Raw Food BasicsRaw food contains a higher percentage of water than dry food. New research indicates that food with higher moisture content may contribute to the long-term health of the cat’s kidneys and urinary tract.
Raw food contains whole, natural nutritional elements. The processing of dry kibble and canned food can alter or eliminate certain food elements found in raw meats, bone, vegetables and fruits. Raw food provides active enzymes, phytochemicals, beneficial bacteria, food-based soluble fibers and antioxidants.
Raw food requires careful handling. Hands, surfaces, containers and utensils should be sanitized after coming in contact with raw foods, to prevent risks to people from improper handling of raw meat. General good handling practices for raw meats, as established by the USDA, should be followed. Most people pull the amount of raw food to be fed the next day from the freezer the day before and let it thaw overnight in the refrigerator. If kept in a closed container, it should keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
Raw food may promote cleaner teeth. Raw bones seem to greatly improve the cleanliness of the teeth and gums when fed once a week.
Raw food has some risks, and may not be right for every dog or cat . When raw food is processed and fed properly, the incidence of illness is almost non-existent. What risks there are fall into two categories: illness from bacteria or parasites in contaminated meat, and intestinal infection and injuries from bones. These risks can be serious, and weak or unhealthy dogs and cats may not be good candidates for raw food. The staff at Mud Bay is happy to discuss these risks in detail as they may apply to individual dogs and cats, and the concerns of the people who care for them.
We’re not veterinarians. Mud Bay staff are well educated, and our writing is well-researched, but neither the advice of a Mud Bay staff member nor reading Mud Bay's written materials can substitute for visiting a veterinarian. We offer carefully chosen, natural solutions, but we believe that veterinary conditions should be diagnosed and treated by professionals.
Dogs and cats have eaten raw foods ever since it was first possible to call them dogs and cats. Raw foods can add variety to a healthy dog or cat’s diet, as well as viable beneficial bacteria and naturally occurring enzymes. Because most prepared raw diets for dogs and cats contain significant quantities of raw meat, it's important to handle them properly.
For more information and a conversation about raw diets and a free copy of our brochure, "Questions and Answers about Raw Food," stop by one of our stores.