Busting Common Pet Food Myths | Pets

Raw diets have made the rounds for humans and pets in recent years, with some accolades. For humans, a raw diet consists of unprocessed and uncooked foods with versions for vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores. While there are benefits to going the raw route, this type of diet can also lead to nutrient deficiencies.

So how does a raw diet compare for pets? A biologically appropriate diet of raw foods or bones and raw pet foods, also known as BARF diets, consists of foods such as grains, vegetables, bones, and meat . Raw meat diets are also called RMBD. One theory behind a raw diet for pets is to bring animals back to their eating roots in the wild. Proponents also said the quality of raw pet food is higher and easier to digest. So far, no specific evidence has been found that feeding pets a raw diet over conventional food is beneficial.

In fact, as early as 2010, the American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Animal Hospital Association, and the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association came together to discourage the practice, citing that “potential contamination by pathogens of uncooked meat poses health risks to the animal fed the diet as well as to other pets, members of the human family and members of the public in contact with the pet. As with humans, a raw diet for pets can lead to nutrient deficiencies or excesses.

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