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A speculative look at Raw dog food diets

Tuesday July 09, 2019

With Dig-In Fresh now available we thought we’d Dig-In a little deeper into alternative dog food diets.

Raw dog food diets have become a bit of a phenomenon and depending on which camp you sit in, you’re either strongly for or strongly against Raw food diets. There are some benefits of the diet, but the real positive is the earnest attitude of dog owners to explore alternatives in the interest of what’s best for their pet. We thought we’d shed some light on the pros and cons of this doggy diet.

What are BARF and Wolf Diets?

BARF and Wolf diets are two popular manufactured Raw dog food diets, and the terms are often used interchangeably. BARF diet is an acronym for Biologically Appropriate Raw Food diet. Many dog owners consider Raw diets such as BARF or Wolf diets are more suited to their dog’s natural predator/scavenger instinct. The argument runs something along the lines of this: their best buddy evolved from a wolf and shares a significant amount of DNA with their biological ancestor, their dog needs to eat like its ancestor to enjoy optimal health. There are a few holes in this theory, which we will explore.

Pros of Raw food diets

The strength of the argument for Raw food diets lies in its criticism of the dog food industry. Not all factory made dog foods are created equally. There is wide variability in the quality of both the raw materials and processing that leaves you the customer asking ‘Why?’ By comparison, the Raw food diet is a step in the right direction – making your own dogfood and being mindful of ingredients. The modern dog food industry really pushes the boundaries of ‘food’. Practices of ‘high heat’ treatments along with low-value additives and fillers means that your dog’s diet is often subpar and can also be a cause of multiple preventable conditions and irritations.

Cons of Raw food diets

Your dog has had thousands of years of domestication and selective breeding. The gap between a grey wolf roaming the wilds and the Bichon Frise sitting on your lap is significant. Their evolution has been guided by humans and Canis Lupus (wolf) and Canis Familiaris (dog) are now more like distant cousins than siblings.

Arguing that dogs’ dietary requirements remain identical to wolves despite generations of domestication is questionable. Dogs are different from wolves despite a common prehistoric ancestor and for better or worse, their dietary needs are more complex. For example, a wolf lives in the wild for around 6-8 years while your dog enjoys an average life span of almost double that. It’s not unknown for wolves to go several days without food and eat parasite ridden carcasses to survive. Your dog is dewormed regularly, fed daily and probably enjoys the lap of luxury: regular meals, warm beds, fun trots around the neighbourhood – all the perks of domestication.

What do we suggest? As an alternative

Raw food diet practitioners make a strong case for an almost exclusive carnivorous and strictly uncooked diet. However, there are also significant hazards, such as the risks of bacteria in raw meat, lack of fibre and vegetable intake and an unbalanced combination of the essential vitamins and minerals that your dog needs for optimal health and longevity.

We have introduced ‘Dig-In Fresh’ as a happy medium that ensures optimal health and reduces the risks inherent in Raw food diets. Dig-In Fresh is an additive which is designed to be used with our healthy recipes so you can make your dog’s food at home from quality ingredients. It is packed with just the right amount of vitamins and minerals, making every meal nutritionally balanced, beneficial to your dog’s health and dare we suggest damn tasty.

Looking for the BEST way to look after your pet? Dig-In Fresh is the answer. Check it out today!

Sources:
https://www.barfworld.com/WhatIsBarf/DogFoodasNatureIntended
https://www.theverge.com/2017/7/18/15992572/dog-genetics-archaeology-fossils-evolution-domestication-wolves
https://www.wolftucker.co.uk/wolftucker-raw-feeding-guide/
https://therawfeedingcommunity.com/2014/12/12/your-dog-is-not-a-wolf-stop-trying-to-feed-it-like-one/

Gray Wolf Fact Sheet