Pointing to the fact that in the wild there would be no cooked food for Fido, the raw diet for dogs strongly advocates that canines should be fed what they would be eating in the wild in order to avoid several health issues that have been tied to diet, such as obesity, diabetes, and even allergies. Supporters assert that a dog is by nature a carnivore but has since been morphed into an omnivore, and as such it is highly unlikely that he or she will ever be found gnawing on an ear of corn when hungry when there is a hunk of meat lying around as well. Yet corn is one of the main ingredients in dog food! As filler it is unprecedented in both its versatility and also its availability and price.
The raw diet for dogs suggests that in order for a dog to eat a truly healthy diet, owners need to step back in time when the dog would have been part and parcel of a wild pack. Animal carcasses, such as chickens and rabbits, should be fed whole to them – innards, bones, and all. Big meaty bones that are raw, fish, and raw plant materials have made up the raw diet for dogs for many centuries now, and it is only recently that the pet food industry has taken over the feeding of dogs with convenient – but perhaps unhealthy – pellets and kibbles.
Have you ever seen the dog food that is now available? A lot of it is manufactured to appeal to the sensitivities of humans rather than the needs of dogs – after all, dogs generally speaking do not care if their kibbles are in the shape of fire hydrants or hearts – and the cooked meats that are available in cans and pouches look more like something you could find on a family’s dinner table than in the normal food chain of which the dog is a part. Turn over the bag of dog food next time you are at the grocery store, and you will be surprised to read more chemical terms than you would expect on a can of processed cheese, which is pretty much nothing but chemicals in a can. How can something that is so far removed from the fresh ingredients that dogs love possibly be healthy for them?
Proponents of the raw diet for dogs are asking exactly this question of veterinarians, food manufacturers, and even dog owners! Why are you continuing to feed Fido dry kibbles instead of a whole chicken, head, bones and all? Some dog owners have already switched over and report good successes. Others are more hesitant and cite the admission of the BARF diet inventors that state that this diet is not considered balanced in the strict term of the word.
As is the case with many fad diets – whether they are for animals or humans – the truth probably lies somewhere in the middle.