Posted on Apr 1st 2020
What is a raw diet?
Raw foods have become very popular in recent years. This can be contributed to the belief that, if in the wild, cats and dogs would be eating the prey that they kill. This prey would consist mostly of muscle tissue, organ meat, bones, and the contents of the prey's stomach. When animal prey is not available, they would be eating fruits and vegetables. Raw food diets most closely mimic the diet of wild cats and dogs. They are formulated with high levels of meat, organs, bones, and moisture (up to 95%) with balanced levels of fruits, vegetables, vitamins and nutrients.
Feeding your companion raw food is an incredibly healthy way to feed because no nutrients, enzymes or healthy bacteria are lost in the cooking process. Because of the natural vitamins and minerals present in raw diet, there is no need to add any synthetic vitamins.
Since cats are obligate carnivores, a raw diet is the best diet for a cat. The high meat content and moisture content are vital for them to thrive!
Where are raw diets found in the store?
Most raw diets are located in the freezer case, but they also come in freeze dried and dehydrated formulas. These "dry" raw formulas can be very convenient for traveling and are very easy to store. These formulas will be more nutritionally dense than kibble and canned diets (like the frozen raw).
What are the benefits of raw diets?
Raw food diets have many benefits, including:
- Whole food ingredients - many raw diets use only whole food ingredients, so your pet will get all the balanced nutritional value intended.
- Limited ingredients - there tend to be a very limited amount of ingredients in raw food diets. This can be great for avoiding allergies and sensitivities.
- Very easy to digest - because of the limited whole food ingredients. Also, there is none to very minimal amounts of processing. Raw foods are also high in enzymatic levels, meaning that the "tools" you need to breakdown and digest these foods are included with the serving.
- Very easy to absorb - whole foods, limited ingredients, easy to digest – are all key for maximum absorption.
Are raw diets safe?
Contrary to the fear of most people, raw diets are safe, healthy and nutritious for dogs and cats. Their digestive tracts are short and highly concentrated with digestive enzymes. Bacteria found in raw meats do not harm them. Dogs and cats were eating raw meat long before the introduction of kibble! The potential threat is to the human preparing the food.
Raw diets are manufactured in human food processing plants and are continually monitored for bacteria harmful for humans, such as Salmonella and E-coli. Because the raw meat you'd buy at the grocery store is meant to be cooked to kill bacteria, the raw diets we carry are actually safer than raw meat purchased at the grocery store! Even though there is a low risk of contamination, raw diets should be handled like any other raw meat. Bowls, utensils and surfaces should be cleaned and disinfected after meals to help prevent salmonella poisoning to the human.
How should raw diets be prepared?
The raw meat diets are kept frozen until they are ready to be consumed. Raw foods should be thawed in the refrigerator. Raw diets should not be thawed in the microwave or with hot water as the application of heat will kill the beneficial elements of the raw diet. Once thawed, they should be consumed within three days.
Dehydrated raw can be mixed with water to re-hydrate and serve. Follow the instructions listed on the label. Freeze dried raw can also be re-hydrated with water, given dry with plenty of water on the side, given as a treat or crushed and sprinkled over kibble diets to add extra "raw" nutrition.