Long ago in the olden days when dogs used to be the size of bears and had the hunting behaviors of coyotes and foxes, they would hunt for food and eat everything raw. Who would have thought that despite the modern technologies of today, raw food would still be an essential diet for domestic dogs?
What are the benefits of a raw food diet for dogs?
A stronger immune system, healthy teeth, reduced body odor, stronger joints and bones, better stool quality, and enhanced reproductive health are excellent benefits of feeding your canine raw meaty goodness.
By reading this blog post, you will learn the science behind dogs’ eating habits, digestive system, stool quality, and more as we bust the myths on raw food diets and the surprisingly harmful benefits of dry and highly processed foods for dogs. You’ll also find out which are the best packaged raw food you can purchase online and how to spot premium food from commercially produced raw food.
1. Stronger Immune System
Contrary to popular belief, raw food boosts the immune system of canines whether they are generally healthy or have health issues starting to sneak in.
A raw diet consists of uncooked meat, fruits, vegetables, crushed or whole bones, and raw eggs. All of these combined, increase the immunity, energy level, and physical endurance of your dog with a higher amount of antibodies. This can combat a number of common health problems on dogs including ear infections, worms, and diarrhea.
With high proteins and fats in their raw diet, dogs can also benefit by gaining more muscles and acquiring strength. This is especially important for service dogs like German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, and Boxers, among many. Even if your dog is a stay-at-home guard, I bet you would get more peace of mind knowing that your canine can protect you at any moment’s notice!
Include fruits and veggies into their diet for antioxidants, phytonutrients, and enzymes, as well as superfoods like blueberries, anchovies, pumpkin, and bone broth for a nutrient boost. If you already feed them fresh food on a daily basis, then these superfoods can simply serve as a delish treat every now and then.
2. Pearly Whites and Fresh Breath
Tartar buildup and plaque are the top contributors to halitosis in dogs. As discussed in our blog post on how to fix your dog’s bad breath, gum disease, breed, and diet are strong culprits as to why your canine’s mouth is smelling fishier than normal. And there’s no bigger mood killer than a stinky breath coming from your dog’s mouth every time he kisses you! Trust us, we know!
Food quality has a considerably big impact on their dental health. Thus, changing their diet would definitely result in sweet-smelling kisses. Switching from their usual foods into an entirely different menu, especially when focused on raw food, maybe a drastic change, but it is all for the good of your K9 (and your smelling comfort, too!).
As much as kibbles are convenient to buy and feed your dog, dry food actually does more harm than good for your beloved hound. Highly processed dog foods contain an abundance of carbs, which are naturally starchy therefore easily leaving this dry and pasty texture on your dog’s teeth… not to mention, the powerful odor it leaves when you neglect your dog’s daily brushing!
According to Dog Food Advisor, a dry food’s carbohydrates level is around 46-74% while a raw diet consists of 14% carbohydrates. In reality, dogs require more proteins and fats into their daily intake, and not so much when it comes to carbs.
The solution? Go cold turkey on starchy meals altogether in favor of a raw food diet! Peppermint also busts bacteria and keeps your dog’s mouth feeling fresh and minty. Aside from introducing quality food to their bodies, you would be saving a lot on the vet bills from professional teeth cleaning. Now ain’t that convenient?
3. No More Body Stinks
Just like humans, dogs sometimes emit malodorous smells, too. Some culprits may be ear infections, food allergies, gas, dental problems, and anal sacs. Three out of these causes are rooted in the food they eat. Hence, it is no wonder how switching to a raw food diet can make drastic improvements to their overall health, including the smell of their bodies.
Of course, do not expect them to smell like roses once they make the switch, but do expect close to nothing when smelling them, which is a good sign of health!
Having zero scent means they are finally consuming what is meant for their bodies and taking minimal to no processed (human) foods or dry food (kibbles) that are unnecessary to be included in their diet.
4. Strong Bones and Joints
From policing to guarding the house to saving lives during catastrophes, dogs have an innate sense to be dutiful canines in their communities, which is why it is essential for them to have strong bodies and bones to keep them alert and able.
Munching on crushed bones is not only palatable for them and beneficial to their dental health, but it also provides them with a natural source of phosphorus, calcium, and chondroitin, among others. This helps combat common joint problems like osteochondrosis, elbow dysplasia, different types of arthritis, and joint trauma like fractures and ligament tears.
On this note, you might be wondering what type of bones are safe for your dog’s consumption. For a quick list, the following are great raw bone parts for your canine: chicken and duck wings, chicken, turkey, and duck necks, raw duck and chicken feet, frames/carcass, lamb, pork, and goat ribs and tails.
You might have noticed how the bone sources are poultry animals, and there is a very good reason behind this. Different bone parts from ducks, chickens, and turkeys, as mentioned above, are edible bones and therefore easy to digest. They are also packed with nutrients for your dog’s long-term health.
On the other hand, “recreational bones” like knuckles, necks, kneecaps, and hock bones are great for chewing but not for consumption as this can result in choking, tooth fracture, or intestinal blockage.
Every breed has its own tolerances like larger hounds that are more capable of taking down big bones. Personally, I feel that it’s safer to ground the bones before giving it to your dog because this will ensure that they can easily swallow without any risks of choking on the sharp pieces.
Nevertheless, be mindful of what you toss them, whether for gnawing or swallowing, so you can reap more benefits than risks!
5. Improved Skin and Shinier Coat
Ever noticed how dry-fed dogs have dull-looking coats? Well, you can blame it on the kibbles and cans. While many of them are advertised to have high amounts of nutritional value for your pooch, science says otherwise.
An ideal raw diet consists of 70-80% muscle meat with ligaments, fats, and connective tissues, 10% edible bones or raw meaty bones, 10% secreting organs including kidney, liver, spleen, and pancreas, and an optional 10% of plant matter like fruits, vegetables, and herbs.
All of these ingredients combined have the right amount of calcium, proteins, and phosphorous, to improve your dog’s digestive health, breath, and coat, among others.
With all that information in mind, you can finally say hello to the raw food diet and bid goodbye to common skin conditions among dogs like belly rashes, flakes, hair loss, and irritated skin!
6. Better Stool Quality
If there is anything that would make you most glad about switching to a raw food diet for your dogs is reducing the stink in their poop and improving their stool quality!
Science shows that carbohydrate-rich foods, as well as filler foods like corn and potatoes, take longer to digest without making a significant health impact on your canine digestive system, so this ends up in their stool – making large, odorful volumes in the process.
Contrary to this, raw foods are better absorbed and utilized by dog’s bodies, which results in smaller stools of better quality. For pawrents like you, this means more efficient cleaning without all the unbearable stink! If the benefits of a raw food diet to dogs like “better stool” are not enough to convince you in making the switch, we are not sure what will!
7. Enhanced Reproductive Health
While this aspect may not be largely considered among dog owners when discussing raw foods, the benefits of raw food diet for dogs go beyond mere coat shine and fresh breath and touches the reproductive health of hounds as well.
Whether you are a breeder or you simply want your canines to reproduce normally and healthily with a good sex drive, going raw is the way to go! Diet greatly impacts their fertility. You would want to feed them more protein and fat-rich foods and fewer grains, carbs, and starchy meals.
The same rule applies to female dogs. Avoid carbohydrates as much as possible when boosting their reproductive health as this ingredient can cause fluctuations in their blood sugar levels. This may also lead to miscarriages or “puppy absorption” in already pregnant dogs. After all, a happy (dog) wife makes a happy (fur) life, so go ahead and pamper your pregnant pooch with some raw meaty goodness!
Top 3 Raw Foods To Feed Your Dog
Now that you know of the 7 benefits of a raw food diet for your dogs, you must be wondering, now what? Where can you find the most suitable raw food for your furkids? You’re a busy pawrent and at the same time, you want your furbabies to have the best, most nutritious food available. Where can you get them?
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Below are the top 3 kinds of raw food diet you can get for your doggies.
1. Stella & Chewy’s Freeze-Dried Raw Dinner Patties
Preparing raw food meals every day can be expensive and time-consuming. For busy pawrents, we understand this struggle all too well. Good thing products like Stella & Chewy’s Freeze-Dried Raw Dinner Patties exist!
No more need to go out and hunt for meat, Stella & Chewy does it all for you. They produce meat from cage-free, wild-caught, and farm-raised animals to give you 95% grass-fed beef, goat, and lamb, mixed with 100% organic fruits and vegetables that are responsibly sourced for your dog’s highest nutrition.
This product has no added hormones, antibiotics, grains, or fillers, so you can be sure that this one is packed with all the proteins and greens your canine needs to reap the many benefits of a raw food diet for dogs. Serve them Stella & Chewy’s Freeze-Dried Raw Dinner Patties and watch them get improved appetite, healthy gums and teeth, relief from food allergies, and vibrant skin and coat!
2. Purina Busy Real Beefhide Dog Chews
Dogs love treats, no doubt about it! But what makes them even happier is getting to gnaw on an entire bone! For small to large breeds, the Purina Busy Real Beefhide Dog Chews are a real treat! It contains no artificial colors and flavors and is made for long-lasting gnawing fun.
This product is easily digestible for all dogs and has zero rawhide. Produced from farm-raised cattle, you can expect your canine to savor this delish chew for hours on end. The Purina Busy Chew Selection is available in Rollhide, Chewnola, Ribhide, Jerky Wraps, and Jerky Twists.
3. Stewart Freeze-Dried Dog Treats
What’s convenient about raw foods for dogs is their availability in other forms. Not only can they be served in meals but also in treats! If you are looking for an all-natural, grain-free, training treat minus all the preservatives and processed ingredients, then this Stewart Freeze-Dried Dog Treats is the top choice for you!
It is 100% responsibly sourced in the USA with their trademark freezing method for the palate satisfaction of dogs and the training convenience of owners. It is made with human-grade beef liver with no added gluten, soy, artificial flavors or colors, or GMO.
Feel free to give this as a puppy treat, dog treat, or food topper to slowly introduce your pup or canine to raw, process-free ingredients and reap the many benefits of a raw food diet for dogs.
Canines of all ages from pups to senior dogs can greatly benefit from adding or completely transitioning into raw foods with their diet. Vitality, strengthened bones, improved dental hygiene, better-quality stool, shinier coats, reduced body smells, stronger immune system, and healthier reproductive health are among the benefits of a raw food diet for dogs.
It may be more expensive and time-consuming than conveniently purchasing a bag of kibbles, but it is all worth it for a longer and healthier life for your canine.