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Ideal Diets for Dogs and Cats: Raw, Homecooked, or Commercial?

Pet food, one often wonders what the difference is between home-prepared, raw or dried food. This post provides vital information on the advantages of feeding dried kibble over raw pet food.

Raw pet food can be purchased as a complete diet, but many owners choose to feed homemade raw food because they believe it is better for their pets.

Ideal diet for dogs and cats: Among the most common questions regarding the care and well-being of our four-legged friends, one recurs: what is the best diet for dogs and cats? The answer is by no means obvious: choosing the ideal diet for your dog or cat is not a decision to be taken lightly, as there are many variables to consider.

In this article, we will look in detail at the advantages and disadvantages of the various diets for dogs and cats.

Diversity in Dietary Regimes

There are three main categories of food regimes for dogs and cats

  • The industrial food (both wet and dry form)
  • The home diet
  • The raw diet is known as BARF (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food).

Each regime has its characteristics with advantages and disadvantages. However, the animal’s needs and family dynamics should guide the diet.

Family considerations

Studies show that 95% of home-made diets lacked at least one essential nutrient. At the same time, 84% lacked multiple nutrients (PFMA, 2020).

Dogs and cats are now integral to our families and often share our daily routines and eating habits. Therefore, assessing practicality according to the family lifestyle is essential when considering a feeding regime. For example, if the family is often out of the house from dawn to dusk, following a home diet that requires more extended preparation may not be practical.

Furthermore, it is essential to consider the health of other family members. If there are family members with compromised immune systems, young children or pregnant women, the raw diet may pose microbiological risks that make it unsuitable.

Pros and cons of various diets

Let us now take a more detailed look at the advantages and disadvantages of the different diets:

1. Industrial food

  • Advantages: Maximum convenience – ready-to-use kibble and tins are usually complete (containing all the necessary minerals and vitamins). They also have a long shelf life. Is there anything more convenient than opening a tin or bag and pouring the contents into the bowl?
  • Disadvantages: unclear labelling; possible contaminants and residues; lack of customisation; potential mono-tony in the long-term diet.

2. Home Diet

  • Advantages: excellent palatability, variety of ingredients, complete food control, possibility of customisation, balanced diet if developed by a nutrition expert. It can be ‘sewn’ practically to the animal, following its tastes and needs. Both healthy and pathological dogs can follow it. Many pathologies respond very well to nutritional therapy.
  • Disadvantages: requires time and commitment on the part of the owner.

3. BARF diet (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food)

  • Advantages: high palatability, encourages chewing, can be relaxing for some breeds, quick preparation.
  • Disadvantages: increased risk of microbiological contamination, requires strict hygienic management, needs initial professional supervision. Avoid do-it-yourself, especially in the beginning, and get professional supervision.

How to choose?

It has been identified that there is a health risk for pets when feeding raw homemade diets to animals if they are not nutritionally balanced for the specific species and life stage.

Whether there is a perfect diet for dogs and cats has no definite answer.
The choice of diet should be based on the specific needs of the animal, the family routine and the current situation. What works today may not be suitable six months from now.

However, caring for one’s four-legged friend is an exciting journey that requires constant attention and love. Consultation with an experienced veterinary nutritionist can be invaluable in ensuring the best possible nutrition for your pet.

Nutrition as Preventive Medicine

Let us never underestimate the power of nutrition! What we feed our dog or cat can be an extraordinary form of preventive medicine. Food is fundamental in preventing disease and maintaining health for our four-legged friends.

It is a question of feeding our pets and providing them appropriately. A balanced diet adapted to your pet’s needs can help to:

  • Maintaining a healthy body weight: A balanced diet helps prevent weight problems, which can then facilitate the development of other diseases.
  • Supporting digestive health: high protein, the right amount of fat and fibre help maintain a healthy gastrointestinal system
  • Promoting healthy skin and coat: some foods and supplements can improve skin and coat health.
  • Strengthen the immune system: some essential nutrients can help support the immune system, making your pet more resistant to infection.

The key lies in choosing the right foods and consulting an experienced veterinary nutritionist. Each animal has unique needs, and a customised diet can improve their long-term health.

Thank you for reading the article to the end. Your reading contribution was significant to us.

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The "Frenchie Breed" website is a blog aimed at dog owners. We regularly publish articles about our four-legged furry friends. Among the contents of our blog, you will find ample space on the latest news in the sector, with information and in-depth analysis dedicated to the world of dogs in all its forms, the latest trends and news of the moment, curious facts, events devoted to dogs, product reviews, as well as an intense activity of information regarding the health and well-being of pets.

Please Note: The articles in the 'Frenchie Breed Blog' are for information purposes only; nothing published can or should be construed as an attempt to offer professional advice or consultation with a physician, veterinary surgeon or another health professional.

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Written by Frenchie Breed

The "Frenchie Breed" website is a blog aimed at dog owners. We regularly publish articles about our four-legged furry friends. Among the contents of our blog, you will find ample space on the latest news in the sector, with information and in-depth analysis dedicated to the world of dogs in all its forms, the latest trends and news of the moment, curious facts, events devoted to dogs, product reviews, as well as an intense activity of information regarding the health and well-being of pets.

Please Note: The articles in the 'Frenchie Breed Blog' are for information purposes only; nothing published can or should be construed as an attempt to offer professional advice or consultation with a physician, veterinary surgeon or another health professional.

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