Tips Tuesday: Should you give raw food to your pets?

Since in 2007 a lot of commercial dog and cat food have been withdrawn from the market, a lot of pet owners have turned to preparing meals for their pets. Some of them were oriented exclusively on raw foods. Raw food for pets includes all the organs and flesh of animals, and even their bones ground.

Dr. Jan Bilinghurst, veterinarian and founder of BARF World, one of the first producers of such foods said that modern dogs are not only able to eat the foods that their wild ancestors used to eat, but they really need it to be healthy. “Processed food is not fit for the dogs because it did not have the opportunity to adjust their course of evolution” he stated.

However, what is good for a wolf, is not necessarily good for a dog, said Bernard E. Rolin, a professor of philosophy and science of animals at the University of Colorado.
“Domestic dogs eat cooked food for more than 300,000 years and cannot be compared with their wild ancestors. Cooked food, in fact, is much easier for dogs to digest, “he said.

Moreover, raw food carries the risk of infection by parasites, toxoplasmosis, salmonella, but also from a lack of nutrients. Accordingly, world experts in veterinary medicine still do not recommend raw food for pets. Thus, even one dog food manufacturer recently was forced to withdraw from the market because of the presence of salmonella.

The biggest threat that lurks in the raw food is unstable levels of Taurine in it, research shows. It is, in fact, an amino acid that is essential for the functioning of the heart muscle, vision, reproduction and digestion in cats.

In a study at the University of California 11 cats were fed with raw rabbits, while the same number of cats were receiving the highest quality commercial cat food.

Although the cats enjoyed more in the raw food and had a much healthier fur, there was no difference in growth, intestinal inflammation or intestinal bacteria volumes between the two groups. However, there is one striking difference. A cat that ate raw rabbits for 10 months died suddenly of a heart attack. Researchers believe that the cat´s death was due to a lack of taurine. The researchers found that low levels of vitamin E in rabbit and bacteria may have influenced this phenomenon.

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