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Articles : Raw Feeding
Posted by dogengine on 2007/2/1 12:10:00 (3294 reads)

Raw feeding is the practice of feeding domestic dogs and cats a diet primarily of uncooked meat.

Domesticated dogs, which are a classified as a subspecies of wolves, and cats, which are obligate carnivores, would have a diet largely consisting of fresh prey in the wild. Canids are known to eat fruit and vegetable as part of their natural diet.

Supporters believe that the diets are closer to the natural diets of the animals in the wild and would therefore be better for the animal (see Appeal to nature). Opponents believe that the risk of foodborne illnesses posed by the handling and feeding of raw meats would outweigh the purported benefits and that no scientific studies have been done to support the numerous beneficial claims.

Aspects of the debate, which have not yet been academically resolved, include consideration of how wild/feral animals thrive rather than merely survive, and whether the health of pets has actually been enhanced through the use of commercially manufactured formulas.

Diet Types

Raw Feeding
One popular raw diet is the BARF model, an acronym for Biologically Appropriate Raw Food or Bones And Raw Food. The BARF diet which includes non-meats and numerous supplements was designed for pets and wild animals by Dr Ian Billinghurst. Billinghurst claimed that commercial kibble does not allow domestic animals to thrive, as their ancestors did on a wild, raw diet. In some ways, BARF is analogous to the human Paleolithic diet. Other diets similar to BARF are the Ultimate Diet and the Volhard Diet.

Another model is a Whole Prey diet, which simulates the proportions of an actual prey animal in a pet's diet. This includes organ meat, heads, fur (and feathers and scales), skin, muscle, and bone, without supplements.

Others feed a diet largely composed of as wide a variety of meats and butchers' scraps as possible, and table scraps as supplements.

Commercial Animal Food
Commercial dog and cat food falls into two types, kibble and canned.

Kibble is dry or moist pellets and biscuits with a cereal base, ground meat and various additives, eg: vitamins and mineral supplements. Water must always be freely available when kibble is served.

Canned food is usually based on meat, "meat products" and vegetables, pre-cooked and ready to serve. It is almost always very soft in consistency and must be refrigerated if unused. As with kibble, canned food usually contains additives to make up for perceived and real deficiencies in the food sources. One example is taurine which is added after cooking.

Comparison to Commercial Food

Most commercial manufacturers quickly alter formulations when deficiencies become evident, however, there is no baseline study of raw-fed pets on which to base any of the processed feed manufacturers' claims that their products are superior to raw feeding at its most basic, where the majority of intake is raw meaty bones and offal taken from butchers.

Some commercial pet food manufacturers offer a "raw diet" product. This is typically sold in large bags that are kept frozen. The food is thawed days in advance and fed in small portions. The quality of ingredients in these products are often far closer to a standard raw diet than typical commercial pet foods. Some raw feeders use these products, while others believe that many of the same problems of more popular commercial pet foods exist with these packaged raw diets.

Note: This is just part of the article. To read the whole article kindly click on the link below.

Article By: Wikipedia
Link: Raw Feeding

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