It’s all about gut health, as gut health leads to better overall health. That’s why you may consider switching your dog to a raw diet. If you’ve ever thought about it, we’ve got some info on the benefits of gut health and a raw food diet for your dog.
At Bernie’s Best, we know the health of your dog depends a lot on what their gut health is like. When we created Perfect Poop, we did so with the intention of helping our dogs, Bernie and Lady, have the best gut health they could. In consulting with experts and researching how to keep them their healthiest, we also looked into switching them to a raw diet.
What is a raw dog food diet?
Raw diets, or raw dog food diets, are also known as BARF diets. They’re ‘biologically appropriate raw foods’ and they can be a great way to nourish your dog’s gut health and his overall health. There are different types of raw dog food diets, with some being wholly raw foods similar to what your dog might come across in the wild and others being mixes of kibble with raw foods for extra nutrients.
Raw diets are feeding routines that consist in part or whole of raw meat, bones, and vegetables. Many who feed dogs a raw diet also include supplements for maximum nutrient absorption. Generally speaking, raw diets for dogs are thought to be the closest way to resemble what dogs’ wolf ancestors may have eaten and are a biologically responsive way to eat a similar diet.
Why should I consider switching my dog to raw diet?
There are lots of reasons for switching dogs to raw diets. Many pet parents and experts believe that dogs’ raw diets can help increase energy levels, make their coats and fur nice and healthy and support their overall health. This is thought to be because dogs may more easily digest raw diets and this means more nutrient absorption. Optimal nutrient absorption can help boost their immune system and also decrease digestive issues like constipation, gas, diarrhea and more.
Others switch dogs to raw diets because they’re simply concerned about the ingredients in many of the traditional kibble dog foods. Too many dry kibbles have questionable ingredients, fillers, preservatives and other additives that may not lend themselves to your dog’s optimal health. This isn’t just in less expensive kibble dog foods, either. Many high-end and expensive brands have more filler ingredients than anything else, and if your dog cannot obtain nutrients from the food you feed, their gut health and overall health will likely suffer. You may be paying for food that just isn’t as nutritious as you may think it is. Raw dog food diets are often thought to be healthier options as there is more whole food content for your dog to digest.
Additionally, some dog parents prefer raw diets because they seem more species-specific and have appropriate forms of nutrition. Commercial dog foods are typically cooked at high heats and processed in ways that destroy much of the nutrients. Raw foods and ingredients preserve the nutrients and allow them to be more easily digested by your dog.
Because raw dog food diets include bones, they can also add benefits in improving your dog’s dental health. Chewing the raw bones can help scrape tartar and plaque off their teeth. Keeping your dog’s teeth free from both of those can reduce their risk of coming down with gum disease or the loss of teeth.
Concerns About Raw Diets For Dog
While switching to a raw diet for dogs may have benefits, there are some concerns dog parents have. One is that though bones may be good for teeth, you have to be careful because some may splinter and/or cause injuries or even choking. It’s thought that feeding raw bones appropriate to your dog’s breed and size is best.
Other concerns arise when you don’t check with your vet before switching a dog to a raw diet. It’s important to make sure your dog gets the right amount of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, protein, fiber and more. While dry kibble may be highly processed, it is formulated to offer an appropriate balance of nutrition. With raw diets for dogs, that may be hit or miss if you don’t ensure the balance of nutrients in the food.
Raw diets also carry concern because raw meat can carry bacteria like E. coli and salmonella, both of which can be harmful to your dog and to you. When switching to raw dog food you want to be sure to wash your hands and the surfaces the food touches thoroughly after handling. Raw dog food can be stored in the freezer and then thawed in the refrigerator instead of room temperature to help prevent bacteria from forming.
Do raw dog food diets help gut health?
People switch their dog to raw diets because they’re looking to support their gut health.
Raw meat has enzymes that help break food down to the smallest particles for absorption. This helps support healthy and efficient digestion, which strengthens gut health.
Additionally, raw meat contains probiotics. Probiotics are good bacteria that live in guts and support immune systems. Adding raw meat to your dog’s diet adds these beneficial bacteria, which helps keep your dog’s microbiome balanced.
What if you don’t want to switch your dog to a raw diet?
There may be many benefits to switching a dog to a raw diet, but many dog parents find that raw diets are more expensive and perhaps not cost-effective for their budgets. Or they just can’t prepare nutritionally balanced meals as regularly as their dog needs. Some people are put off by the health concerns of foodborne illness, or the worry about the potential for injury with bone splinters.
Not everyone finds raw diets as convenient as traditional dry kibble as dry kibble can be stored for long times and doesn’t require preparation ahead of time.
Some people prefer not to switch their dog to raw diet because their vet is not on board.
If you’d like the benefits of better gut health, but aren’t sure about a raw diet for your dog right now, the good news is that there are options for supplementing your dog’s gut health.
Adding Bernie’s Perfect Poop to each of your dog’s meals can add premium fiber, pre- and probiotics and digestive enzymes. Perfect Poop is delicious with two formulas, and a quick, convenient and cost-effective way to help your dog digest his food better and build a stronger gut. The probiotics in Perfect Poop are specifically chosen to withstand the harsh environment of your dog’s stomach and supplement as some commercial foods aren’t able to because of their high-heat processing.
Most importantly, we created Perfect Poop because we love our dogs as much as you love yours. We’re always looking for how to help them live their healthiest, happiest lives, and keeping their gut in great shape is the best way to do it.