Why is Natural Pet’s raw dog food a better option than pellets?
Kibble (pellets) contains highly processed ingredients and artificial colourants. It is basically fast food for dogs. I loathe to think what it would be like, as a human, to consume a diet such as this.
The advertising of pellets is ubiquitous, from giant signboards displayed outside most veterinarian clinics to radio and TV ads. This is compounded by many vets, who recommend pellets and discourage raw feeding, as they believe the latter is harmful to dogs.
Dogs are predominantly carnivores and therefore what they eat should be appropriate to their nature. Furthermore, like their ancestors and dogs in the wild, their food should also be raw. This is far more healthy and nutritious for them as many vital elements are lost during the cooking process. Their food should consist of the correct Phosphorous to Calcium ratios.
Meat contains high levels of phosphorus, and bones have high levels of calcium which are essential for dogs, but too much of one can be counterproductive and even harmful to your dog.
Dogs that are fed a raw diet
- Are healthier, more energetic and their overall vitality is better
- Are less prone to illnesses like arthritis, digestive complications and anal sac disease
- Are less likely to develop food allergies
- Have less odorous stools and flatulence
- Have firmer stools (a large firm stool will usually trigger the anal glands)
- Have fresher breath, whiter teeth and salmon pink gums
- Have shinier coats and clear and alert eyes.
Switching from kibble to raw dog food
1. The rapid switch
When it is feeding time again, instead of feeding kibble simply replace it with NATURAL PET raw dog food. This is usually recommended for young or healthy dogs or dogs that might have been fed cooked meats and vegetables. It is the most popular method and the easiest. Some dogs might be slightly constipated or have a bit of diarrhea, this is normal and will resolve itself as the dog’s digestive system adapts to the new food.
The stools will be firm, turn white and become chalky .This is due to the bone content in the food which contains essential calcium for your dog. A dog fed raw, absorbs more nutrients than those fed kibble, thus making their stools 25-30% less voluminous and virtually odorless.
2. The slow switch
This method might be more of a challenge and is recommended for dogs that are older and/or have been fed kibble for a long time. It is also a good idea for dogs that might have various health ailments like gastrointestinal problems. Their systems cannot tolerate the quick change and this might lead to diarrhea and vomiting.
There are 3 options for the slow switch:
- Feed half of the old food for one meal and half of the raw dog food for another. Gradually increase the raw and decrease the old food depending on how your pet responds.
- Mix the raw dog food with the old food and gradually reduce the old food. So add 25% raw dog food, then 50%, then 75% and then eventually 100%. Some pets with sensitive gastrointestinal systems might not be able to handle the mix of quite different foods and may develop digestive problems.
- This might be appropriate for pet owners who have fed their pets home-cooked meals. If your dog is not used to the raw dog food, you can cook it. We suggest pouring boiling water over it, wait for it to cool down and then feed it to your dog. If this doesn’t work you can try cooking the food for longer.
Please note that once your pet is fed a raw dog food diet, it will pass stools less often than a dog fed pellets and might also strain slightly. This is a good sign as it activates and cleans the anal glands. The stools might also look like buck droppings. If the straining is excessive, you can add some cooked pumpkin or butternut to the raw dog food while the dog’s digestive system adjusts to the new diet.
To learn more about the science behind BARF and kibble you can read articles by food proponent Dr Ian Billinghurst B.V.Sc.[hons],B.Sc.Agr.Dip. Ed and others: