Feeding Your Pets a Raw Food Diet: Is it a fad?

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The past few years has seen the emergence of feeding dogs and cats a raw food diet. It is also known as BARF, an acronym for bones and raw food. Advocates of the diet say that it is as close to a wild diet as a domesticated pet is going to receive. However, is a raw diet a good thing? Or is it a fad?

The first thing to look at with the raw diets is how closely they mimic the food found in the wild. Just because we have domesticated cats and dogs does not mean we have domesticated their digestive systems. So on first glance, a raw diet is beneficial. But each species needs to be fed a specific type of raw diet. Dogs are omnivorous, and cats are obligate carnivores.

Commercial pet foods, while not always having the best ingredients, still adhere to a set of guidelines and provide specific nutrients your pet needs. However, a cat is not designed to digest grains, whereas a dog can. Feeding a cat food that is laden with grains is the cause of a stinky litter box. It is a fact that raw diets eliminate smell almost entirely. Dogs also should be fed a diet that is higher in meat than grains, but they can still consume corn and rice.

Ultimately a raw diet is beneficial to pets and is not a fad, but there are nutrients that are lacking in a straight raw meat diet. Research before feeding, and ensure that the necessary vitamins and minerals are supplemented.

 

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