As obesity among pets is on the rise, weight management is top-of-mind for pet parents. If you think your pet might be overweight (here is how to tell), then a raw food diet might be a healthy solution to consider. Raw food diets for pets are growing in popularity because they are a natural and easy way to normalize your pet’s weight. If the term “raw food” is unfamiliar to you, here is what you should know and how to get started.
What is a raw food diet?
The concept of a raw food diet is based on how dogs and cats evolved through hunting and scavenging for their food. Dogs and cats have a very short digestive tract geared to the consumption and digestion of raw foods. Today raw diets come in many varieties and forms – everything from bags of frozen morsels to bones.
How raw food helps with weight loss*
- Raw diets do not contain any of the fillers or binders that are needed to make kibble (dry food) or the unnecessary calories that come along with them.
- Raw food is more fully digested and the body is able to absorb and utilize more nutrients from the food.
- All the protein in raw foods comes from meat, not grains or plants, and is readily assimilated by the animal’s body – helping pets feel satisfied with fewer calories.
Additional benefits of a raw food diet
In addition to supporting weight loss, raw food diets have other benefits, including:
- Relief from common itchy skin issues.
- Increased vitality and improved immunity to disease.
- Less shedding and a healthier, shinier coat.
- Reduced inflammation and healthier joints.
- Improved digestion with fresher breath and smaller, almost odorless poops!
3 simple steps to get started with raw food
While a raw diet may sound intimidating, it doesn’t have to be a lot of work! Follow these three steps to get started:
2. Start with “topping” your dog or cat’s regular food with some raw food.
- 1 – 2 teaspoons for cats & small dogs
- 1 – 2 tablespoons for medium to large dogs
3. Increase the amount of raw food daily until you are feeding 50% or more of the diet with raw food. (However, even feeding just 25% of a pet’s diet as raw food can assist with weight loss.)
A raw food diet is a popular and effective way to help your pet shed extra pounds. In addition to adding raw food, consider these tips to help your pet lose weight and get healthy. Managing your pet’s weight will result in a happier, more active companion and may even extend their life-expectancy – giving you more days to play and enjoy the love and company of your furry friend!
*Before embarking on a weight-loss plan it is a good idea to consult your vet and rule out or treat any physical causes that may be contributing to excess weight, such as low thyroid in dogs.