Raw food diet or kibble? There is no right or wrong answer - find the best option for you and your dog. If you feed your dog kibble, find a high quality and trustworthy brand that names ingredients on the label and aren't vague about their protein sources, and why certain additives are in the food (if any).
Raw feeding or BARF (biologically appropriate raw foods) is a diet based on the principle that dogs are carnivores designed to eat raw meat and bones. naturally nourishing, easily digested and highly palatable, raw feeding is growing in popularity with dog owners and an alternative to a dried, processed diet. It could benefit the dogs with sensitive digestion or food intolerances.
Sometimes high quality food is more expensive and homemade diets can be less expensive. Kibble is a much more convenient option for dog owners, but on the other hand, raw meat can contain e coli or salmonella, causing the dog to become ill.
Raw meat diets should be made up of:
- 80% meat/sinew/ligaments and fat
- 10% edible bone
- 5% liver
- 5% other organs.
Some people do mix a half and half diet - where they use raw meat mixed with kibble. It's a choice that has to suit the dog and the owner.
Benefits of feeding dogs a raw food diet makes their breath fresher and their teeth cleaner/whiter. They also have a more stable energy, causing less hyperactivity (bonus!). Raw food is easier to digest and allow sensitive stomachs to improve (hopefully!). It also helps with a reduction to allergies and intolerances. Compared to kibble, it removes a lot of unnecessary carbohydrates - this helps a dog to lose weight or maintain their condition. Your hound will also have a shinier coat and healthier skin.
Raw food is free from (always check the labels to 100% sure and don't just take my word for it!):
- gelling and thickening agents
- added sugar.
Some products that promote a raw diet or are an natural alternative to processed meat:
- Natures Menu (food comes in cans and pouches, which is sealed raw and gently steam cooked to seal in the nutrients)
- Natural Instinct (pre packaged and pre weighed meat)
- Lily's Kitchen (grain free kibble and meat comes in tins)
- AniForte (tubs of meat and bone meals)