Feeding your pet a healthy diet can be challenging. There are so many options out there that it can be hard to decide which is best for your pet. In the search for a healthy diet for their animals, many pet owners are drawn to raw food. There are pros and cons to raw food, and strong feelings on both sides of the debate.
The arguments in favor of raw food include the fact that dogs and cats have eaten raw meat throughout their evolution. While this argument makes good sense, there are downsides to feeding your pets a raw diet.
Risk of Pathogens
Consuming raw food involves the risk of ingesting pathogens that can make us sick. This applies to humans and to our pets. Dangerous bacteria in uncooked meat, for example, can lead to extreme consequences.
Another risk associated with raw pet food involves your pet’s teeth. Remnants of raw food can stay on your pet’s teeth and lead to decay. Hard food like kibble helps clean teeth while your pet eats. A raw diet would need to include more brushing and dental chews to make sure teeth stay healthy.
Raw food needs to be kept in the refrigerator or freezer before your pet eats it. Since animals generally aren’t accustomed to eating cold food, this would take some getting used to. If food is thawed from the freezer, you would need to make sure there isn’t any ice remaining in the middle. That can just be unpleasant for picky eaters.
Ask Your Vet
Some people love a raw diet for their pets, and some don’t think the risks are worth it. Talk with your veterinarian to decide what type of diet is right for your pet and what precautions you need to take.