The why's, how's and perks of introducing your furever friend to a raw diet and meal plan
3 September 2017| Last updated on 4 June 2018
Whether you're a new pet owner in Dubai, or have been a pet parent for years now - making the switch to raw will no doubt provide benefits no matter how old your dog or cat is.
One of the main responsibilities of being a pet owner is ensuring your dog or cat get the right nutrition from the right foods as much as possible; and sadly, there are arguably some brands out there that just don't have enough of what your dog or cat needs.
The debate surrounding the nutritional value and benefits of many well-known pet food brands is an ongoing one between pet owners; but there is a new animal food revolution that will no doubt encourage you to leave the kibble in the cupboard, and the canned wet-food untouched. And that's the raw pet food diet.
Why do people feed their pets raw food?
For a lot of pet parents in Dubai and the UAE, the list of ailments that their 'furbabies' may suffer from can sometimes seem endless. There is a number of reasons why this is; a combination of the imported puppies into the country from pet breeders, the environment and climate, and the lack of suitable (and safe) places for pets - dogs in particular - that allow them to roam free and expend their energy in a healthy way.
Everything from skin irritations and hair loss, to poor digestion and weak joints, or even lack of energy - dogs in Dubai might face a number of health issues. By going raw, it is strongly believed that this provides your dogs and cats a natural diet to help improve the quality of their health.
What are the benefits of feeding raw food to my pet(s)?
The ideology behind going raw stems from two simple ideas; as humans, we are continually encouraged to embrace an organic, natural and healthy diet that provides many nutritional benefits instead of things like fast-food. This idea can also be applied to our pets.
The second is that years and years and years ago, kibble wasn't necessarily a thing that was readily available for ancestral canines and felines. They are carnivorous creatures, and so their bodies are designed to hunt, scavenge and consume raw meat and bones.
There are a number of potential benefits of a raw pet food diet, which include the following:
- Shinier coats
- Healthier skin
- Cleaner teeth
- Higher energy levels
- Smaller, less smelly stools
Any veterinarian will tell an animal owner that the first signs of illness in their dogs or cat comes from either the mouth and their bottoms - by protecting both, with the help of a raw diet plan, there's no reason why your pooch or feline friend can live a full, healthy life without illnesses that could have been prevented.
How can I transition my pet onto a raw meal plan?
As with any new food that you introduce to your pet's diet, you must plan a transition period; begin with 75% of their old food, mixed with 25% of their new raw food and gradually reduce the portion size of their old food, and increase the new. At the end, you should have a dish full of their new meal, without any of the old grub.
Pet owners are encouraged to do this as dogs and cats can be sensitive to new foods; and so it's best to ensure their digestive systems become accustomed to the new ingredients, instead of transferring them to the new stuff completely - which could cause an upset stomach!
If you don't wish to sign up with a meal plan supplier, you are able to introduce it yourself by picking up portions of the following:
- Muscle meat, often still on the bone
- Bones - either whole or ground
- Organ meats like livers and kidneys
- Raw eggs
- Vegetables like brocooli, spinach and celery
- Apples and other fruit
- Some dairy - like yogurt
If you are a dog or cat owner living in Dubai who wants to transition their furever friend to a raw diet, there are some useful Facebook groups based in the UAE that you can join for guidance and advice, like RawUAE and Dogs in Dubai.