Raw Dog Food – Where is it found? Are There choices? ^
Raw dog food use and sales have increased each year due to:
• Increased number of companies making it
• Increased number of pet stores selling it
• Increased number of forms of raw dog food
• Owners want options
Raw Dog Food comes in several forms:
A. Raw Frozen – meat of chicken, beef, turkey, venison….is put in plastic packages and frozen. The form can be a chunk of meat or put in the form of patties (like frozen hamburger patties at the grocery store). Patties have the advantage – the exact calorie count per patty. Example: 1 ounce medallion patties are only 46 calories on average. Either High protein/low carbohydrate snack or added to dry dog food. Example: Small bite-size pieces are only 2 calories and are an excellent high protein/low carb option for snacks.
Raw frozen is found in freezers at the pet store – you buy and put in your freezer at home.
• Freeze Dried Kibble – This allows the raw meat to be in a bag at room temperature, just like regular dry dog food. It looks very similar to regular dry dog food (cooked meat) but the meat inside freeze-dried Kibble is still raw.
This freeze-dried Kibble often has added fruits (apples, pears, blueberries…)
Vegetables (squash, celery, carrot, cauliflower, tomatoes…)
Minerals (zinc, calcium, magnesium, selenium…) and Vitamins (Vitamin E, B1, B6, B12…)
• Freeze-Dried Meat Piece Snacks – Small pieces of meat or organs (heart, liver, trachea) are placed in small bags and, again, can be stored at room temperature. Often, they look like regular meat jerky (which is cooked) but are actually raw meat.
Raw Dog Food – Why Do Owners Use It? Why Is It Getting So Popular? ^
A. Just like the list of regular high protein/low carbo dry dog foods we list, they want the same health benefits. Raw Dog Food has high protein levels often 40-60% dry matter and very low carbo levels of only 10-30%.
B. Owners have the option to use regular dog foods and combine them with some raw dog food choices. Example: Regular dry dog food with 1-2 medallions of raw duck on top. Example: Freeze-dried Kibble and a 1/2 can of high quality regular dog food.
D. They want to try something different to help their dog over a current health issue.
E. They tried it and think their dog looks good.
Raw Dog Food – What owners need to look for ^
A. Companies that do bacterial cultures prior to release to stores
C. USDA inspected facilities
D. No issue of recalls.
Raw Dog Food – Handling Procedures ^
A. All raw meat, even the hamburger and chicken you buy tonight to cook out on the grill has levels of bacteria. You need to treat raw dog food (Kibble freeze-dried or raw frozen) the same as when prepping meat to grill out – simple steps like hand washing/wiping off counters.
Raw Dog Food – When should it not be used? ^
A. Certain health conditions in dogs require low levels of protein and raw dog foods are high in protein. Example: Kidney and liver disease in dogs requires a low protein diet.
B. Dogs or people in the house under going immunosuppressive treatments for cancer, rheumatoid arthritis…if on cancer drugs, steroids…are more prone to infections and since raw meat may have bacteria, its best to reduce possible exposure.
C. Very young children (infants) – Their immune systems are not fully developed and, so again, it is best to reduce possible exposure.
Raw Dog Food – The Future ^
A. People like options – Raw dog food is a growing industry. People like the higher protein in the meat and fruit/veggies. This option is low carb which has lots of health benefits.
B. Raw dog food manufacturers need to do all they can to lower bacterial counts and avoid recalls. The companies that do this will have owners try these products and see how it effects their dog.