Raw Diet Information
Balanced Raw Meat Dog Food Diet - the New Standard
by Gayle Burandt
Diet is one of the single most important factors in the maintenance of good health. This not only applies to humans, but also to animals. Our hurried lifestyle has created the demand for quick and easy-to-prepare meals and fast foods. Dog food has also evolved in a similar manner and we have been conditioned to accept the myth that food from a bag or can is nutritionally the absolute best you can do for your dog. Mere adequacy, convenience, and cost have become the primary factors in selecting dog food.
The dogs we have chosen to be companions in our homes are, through their ancestry, natural hunters and carnivores. Science has shown that although a dog has evolved from the wolf and has been domesticated for thousands of years, its internal digestive system has remained virtually unchanged - a very short intestinal tract geared to the consumption and digestion of raw meat. Compared to humans with a very long intestinal tract more suited to the digestion of plant material, the dietary needs of a dog are entirely different. Knowledgeable caregivers and veterinarians have become increasingly aware of the nutritional needs of a dog and have taken a proactive approach in understanding their animal companions' true nutritional needs and are more and more choosing quality and control of preparation over cost and convenience. The balanced raw meat dog food diet is becoming the new standard.
Opponents to raw feeding claim that feeding raw meat creates a problem with salmonella, both with the dog internally, and also with dog droppings transmitting salmonella to humans. There are many studies that try to sway the viewpoint in either direction, but the fact remains that a dog's digestive system is able to absorb salmonella, and while dog droppings could be considered a potential source of infection, evidence has yet to prove that the salmonella in a raw meat dog food diet is any greater threat than any other type of dog food. Even dry kibble left in an opened bag in the house for weeks will absorb moisture and attract airborne salmonella. As with any feeding method common sense, good hygiene, and the handling of meat as one would their own is paramount.
The phobia of raw meat feeding and the home preparation of these meals for companion animals appears to be a North American phenomenon, since to this day it remains common practice in European countries, especially Germany, where it receives full veterinary approval. If salmonella infection were truly a problem, it would manifest as a greater issue in the crowded and smaller European countries and would have been identified years ago as a public health concern.
Wild animals instinctively know their nutritional requirements and seek out the necessary food and plant matter to sustain them. Our beloved pets, who are members of the family, deserve what nature intended.