The Debate About Whether To Feed Your Pet Raw Dog Food Continues

Many decisions in life are less confusing than whether you should feed your pet raw dog food. There are good arguments on both sides. Those who are pro raw diets claim it is closest to the natural diet of the dog. Those who are pro processed food argue that it contains all the nutrients that are needed for a healthy diet.

Processed food has meat and vegetable products, and is designed to provide nutrients determined correct for the age and breed of dog. It has gotten a lot of bad press recently, because contaminated products have been recalled. For those who have watched their beloved pets dig up and eat moldy bones covered in dirt, the possibility of harmful processed tidbits seems unlikely. But it can happen. Reports of renal failure alerted officials to investigate. The problem was wet product that included wheat gluten tainted with melamine, a chemical similar in structure to cyanide.

In an effort to protect pets, some pro raw people have decided to choose a more natural diet and opt to avoid processed ingredients altogether. They believe that dogs should have the same diet as their distant relatives, wolves. Wolves prefer to consume hoofed animals, but have been documented eating almost anything except toads, so they have a diverse diet.

Some people who prefer serving processed claim that raw can carry deadly pathogens and that the handling and feeding of it can be dangerous. Some research reveals that the raw products sold in pet stores is actually safer than the raw meat in grocery stores.

The bacteria limits for raw meat differs between meat that will be consumed raw and that intended to be consumed after it has been cooked. There is no differentiation in requirements for human or dog raw meat. Some pet owners might end up thinking about doing their grocery shopping at the pet store, since the meat has fewer bacteria.

If you choose to change your pets diet, first determine the type of raw food you want to provide. Once again, the vote is split. Some prefer whole prey diets, where the entire carcass is eaten. Others prefer raw meat, vegetables and supplements.

Regardless of the type you choose, introduce it slowly so your dog has time to adjust to the different diet. Switching to any type of diet suddenly can cause an upset stomach and diarrhea. Your pet will become used to the new diet over time. It is a good idea to provide different types of meat, since dogs become bored. But introduce the different meats slowly, so the digestive system can catch up. Some dogs are fed both raw and kibble, with no adverse effects.

Feeding raw dog food or processed is a decision you must make. No matter how carefully you study the issues, by watching your dog on each diet, you can decide which works better. Do not worry if you are confused about making the wrong choice for your pet, your dog will love you no matter what.

Jamie is a dog health specialist who specializes in grain free dog foods.

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