WHEN DOGS AND CATS TRANSITION TO A RAW DIET!
MY OBSERVATIONS AND EXPERIENCES.
We have been helping guide pet owners transition their pets onto a raw diet for over thirteen years. Most of our customers experienced the same changes that Donna and I saw in our Maxwell 17 years ago. They are real and it never gets old when customers come back to us to share with us the changes they saw in their pets.
HEALTHIER SKIN, SHINIER COAT
It does not take long. Many customers notice a new sheen to the coat. Even after a few days. A dog’s and cat’s skin and fur are exclusively built from protein, and up to 30% of the protein consumed in the diet is used by the body to maintain skin and coat condition.
This is why the easily digestible protein content of a quality natural raw dog food will transform a dull and lacklustre coat into a glossy, shiny, healthy coat.
A diet that consists of fresh, raw, and natural foods will provide your pet with the essential fatty acids and amino acids they need to maintain healthy skin and a shiny coat.
SMALLER, FIRM AND LESS STINKY POOPS.
It is true. Ask any pet owners that feed raw. This is a huge benefit to us. Especially cat parents. Litter boxes of raw fed cats have much less odour and are much easier to manage.
This is all about bioavailability. Real food/raw food is highly digestible. Most of what is consumed is utilized. Kibble, on the other hand, is cooked at elevated temperatures to render the fat and moisture out of the food. This is done to make the food shelf stable and easy to transport. Highly cooked food that is extremely high in carbohydrates is difficult for a carnivore to digest. Sometimes it looks like the amount of kibble that goes in is the amount of poop that comes out.
PROPER HYDRATION = BETTER URINARY HEALTH. Raw Fed Pets Drink Much Less Water.
Properly constructed raw food for our pets is relatively high in moisture. Raw fed dogs and cats then receive almost enough moisture in their food to sustain them. In addition, their highly acidic stomachs can naturally break down raw muscle meat, organ meat, bone, and cartilage. In fact, some of our customers notice that the consumption of water decreases by well over 50% when they start on a raw diet.
Kibble-fed pets need to drink a lot of water to break down the highly cooked nuggets that their gut cannot break down naturally. The canine and feline digestive systems are not structured to deal with a food high in carbs and cooked.
The benefit to us is that we do not have to deal with the messy water bowl and the continuous drips everywhere. The benefit to our pets is that their urinary tract system is not being overtaxed by excessive processing of high volumes of water being consumed. Cat owners report that the incidence of crystal formation and UTI’s in their raw fed feline friends drops off dramatically when raw fed.
INCREASED ENERGY IN LETHARGIC PETS & LESS ENERGY SPIKES IN HYPER PETS
We get so excited to hear that dogs and cats exhibit higher levels of energy. We get extremely excited to hear about senior dogs and cats showing amazing signs of life when they start on a raw diet. On the other hand, dogs and cats that did have spikes and dips in energy throughout the day become more even keeled.
The most effective energy sources for dogs are fats and proteins. A natural raw food diet is rich in these vital macronutrients leading to more consistent and stable energy levels. It makes sense that eating a diet with less junk for the body to process reduces demand on the organs and its systems – meaning more energy for aiding physiological functions, cognitive abilities, and focus.
Foods rich in carbs, such as kibble, are thought to create energy fluctuations caused by sugar spikes and dips, much like humans. Interestingly, there is much evidence to suggest that dogs do not require carbohydrates in their diet at all.
Here is some interesting feedback from a few of our customers who train dogs for a living. Raw fed dogs are much easier to train and adjust behavioural issues. I guess less sugar spikes and enhanced cognitive abilities might account for this???
WEIGHT MANAGEMENT AND RAW FED PETS.
Dog and cat obesity in North America is at an all time high. Many feel that this obesity epidemic is the main cause of arthritis, diabetes, cancer, and shortened life span of our pets. Really no different than us, RIGHT?
Balanced raw food diet for cats and dogs is the lowest glycemic load food available. Kibble and foods high in carbs trigger insulin releases in the body, leading to fat storage. Low amounts of quality protein led to low satiation, leaving the dog feeling hungry within a brief time of eating. And so, the vicious cycle continues.
We notice that dogs who come into our store who are on a raw diet show more defined muscle structure. Remember, high protein diets help build muscle. Low or no carb diets keeps the fat off.
We have helped many pet owners find the appropriate amounts to feed (and the types of proteins) to help with weight loss, maintenance and even weight gain.
What better testimonial than from our vet. He says that he can identify a raw fed dog just by looking at their teeth. Most kibble fed dogs begin to exhibit staining and calc buildup at an early age. In fact, 3 in 4 dogs suffer from some degree of dental disease by the time they are 3 years old. Bad for overall health and bad for the wallet.
Keeping dental disease at bay is crucial. A real food diet can do that. Especially if you can introduce raw meaty bones and healthy recreation chews that can function as a natural toothbrush for your pets.
THE IMMUNE SYSTEM. NOT IMMEDIATELY NOTICEABLE. BUT SO IMPORTANT.
We do have customers who come to us looking for a magic bullet to help cure an ailment that they have been dealing with for some time. They read about the benefits of a real food diet for their pet and are hoping that a change in diet will be the cure all. In some cases, a real food diet does help within a brief period. We see dogs whose itchies begin to disappear. We see dogs with loose runny stools firm up. The gassy dog becomes less gassy. Dry and flaky coats feel and look healthier. The list goes on.
There can be many reasons as to why an immune system was compromised or not allowed to function properly. Genetics, over vaccination, excessive use of pharma/flea and tick meds and poor nutrition.
A raw food diet for cats and dogs is highly supportive of gut health. It supports the microbiome of the gut and leads to the best chance of a healthy digestive tract. 70% of the immune system is in the gut and lower digestive tract. So, it makes sense that feeding our pets a food that nature intended is extremely beneficial to immune function.
Healthy gut! Healthy pet! Happy Pet! Less visits to the vet!
For those of you reading this that feed a real food diet, then I am sure some or most of this will be of no surprise. For those of you who do not feed a real food diet, I am hoping something here might help you reconsider what you are currently feeding. We know it is a personal choice. The changes we have seen in our own pets and the pets of customers in our store is real when a pet properly transitions to a species appropriate, healthy, and balanced raw food diet.
REMEMBER!!! THE PROOF IS IN THE POOP!