Dog Food Do’s and Don’ts

These days, there are more choices than ever when it comes to dog food. Of course, this might
say more about people than it does about dogs. Yes, different dogs have different needs but at the
same time, you can never underestimate the human propensity for following trends. One recent
development in the dog food world has been the introduction of raw food options in a dog’s diet.
So, is in an already crowded field of dog food, is raw food a trend, or something worth paying
attention to?

Before we say more, you have to remember that with dog nutrition and health, there are a lot of
strong opinions out there. At the end of the day, there isn’t usually one answer that is right for
every dog and every situation. Still, it’s important to do as much research yourself and be able to
form an educated opinion.

There are a lot of reasons some people choose a raw diet for their dog. Some people find the
processing of dry dog food to be unhealthy or unsustainable. Others choose this diet because they
consider it to be the closest thing to a natural diet for their pet. Regardless of the reason, adopting
a raw diet for your dog is not always easy. It usually consists of a combination of organ meats,
muscle, bones, raw eggs, and certain fruits and vegetables that are safe for dogs (yes, dogs eat
and even need the vitamins found in certain non-meat foods).

Simply having all of these foods on hand is difficult, especially when you consider that you can’t
buy in bulk. Preparing the food is also more time consuming. Let’s face it, meticulously
measuring out raw portions of various food items takes a lot longer than scooping some dry
kibble out of a bag and dumping it in a bowl. Of course, that’s exactly what some people like
about the process; many people feel it makes mealtimes more meaningful. But there’s more
obstacles as well. It’s not recommended for the food to be kept in a home with very young
children or people with weak immune systems.

Finally, if we haven’t dissuaded you enough, the American Veterinary Medical Association
(AVMA) has come out in opposition to the raw food diet. Their reason being not that raw food
diets are necessarily bad or unhealthy, but rather that using raw food can expose animals and
humans to pathogens. So, none of these facts are evidence that raw food diets are worse,
nutritionally speaking, for your pet. But you will have to decide for yourself if the benefits
outweigh the costs.

People that do subscribe to a raw food diet for their dog claim that it results in better energy and
overall health, better teeth, healthier, shinier skin and coats. If you do decide to adopt this
strategy for your little friend, as always, the best place to start is by talking to your veterinarian.
With his/her advice, and after carefully weighing the pros and cons, you should be able to make
a decision that is right for your dog and your whole family.