyed that for a couple days...and of course history repeated itself. Nothing worked. So then I decided to start cooking him food. That went well for a few days and then I was back to square one again.
I wondered how everyone else had dogs that gobbled up their entire bowls of kibble in 30 seconds and I ended up with the one dog that probably needed truffle oil drizzled over sous vide liver in order for him to eat.
I started to research a raw food diet and the many benefits. At first I was hesitant because let’s face it- raw meat is disgusting and the thought of having to deal with it especially first thing in the morning made me not want to go that route. However at this point, I was willing to try anything. I started him out with a complete Chicken raw formula which contained fruit, veggies, organ meat, bones and more. It is everything your pup needs without all the processed ingredients that is in commercially sold kibble. Lo and behold… he gobbled it up in 30 seconds flat! I on the other hand did gag into my morning coffee a little bit, but after a couple of days was totally used to it and having my dog love the food that much outweighed any of the grossness. I am pleased to say he has never gotten sick of it, or sniffed it and walked away. He gobbles it and licks the bowl clean every single time.
So let’s talk benefits... well number one- the poops! They are so tiny and almost dry and chalky. Simply because, they are only consuming what they need to- no filler. So this means smaller poops for us to pick up!
Other advantages include better oral health, Shinier coat, Healthier skin, improved joint health, Natural flea repellence, Boosted immunity, Decreased allergic reactions, higher energy and weight control.
There are of course disadvantages as well. The cost of raw food will always be more than feeding your dog a kibble based diet. Owners also have to be careful while handling raw meat by ensuring they wash their hands after handling and clean all surfaces. If your dog kisses or licks you, be sure to wash the area immediately with antibacterial soap to avoid contamination. Transitioning your dog from kibble to raw should also be done slowly and the two should never be mixed in order to avoid stomach upset. In my situation with a picky eater, the benefits outweighed the bad by a landslide.
Raw diets are not just for picky eaters. Even if your dog enjoys kibble, the advantages they may gain from a raw diet opposed to kibble can make it worth the switch. Research shows it can also help prevent diseases and lengthen lives.
Raw food comes in a variety of different forms such as freeze dried, frozen tubes, patties or bricks. For the convenience of serving, I personally prefer the frozen ¼ lb bricks. The size of your dog and the amount you need to feed them will play a role in the way you serve yours- cost wise.
I highly recommend the brand Rocky Mountain Raw as it contains wholesome ingredients and doesn’t contain any chemicals, preservatives, fillers, sugar or salt. It comes in pre-portioned ¼ lb frozen bricks. Their “formula” contains a protein source of your choice such as Chicken, Beef or Turkey, organ meat, bones, eggs, vegetables, fruit, minerals & more.
We carry this brand at Puptown Girls Dog Lounge simply because after testing many other brands in our search for the best raw food, this is the one we prefer and stand behind.
Always consult with your vet if a raw diet is a good option for your pup.