The raw food diet is all the rage; and with dog owners sharing the benefits of switching their dog to raw food, it’s understandable that a dog owner’s curiosity would be piqued.
The Benefits of Raw Feeding
Dogs who are fed a balanced raw diet are said to have more energy, cleaner teeth, shiny coats, healthy skin, and a healthy digestive system – and that’s the short list of benefits.
Does this mean raw is for every dog?
Before Switching Your Dog to a Raw Diet
If you’re intrigued by raw feeding and believe that a change will benefit your dog, take a moment to follow these 5 steps to make sure that you’ve covered all of your bases.
1. Have a clear understanding of why you want to feed raw.
Don’t switch your dog’s diet under duress. Dog nutrition is a passionate topic, and many well meaning dog owners may push you to feed raw by sharing their positive experience, telling you that’s easy to do and tempting you with how affordable raw feeding is for dog owners. If you make this change, do it because you believe that it’s best for your dog, not based on the opinions of others.
2. Start doing your homework.
What will you feed your dogs? Muscle meat, bone and organ meat? Do you know which organ meat? Will you be adding vegetables, fruits, and supplements?
Will you feed your dogs whole raw meat or would you like it to be pre-ground? Will you process the meat or would you like someone to do that for you?
Where will you store your raw food? Do you need an extra freezer?
There are several books and websites that cover the different raw feeding models and will give you an idea of what goes into feeding raw, better preparing you for the diet change.
3. Identify where you’ll source your raw food.
Dogs need a variety of proteins in their meal, and where you buy your raw meals will determine how much you spend on your dog’s diet. Pre-made raw is the most expensive. Raw feeders also source their ingredients from the grocery store, butcher, local raw feeding co-ops (located across the US), and hunters.
4. Connect with raw feeders locally and online.
Connecting with local raw feeders will give you an opportunity to compare notes, find resources, and receive support. The switch to raw feeding is simple for some and complicated for others and the more support you get the better for you and your dog.
5. Connect with a pro-raw, holistic veterinarian.
Not all veterinarians are on board with raw feeding. If fed incorrectly, a dog can suffer from nutrient deficiencies and more. Networking with local raw feeders is great for the little questions, but having an experienced veterinarian who can guide you is invaluable.
An experienced holistic veterinarian can help you determine the best diet for your dogs, choose proteins, and select supplements that meet the needs of your dog.
Are you ready to switch your dog to a raw diet?
Remember to take your time making this choice; your dog is counting on you.
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