✎ What's wrong with RAW Food?

Special thanks to my friend - pet nutritionist Ms He. It is all because of her support that I can finish this article.

After reading this, You will know:

1. How can wild animals survive without a ‘nutrition balanced’ pet food?

2. Why Feeding Raw Meat Alone Causes Problems?

3. A REAL CASE

4. A glance at FEDIAF

5. How to Make Sure You’re Feeding Balanced Nutrition to Your Cat/Dog?

6. What’s the Standard for Pet Food in Chinese Market?

7. China GB for Dog Food

8. So What shall I feed my pets?

9. Nutrition Facts of A Few Dog Food Brands in the Market

During my work in OHMYCAT, I often meet with different pet owners and their babies, during which I find the common we all share – unconditional love for animals, but with crucial differentiation– range of knowledge about animals.

Unfortunately, pets’ life quality depends on our knowledge, not our love.

When most of pet owners choose store-bought pet food, some decide to feed only raw meat or fresh vegetable they especially shop for their sweetheart.

In their mind, raw food is about organic, hand-made, natural, pure and healthy definitely. Besides, they truly believe in the instinct of animals, they ask me:

How can wild animals survive without a ‘nutrition balanced’ pet food?

Good question!

The fact is wild canines and felines eat nearly all the parts of their prey, including small bones, internal organs, blood, brain, eyes, tongue and other. Many of these parts of prey animals provide important nutrients for dogs and cats. And don’t forget another important factor - they live in wild, all around can be their nutrition source. This is how carnivores in the wild nutritionally balance their diets.

Why Feeding Raw Meat Alone Causes Problems?

An exclusive diet of raw chicken muscle meat is lacking the minimum requirements for a number of vital nutrients (sadly, sometimes even complete lack of Vitamins and mineral) as established by AAFCO* or FEDIAF*.

*AAFCO - The Association of American Feed Control Officials, established in 1990s, purposed to regulate thesale and distribution of animal feeds and animal drug remedies in USA.

*FEDIAF- The European pet food industry federation, established in 1970, representing the pet foodindustry in 26 European countries via 18 national or regional pet food industryassociations before EU institutions and other international bodies.

These include potassium,iron, copper, manganese, zinc, iodine, and vitamins A, D, E, B-12 and choline, the essential fatty acid ratio (omega 6s to omega 3s) is unbalanced, and there's a complete lack of phytonutrients, antioxidants and enzymes.

And don't make the mistake of thinking all you need to do is throw a few fresh veggies in the bowl to make up the difference. Balancing your pet's food to provide optimal nutrition is a bit more complex.

A REAL CASE

A 4.5 year old female middle-size dog, is fed 800g raw chicken meat (breast, kidney, leg) all years long by her owner. She shows intensive soil & grass-eating behaviors during dog walking, which is closely related to his mineral deficiency diet.

A glance at FEDIAF

Minimum recommended nutrient level for DOGS

-Unit per 1000kcal of metabolizable energy, Published in 07.2013

We assume ‘800g of raw chicken meat’ is about 1374kcal (according to Calorieking.com).

We set 1374kcal as this dog’s energy need for every day, below is the food nutrition comparison between FEDIAF Minimum Recommended and Raw Chicken.

FEDIAF Min Recommened

VS

Raw Chicken

* Yellow highlight – complete lack of that nutrient with RAW chicken diet

Since the dog is fed only muscle meat, she's missing out on a variety of essential nutrients and sooner or later, she'll develop serious health problems as a result. Some conditions brought on by nutritional deficiencies can be corrected through diet, others cannot.

How to Make Sure You’re Feeding Balanced Nutrition to Your Cat/Dog?

Don't make the mistake of thinking all you need to do is throw a few fresh veggies in the bowl to make up the difference. Balancing your pet's food to provide optimal nutrition is a bit more complex.

Suggestions from Dr Karen Becker:

"There should be four primary components in a nutritional program for your dog or cat,including:

  • Meat,including organs

  • Veggieand fruit puree

  • Homemade vitamin and mineral mix

  • Beneficial additions like probiotics, digestive enzymes, and super green foods (thesearen’t required to balance the diet, but can be beneficial for vitality)

A healthy dog’s diet should contain about 75% meat/organs/bones and around 25% veggies/fruit (this mimics the GI contents of prey, providing fiber and antioxidants as well). For healthy kitties, the mix should be about 88% meat/organs/bones and 12% veggies."

Fresh, whole food provides the majority of nutrients pets need, and a micro nutrient vitamin/mineral mix takes care of the deficiencies that do exist, namely iron,copper, manganese, zinc, iodine, vitamin D, folic acid, taurine and Biotin (for cats).

Keep in mind that just because nutritional deficiencies aren’t obvious in your pet doesn’t mean they don’t exist. A considerable amount of research has gone into determining what nutrients dogsand cats need to survive. At a minimum, you do a disservice to your pet bytaking a casual approach to insuring he receives all the nutrients he requiresfor good health.

If you’re preparing homemade food for your pet, I can’t emphasize enough the importance of insuring the diet you feed is nutritionally balanced. It doesn't matter which recipe you follow, but it does matter that it's balanced. You can accomplish this by using balancedpet food recipes you prepare at home, or by feeding commercially available petfood that meets the minimum standards set forth by FEDIAF and/or AAFCO.

As a matter of fact, an unbalanced raw diet of high quality fresh meat is a greater risk to your dog/cat than cheap processed pet food.

What’s the Standard for Pet Food in Chinese Market?

For long time inhistory, China did not have a significant body of pet food law,regulations or standards. BUT, a 5-page long (85p for FEDIAF)China pet food manufacturing regulation (GB) was issued in September of 2014, practiced since March of 2015. There is no doubt it is a milestone for China even though it shows the preliminary stage.

A glance at China GB for Dog Food

So What shall I feed my pets?

  • Option1:

For raw diet lover – Take your time and energy to learn and raise your budget to apply what you learnt to DIY your food, surely, risk your pets’ health to prove your experiment.

  • Option 2:

For sensible DIYer– You like to study and explore new possibilities. In my opinion, u may choose to take off a small portion from the whole quantity of store-bought food, and replace it with nutrition-balanced fresh food.

  • Option 3:

For most of us –You trust in professionals. Balance your budget and learn how to pick up thebest food from shelves, avoid dazzling package but pay special attention to their formula and nutrition fact, compare before buy.

Below I’ve listed some hot brands in pet store, now it’s at your option.

Remember, their life quality all depends on you.

Nutrition Facts of A Few Dog Food Brands in the Market

- Natural Bridge Club Complete Dog Food-Adult

- Royal Canin CC Dog

- Pet Master Salmon with Blueberry Adult

- Pedigree Adult Balance Nutrition – all breed

- Purina Proplan for Adult

- TO BE CONTINUED -

By Rosalia

Founder of OHMYCAT

Wechat: senorita-osa

Facebook Page: Ohmycat shanghai

Email: ohmycatshanghai@126.com