At WiseGEEK, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.
The raw pet diet is a diet in which animals are fed raw foods in order to maintain optimal health. While commercial raw pet foods are popular, the more traditional way to give a pet raw food is by preparing it at home. In addition, some individuals choose to give their pets a variation on the raw food diet called a prey diet. In this diet, pets survive only on meat, organs, bones, and eggs.
As the name suggests, raw pet food is comprised of items such as raw proteins, oils, vitamins and minerals, and other raw foods. Typically, examples of some of the types of foods that are found in raw pet food include chicken, turkey, lamb, or beef, though duck or bison may also be present. In addition, raw pet food diets often also include a wide array of organ meats, a variety of different types of vegetables, bones, probiotics, and even fruits and eggs.
While commercial raw pet food is widely available, making the dog food at home with real ingredients is still typically the most common choice when choosing raw food for a pet. It is important to remember that choosing this type of diet for a dog or cat is an important decision. Preparing raw diets can not only be time-consuming, but is some cases is also significantly more expensive than simply purchasing a bag of prepared pet food.
As stated above, commercial raw pet food is popular, and it can be found at most chain pet food stores in a variety of forms. While fresh commercial dog food is the most common product, it can also sometimes be found in the frozen foods section of your pet stores. In the United States, commercial raw pet food is governed by the Association of American Feed Control Officials, who require commercial raw pet foods to contain specific nutrients.
Finally, individuals who are considering a raw pet food diet for their animals may want to consider placing their pet on a prey diet. In this diet, animals are given large pieces of meat along with small bones, organs, and eggs. This diet tries to mimic most closely the diet of wild animals. While it is rich in protein, iron, and the B vitamins, other important products may be missed.