Is your dog or cat getting a RAW deal when it comes to their food? Maybe, they should!

Despite claims of raw food being “dangerous,” the trend to feed dogs and cats food that mimics a diet as if they were living in the wild is becoming increasingly popular.

The pet food nutritionists at Tabby & Jacks have separated the hyperbole from the facts and will explain the benefits of feeding your pet a raw diet.

Even if you’re not fully on board with going raw, there are steps you can take to ease into the journey to see if going raw is a good fit for you and your pet.

But first, just a few of the benefits:

  • No preservatives, fillers, or thickeners
  • High in protein and healthy fats
  • Loaded with natural enzymes that help digestion
  • Often need less raw food than processed food since they are getting the maximum nutrition with less

 So, why all the warnings about raw food being dangerous?

Many veterinarians believe handling and feeding raw food increases a risk of infection for both owner and pet. Raw meats in particular can breed dangerous bacteria that might be ingested by the pet and/or transferred to the owner during food prep or a friendly kiss from Fido, according to an article from Time Magazine.

Steve Brown, revolutionized the pet food industry with the first commercially available raw food diet, and says hogwash to that.

"Sterilization of pet food isn’t for the benefit of pets, though, it’s for their owners. Dogs and cats are built to handle heavy bacterial loads in their diet. The crazy thing is, most fresh human food isn’t sterilized, yet we need to sterilize pet food. The whole idea is absurd, but the premise is that HPP’ing (high-pressure processing) pet food insures there’s no contamination issue for humans. Yet, humans are still handling and eating their own unsterilized food. Absurd." 

Read more from Steve Brown

So, why are more pet owners taking the “risk”?

Dr. Karen Becker with Mercola believes the benefits of feeding pets raw food far exceeds any potential dangers. Becker gives credit to self-educated pet owners who’ve made the logical leap that unprocessed food is healthier than say, kibble that’s been stripped of most of its nutrients before it hits the bag for storage.

As Becker noted, and Tabby and Jack’s has experienced first-hand, many pet owners have seen amazing recoveries of their sick pets after they were switched to raw, or near-raw diets.

Feeding a homemade raw diet is best according Becker, but much attention needs to be given to ratios and the types of raw foods offered. If you’re looking to do a deep-dive into homemade raw food, you can start here – and of course, always stop in to Tabby & Jacks for more advice.

For many pet owners, however, a homemade raw diet is too time consuming to feed daily. No worries!

The pet food industry has been forced to meet the demands of educated consumers and are offering several types of balanced raw food available at healthy pet boutiques like yours truly!

Packaged frozen and freeze-dried varieties are easier solutions for the time-pressed pet owner and should be already balanced to meet the specific nutritional requirements of your dog or cat.

Still not convinced?

Try a topper! An increasingly popular variety of raw food called a topper is now widely available for those not sure about raw.

Toppers consist of freeze dried bits of raw food that can be mixed with your dog or cat’s kibble or wet food. Think of it as a supplement, much like you might take a vitamin.

Tabby and Jacks believes we’re just scratching the surface of the benefits of a raw pet diet. This article was meant to outline some of what you might have been hearing to help you make an informed decision and ask the right questions should you be considering going raw.

We will be covering more on raw diets going forward, but for now feel free to stop by your local Tabby & Jacks where we’re always happy to help!