Why Feed Raw

What is a “raw diet”, and why should you feed it to your pet?

Here at Petobee, we understand that the concept of “feeding raw” might be new to you, a little confusing, and possibly overwhelming. Our philosophy truly is to put pets before profits and the quality of our products reflects that.

Our website is designed to give you relevant, up-to-date information and resources to help you make the best decisions possible for your pet. We have developed complete diets to take the “guess work” out of feeding raw.

So why feed raw anyway?

Ultimately, feeding a raw diet to your dog (or cat, for that matter) is about common sense. Your playful Pomeranian, sassy Schnauzer or loveable Lab all have the same digestive system as wolves, coyotes, and other wild dogs. Wild dogs are carnivores, and so is your pooch. Their diet primarily consists of raw meat, organs and bones.

So what makes your dog, a carnivore (meat eater), different from you, an omnivore (can eat plants and meat)? There are a variety of factors including:

– Dentition (the development of teeth and their arrangement in the mouth)
– Musculature and external anatomy (dog/cat bodies are designed for a carnivorous, hunting lifestyle)
– Internal anatomy and physiology (lack of enzymes to break down starches and carbohydrates – including grains, fruits and vegetables, lack of   bacteria that break down cellulose and starch, and a shorter gastrointestinal tract than omnivores).

So, if your best four-legged friend is a carnivore, why does most commercial kibble contain grains, wheat, soy, barley and/or corn? Even if “meat” is the first ingredient, all of these other fillers combined can, and likely do, equal more than the quantity of “meat products”.

I say “meat” because the meat in kibble is often, what pet nutritionists refer to as “4-D meat”, dead, dying, diseased or down (disabled). The animals this meat comes from are often sick or near death at the time of slaughter, and thus are pumped full of medications, antibiotics and other synthetic substances in a desperate attempt to save them. Often, the “meat” is transported in trucks that are not refrigerated, left outside, or in unprotected areas. From this lovely selection, in an effort to further reduce costs, many pet food companies use animal by-products. This can consist of feet, backs, lungs, heads, brains, spleen, frames, intestines and undeveloped eggs. And if you see “generic by-product meals” in the ingredient list, your pet’s food can contain road kill, dead zoo animals, dead-on-arrival poultry, or euthanized pets from animal shelters. Through the course of rendering, processing and drying, the “food” is heated four times (this is according to The Pet Food Institute), effectively destroying any remaining enzymes, vitamins and minerals.

If you think your canned food is any better, think again. Essentially, the same heated, rendered “meat products” are used, moisture and other ingredients are added, and the food is cooked in the can or container it is sold in.

Kibble and canned pet food are high in sodium, and can also contain dyes, carcinogens and preservatives, leading to many degenerative diseases and more visits to the vet.

A complete raw diet, on the other hand, should contain raw, fresh, human-grade meat, organs and finely ground bones as its primary ingredients. Believe it or not, this will supply your pet with the nutritional requirements to thrive. Complete raw blends often contain additional ingredients such as cooked eggs (promotes healthy coat, boosts vitamin/protein content), parsley flakes, and MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane for joint support) but these additional ingredients should be supplemental, not fundamental. A raw diet should contain no dyes, preservatives or fillers. Fillers can include excessive fruit/vegetable products, blood or water.

Benefits of a raw diet can include:

  •  Elimination of many skin issues
  •  Great oral / dental health
  •  Higher energy
  •  Helps maintain healthy weight
  •  Healthier coats
  •  Decreased allergic reactions
  •  Improved joint health
  •  Natural flea repellence
  •  Boosted immunity
  •  Firm stool with less offensive odour

There are several studies that demonstrate that feeding raw is more beneficial than cooked.

“In December 1995, the British Journal of Small Animal Practice published a paper contending that processed pet food suppresses the immune system and leads to liver, kidney, heart and other diseases. Dr. Kollath, of the Karolinska Hospital in Stockholm, headed the study done on animals. When young animals were fed cooked and processed foods they initially appeared to be healthy. However, as the animals reached adulthood, they began to age more quickly than normal and also developed chronic degenerative disease symptoms. A control group of animals raised on raw foods aged less quickly and were free of degenerative disease.”

There is also a book called, “Pottenger’s Cats: A Study in Nutrition” in which Dr. Francis M. Pottenger conducted a ten-year study with over 900 cats. He determined the optimal diet for his cats was 2/3 raw meat, 1/3 raw milk, plus a little cod liver oil. Here’s what is interesting: If either the meat or milk was cooked, the cats’ health degenerated.

Dr. William Pollak D.V.M. says, “Recent studies have shown processed foods to be a factor in increasing the numbers of pets suffering from cancer, arthritis, obesity, dental disease, and heart disease. Dull or unhealthy coats are a common problem with cats and dogs and, according to many veterinarians and breeders, poor diet is usually the cause. “Dogs, cats, and other animals live for years on foods that come out of bags, cans and boxes. But do these foods promote health? If they did, our companion animals would enjoy long, happy lives free of arthritis, hip dysplasia, eye problems, ear problems, fleas and other parasites, gum disease, lick granulomas, thyroid imbalances, skin and coat problems, personality disorders, birth defects, breeding problems, diabetes, cancer and other major and minor illnesses. Before World War II, most North Americans fed their pets raw bones and table scraps. Today, everyone uses convenience foods, and pet food companies are industry giants. Diet isn’t the only thing that has changed, so has life expectancy. The life span of many breeds is now less than half what it was two or three decades ago. Skin and coat problems are so common that we accept them as unavoidable, and today’s vets routinely treat conditions that used to be unusual or even rare.”

The bottom line: feeding raw to your dog or cat is common sense. When was the last time you heard of farmers complaining about wolves or coyotes attacking their wheat or corn fields?

Do your own research, or consult a holistic veterinarian who has nutrition training for advice on what to feed your dog or cat.

For more information:

– Check out the complete petobee.com article: Why Feed Raw
– Visit www.rawfed.com/myths
– Visit www.thewholedog.org
– To see the difference feeding raw makes in oral health: click here

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The information contained on www.petobee.com is intended as education/information only. All of the articles on www.petobee.com have been researched and reviewed for accuracy; however they are not intended to be a substitute for diagnosis or treatment from a holistic veterinarian or other qualified holistic pet health professional. Petobee does not assume any legal responsibility.



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