Is a raw diet the key to canine and feline longevity?

You’ve more than likely seen a lot of “Hype” around “Raw Diets” over the last decade especially as social media has heightened awareness, I most definitely have, I've even decided to earn a living out of it!

However there’s also a lot of “Hate“ for such diets, the majority of which are based on myths not facts being reinforced by the likes of the dry food manufacturers/veterinary bodies.

So i just wanted to go over 3 popular myths about raw diets.

1. Raw meat makes dogs/cats nasty , once they’ve tasted blood they’ll become aggressive/feral.

Well this one does have some context as to how this myth started because many owners who switch their dog/cat to a raw diet will witness something called “Resource Guarding” , this is a display of what can be seen as aggression to those uneducated on animal behaviour, let me explain:

Scenario: ​Imagine you’re a dog and you’ve spent your life eating nothing but pot noodles , digestive biscuits and multivitamins while smelling succulent food being cooked by your owners , enough to make you drool, Then they give you a juicy raw steak, All your christmases have come at once, you’ll guard that moment and food with your life! so, you’ll put your hackles up and give that back off growl while curling your lips if they come close enough to take it from you!

This is what owners are witnessing, which could be understandable scary at the time as their pet is acting out of character, but over time as their pet gets this food multiple times a day, the need to resource guard diminishes and so does the behaviour! So if you are transitioning over, give them space to eat!

2. Dogs and Cats need Dog and Cat food, they need complete and balanced meals every day to survive!

This is another common myth and absolute hypocrisy on many levels, Commercial Dog and Cat foods are “balanced” (on paper) to a T with synthetic vitamins and minerals to achieve said balance, in fact the majority of the nutrition is synthetic! Processed and synthetic foods for health? Think about it... The hypocrisy comes from people and certain vets that have this view and feed/advocate to feed “complete dry foods” yet feed table scraps alongside (Who doesn’t? C’mon were all guilty of that), unbalancing the very food they feed and automatically become a hypocrite! If you’re doing this you might as well feed a varied fresh food diet to achieve balance over time. There isn’t one species in the wild that eats a “Complete and Balanced diet” everyday, in fact there’s only one species that cooks their food....No need to mention which.

3. Dogs and Cats can’t have raw meat , they’ll die of salmonella or E-Coli poisoning!

This one is one I find most bizarre, purely because dry foods have also been found to contain salmonella and recalled for it? Yet the majority of dogs in the world eat a dry food diet, so why doesn’t the same argument apply?

Also if this was really the biggest argument, then there's no reason why you can’t feed home cooked foods then, the key is fresh, Some dogs admittingly so aren’t suited to raw for various ailments such as leaky gut, however fresh home cooked meals are perfect! There really isn’t a reason not to provide your pets with whole fresh foods!

So now we’ve covered the top 3, I've come across have you changed your mindset on how you see the raw diet? Feel free to ask me for a transition guide and how i can support you make the switch, it really isn’t that daunting but ever so rewarding!

I also want to take this time to explain that there’s also a lot of myths for the benefits of raw diets / fresh food diets. Now when i say myths , I'm talking about the medical claims of what some say and in my view it’s false advertising! A raw or home cooked diet isn’t a magic pill, it might not “cure” your dog's issues however those diets are more appropriate to support your pets on a cellular level and reduce inflammation/blood sugar levels and both of those naturally reduce “disease markers” but the diet alone is not guarantee to fight cancer like i’ve seen some say, or make your pets live longer!

It’s all about the bigger picture, their environment, diet, physical activity, psychological state, chemical exposure to name a few all play a part in longevity and they are all synergised and affect each other!

Nutrition is an important factor because the diet is the easiest one an owner has the ability to control, the diet supports the Gut Microbiome to keep a healthy balance of bacteria, should this become unbalanced this is when you’ll start to see physical ailments or even behavioural issues as the gut also controls the central nervous system!

If you're unsure on what raw pet food looks like, get in touch with us, we’ll gladly provide a free sample that you can even try your dog/cat on and take a copy of our transition guide with you!