Why feed raw?
Why choose raw for dogs
Remembering that the dog is a pack animal and that even eating was a survival action, in that the individual dog had a certain time to eat as much of the good part of the animal before the rest of the pack, so the canine digestive system had to deal with large amounts of food at irregular times. The canine stomach is large and muscular, allowing for large amounts of food to be digested in a short period, leading to an engorged stomach. This enabled the animal to eat enough to sustain itself for as long as possible. The stomach is a magnificent acid machine, allowing whole bone pieces to be ingested and broken down into a powder-like substance. The same acid allows the canine to eat rotting carcasses, full of harmful bacteria, in times of desperation and be unaffected.
As the pancreas of the dog doesn’t contain as many active enzymes as the human pancreas to help the stomach acid break down food, the dog needs to source these active enzymes from the food it eats. For dogs, meat enables this process to occur naturally. Cooked food of any type for the dog, has no active enzymes as they are all dead due to the cooking process, so the dog’s stomach acids must increase to unhealthy levels, much higher levels than in the wild, to digest even some of these products.
Amylase is found in the saliva of humans and is used to start breaking down starch in the mouth, as it takes time to break down grains and starches. Canine saliva does not contain enzymes and is only used as a lubricant for swallowing large pieces of food, so the canine increases amylase through the pancreas which is smaller than the humans to help break down these products. The intestine and the bowel of a carnivore are much shorter than a human’s, allowing for quick absorption and elimination of food and waste product. Carnivores have also evolved to absorb almost all of the water content from prey items. This allows a carnivore to be hydrated for long periods without needing a water source.
Switching a dog with an existing health problem to a raw diet can often produce an improvement in their conditions. Among healthy pets, a raw diet is likely to help prevent some of the illnesses that are now common in many dogs. Most importantly, a high quality raw diet with bones will help promote a long, healthy, and happy life for you and your companion animal.