Educating the Veterinary Students of Tomorrow
Raw Food Diets: What are the real benefits of feeding raw?
Feeding pets, especially dogs, raw food diets i.e.uncooked/untreated meat, has become quite a debated topic. Those who support this method argue that raw diets are the ancestral food of both dogs and cats and will provide all the necessary nutrition for optimal health (Hamper et al., 2017). They boast improved skin and coat quality, improved stools and decreased incidence of diseases such as obesity and diabetes (Bernard, 2004). They can be lower in carbohydrates and allergens than some commerical feeds too.
The negatives: more and more studies are showing how much bacteria can be present in the raw food which is a hazard for owners when handling and storing the food, especially if there are children in the house - just imagine what could grow in that food bowl! It can also be expensive and bones are a serious concern because they can cause serious harm if swallowed. Another problem with "home prep diets" where owners choose the ingredients and amounts is that there is no way of knowing what nutrients/how much/correct proportions or not the animal is getting (which is a massive pro of the raw feed commercial diets). Remember, it is always a good idea to consult your vet if you are considering changing your pet's diet to raw food.
So how do you feel about it? You can read more here:
Bernard, M., 2004. Raising Cats Naturally : How To Care For Your Cat The Way Nature Intended. Salt Lake City(Utah): Aardvark Global Publishing.
Hamper, B., Bartges, J. & Kirk, C., 2017. Evaluation of Two Raw Diets vs A Commercial Cooked Diet on Feline Growth. Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, 19(4), pp. 424-434.
AND A SIDE NOTE ON THE OPPOSITE!
Recently, there have been posts on social media about owners trying to feed their cats vegan diets. This can do some serious harm because cats require meat in their diets. You can read more about why here on the Hill's website: