Feeding raw petfood diets has been debated by both pet owners and health experts, says an article on the pet website Pawnation, which looks at whether or not these diets really lead to a longer life for pets.
Pet writer Dorri Olds says she supports the raw diet after having success feeding it to her dog and believes the health benefits will help her dog to live longer.
Raw petfood diets are based on the concept that dogs are carnivores and so, would naturally eat raw meat in the wild, as opposed to the grains like wheat, rice, soy and corn found in typical commercial diets.
Olds says she decided to try the raw food diet after meeting dog chef Kevyn Matthews, who told her that raw food will help extend her dog's lifespan. Olds claims her dogs bowel movements are healthier and her dog's breath and coat improved after switching to the raw diet.
"When your pet eats heated and processed 'dead' food without enzymes, their system will kick into survival mode to digest food," Olds says. "This means borrowing digestive enzymes from their metabolic enzymes. When that happens, your pet's body is in overdrive and only able to partially digest food. Whatever isn't digested can enter the bloodstream."
However, some believe that the health risks of feeding a raw diet are greater than the benefits. Bacteria like Salmonella can be spread easily, but Olds says Matthews assured her his raw diet plan includes probiotics to fight off potential infection.