Raw Food Basics | Alaska Mill & Feed

Raw Food Basics | Alaska Mill & Feed

Posted by Kimberly McCourtney on Dec 4th 2020

Dogs and cats have eaten raw foods ever since it was first possible to call them dogs and cats. Raw foods can add variety to a diet, as well as viable beneficial bacteria and naturally occurring enzymes. Because most prepared raw diets for dogs and cats contain significant quantities of raw meat, it's important to handle them properly.

Raw food contains a higher percentage of water than dry food. New research indicates that food with higher moisture content may contribute to the long-term health of the cat’s kidneys and urinary tract.

Raw food contains whole, natural nutritional elements.
The processing of dry kibble and canned food can alter or eliminate certain food elements found in raw meats, bone, vegetables and fruits. Raw food provides active enzymes, phytochemicals, beneficial bacteria, food-based soluble fibers and antioxidants.

Raw food requires careful handling.
Hands, surfaces, containers and utensils should be sanitized after coming in contact with raw foods, to prevent risks to people from improper handling of raw meat. General good handling practices for raw meats, as established by the USDA, should be followed. Most people pull the amount of raw food to be fed the next day from the freezer the day before and let it thaw overnight in the refrigerator. If kept in a closed container, it should keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

Raw food may promote cleaner teeth. Raw bones seem to greatly improve the cleanliness of the teeth and gums when fed once a week.

Raw food has some risks, and may not be right for every dog or cat. When raw food is processed and fed properly, the incidence of illness is almost non-existent. What risks there are fall into two categories: illness from bacteria or parasites in contaminated meat, and intestinal infection and injuries from bones. These risks can be serious, and weak or unhealthy dogs and cats may not be good candidates for raw food.