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The benefits of a raw food diet for your meat-eating pet

Posted on June 18, 2024
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When you switch your pet to a raw food diet, you should see a host of improvements in their overall health and behaviour. Here are just some of the benefits you might see once your pet has settled into eating a raw food diet. 

Clean teeth and fresher breath

You may notice less tartar build-up and improved oral hygiene. Raw meats slide off the teeth easily, whereas dry and crunchy foods often leave a residue. Chewing and pulling at raw meat, tendon, gristle and bone help to clean the teeth and avoid the need for trying to habituate your dog, cat or ferret to a toothbrush – a human invention!

Glossy coat and healthy skin

A raw food diet can promote a shinier coat and less irritated skin, especially when omega-3 rich ingredients are used to make up meals . A fresh, balanced diet filled with the right nutrients can help to prevent greasy and odorous fur especially if carbohydrates are removed or minimised. Omega-3 fatty acids in grass fed meat, fish and seafood support a healthy skin and coat.

Increased energy 

You may notice your pet seems perkier once you start feeding them a raw food diet. Dogs and cats use fat as their primary source of energy which is slow-release. 

Boosted immune system

A raw food diet provides a blend of naturally-occurring vitamins and minerals, together with enzymes and amino acids, supporting a good immune system. This may help build their resistance to infections and diseases.

Management of adverse food reactions

Elimination diets offer an opportunity to calm food intolerances; the idea being to be extremely disciplined and either start the food trial on a hydrolysed dried food (this is specially produced kibble which needs to be sourced from a veterinary practice), or start with a novel protein.

A novel protein is a meat and/or a carbohydrate that the pet has never been exposed to before.  This could be rabbit, or horse, or an ‘exotic’ meat and quinoa (if a carbohydrate is needed or suggested). After two weeks on this stage, the caregiver introduces a meat and records any adverse reactions, settles back for a week on the novel protein, and introduces another meat and so on. It is a time-consuming task but remains the gold standard for identifying and recording reactions.  A raw food diet allows for elimination trials due to the easy way of sourcing single protein meals.

Reduction in anal gland issues

Going to the vets or groomers to have a dog’s anal glands expressed seems to be as normal as having their nails trimmed. But let’s remind ourselves –  it is not normal, can be painful for some dogs, and let’s face it – it’s intrusive.  The raw food diet is known to produce a healthy, solid stool which naturally expresses the anal glands. 

Weight management

A raw food diet may help keep your pet at a healthy weight. A true raw food diet doesn’t contain any carbohydrates which may contribute to weight gain if fed in the wrong proportions. Feeding two percent of your pet’s target weight per day achieves steady weight loss. More dramatic weight loss can be achieved by feeding 1.5% of their target weight. Always consult your vet before embarking on any significant weight loss programme to ensure your pet is otherwise healthy. Weight gain is not always diet-related and other conditions may be the cause. 

Healthy Pet Store in Totton is a pet food and accessories retailer, specialising in raw food diets for meat eating pets. If you are interested in transitioning your pet, our friendly in-store team will be happy to help you create a bespoke raw meal plan.

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