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What Is A Raw Diet and Why Is It Better For Your Pet?

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Written by Sarah Griffiths, DCH and Inna Shekhtman

February 21, 2018

Food has a significant impact on overall wellness for every member of our family, including our pets.

Recent research has identified processed food as a major contributor to many illnesses including obesity, diabetes, and even cancer.  We intuitively know that a healthy diet for us includes a variety of fresh, whole, minimally processed ingredients.  It makes sense to extend this same principle to the dogs and cats we share our lives with. 

A healthy diet is more than a list of nutritional information. The foods that our canine and feline companions are designed to eat are quite different from what we are feeding them today. Determining how real foods can help your pet thrive involves looking at what they are naturally designed to eat; muscle meats, organs, consumable bone, roots, berries, grasses, and sometimes even insects!

Real food contains easily absorbed nutrients, and provides water content that is critical for digestion. Cats, in particular, are biologically designed to absorb water content from their food instead of from a water dish. An all kibble diet can lead to chronic dehydration in cats.

Cats and dogs can survive on many foods, but will thrive on natural, minimally processed, and species appropriate diet.

Often pet parents notice vast health improvements after switching to raw regardless of breed, age, or activity level. These external improvements are also often signs of improved internal health.

  • Improved energy and vitality
  • Improved digestion
  • Better weight maintenance
  • Smaller, less offensive stools
  • Cleaner teeth and better breath
  • Improvement in allergies
  • Shiny, odor-free skin and coats
  • And they love it!!!

These improvements are not anecdotal! They is a body of research for both pets and people that explains some of the changes we see in our pets health when we switch from a heavily processed dry diet to a minimally processed fresh diet! Check out some of our favourite research below.

Research References: 

  1. Thomas Sandberg 1999 - 30 Year Study on the correlation between Giant Breed Dogs, Longevity and Food: https://llprf.org/a-study-that-changed-my-life/
  2. Purdue University Study on Dietary Vegetable Consumption and Reduced Cancer Risk: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16013542
  3. Dry Food and Feline Health: https://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2012/02/17/dry-food-wrong-for-cats.aspx
  4. Fighting Cancer with Diet: https://www.ketopetsanctuary.com/resources/scientific-journal-articles/
  5. Meat Diet Improves Well Being in Dogs: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28265505
  6. University of Helsinki - The Dog Risk Project: 15 year ongoing study on the effects of raw food on cells and genes of dogs. It's extremely important to note that this is the only INDEPENDENT study on raw canine diets being done: https://www.dogrisk.com/in-english