Boutique raw diets are another new choice to the market. Though advertisers point out that in the wild dogs eat raw meat, there are some health concerns that consumers do not always think about. Raw meat contains bacteria (which is normally killed in the cooking process), so eating raw meat can lead to gastrointestinal infections. I commonly see intermittent diarrhea and vomiting in dogs fed a raw diet. Furthermore, the American Veterinary Medical Association advises that pets fed raw diets can be carriers of salmonella. This means your pet will not show symptoms of the illness; however, they can spread the illness to other family members. Additionally, unless the commercially prepared raw diet carries the AAFCO label, it may not be nutritionally balanced.
Some pet owners choose to prepare raw diets at home. If you choose to do so, remove all bones. Bones are not advisable, as they are a choking hazard and can cause intestinal blockages. Due to the risks to humans and dogs, I do not recommend raw diets.
Prescription diets are prescribed by your veterinarian to better assist in management of a pet’s medical condition. Conditions that may need prescription food are weight loss, diabetes, kidney disease, urinary issues, gastrointestinal issues, or allergies. These specially blended foods can be very helpful in managing your pet’s chronic disease.
In recent times, dogs have become beloved family members. For this reason, many pet owners choose to prepare home cooked meals. For nutritional purposes, it is best to mix plain boiled or baked meats and fresh vegetables (such as green beans and carrots) with an AAFCO approved dog food. This lets loving parents prepare a home cooked meal, while the “fur baby” gets all the vitamins and minerals he or she needs. If you wish to solely serve a home cooked diet, it is challenging to assure proper nutritional content. For this reason, it is very important to work closely with your veterinarian before doing so.