5 Raw Pet Food Benefits

Topics: Health & Wellness

As a pet owner, there are times when you may see your furry friend as the wild, noble beast they’re descended from — like a lion or a wolf. Other times, you might see the fluffiest, cutest little creature on the face of the planet.

The truth is that your dog or cat is probably a little bit of both, which means it can be difficult to decide what kind of pet food to buy. Can you feed them like a wild beast and love them like a fur-baby?

As it turns out, that’s what a raw pet food diet is all about. Here’s what you need to know about this approach to your dog or cat’s diet and how to take a walk on the wild side!

What Is a Raw Food Diet for Pets?

The governing idea behind the raw food diet for pets is that your furry friends are descended from animals who hunted for their meals. That means they got fresh food full of raw ingredients — and most of the time, that diet involved more meat, bone and muscle tissue than grains or cereals. They certainly weren't finding any processed foods.

These days, your cat or dog can find all kinds of things in their bowl — some of them not so great. Take, for example, ingredients that might be in your current commercial pet food:

  • White flour
  • Corn syrup
  • Artificial food coloring
  • Preservatives

Followers of the raw pet food diet have decided their pets deserve better, fresher ingredients. Cat and dog owners everywhere are putting down the kibble and instead reaching for raw meat, eggs, organs, fruits and vegetables. Some of this can be fresh food, while other ingredients may be frozen or dehydrated. The idea is to create pet food that more closely resembles what your dog or cat might have eaten in the wild — which means no cooking, no preservatives and no unhealthy fillers.

Potential Benefits of a Raw Food Diet

So, let’s say you’ve been feeding raw dog or cat food. What differences might you see? How could your pet’s life (and your own!) change thanks to a raw diet? Here are the biggest potential benefits of raw pet food:

#1 Ingredient Confidence

Quick — list off all the ingredients in regular cat or dog food!

You probably can’t do it, right?

That doesn't make you a bad pet parent. After all, the labels on those pet food bags are pretty long, and they tend to have ingredients you might not have heard of or readily stock in your home — which means you won’t really know what your furry friend is snacking on.

When you feed a raw food diet, you’ll be in charge of everything that goes into your pet’s bowl. You’ll get to make your own decisions about what kinds of raw meat to use, where to source the meat from, how much of each ingredient to include and more. You also won’t have to worry about fillers or preservatives.

#2 Shinier Coat

Fans of raw pet food say their dogs and cats have thicker, healthier and shinier coats after saying goodbye to a commercial diet. That means your fur-baby might be able to look and feel better than ever.

#3 Better Breath

Although you might not associate raw meat, raw eggs, organs and bones with fresh breath, many raw food diet fans say that’s exactly what you can expect. 

#4 Energy Improvements

Have you ever had a really good meal and felt energized immediately afterward? According to many cat and dog owners who feed a raw diet, that’s what your pets feel when they dine on fresh food and raw ingredients. Some even say this diet helps older dogs act almost like puppies again.

#5 More Nutrients

Supporters of raw pet food often point out that cooking can alter the nutrient content of raw ingredients — and Healthline agrees. Many cat and dog owners who feed a raw diet say they do so to provide the nutrients their pets need. 

Can All Pets Eat a Raw Food Diet?

Although there are plenty of possible benefits associated with raw pet food, there are a lot of things to consider before you make the switch. Perhaps most importantly, you should talk with your vet to make sure this is a healthy option for your dog or cat’s unique needs. For example, according to the American Kennel Club (AKC), dogs with certain medical conditions — including cancer and pancreatitis — may require cooked food.

In other cases, a raw diet might be just fine for your furry friend but not so good for you. After all, handling raw meat, raw eggs and other ingredients requires a lot of vigilance to minimize the risk of contaminating human food. The AKC also notes that a raw diet might not be a safe fit if you have children or immuno-compromised people in your household.

On the other hand, there are plenty of cases where a raw food diet could be perfect — and not just for dogs and cats. Raw ingredients can also be included in small pet food for some animals, especially ferrets. If you have a ferret, they would likely love whole prey (like a frozen mouse) to sink their teeth into. Even reptiles like bearded dragons can get in on the raw pet food diet; in fact, you’re probably already offering crickets and mealworms to your scaly friend.

Remember, it all comes down to your pet’s unique needs. Always consult with a veterinarian before making changes to an animal’s diet.

Build Your Complete Pet Food Menu at Pet Supermarket

Your dog, cat, ferret, bearded dragon or other pet doesn’t need a personal chef — they have you! Pull on an apron and get ready to build the perfect pet food menu, whether that means chopping up fresh food and raw meat or buying commercial dog food with labels you can trust. Do your part to feed them S.M.A.R.T. with supplements, mix-ins, allergy products, the right food and treats.

No matter what you’re putting in your pet’s bowl, we’re here to help. Visit your local Pet Supermarket for a huge selection of treats, snacks and foods that are sure to make your furry or scaly friend’s mouth water.

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With the right knowledge and a few tricks up your sleeve, you can say goodbye to fleas and ticks for good.

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