Raw food diets are gaining in popularity with both dog and cat owners, helped along by increasing selection in pre-prepared frozen diets. What are the pros and cons of feeding raw?
Smaller, nearly odorless stool. Because so much of their diet is utilized as nutrition, raw fed dogs produce much less waste than traditional kibble diets. Waste is half the size, dry, well-formed and breaks down much quicker. Especially beneficial for cats and limiting litter box odor.
No carbohydrates. “Carbs” can contribute to a variety of common health issues: obesity, yeast infections, and diabetes to name a few. Raw diets contain no carbs so it is much easier to control your pet’s weight – and avoid yeast-related issues such as chronic ear infections. Less carbs means less sugar which can also aid in dental health.
More moisture. Cats in particular, as a desert-dwelling species, do better when their diet is moisture rich. Increased moisture means less stress on the digestive system. Cats, built to derive moisture from their food, will only drink when they are technically dehydrated. Moisture-rich raw diets help both dogs and cats to avoid urinary tract infections and kidney problems.
Inconvenient. Raw food must be handled with care similar to that of human food. Washing and disinfecting surfaces and bowls is necessary daily.
Can be more expensive to feed. Whole foods, quality sourcing and limited processing means that pre-prepared raw diets can be more expensive to feed. However often the benefits (and lack of vet bills) more than makes up for the cost differential.
Requires refrigeration. Food must be kept frozen and refrigerated to ensure safety. This is especially difficult if traveling with your pet.