Raw food diets are defined as feeding domestic dogs primarily raw meet, edible bones, and organs. A typical raw food diet would consist of muscle meat still on the bone, organ meats, vegetables like spinach and broccoli, raw eggs, apples, and some dairy. Racing greyhounds and sled dogs have long been fed raw food diets. In 1993, Australian veterinarian Ian Billinghurst suggested the BARF (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food, or Bones And Raw Food) diet for domestic pets. Though the popularity of these diets is rising, there are pros and cons to a raw food diet for dogs and veterinarians, as well as the FDA, disagree about the topic.
- Healthier skin and teeth
- Shinier coat – attributed to the higher fat content of the raw diet
- Increased energy
- Not appropriate for all dogs, especially those with late-stage kidney or liver failure, due to high protein content
- Puppies are also not good candidates as the incorrect calcium and phosphorus ratio can cause bone deformities
- Threats to health from bacteria in raw meat
- Potential for choking on bone fragments
Talk to your vet if you are thinking about altering your dog’s diet. For more information, see the link below.