Myths Debunked - Does raw dog food benefit my dog?

Paw-rents, we understand. A healthy and happy pup is all we want. With that said, the choice of dog food we decide on is exceptionally crucial. For one, pet owners are usually categorised as advocates of either cooked, raw or dry food for dogs. While there is a contest between these groups of dog owners about the “right” diet for pets, we’re here to provide some answers to your burning questions about raw dog food.

Myth: Compared to kibble and cooked diets, feeding raw dog food does not provide a balanced meal

Most pet parents assume that kibble provides a balanced amount of nutrients as it is pre-formulated. However, kibble is usually processed and packed with preservatives for longer shelf life. The high composition of substantial grains and cereal in such dry dog food can lead to allergy reactions and metabolic problems down the line. It is also ultra processed which renders most ingredients devoid of useful nutrients.

On the other hand, thoroughly cooked  would reduce its digestibility. Hence, feeding your pup cooked dog food would require proper formulation provided by a professional or the addition of supplements to ensure a balanced meal. Gently cooked foods however may be a suitable alternative as most nutrients would still be largely bioavailable.

The highest digestibility comes from raw dog food which offers health benefits such as improved skin, shinier coats, reduced stool odour and more. Its still primordial to ensure all nutrient needs are met, therefore, advocates of raw feeding follow professional frameworks such as NRC or AAFCO. Simply focusing on Biologically Appropriate Raw Food (BARF) or Prey Model Raw (PMR) does not ensure the right balance of essential nutrients as it is difficult to achieve.

Myth: Raw dog food will make my dog sick

As humans, especially in a country like Singapore, we believe that cooked food is “safer” for consumption as bacteria are dead. This understanding is then translated into how we handle food for our family, including our pets.

In fact, healthy adult dogs have highly acidic guts and can kill bacteria once the food is consumed and is able to pass it out within 4-6 hours as waste. Most importantly, the handling and storage of raw dog food has to be done correctly. If food preparation is done at home, it is vital to purchase fresh, human-grade ingredients. In essence, this means that you’re feeding your pup what we humans would consume as well. 

Myth: Feeding raw bones are dangerous and might injure my pet

It is a common misconception to think that feeding raw bones will splinter and injure your pup. In fact, many bones are safe and great for pets! Raw bones are less likely to splinter than bones that have been cooked or dehydrated. Doing so dries the original soft bone up, causing it to harden and is brittle when chewed on. Focus on feeding raw meaty bones for dental health and high quality minerals and nutrients.

The transitioning phase of feeding your pup raw dog food can be intimidating. But with proper research and information from trusted professionals, you and your pup can now reap the benefits of raw feeding. If you are looking for a fuss-free experience of raw feeding, try PetCubes’s PhD nutritionist-formulated Raw dog food or Gently Cooked dog food in Singapore.