By: Dr. Clayton Greenway, B.Sc., DVM | Nov 4, 2016
Dr. Greenway discusses general info and tips about feeding a raw food diet to cats and dogs as well as things you want to be on the lookout for. In this video we discuss starting raw food as a trial, introducing it slowly, managing the bacteria, implications of high fat and protein, pancreatitis, and getting advice from the retailer and your veterinarian.
I get a lot of questions about raw food and whether people should try it. I think it really comes down to your individual beliefs as to whether you want something really natural, instead of something that’s processed in a bag with a lot of preservatives. Let’s face it a lot of our foods get bagged and really they come in that form because of things like transport and storage of that food and they’re highly compressed and they have lots of chemicals in them and preservatives to make sure that they don’t go bad.
I think picking either a commercial diet or a raw food really depends on how your dog accepts it and whether they’re healthy on it and to me that means that they are eating it well, they’re maintaining a good weight, they’re not itchy, they have stools that are of good quality, they’re not having diarrhea and they like to eat it.
So if you want to try feeding a raw food, you’ll want to try it very, very slowly and here’s a couple things to remember about a raw food. It’s naturally going to have more bacteria, so when you’re handling it, maybe in your kitchen or on your kitchen counter, even in the bowl, you’re going to want to clean up better and make sure that those areas are scrubbed down afterwards because there will be a higher level of bacteria in these foods.
You’re going to really want to watch your dog after it starts to eat it. There is typically a lot of protein and a higher meat volume in a raw-food. This can be difficult on the pancreas if it’s not used to that. The pancreas is an organ that breaks down the proteins and fats in our food and if you get a very high protein, high fat meal, it can stimulate an inflammation of the pancreas called pancreatitis and your dog can get quite sick. If you bring that food on very slowly, you’re going to avoid that. These are some of the concerns that we have with raw food, but they’re easily avoided if you want to try it. The retailer that you get it at will also have specific information from other clients that have tried that food and I think their information is quite valuable as well. If you want some more information about this you’ll find it in our links here on healthcareforpets.com.
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