Apr 11 , 2022
The health benefits to your dog when feeding a raw food diet:
- Shinier, healthier coat
- Improved skin condition
- Better digestion
- Bolstered immune system
- Fresher breath
- Cleaner teeth
- Increased vitality in older dogs
- More stable energy and stamina in all dogs
- Improved mobility and ease of movement
- Easier weight control
- Athletic physique
- Reduction in allergy symptoms
- Smaller, firmer, low-odour, pickupable stools
- Less hyperactivity and behavioural issues
Lets look at some of those in a bit more detail...
More than three in four dogs and cats suffer some degree of dental disease by the time they reach three years old. As many dog owners know (depending on how relaxed your dog is), brushing your dogs teeth can be an exceptionally tricky exercise and feels sometimes impossible to reach certain parts of their mouth. However, the process of chewing, biting and tearing raw meats and raw bones, referred to as food with more hassle factor by researchers, has been found to keep dental disease at bay.
Healthier skin and shinier coat
A diet that consists of fresh, raw and natural foods will provide your dog with the essential fatty acids and amino acids they need to maintain healthy skin and a shiny coat. A dog's skin and fur are almost exclusively built from protein, and up to 30% of the protein consumed in the diet is used by the body to maintain skin and coat condition. This is why the easily digestible protein content of a quality natural raw dog food will transform a dull and lacklustre coat into a glossy, shiny, healthy coat. Skin can also show noticeable improvements on raw diets, especially in dogs that suffer from skin irritations.
Relief from food allergies and sensitivities
Corn, wheat, and soy are all potential allergens to dogs; a diet consisting of these ingredients (and others) can manifest in a range of health conditions. Raw food diets, by nature, are usually grain-free and gluten-free. The species-appropriateness of a raw food diet helps maintain a healthy gut environment and, in turn, an effective immune response. Imbalance within the gut is known to be the root cause of many unwanted symptoms. Therefore, adding in food that nourishes, and removing food that irritates, is often the first step to resolving many conditions such as ear, nose and eye problems, digestive complaints, itching, paw licking and even mobility issues. Symptoms can often clear up quickly once a raw dog food diet is adopted and processed, refined, synthetic ingredients are removed.
*Please note conditions caused by food sensitivities or allergies are not limited to those referred to above.
Digestion is the bodily system that ensures the nutrients necessary for the bodys intricate organs, systems and functions to operate effectively are absorbed. Effective digestion, then, is crucial to health and wellbeing.
A raw dog food diet complements the canine digestive system. The PH levels, gut flora and short digestive tract of the canine stomach are designed to break down the proteins and bone in a raw dog food diet - not the carbohydrates and intensively refined ingredients in processed foods. These ingredients are thought to cause fermentation in the gastro-intestines, put a strain on vital organs and even cause inflammation (among other things). A clean, clear, and effectively functioning digestive system can be achieved with a natural raw dog food diet.
Increased vitality and energy
A natural food diet is great for a dogs general well-being, where dogs don't have the sugar spikes and dips they often experience from kibble and their energy is much more consistent and stable. Fewer spikes and dips can also aid cognitive function and focus.
The most effective energy sources for dogs are fats and proteins. A natural raw food diet is rich in these vital macronutrients leading to more consistent and stable energy levels. It makes sense that eating a diet with less junk for the body to process reduces demand on the organs and its systems - meaning more energy for aiding physiological functions, cognitive abilities and focus. Foods rich in carbs, such as kibble, are thought to create energy fluctuations caused by sugar spikes and dips, much like humans. Interestingly, there is much evidence to suggest that dogs do not require carbohydrates in their diet at all.
Boosted immune system
As you would expect, when a dog is eating what nature intended, their immune system and internal organ functions can operate more effectively. As mentioned above, a raw dog food diet is highly supportive of gut health, and as 70% of the immune system is located in the gut, it makes sense that eating fresh and natural food is beneficial to immune function. Combine this with the abundance of vitamins and minerals vital for growth, repair, and development in wholesome and natural, bio-available ingredients - meaning the body can easily absorb the nutrients from the food- and it makes sense that a raw diet will condition your dog from the inside out!
A dogs weight is a common reason an owner will switch to a raw or natural dog food diet. And the good news is, it works.
The main ingredients in many processed foods are almost always calorie-loaded carbohydrate fillers, often enhanced with additives to make the dog crave more, with little real nutritional value. Those carbs trigger insulin release in the body, leading to fat storage, plus the low amounts of quality protein lead to low satiation, leaving the dog feeling hungry within a short time of eating. And so, the vicious cycle continues.
By contrast, studies show meat is the lowest GL (glycemic load) food available for dogs - meaning it does not spike sugar levels and trigger insulin release, i.e. has the opposite effect to carb-laden foods. A quality raw food diet is a much better way to manage a dogs weight without all of the unnecessary waste. Biologically appropriate raw dog food is of such quality that the dog absorbs almost all of its nutrients and goodness rather than passing it out as waste.
Further to the point above, a welcome side effect of switching to raw feeding is that stools are often smaller as there is significantly less waste in a natural food diet. Raw feeders report a noticeable drop in the amount their dog produces (and consequently has to be picked up in the garden!). Alongside this, stools are firmer, anal gland function is naturally promoted, and there is usually zero flatulence due to an improved digestive system.