Undoubtedly, when it comes to feeding our pets (and ourselves) fresh is best. What is truly ‘natural’ for our little carnivores to be eating is not a highly processed dry kibble. Although formulated to be ‘balanced and complete’, if the diet is not actually fresh, how healthy could it possibly be? Raw beef and bite-sized beef cereal are not equally nutritious. Biologically Appropriate Raw Food (BARF) diets or Prey-Model diets are not a fad. Raw food diets, consisting of raw (uncooked) meats, organs, and bones have been advocated as nutritional therapy by Holistic Vets and Nutritionists for decades. A raw diet most closely replicates a cat and dog’s ancestral diet. So although they have been domesticated over thousands of years, biologically and anatomically they are still carnivores and thrive on diets high in animal-based protein. Most commercial diets are high in plant-based protein, which is unbeneficial to their biological needs.
Did you know that the concept of the Pussy & Pooch Pawbar® was created around our own experience of learning about raw food diets? More than seven years ago, we made the switch to a raw diet with our Jack Russell and P&P retired Mascot Cosmo. He was bored with his kibble, was slightly overweight, had terrible gas, and was entering his senior years. We decided switching to something fresh would be ideal (and it was!), but the process of learning, seeing, and understanding all about raw diets was through our own personal research. We created the Pawbar as a way of sharing our knowledge, a nutritional ‘tool’ to take the mystery out of feeding raw, and created an interactive, social experience for dogs and cats. Similar to a sushi raw bar where you can see your meal being prepared, this in-store sampling and dining experience is a must-stop for learning about transitioning to a raw diet.
Once you go raw, you almost never go back. The benefits to feeding raw include healthy skin and coat, healthy teeth and gums, smaller, less odorous stool, increased energy and vitality, and an absence of the common digestive and allergy issues often associated with a dry commercial diet. A raw diet is not without some risk and humans need to have a common-sense approach to handling raw meat, however for many, the benefits far outnumber the risks. We advocate for diet variety and rotational feeding with the idea that supplementing a diet with some raw food is better than none at all. So if the idea of switching to a complete raw diet seems overwhelming, incorporate some raw into your feedings 2-3 times/week. Once you get started and see the improvement in your animals, you’ll be more confident to ‘go all the way’.
Be sure to ask our Pet Experts at Pussy & Pooch to show you the different frozen raw diets (Primal, Nature’s Variety, Small Batch, and Steve’s Real Food) we stock and learn which one will best meet your needs. We also have plenty of ‘alternative raw diets’ that are freeze-dried, dehydrated, or air-dried like the Honest Kitchen, Sojos, Stella & Chewy’s, and Ziwi Peak. These diets have some of the highest quality human-grade ingredients and bridge the gap between a fresh, home-prepared or a frozen raw diet and a traditional kibble diet. They are fantastic for traveling or otherwise supplementing your daily routine.
Want to learn more? Last call for our Carnivore Basics class! Sign-up for a free 90-min in-store session to really learn the truth about pet food and consequently how to become a better consumer and advocate for healthy pet lifestyle. See the Class Schedule and RSVP here.