Why feed raw?
You might be thinking, Why raw?
Simply, because real, fresh food is healthier for dogs and cats and a healthier diet will improve their quality of life. A raw diet contains more nutrients than cooked food, and dogs and cats are naturally designed for eating raw meat.
If you give raw feeding a try, you’ll see some of the benefits for yourself!
5 reasons to give raw feeding a try for 30 days
If you’ve ever considered switching your dog to a raw diet, an easy way to go about it is to commit to feeding raw for just 30 days and see how it goes. Just mentally create your own 30-day trial.
When I switched my Lab mix Ace to a raw diet in 2011, I committed to a 90-day raw feeding trial. I said I was going to feed my dog raw for just three months, and after that I could go back to feeding cooked food if I wanted. (Turns out, I prefer to feed him raw but I have switched back and forth a few times to save money.)
Here are some reasons to consider feeding your dog raw for 30 days as a test:
1. A 30-day trial is less overwhelming.
A lot of dog owners are interested in feeding their dogs a healthier diet but they feel overwhelmed about the cost and whether or not they should make the food themselves (vs. buying pre-prepared raw food from a company).
Looking at it as a 30-day trial is far less overwhelming. After 30 days you will see the health benefits from the healthier diet and that will help you decide if the trial was worth it. (More on that below.) If not, that’s OK too!
Tip: It’s MUCH easier to start feeding your dog pre-made raw food from a company vs. putting the meals together yourself. That way you don’t have to worry about the meals being balanced, there’s no planning involved and there’s no worry about bacteria. You can always switch to homemade raw once you’re more comfortable (or some sort of combination).
2. A raw diet is healthier for most pets.
I believe a balanced raw diet is the healthiest way to eat for most dogs and cats, and you can see the benefits for yourself if you try it for just 30 days.
Some of the health benefits of a raw diet for pets include reduced allergies (many pets have allergies to the grains and other ingredients in kibble) and improved digestion since raw food is more natural. When you feed your pet a raw diet, some of the first changes you will notice include healthier teeth and gums, healthier looking skin and coat and less poop!
Other raw feeders also report seeing their older dogs and cats have increased energy and an easier time maintaining a healthy weight.
3. Committing raw food in your budget for 30 days is not so bad.
Cost is the main barrier I hear about for switching to a raw diet, but when you commit to just one month of raw feeding, you can plan it in your budget and then decide if it’s something you’re able to continue long term.
If you have a hard time affording raw food (the case for many people), consider feeding raw once a week or one meal a day or whatever works with your budget. Make it your goal to feed the healthiest food you can afford.
Also remember that a healthier pet means fewer visits to the vet in general and fewer vet bills. No, you can’t control everything but what our pets eat does play a major role in health and quality of life.
4. You can always go back to feeding cooked food.
It’s OK if you decide raw feeding is just not for you. That’s what a 30-day trial is for!
You can always go back to feeding homecooked or dry dog food. For me, it was much less overwhelming focusing on a short-term trial and then deciding what to do based on how that went.
I decided raw feeding is the way to go, and I think you will too. (I do mix it up with homemade raw, commercial raw and also dry dog food.)
5. Learn as you go.
Pet owners will tell me they are interested in feeding raw but they don’t know enough about it or they need to do more research first. I see that as an excuse! (I know, because I did the same thing.)
Yes, of course it’s good to do some research before changing anything in your dog’s diet. However, you don’t have to spend weeks or months or years preparing. Start with a few articles on my blog. Most people make raw feeding much more complicated than it needs to be.
We’re all still learning and trying different recipes with our dogs. That’s OK!
Do you have questions about raw feeding or the special I mentioned?
Just let me know in the comments and I’ll get your questions answered.