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How to help dogs live longer with a raw food diet

As pet lovers, we all want our furry friends to enjoy long, healthy lives by our side. Raw food diets for dogs have gained popularity lately, with studies suggesting they can add years to your pup's quality of life. In this guide, we'll explore the facts and myths about raw food diets and discover the benefits they offer for your dog's health and longevity.

What is a raw meat diet for dogs

A raw meat diet, also known as a raw food diet or BARF (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food), involves feeding dogs a combination of uncooked meat, bones, fruits, and vegetables. This dietary regimen aims to mimic the natural diet of dogs' wild ancestors, providing them with the essential nutrients they require in their most natural form. Unlike commercial pet foods, raw diets typically exclude grains, fillers, and artificial additives, focusing instead on whole, unprocessed ingredients that support optimal canine health.
Our focus at Know Better Pet Food is slightly different, in that we take out the risk of feeding raw bone and have replaced this with pure calcium lactate in our premix products.  The calcium lactate is highly absorbable and takes out the risks of feeding raw bone while still getting all the benefits of feeding a raw meat diet. We recommend that raw meaty bones can be fed on the side, or as a treat a few times per week.  Raw chicken or turkey necks are a good option, as well as beef marrow bones.

To add to your raw meat diet is a range of nutritional premix supplements that ensure they are getting all the proteins and nutrients to have a healthy and balanced diet



Benefits of raw food diet for dogs

Cleaner Teeth: 

Chewing on raw meaty bones not only provides dogs with mental stimulation and a natural outlet for their chewing instincts but also helps mechanically remove plaque and tartar buildup from their teeth. This action promotes good dental health by reducing the risk of dental diseases such as gingivitis and periodontal disease, which can lead to pain, discomfort, and tooth loss if left untreated. 

Improved Digestion & Bowel Movements: 

Raw food diets are typically higher in moisture content compared to dry kibble, which can help maintain proper hydration levels and support healthy digestion in dogs. Additionally, raw foods contain natural enzymes that aid in the breakdown and absorption of nutrients, leading to more efficient digestion and the production of smaller, firmer stools. This can reduce the frequency of bowel movements and improve overall gastrointestinal health. 

Reduced Allergies: 

Some dogs may experience food allergies or sensitivities to ingredients commonly found in commercial pet foods, such as grains, artificial additives, and preservatives. Transitioning to a raw food diet eliminates these potential allergens and may alleviate symptoms such as itching, redness, ear infections, and gastrointestinal upset. However, it's essential to consult with a holistic veterinarian to properly diagnose food allergies and develop a personalized dietary plan tailored to your dog's specific needs. 

Better Weight Control: 

Raw food diets are often higher in protein and lower in carbohydrates compared to traditional kibble, which can help dogs feel fuller for longer periods and reduce overall calorie intake. This increased satiety may lead to a healthy weight and prevent obesity, a common health issue associated with various ailments such as joint problems, diabetes, and heart disease. 

Softer, Healthier Skin and Coat: 

The natural oils and essential fatty acids present in raw foods, particularly those derived from quality meat sources, contribute to a shinier, softer coat and healthier skin in dogs. These nutrients help maintain the skin's moisture balance, reduce inflammation, and support the skin's natural barrier function, resulting in improved overall skin health and a more lustrous coat. 

Stronger Immune System: 

A balanced raw food diet provides dogs with a wide range of essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that are crucial for supporting a robust immune system. These nutrients help strengthen the body's defenses against infections, diseases, and environmental stressors, ensuring that dogs remain healthy and resilient. While further research is needed to fully understand the impact of raw diets on immune function in dogs, many proponents believe that the nutrient density and bioavailability of raw foods contribute to enhanced immune health. 

Improved Bone and Joint Health: 

Raw meaty bones, such as chicken necks or beef marrow bones, are natural sources of glucosamine, chondroitin, and other joint-supporting nutrients. These compounds help maintain healthy cartilage, lubricate joints, and support overall joint mobility and function. However, it's crucial to choose appropriate bones based on your dog's size, breed, and chewing habits, and to supervise them during chewing to prevent choking or dental injuries. 

Increased Energy: 

Some dog owners report that their pets exhibit higher energy levels and increased vitality after transitioning to a raw food diet. This may be attributed to several factors, including improved digestion and nutrient absorption, reduced inflammation, and enhanced overall health and well-being. Dogs on raw diets often experience more stable energy levels throughout the day, allowing them to engage in regular physical activities and play without feeling lethargic or fatigued.

So, Does it increase life expectancy?

While scientific research specifically examining the longevity effects of raw food diets in dogs is limited, anecdotal evidence and observational studies suggest that such diets may contribute to extended life spans in canines, leading to a happy life. Many pet owners report observing improvements in their dogs' overall health, vitality, and longevity after transitioning to a raw diet. However, it's essential to acknowledge that individual responses to dietary changes can vary, and factors such as genetics, lifestyle, and environmental influences also play significant roles in determining a dog's lifespan.

How does it increase life expectancy?

The potential life-extending properties of a raw food diet stem from its ability to provide dogs with nutrition that closely aligns with their biological needs. By consuming species-appropriate foods in their natural state, dogs receive essential nutrients, enzymes, and antioxidants that support optimal health and longevity. This in turn means that they will be able to maintain a healthy weight, relieving any irrellevant pressure on their body.

Additionally, raw diets typically exclude potentially harmful additives, preservatives, and fillers commonly found in processed pet foods that can shorten their health span, reducing the risk of chronic health conditions and promoting overall well-being. 

Other ways to help increase your dogs life expectancy

Regular Exercise: Physical activity is crucial for maintaining dogs' cardiovascular health, muscle tone, and mental well-being. Aim for daily walks, play sessions, and interactive games that engage both their body and mind.

  1. Routine Veterinary Care: Schedule regular check-ups with your veterinarian to monitor your dog's health, administer vaccinations, and address any emerging health concerns promptly. Early detection and treatment of medical issues can significantly impact a dog's longevity.
  2. Mental Stimulation: Keep your dog's mind sharp and engaged by providing stimulating toys, interactive puzzles, and obedience training exercises. Mental stimulation met with a good exercise routine not only prevents boredom but also promotes cognitive function and emotional well-being.
  3. Quality Sleep: Ensure your dog has a comfortable sleeping environment free from distractions or disruptions. Adequate rest is essential for dogs' physical and mental recovery, supporting overall health and longevity.

By implementing these proactive strategies and providing your dog with the care and attention they deserve, you can help increase their life expectancy and ensure they enjoy a long, happy, and healthy life by your side.

Browse our full range of dog premix to add to your dog's raw food diet today.