As I’ve mentioned previously, I’m not sure that one dog food is the absolute best for every dog (especially when you factor in the lifestyles of their humans.) However, many people are passionate that the best diet for dogs is a raw food diet. Our dogs have tried many types of dog food, and they seem to thrive on raw food and freshly cooked food.
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Benefits of a Raw Diet
Healthier skin and coat
Stronger immune system
Healthy gums and teeth
Fewer visits to the vet
Potential Drawbacks of a Raw Diet
A raw diet is not perfect for every dog.
Currently, some therapy dog programs do not let their dogs eat a natural diet. This restriction is due to an increased risk of bacterial contamination to humans, especially young children, people with compromised immune systems, and the elderly associated with a raw diet. However, with proper handling (wash hands after feeding your dog, wash their bowls after they eat, the risk decreases.)
It may not be appropriate for dogs with certain health conditions
Raw diets are generally more expensive than kibble
Malnourishment due to an unbalanced diet that does not meet AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) standards
A homemade raw diet can be time-consuming and require a lot of equipment
DIY Raw Food Diet
Many websites and books offer recipes to include in your dog’s raw food diet. Unfortunately, some people make up their dog’s diet as they go along, which may not be nutritionally balanced. If you choose to make your dog food, you may need to spend a lot of time researching the recipes and preparing the food. Whenever you are handling raw meat, be sure to wash your hands and equipment thoroughly before and after preparing the food!
Commercially Prepared Raw Food
If you’re like me, the thought of preparing all of your dog’s meals (including possibly grinding the meat) can be overwhelming. I’m also particularly squeamish when it comes to handling (or looking at) raw meat. When I see bowls of raw meat with chicken feet, pig snouts, etc., I feel a little queasy. You may need to store the food in your freezer or refrigerator, and it can be challenging to travel with commercially prepared raw food.
Luckily, there are shelf-stable raw foods readily available in several different forms from TruDog.
If you’ve decided to see if raw food might be suitable for your dog, TruDog’s toppers are a great way to start. The “Boost Me” toppers are great for beginning to transition to raw feeding or simply giving an extra nutritional boost to the food you’re currently feeding your dog. My dogs love the whitefish topper, consisting of Whitefish, Herring Oil, Mixed Tocopherols (Preservative), and Vitamin E Supplement.
Dehydrated Raw Food
We found TruDog Rawgo to be very convenient, especially for traveling, since it is dehydrated. It takes up less space than kibble and is doesn’t need refrigeration. We have some in our emergency evacuation bag too. (You will need to add water to it, so be sure to bring some water if you won’t have access to clean drinking water.) My dogs LOVE the taste and don’t seem to mind the reconstituted texture.
Freeze-Dried raw dog food is easy to digest and made for dogs of all ages. While kibble is processed at high heat, destroying many nutrients, TruDog “Feed Me” is freeze-dried to lock in all the nutrients.
All of the freeze-dried food and topper varieties are processed in the United States, the dehydrated Rawgo by TruDog is processed in New Zealand, and all are shelf-stable, which sure beats having an extra freezer for dog food!