The Benefits of Raw Feeding, with Experts Big Dog Pet Foods
Since releasing our range of ceramic food and water bowls last year, we have been loving the photos, posts and stories from so many of you, showing us what you are feeding your dogs!
With a variety of options from wet to dry, kibble to grain free; we thought we'd take a closer look at what a raw food diet is. And the best people to tell us all about it are the fabulous folk at Big Dog Pet Foods, the leaders in this field. Founded by Chris Essex, this family owned business have been making raw, healthy, nutritious pet food for 20 years. Located in Brisbane, they distribute across Australia via PETstock stores and hundreds of other pet shops, vets and other outlets.
From the Team at Big Dog Pet Foods:
Our pets are important members of our families. Young and old, all we want is to give them the best care that we can. From collars and toys to bowls and beds, giving your pup the best is important to modern pet parents. This also includes providing them with the best diet, however, deciding what diet is best is one of most difficult things to navigate as a pet parent.
With so much variety in what you can choose, pet food can easily become overwhelming. Convenience plays a large role in what we give our pups but most people don’t want convenience to compromise quality.
So when it comes to quality, some of the key things that people look for when assessing a diet that is best for their pet is a diet that is free from anything nasty including artificial colours or flavours, synthetic vitamins and minerals or harmful preservatives. One that is healthy, grain-free and made without the use of cheap carbohydrate fillers; a diet that is beneficial for their overall health and wellbeing, which is why raw food diets have become increasingly popular over the years.
What are raw food diets?
Raw food diets are diets made solely from raw ingredients. The most common form of a raw food diet would be the BARF model. BARF stands for Biologically Appropriate Raw Food or Bones And Raw Food. This model is based off the evolutionary diet that animals would have eaten in the wild. They contain fresh raw meat, offal, crushed meaty bones, vegetables, fruits and other healthy ingredients.
What’s the difference?
Raw food diets are made up of ingredients in their most natural form. Most pet foods come cooked, whether it’s kibble, in a roll or in a can, cooking has become a part of the process to give the food a stable shelf-life. During the cooking process, the nutrients first found in the ingredients, assuming they’re of high quality, have been subject to high temperatures. This means that essential vitamins and minerals can be lost and leads to the food needing to be fortified with synthetic additives that we humans try and stay away from. Why is this any different for our pets?
Raw feeding ingredients
The benefits of raw feeding can be seen when including high quality ingredients. Dogs are carnivores and have a short digestive tract to show for it. That is why fresh muscle meat and offal are essential in providing high quality proteins, as well as fats, that are easily digestible for your dog. Protein is essential for proper functioning, growth, repair and maintenance to your dog.
Offal (e.g. liver, kidney and heart) from a variety of animals is incredibly important for providing copious amounts of naturally occurring vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids.
Raw bone is another integral inclusion in a raw food diet. Raw bone and cartilage provides appropriate levels of calcium and glucosamine to strengthen your dog’s bones and increase joint mobility.
Seasonally available fruits and vegetables would also be included in a raw diet as they provide a great mix of vitamins, minerals and micronutrients.
Benefits of raw feeding
Providing a diet of natural and fresh ingredients has its benefits for our pups, including:
- Superior joint and bone health – calcium and glucosamine present in raw bone and cartilage is great for bone integrity and joint mobility.
- Improved skin and softer, shinier coat – healthy levels of dietary fats contribute to the health and improvement of your dog’s skin and coat, as well as minimising skin irritation.
- Healthier teeth gums and fresher breath – meaty bones are essential in maximising good dental health for your pup. Chewing on bones are a great way to clean teeth, digest calcium and glucosamine. Fresh breath can also arise with the help of seasonal green vegetables like celery or other natural ingredients like wheatgrass.
- Reduced stool volume and odour – since your pup is getting food that is easily digestible as well as nutrients that are highly absorbable more of the food that goes in gets used effectively. This leads to smaller stool volume as well as reduced odour.
So if you’re looking for a healthier diet for your dog consider learning about a raw food diet. And if you're after a convenient option to suit your busy lifestyle, speak to the experts at Big Dog Pet Foods who have been at the forefront of making quality raw pet food for the last two decades.
Learn more about raw feeding and all its benefits here: