Raw feeding has become increasingly popular with dog owners in recent years and long gone are the days when most dogs were fed low quality cooked tinned meat. From home cooked meals to raw meat with a rainbow of fruit and vegetables, today’s dogs are eating a wide variety of food which often looks better than the average meal their human companions are eating!
The BARF diet, an acronym that stands for Bones and Raw Food, or Biologically Appropriate Raw Food, was introduced in the early 90’s by veterinarian Ian Billinghurst who suggested that adult dogs would thrive on an evolutionary diet based on what canines ate before they became domesticated (i.e. raw, meaty bones and vegetable scraps).
Since then, many other types of raw diets for dogs have emerged including commercial frozen raw food diets which make raw feeding easier for owners as its pre-prepared. Supporters of raw feeding say the benefits include improved overall health, smaller stools, better dental hygiene, a shinier coat and increased energy levels. Potential risks include bacteria in raw meat making dogs and/or humans unwell, injuries from sharp bones and an unbalanced diet if all nutrient requirements are not covered.
A raw dog food diet typically consists of muscle meat, often still on the bone, bones (either whole or ground), organs such as livers and kidneys, raw eggs, vegetables and fruit. Some people add dairy too, for example yoghurt.
The most important rules of feeding, whether raw or cooked, are quality and balance. A homemade diet can be difficult to balance and a lot of research is needed to get it right, so a good quality commercial dog food which has been specifically formulated may be best for some dogs and their owners.
It is also worth noting that raw dog food diets are not appropriate for all dogs, for example, those with late stage kidney or severe liver failure, due to the high protein levels in a raw diet.
Whatever you choose for your pet, we recommend you speak to your vet, make any changes gradually, only use quality food and take time to research and plan.
TurmerEase™, TurmOil Pets Capsules and Golden Paste are all suitable for dogs on a raw diet.