The debate between whether you should feed your furkid raw or commercially-made food has been going on for quite a while in dog magazines in Singapore and everywhere else. Both types of diet have their own advantages and disadvantages, read on to find out!Raw Diet
Raw food diet used to be the norm for wild dogs before domestication. Even till today, racing greyhounds and sled dogs are still on such diets. The diet consists of mostly raw food such as meat on bone, organs, eggs, vegetables and fruits.Advantages
The raw food diet boasts of several health benefits, such as healthier skin, shinier coat of fur, higher energy levels and smaller stools. It also contains fewer preservatives, as the meals are usually prepared from scratch.Disadvantages
Like eating every other kind of raw cuisine, raw food for dogs also run the risk of contamination from bacteria present in raw meat. Also, as it is a largely meat-based, pets may risk an unbalanced diet lacking in calcium and phosphorous. This can potentially cause health issues such as fractures in the long run. Bones in the meat too may cause choking or puncturing of internal organs.
Due to its high-protein content, the raw food diet is not suitable for older dogs with weaker kidneys and liver. For them, a gentler, grain-based kibbles diet may go easier on their digestive tract.Kibbles
There is often a misconception that just because the food comes in pellet form and can be found in a supermarket and that it is unhealthy. This is not true, because while certainly some kibbles are nothing more than just calorie-boosters, higher-end kibbles from pet shops in Singapore are often made from better materials (i.e. less corn and rice fillers), and often they can be just as nutritious if not even more, than raw food.Advantages
The main advantage of kibbles is that they are definitely very, very convenient. Think of it as a multivitamin for dogs – whereas if you are preparing food from scratch, it is likely you will miss out on a few key nutrients. This is a god-sent as buying fresh meat and vegetables on a regular basis can be quite costly, especially if not pre-planned and prepared in bulk. Kibbles can also be a useful training aid as well when teaching your dog new tricks.Disadvantages
Similar to raw food, bacterial contamination in kibbles is possible as well, especially if manufactured or prepared in unsanitary conditions. Dogs who eat exclusively kibbles are also more prone to bloating, which is a very dangerous and can be fatal. Most importantly, dogs tend to have a less enjoyable time eating kibbles –due to the artificial texture of kibbles which means less chewing and biting. They finish their meal faster and are less satisfied. If owners cannot resist their plea for more, it can possibly lead to pet obesity.Verdict
The raw food diet can certainly be better health wise than kibbles – simply because they are less processed. However, this can also be achieved by preparing home-cooked meals with fresh ingredients for your fur-kids. Many of the supposed benefits of the diet comes from its nutritional composition – i.e. dogs on the raw food diet have a shinier coat of fur because of the higher fat content of such diet, not because the meat is raw. Again, if you are planning to do a drastic overhaul of your dog’s diet, do consult a vet in Singapore first to find out possible things to be aware of. What is more important is still to make sure your fur-kid is getting a balanced diet, plenty of exercise and adequate rest.