The raw food diet is a big trend in weight loss and healthy living in people. That diet is now being brought over to our pet community. This is bringing up a lot of discussion on the benefits of feeding our pets raw pet food.
The arguments in support of the diets claim that it is overall a healthier way for your dog to live. The food is more natural, ie. organic. It leads to healthier weight, shinier coats, fewer skin problems, fewer allergies, fewer ear infections, less plaque and tartar on teeth, and a longer living pet.
Feeding your pet raw pet food leads to fewer trips to the vet, especially later in life, and promotes a happier more natural dog. Natural meaning they are closer to nature and their ancestral roots.
The Counter Argument
Cost. This is the biggest argument against raw pet food. The cost of the food is sometimes 10x more than standard pet food. The supporters of the diet are not primarily suggesting you make your own raw pet food, rather they are selling raw pet food in pet supply stores. Their pet food has a larger diversity in ingredients including duck, lamb and goats milk.
Of course, switching to high quality dry dog food will also result in less plaque and tarter. Quality pet food overall will lead to fewer skin problems, allergies, ear infections and promote longevity. Will one result in more of these things? That is yet to be seen.
The diet has not been around long enough to conclusively say that it leads to fewer trips to the vet or that it has long term health benefits. What has been shown is that their is a significantly higher presence of E-Coli and Salmonella in raw pet food.
The argument that your pet lives longer on raw food is being countered by the fact that wolves, who only live on a raw food diet, only live an average of 6 years.
Ultimately the raw pet food diet is a costly alternative to a traditional dog food diet. Will it lead to a healthier dog? Maybe, but the jury is still out.