Vince the Vet - Better Nutrition Better Health Series - 2. A Complete Raw Food - Fact or Fiction?
Continuing where we left off in article 1 of this series - is it possible to create a 'complete' raw food which satisfies the nutritional demands of all kinds of dogs and cats?
The nutrients the body needs to function as best it can is influenced by many factors, including:
- genetic make up
- medical history
- current health
- life events (traumas, accidents etc)
Together these determine the amount and type of protein, fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, trace elements and other nutrients a particular pet needs to be as healthy as they can be.
And because these factors vary widely between pets (and throughout their lives) it's impossible to create a raw food that supplies every dog and cat with the nutrients they need for optimum health.
The word 'complete' on a raw dog or cat food therefore, is NOT a guarantee that it will provide all the nourishment a pet needs to be healthy, it simply means that it contains a minimum level of certain nutrients specified by the EU (which are misguided and hopelessly outdated as we shall see in a future article).
As such, it is a regulatory definition, NOT a true measure of nutritional value or the ability of a food to meet your pet's nutritional needs.
This is important to know, because if we want to ensure that a highly nutritious and completely healthy, balanced raw food diet is fed to our dogs and cats, which promotes the VERY BEST of HEALTH, the right blend of high quality, natural foods must be supplied, which suit each pet's own, unique genetic make up, lifestyle and circumstances.
This is not as difficult as it might first appear, but it does involve making important and well-informed decisions about the composition of the food given, beginning with the quality of protein...