Sunday, 5 February 2017

The Importance of a Nutritional Analysis on Your Pet's Raw Food- Part 1

My thoughts on feeding dogs falls somewhere in between "eh just feed them chicken backs and  toss in some organs here and there and they'll be fine" and "you must have a PhD and full access to a state of the art laboratory." There are a few things that a raw food diet must contain in order for a dog to be reasonably healthy and not run into issues caused by inadequate or an over abundance of certain nutrients. Without an analysis on the raw food there is really no way of knowing whether or not these key areas are being met. So what are the key things you should be looking for in an analysis of raw dog food?

Protein and Fat: Ideally the calories a dog gets from protein should be about equal to the calories a dog gets from fat. Remember that each gram of fat has nine calories whereas each gram of protein has only 4 calories. When you are looking at a raw food analysis the fat percentage should always be slightly less than the protein percentage. 

An appropriate amount of fat is essential for cell health, brain function and eye health. Fat is also a dogs main energy source. Too much fat, however, can makes cell membranes brittle, sluggish and inefficient (especially those in the brain) and can make cell membranes prone to oxidation and premature aging. High levels of fat are also associated with early retinal degeneration, obesity and can cause a lack of important vitamins and minerals in a diet.

The importance of high quality protein in a dogs diet cannot be overstated!

Protein is made of amino acids, many of which are essential, meaning that these amino acids are not produced by the body, they must be eaten on a daily basis in order for the body to function properly. Protein is responsible for oxygenating blood, enzymes in proteins are responsible for digesting nutrients, proteins balance and regulate hormones, break down waste products and provides the building blocks for every tissue in your dogs body, including muscles, organs, skin, veins, arteries, brain tissue etc.

The balance of protein and fat in a raw food diet is extremely important and often does not get enough attention. The levels of protein and fat are the building blocks for a healthy diet and too much of one and not enough of the other can have serious health consequences for your pet.

In my next blog post I am going to look at the importance of calcium in a raw food diet.

For a high quality, affordable, hormone and steroid free raw diet for your pet, check out our store!
(Calgary, AB and area)