Raw food diets are beneficial to human beings. Recently, pet owners are also feeding their felines and canines with raw food. More often than not, they switch their pets to raw food diets because their pets have health problems. Some of them mixed canned and raw foods for their beloved pets. But, be aware that you may be committing mistakes when you switch your pets to raw foods.
Misunderstanding Nutrition Basics
Like humans, pets need balanced and complete nutrition. Failure to recognize this may lead to health problems for the pets later on. Raw diets include uncooked meat with additives such as organ meat, bone, vegetables, and supplements. Also, it can include some cooked vegetables or grains. Some pet owners combine raw meats with freeze-dried products.
Raw food diets have no established vitamins and minerals standards. The 2006 National Research Council based its standards on a dry food diet. Supplementing raw meat diets just to meet these standards may offer excessive, if not dangerous, nutrients build-up in the pet’s body.
Thus, pet owners must confer with professionals before deciding to feed raw meat to their pets. Some pets may lose weight on raw meat. A nutritionist can decide to add fat or cooked grains to solve the problem of underweight pets.
Believing that Raw Diet is Raw Meat
The raw diet contains raw meat, but it has other ingredients like cooked oysters or mussels, vegetables, eggs, bones, organs, and muscle meat. Variety can solve the problem of lack of vitamins and minerals in the pet’s diet.
Commercially-available raw diets have other additions aside from raw meat. They may include salt, cod liver oil, minced or raw vegetables, liver, kelp, cheese, and raw eggs. Some pet owners include cooked vegetables in their pet’s raw diet. But, pets find it difficult to digest vegetables. As such, pet owners must cook, juice, or mince them before giving them to their pets.
Fruits provide variety, fiber, flavor, and vitamins. Berries have antioxidant content. Watermelon or apples can be chew treats. Fruits can be stewed, diced, or pureed before giving them to your pets. Also, you can just remove the pits and give your pets the whole fruit. But, raisins and grapes can damage their kidneys. Also, do not give canned fruits with sugar to your pets. Fruits must comprise 30% of your pet’s diet.
Forgetting the Need for Supplements
Some pets need supplements. A raw diet may not be able to provide enough calcium. Pet owners who buy commercially-available raw food do not need to worry because such food already has balanced and complete nutrition. Those who prepare raw food at home must include ground oyster shell or eggshell for the calcium requirement.
Pets can benefit from flax seed oil or fish oil for their omega-3 fatty acids diet requirement. Seaweeds and kelp provide trace minerals. Adding supplements, minerals, and vitamins to your pet’s diet is important in keeping it strong and healthy.