Dog and cat guardians who want to try switching to raw food can sometimes feel hesitant to make the leap because of several factors, one of which is the question: why do it in the first place? Why DO people switch their animals to a raw diet after all?
There are dozens of different reasons why people switch to a raw diet for their fur kids, but it all boils down to two major factors – their pet’s health, and the cost benefits. It could be because of a friend who showed them convincing results from switching their own dog or cat to a raw diet, or because their own pet needs a nutritional change for health reasons and the raw diet was recommended.
So let’s take a look at the first and probably the best reason of all: improving your dog’s health. Dogs and cats are naturally carnivorous, and the canine and feline species have existed long before processed pet food was invented, because of this, dogs are naturally inclined to eat meat. They are however opportunists, and will eat other food items such as vegetables if there is no meat available, but the dog’s tendency is to first look for meat. Cats, on the other hand, are obligate carnivores, which means they must have meat to thrive.
Allergies. Dogs and cats eating a raw diet often enjoy a healthier life due to fewer food allergies. Some of the most common allergens come from beef, chicken, dairy products, eggs, grains, and fish. However, science has shown us that the protein structure in raw beef, for instance, is significantly different from cooked or processed pet food, so owners that have pets with developed allergies to these products may discover that their fur kids will be fine eating a raw diet instead.
It should be noted as well that dogs and cats commonly develop allergies to food they have been eating for months or years, so if you have been feeding your pet the same kibble every day since you got him, chances are he’s going to develop an allergy to it (if he hasn’t already).
Beauty from the inside-out. Aside from allergies, another thing that’s going to improve is your dog’s odor and appearance. Dog owners who have switched their pets to a raw diet frequently report that their dogs have lost their “doggy breath” and smell better in general. Additionally, their dogs enjoy a shinier coat, one that is smoother and oil-free. Beneath the fur, dogs that switch to raw diets will also enjoy an itch and flake free skin. The same is true for cats on raw, they smell clean and absolutely shine.
Pet owners who have converted to raw also report that their pets’ poo has changed. Try it yourself and you will see your dog’s or cat’s stools becoming firmer and less odorous as time goes by. This is because a raw diet means less wastage inside the digestive system, so the poo comes out firm, small, and with less smell. And impacted anal glands issues? Forget about it — not a problem anymore!
The second reason why people switch their pet to a raw diet is the cost. Many people just assume that the cost of feeding raw is outrageous or prohibitive. Not so when you look at it from a Pay Now or Pay Later viewpoint. Because of the raw diet, most of the food allergies and minor ailments that a dog frequently suffers from are automatically taken care of as well as other more serious chronic diseases caused or aggravated by nutritional stress, which means fewer visits to the vet. This translates to lower expenses from veterinary bills and medicines.
A lot of people are also actually saving money compared to dry food. By buying in bulk and preparing the meals yourself, you can feed your dog or cat healthier and cheaper than your would on commercial kibble or canned food. Home prepared food is not difficult at all and will quickly become routine once you get the hang of it. The two biggest challenges will be finding a good source for quality protein and balancing the diet, and anyone already feeding raw themselves can help you out there. There are also many online resources including Facebook groups and communities as well as savvy veterinarians and nutritionists to help you along the way.
At Idyllic Paws, we’re all about raw feeding and helping your fur kid live a happier and healthier life! Please let us know if you could use a hand.