Raw versus Veggie: Doggy diets that ditch the cans!
These days it seems like more people are jumping on the healthy (or dare I say unusual) diet bandwagon, and they are bringing their pets along for the ride. Keeping your dog in good shape is important, and diet is a large part of it! During my research I found ample information on the benefits of a raw diet, which includes raw meat for dogs. For those who are wondering what meat can dogs eat, keep reading! Being a vegetarian myself I looked around for what fruits dogs can eat (as well as some dog friendly vegetables) and found a couple more alternatives to your typical canned food and bagged kibble pup diet for those struggling to stomach the thought of handling a raw diet for dogs.
Raw Food Diet for Dogs
Raw diets incorporate foods that are not processed, so raw meat and produce. A common question: Can dogs eat raw meat? Is raw meat good for dogs? The answer is yes! Just be careful to ensure proper storage and handling so as to prevent bacteria growth. In addition, we've researched vegetables dogs can eat and fruits safe for dogs to add a little variety to your pup's raw diet!
- Feeding dogs raw meat: typically you will use muscle meat, most of the time on the bone, sinew, fat, ligaments. Raw fish is good for a couple meals a week. Try to go for small oily fish, as those are good especially if the meat you are feeding is from grain fed not grass fed animals. This will give them the needed Omega-3's.
- Bones either whole or ground. If whole, try to stick to bones from animals other than a cow. Preferably bones from something they might find in the wild or poultry, pork, lamb, venison, fish, etc...
- Organ meat, like liver, heart, and kidneys, basically anything you would probably consider gross.
- Raw eggs, some diets suggest that you give them the entire egg shell in all, but that you can only do this with non-commercial eggs, so go farm fresh to avoid anything toxic that was sprayed on the shells.
- Veggies for dogs like broccoli, spinach, and celery (high in Vitamin B).
- Fruits safe for dogs like apples, ripe fruits are better since they are easier to digest.
- Dairy products like yogurt.
- Shinier coats
- Healthy skin
- Cleaner teeth
- Higher energy level
- Maintaining a healthier weight
- Smaller stools
- Raw meats carry bacteria that can be harmful to pets and humans if not handled properly
- Possible unbalanced diet that can actually harm the dog in the long run
- Whole bones can cause a choking hazard, break teeth and cause punctures internally if swallowed
- Can be more expensive if you don’t purchase food wisely
Veggie diets are the same as with humans: no food that had a face! (No meat). Vegan would be no animal products at all.
- Soy Milk
- Olive oil
- Lentils, pinto beans, cooked well and mashed up or pureed
- Potatoes and (best because they are a good source of beta-carotene) Sweet Potatoes
- Vegan or Vegetarian types of dry kibble
- What vegetables are good for dogs? Vegetables like broccoli, spinach, brussels sprouts, and carrots (some of our office dogs favorites, and also great source of beta-carotene)
- What fruits can dogs eat? Try apples and bananas for high fiber and potassium!
- Baby food that doesn’t contain onions, seasonings, or other items toxic to pets
- Nutritional yeast and other nutritional supplements added to the food
- Most people choose this for their dogs because they are vegetarian, so it makes the owner happy and feel better about themselves
- Some sources say that they saw an increase in energy level
- Can be helpful in some medical cases where dogs have a specific food allergy, liver disease or bladder stones. These are prescription diets that use soy or egg as the main source of protein
- Can cause some serious vitamin and nutrient deficiencies if not done correctly. Not enough protein, imbalances of amino acids, not enough vitamins and minerals like vitamins A, B, D, calcium, iron, or phosphorous
- Could potentially cost more in vet bills. I did read that it was recommend if you do go with a veggie diet you take your dog for check ups more often, just to make sure that they are getting everything nutritionally they need to stay healthy (but this could be said with any dietary change)
- Takes a bit more to time to prepare if you are cooking, chopping, and mashing
- Your dog might start hogging your computer and using Google to find new owners (just kidding)
As with any diet change for pets they recommend that you monitor them and start slowly. These examples are for informational purposes only and in both cases consulting with your vet on what would be best based on breed and health is the way to go. Take a look at how we monitor the nutritional intake of our office puppies here!