Raw vs Processed Dog Food. What’s better for your dog?
Raw or processed dog food? Many dog owners have been debating about this issue, wondering which one is really best for their pet. Of course, you want the best of the best for man’s best friend but choosing between raw and processed dog food can be a little tricky. We at Digital Doggy are taking a closer look at raw vs. processed foods.
Raw Pet Food and its Benefits
Raw foods are usually the preferred diet choice for pet owners and holistic veterinarians. They offer a lot of benefits, which include fresh foods that are loaded with bio-nutrients, enzymes and vitamins. Raw vegetables have vibrant colors of orange, yellow, green and red that are naturally packed with essential vitamins that your dog needs. Raw foods also lack preservatives that you often find in processed dog foods.
The Risks of Raw Dog Food
But raw foods also have their own risks. Raw foods are unprocessed, meaning the vegetables and meats are in their whole form. They are much harder to break down and digest than processed ones. This may not be a problem to strong, healthy dogs, but for certain dogs with sensitive digestive systems, this may become an issue.
In addition, raw meats that you can purchase at the grocery store aren’t intended to be fed raw. They may also contain harmful bacteria, like E.coli, Salmonella and other pathogens that can pose serious health issues for certain pets. This is especially true for immune-suppressed dogs, older pets,or those with dental issues.
Processed Dog Food and the Benefits
Commercial or processed dog foods are designed to meet the nutritional needs of dogs. They contain vegetables, grains, fruit, meat and vitamins. Because they don’t have to prepare dog food, many pet owners enjoy the benefit of convenience that processed dog foods give. Processed foods that require little to no preparation have become a very popular option among owners.
Processed dog foods that you can buy at the store are required to be balanced and have complete nutrition for all life stages. PRocessed dog foods give pet owners a degree of certainty that their pet will consume a combination of vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fats, proteins and fiber to meet their pooch’s nutritional requirements.
The Downsides of Processed Dog Food
Unfortunately for the pets, commercially available processed dog food is made with ingredients that are considered to be feed-grade instead of human-grade, which means that they are lower quality than the human-grade. They also contain contaminants like Ethoxyquin, Butylated Hydroxytoluene and Butylated Hydroxyanisole, which are nasty preservatives. Ethoxyquin is a chemical preservative that’s illegal to use in human foods in the U.S. Butylated Hydroxytoluene is a carcinogen and causes liver and kidney in rats, and the Butylated Hydroxyanisole is on the list of toxicants.
Honestly? It’s hard to say. Both raw and processed dog foods have their set of risks and benefits. Proper nutrition is vital for your pets, and you want the best for them. If you’re willing to put in the extra time to make good meals for your dog from raw food, then it’s a great option. But for those who might be a bit busier, double check the ingredients on the label of your pet’s food and make sure it’s something healthy and nutritious for your dog.