As previous topics have hinted, we believe the most important thing pet owners can do to avoid (or perhaps reverse) the myriad of issues described above is to simulate, as closely as possible, the diets their pets (or rather their genetically identical ancestors) would have eaten in the wild.
Raw meat, organs, forage (for dogs), etc. are what your pets were designed to consume. No diet produces better results in all the areas pet owners usually focus on.
Dental Health and Raw Bones
Since we just covered dental issues above, we’ll quickly touch on what raw diets can do for teeth. The probiotics (read: good bacteria) that are preserved in raw foods will compete with bad bacteria for survival in the mouth; preventing bad bacteria (plaque) from thriving. Raw bones are a particularly useful food (yes, eating bones is natural), because chewing them helps clean teeth, they’re a great source of good bacteria, the acidity of the meat helps kill bacteria in the mouth, and they are balanced sources of necessary minerals including calcium, magnesium, etc.
Skin and coat:
Raw foods preserve the natural essential oils, fatty acids, etc. that processed pet foods alter or destroy. Also, many of the grains and commonly used fillers of processed pet foods create allergic or intolerant reactions because of their overuse and exclusive feeding. Imagine if you were to eat Total Cereal every meal, every day? Sure, it may have everything you need to live (some might even say it’s—ahem—‘complete and balanced’), but after awhile, your body would react adversely either to the food itself, or the environment which you’ve weakened yourself against by only exposing yourself to grain cereals.
(It takes 14-16 hours for your pet to digest dry kibble, 8-10 to digest canned food, and 4-6 to digest raw. Which do you think is best for your pet’s system?)
Nobody likes it when their pet has gas, loose stools, or diarrhea. Many pets experience digestive health problems because processed pet foods kill the good bacteria and enzymes that their systems need to break down food. Raw diets can help improve digestion of nutrients for better health and energy levels, drastically reduced (or even zero) gas, and smaller, better quality stool.
Diarrhea, in particular, is often caused by two major factors: overeating and / or dehydration. As stated above, raw foods are full of moisture that would otherwise evaporate during processing, which aides in hydration. As for overeating, dry kibble is easy to overfeed, because it expands significantly in the stomach as moisture comes back to the kibble—just take a look at a piece of kibble that’s been left in a water dish all day. In other words pets (and owners) have difficulty deciphering what will satisfy the appetite.
UTI’s in cats
The chronic dehydration many cats suffer from dry foods can cause UTI’s, while hydration is a very helpful treatment for existing UTI’s. Also, diets higher in protein will help maintain a slightly acidic pH in a cat’s urine, preventing infections.