Fad diets have been all the rage for generations and the trend has found its way into the pet food industry. Grain-free, raw foods, vegan, and many more pet fad diets may seem enticing, but are they really all they’re cracked up to be?
Raw food diets are designed to mimic what dogs and cats eat “in the wild” and may consist of a combination of raw meats, vegetables, grains, and sometimes bones. Raw food is also often advertised to contain enzymes needed for digestion, which are generally not present in cooked or processed foods.
Besides the fact that pets may not receive the proper balance of nutrients from a raw diet, there is also the risk of food poisoning due to pathogens found in raw and undercooked meat. Bones can splinter and may lead to choking or intestinal blockage, and should never be part of a pet’s meal plan.
Grain-free pet foods are marketed in a way to suggest that they are more closely aligned to what our pets’ ancestors would have eaten. However pets, especially dogs, are omnivores and have the capability to extract essential fatty acids and other nutritional necessities from carbohydrates, such as grains and legumes.