September 19, 2012

Is a Raw Food Diet Good for Your Dog?

Filed under: dangerous foods for your dog,home made dog food — Dr. Amber Reed @ 2:00 pm

Some pet owners have recently embraced getting the best ingredients for their dog’s pet food. As a result, the high-end prepared dog food industry has seen a boom.

But some owners are looking at nother new option: raw dog food.

The trend has particularly taken off in New York City.  It consists of specially prepared foods like uncooked lamb livers, bison, alfalfa sprouts, and kale.  Yet, raw food diets are not a new initiative; many dogs were fed uncooked meat before kibble was introduced in the 1950’s.

The advocates of the raw food diet give multiple anecdotes as evidence of raw food diet benefits. Below is a list of the pros and cons of the raw food diet.

Be an informed pet owner and make a decision on whether the raw food diet is right for your pet.

Pros:

  • Raw food acts a natural tooth brush.
  • The time it takes a dog to chew a raw meaty bone gives their stomach adequate time to get the acids moving. This is meant to help proper digestion.
  • Advocates argue that sluggish dogs become completely new dogs once they have begun the new raw food diet.
  • Raw bones are safer than cooked bones because they don’t splinter.
  • Your dog will have better breath.
  • Raw food diets are ideal for dogs that need to lose weight – they contain fewer calories and more energy than regular kibble – or for dogs with other diet related diseases like diabetes
  • No chemicals, preservatives, sweeteners, fillers and additives.

Cons:

  • Sanitary concerns: raw food carries microbes that could harm the pet and the household.
  • Modern dogs have been domesticated for centuries, or even thousands of years. They may not be able to properly digest raw food.
  • Some dogs with allergies can’t stomach raw food diets.
  • The benefits aren’t proven; they’re anecdotal.
  • Raw meat can contain harmful bacteria like E. coli and salmonella.
  • They are time-intensive: as an owner, you will have to take the time to figure out what raw meat is the best for your dog, and this will take time.  Additionally, you need to be present when the dog is eating they’re bone – you don’t want them to swallow a bone whole!
  • Raw food diets are more expensive.

Warning to all: before starting a raw food diet, you should consult with your vet. He or she will know what to watch for in future visits.

If a raw food diet isn’t right for your dog, but you are looking to increase the nutritional value of your dog’s meals, consider a nutritional supplement

January 15, 2010

10 Foods You Should Not Feed Your Dog

Let’s be honest, a dog will eat pretty much anything. And while in most cases food that is edible for humans is also edible for your dog, this is not always true. In fact, some foods that we consume can actually kill your dog. Most pet owners have heard that chocolate can be very bad for dogs but might be surprised to learn that there is a long list of foods that are unhealthy for your dog. Some of these foods may cause relatively mild symptoms like an upset stomach, diarrhea, or vomiting, but others can lead to very severe complications and even death. The following foods should never be fed to dogs and you should always check that a food is safe for your dog before feeding it to him.foods bad for dogs

  1. Cat Food. One surprising food that you should not give your dog is cat food. Cat food is higher in proteins and fats and can be unhealthy for your dog.
  2. Drugs. Not surprisingly, you should never give your dog any kind of drug, including tobacco, marijuana or caffeine.
  3. Chocolate. The main reason you should never give your dogs chocolate is because of the presence of caffeine which can be toxic to dogs especially for their heart and nervous systems.
  4. Grapes, raisins, citrus fruits and certain vegetables like onions, potatoes, mushrooms, onions, and garlic. These foods should also not be given to dogs because mushrooms can be highly toxic and cause death while potatoes, rhubarb, and onions are not lethal but can damage body systems.
  5. Raw fish and hops. Raw fish and hops can also be deadly for dogs because it can cause thiamine deficiency where you will notice a loss of appetite, seizures, and even death.
  6. Alcohol beverages. Alcohol can cause intoxication, coma, and death.
  7. Baby Food. There may be onion powder in baby food which is toxic for dogs. If fed in large amounts, your dog may develop nutritional deficiencies.
  8. Bones from meat, poultry and fish. The bones from meat, poultry and fish can cause laceration or obstruction in your dogs digestive system.
  9. Human vitamin supplements that has iron. The iron in the supplements are toxic to the liver and kidney and can also damage the digestive system lining.
  10. Raw Eggs. Raw eggs contain an enzyme called avidin. This enzyme decreases the absorption of a B vitamin called biotin which can lead to problems with the skin and hair coat. There will also be a risk of Salmonella.

 

As you can see, different foods have a wide arrange of effects on your dog. For this reason, it is advisable never to feed your dog anything but specifically formulated dog food. If you want to reward your dog with a treat, make sure to do your research first and only feed him foods that you are totally confident are safe.

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Disclaimer: CritterCures is an educational resource, and all information herein is strictly for educational purposes. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure diseases, nor is it meant to replace the (prescribed) treatment or recommendations of your veterinarian or healthcare provider. Always inform your veterinarian or healthcare provider of any products that your pet are taking, including herbal remedies and supplements.