Why Do You Need to Feed Your Dog Raw? - Health Benefits of Raw Feeding.
Is a raw diet right for your big dog? If your dog struggles with allergies, weight problems, digestive issues, or any sort of common conditions that influence dogs, feeding raw dog food might be just the perfect answer you are looking for.
For years, many dogs owners have turned to raw diets as a solution food, & the results have been pretty amazing. Feeding your big dog as nature intended means that they’ll get necessary nutrients from sources that their bodies are built to digest, leading to improved immune system and overall health.
If you are looking for honest and quick answers to your burning raw food questions, then this article is for you. You will be able to know why everyone is so obsessed with raw feeding & be able to confidently decide if feeding raw dog food is right for your pet.
A raw dog food diet focus on uncooked meat (often muscle & organ meat), whole or crushed bones, fruits, raw eggs & some dairy.
Raw diets basically started with racing greyhounds & sled dogs. In the year 1993, Australian veterinarian named ‘Ian Billinghurst’ proposed extending the food/diet to family dogs. He called this the “BARF diet” for all dogs, which stands for Bones & Raw Food or Biologically Appropriate Raw Food.
Billinghurst suggested dogs would flourish well on BARF food diet because this is how they ate prior to being domesticated. He also said that commercial pet foods were harmful to the health of big dogs like American Bulldog and American Bully. However, many vets & the FDA disagree with Billinghurst’s point.
It’s a common misconception that raw food is only meat. That’s a large part of it, but a raw dog diet must contain all of their essential pet nutrients, so muscle meat, organs, bones, & even a little vegetation may be required to help the dogs thrive.
You can’t feed your domestic dog a raw steak & call it a day; you have to make sure that the food diet is nutritionally balanced. Incomplete or unbalanced food diets can cause lifelong issues from deficiencies or malnutrition.
Reasons Why You Should Feed Your Dog Raw
Allergies, obesity, diabetes, & cancer and other such diseases are more common than ever, and your dog’s diet may have a lot to do with that. The rise in such life-threatening and fatal diseases has pushed us to dig deeper & find ways to prevent and treat our pets naturally.
Feeding your dog a raw food diet will positively affect different aspects of their health, but before you get started, it's essential to understand how & why a raw diet might be right for your big dog (Boerboel, Cane Carso etc.).
Here are 5 reasons you should trust raw food diets to reliably & effectively improve your dog's health:
Cut the Junk
Sugars, heavily processed ingredients, junk foods & the pollutants and harmful chemicals that come hand-in-hand with mass-produced food diet are getting harsh to avoid, especially in pet food. A growing wish to get back to the stunning nature, cut out the junk, & improve our dogs’ health has started to push us towards specialty pet or dog foods.
Feeding raw diets lets you take back control of your dog's food and nutrition by cutting out the mystery ingredients & synthetic additives and replacing them with highly digestible food nutrients from fresh, real foods.
Better diet plan and nutrition leads to better skin & coat, healthier joints, improved digestion, & better weight management.
Fad Doesn’t Mean False
It's effortless to get swept up in fad food diets; keto, vegan, & the ongoing long battle with grains, are just a few of the food diets circulating the crazy world of pet and dog food.
When it comes to your pet dog’s health, you need to know that your big dog is biologically different. A food diet that may fit your lifestyle, beliefs, & make you feel good might not be suitable for your dog. They have different sort of dietary needs than you; they can be met with a complete & balanced raw food diet.
The only method to completely nourish dogs is to feed them special food that their bodies are designed to thrive on. This concept is called a “biologically appropriate diet.”
Feeding big dogs this way is a normal hot point in the pet & dog industry, as it directly opposes the data that we have been taught for over the years, but it's harsh to argue with their ancestry or anatomy.
We will admit that "biologically appropriate" is kind of a catchy term used to get your attention, but it conveys to feed your dog based on how their species should eat. In this case, such as their wolf ancestors.
Dogs are Scavenging Carnivores
Even though big and small dogs are technically classified as omnivores, meaning they can easily survive on both meat and plants, their history & bodies tell us a different sort of story. We argue that all dogs are scavenging carnivores.
Unlike an obligate carnivore that must eat chicken or meat to survive, like cats, scavenging carnivores can adapt to all the nutrients around them. They roam for food & eat what is available. All dogs can survive on plant materials & minimal pet protein if they have to, but they will thrive on a meat-rich food diet.
Sticking more closer to their carnivorous roots can prevent common issues like diabetes, obesity & other life-threatening pet diseases linked to inappropriate food diets and poor quality food ingredients.
Your Big Dog Eats Like a Carnivore
To help you better understand the advantages of feeding a raw food diet to your pet dog, you need to know how your dog digests every food. Here are some physical features that support the idea that all dogs are carnivores by nature:
Digestion normally starts in your dog's mouth. The act of chewing sets dogs apart from other animals that are suited to eating plant food materials. This is basically based on two things: A lack of enzymes in their saliva & their teeth’ shape.
Dogs generally do not have the digestive enzyme Amylase chemical in their saliva. Other omnivores such as bears, & people, secrete this enzyme to kick-start the breakdown of the carbs in our food diet. Without this natural enzyme, carb-heavy foods can be more difficult for their bodies to digest.
Like most of the omnivores, your pet dog has canines & incisors upfront, and premolars & molars at the back, but that surely doesn’t mean they are designed to eat the same diet food.
In any omnivore's jaw, the molars are broader & flatter, allowing them to grind grains, grass, & other plant material to begin the food digestion process. Plants have an indigestible outer casing called cellulose. By grinding their food, omnivores remove the cellulose shell, making the food nutrients easier to digest & absorb.
Unlike any omnivore, your pet dog's teeth fit together like scissors & are not meant for grinding like humans are. Their teeth are designed to tear and slice chicken or meat. Of course, your pet dog's food diet is already ground, so their carnivorous teeth don't usually hinder them, but it is evidence that it's not the food diet that they are designed for.
You may also notice that most pet dogs do not chew their food diet very thoroughly. This is the reason they just don't have that sort of instinct. Their teeth helps them to slice food into small enough pieces to swallow whole food, like a carnivore.
The next carnivorous stage of digestion is animal’s stomach. Your pet dog's stomach is more acidic than yours, helping them to handle the bacteria found in raw food meat. Dog's do have a larger stomach cavity that is designed in a way to hold food diet for longer than ours does. This acid bath breaks down food & edible bone into chyme & reduces the bacteria to manageable levels.
Chyme is a gooey solution of food, stomach acids, & digestive juices that is ready to move to the intestines for further breakdown, absorption, & excretion.
Without an acidic environment, your pet dog would struggle to process chicken or meat, bone, & even plant matter properly, not to mention the bacteria found on raw, cooked & processed foods.
Going Meat-Free Is Definitely Possible, But Not Always Recommended
It may seem contradictory for you to the message of this blog post, but the fact is - Yes! All dogs can survive on a vegetarian or vegan food diet. The trick is that vegetarian food diets can be hard to balance & can lead to your dog lacking vital nutrients over time if you don't know what you are doing.
We are so used to trusting the labels/banners on our animal food that say complete & balanced. We often overlook the fact that every pet dog is different, & there is no ‘one size fits all’ pet diet and food. So you need to look beyond the attention-seeking buzzwords & pretty packaging to ensure that your pet dog is getting the complete & balanced essential nutrition that they need.
A plant-based food diet should be as natural as possible & contain the proper amounts of all the essential nutrients needed to stay fit and healthy. This can be challenging because meat is the best source of many vital nutrients, such as amino acids and omega fatty acids.
Animals meat (food) is a complete protein, means it supplies the full spectrum or course of amino acids required to keep your big dog healthy. Very few plant proteins has all of the vital nutrients your pet dog needs, so finding a truly complete plant-based food diet is pretty hard. Most diets require supplementation to maintain balance appropriately.
Plant-based food diets are typically much lower in protein too. While this isn't a deal-breaker for all pet dogs, it does suggest that there is less level of protein to aid in muscle upkeep or for growth. This can lead to pet dogs being overweight & muscle loss that can affect joints & connective tissues.
If you do select a vegetarian food diet, then consider supplementing your big dog's food with fresh ingredients. Make the dog food as easy to digest as possible by offering and implementing natural sources of their needed nutrients.
Massivemastiffs highly recommend adding some sort of complete plant based protein, too, such as quinoa or buckwheat, broccoli, carrots, spinach, kale, They are less commonly found in a pet's diet but can surely help you balance your dog’s diet better. If you can't find a commercial food diet with a complete plant based protein, then feed it supplementally.
Below is a BARF / Raw diet plan which is a very useful guide and what fruit and vegetables you can and MUST NOT feed your dog.
Health Benefits of Raw Feeding
Superior Joint and Bone Health
There is no other better way to support bones than with bones! With crushed real bone - a natural source of calcium, phosphorus, glucosamine, chondroitin, collagen & marrow. All of these essential components result in healthy growth in big dogs as well as maintaining great joint & bone health for your pet dog throughout their life.
Strengthened Immune System
The immune system of any animal is the first defense for fighting off any infection, which is why it’s so essential to keep it in tip-top and perfect shape. Providing complete & balanced food nutrition is vital to help our dogs’ immune systems thrive and also the nutrition in all-natural ingredients have the added advantages of being highly digestible for your pet dog.
Improved Skin And Softer, Shinier Coat
Raw food diets contain many impotent ingredients that support skin & coat health, one of the most notable & researched being omega-3 fatty acids. Healthy and needed omega fats play a crucial role in supporting healthy skin & a soft coat as well as providing other anti-inflammatory benefits, perfect for pet dogs with allergies or inflammatory skin diseases.
Superior Dental Health
Poor dental hygiene can, sometimes, be attributed to a poor pet diet, especially those that are heavily processed and high in carbohydrates. Raw, meaty bones are well-famous as being nature’s toothbrush for all big dogs, and helping them to get into those tricky places between their teeth & assist with the removal of plaque.
For fresh breath, a food rich in healthy natural ingredients like celery & occasionally even peppermint can be often used to freshen up your dogs’ breath.
With the right knowledge, selecting a raw food diet should feel less daunting. The results will definitely help you provide the best life for your big dog (like Rottweiler, American Bulldog Dogo Argentino and many more) so that they can continue to bring joy to your home.
Give raw diet a chance. Your pet dog will thank you, & with the money, you will save on vet bills, and so will your wallet. Best of all, your big dog will live their absolute best & healthiest life.