A recent study has claimed vegan diets are healthier and safer for dogs, however a leading nutritionist has said this is not the case, pointing out that even within the study, some of the dogs were fed raw meat diets and these were healthier than the vegan dogs.
As pet parents, we are in control of what our furry family members consume, and there is nothing better for your pet than a species-specific raw diet, which offers the healthiest and most natural option.
A raw diet for dogs should consist of a balanced mix of muscle meat, bone, and organs, mimicking the diet of wild canines. It may also include a healthy selection of fats, vegetables, and seasonal berries.
Leading UK raw pet food company, Bella & Duke, also surveyed their own customers in their Pet Health & Happiness survey 2021, 77% of Bella & Duke customers reported an improvement in the health and shine of their pets coat within eight weeks, 75% agreed it aided their pets digestion and 58% reported improvements in their pet’s weight after moving them to a raw food diet.
Bella & Duke’s Chief Consulting Nutritionist, Rowan Sanderson, said: “Even within this study, the dogs that were fed raw meat diets were healthier than the vegan dogs overall.
We all want the best health for our pets, the facts show there is nothing better for your pet than a high quality species-specific raw diet, which offers the healthiest and most natural option for your pet. There are only benefits to starting your pet on a raw diet – from maintaining a healthy weight, aiding digestion, supporting healthy bones and joints, to keeping coats soft and shiny and moreover there are no long terms studies on the health impacts of a vegan diet on pets.
“Dogs are facultative carnivores. This means that their primary source of nutrition should stem from animal protein, but that they can, and do, eat some plant material. These plant fibres help to develop a robust flora of protective bacteria which is one of the most important parts of their immune defences. However, a long-term vegan diet poses a spectrum of health problems as it is devoid of those all-essential amino acids that are found so readily in raw meat.
There is also a strong correlation between inflammation in the heart and diets which are high in lectins and laden with omega 6 fats. This includes pea proteins and legumes, which are so often the source of the alternative protein within vegan diets for pets.”
To help better understand the benefits of a raw diet, Rowan lists his top 10 reasons to start your pet on a raw diet:
Helps maintain a healthy weight
Obesity is the number one health issue facing our pet population today. A raw diet has the correct balance of “Macronutrients”, higher protein, moderate fats, and low carbohydrates which translates to your dog naturally storing much less body fat.
Dogs are natural carnivores and as such their digestive enzymes are geared for raw meat! Research has shown that a raw meaty diet is not only easier for canines to digest but it is also better absorbed meaning those all-essential nutrients get used as nature intended.
Improves toilet habits
This is one of the first things owners’ comment on when they begin feeding raw to their pet. In the absence of those fillers found in processed food, the “end product”, your pet’s stool, is smaller, firmer, easier to pass and even helps express their anal glands on exit. Less fermented grains also means significantly less aroma and it’s easier to dispose of which makes for a happier pet guardian.
Supports oral health
A diet that is lower in carbohydrates, is naturally low in the sugars that unhealthy mouth bacteria thrive on. Dogs can get gum disease too and this has a downstream health impact on their pancreas, heart, and brain too. In fact, a healthier oral microbiome is associated with lower inflammation in your pet full stop.
Glossier skin and coat
A raw diet is high in the healthy unoxidised fatty acids, omega 3 and 6 as well as the key amino acids for hair production. This means their fur is kept oh so soft and shiny, without excess shedding. Bella & Duke’s customers have also reported that their dog smells clean and healthy without that ‘dirty dog’ smell.
Supports healthy bones and joints
Raw bone is a key component of the raw diet and is a rich source of calcium and phosphorus in the exact ratios required for bone health, repair, and growth. Raw food also contains connective tissues, which is an excellent source of chondroitin and glucosamine as well as collagen to support your dog’s joints and keep them healthy.
Just as important with a raw food diet, are the foods which are excluded such as grains or grain substitutes. Emerging research correlates much higher joint inflammation with grain consumption.
Supports the immune system
Raw meat provides high-quality protein aminos and key bone fibres which support a healthy gut lining. The gut is both the headquarters of your dog’s immune system, sending important health signals around its body, and the gatekeeper for toxins, keeping them at bay and supporting overall immune health.
A measured amount of vegetables and berries provides an array of immune-supporting vitamins as well as antioxidants and phytonutrients which help your dog to stay healthy and keep their immune system strong.
Eating food that satisfies their biological needs not only supports your dog’s physical health, but it also supports their mental wellbeing too. A healthier gut helps make all important neurotransmitters to keep your dogs happy as well as healthy.
Balanced energy levels
A raw diet provides both healthy protein and fats in the ratios they thrive on, meaning that your dog will have plenty of consistent energy to join you on walks, explore and interact with the world around them. Goodbye processed food sugar slumps and snoring on the sofa!
Supports cognition and emotional health
We now know that good gut health plays an important role in mood, memory, and focus. We also know that pets fed a varied raw diet have a more developed gut microbiome, particularly with some key longevity species.
This contributes to your dog’s mental wellbeing and also supports memory and learning. The healthy fats in raw food help to protect and support your pet’s brain which may reduce cognitive decline as they age.
You can find out more about the nutritional benefits and Bella & Dukes product offering at: www.bellaandduke.com