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Rawgust: What is Rawgust and Should You Try A Raw Food Diet For Your Pet?

Have you heard the word “Rawgust” bouncing around this month and you’re not quite sure what it means? Or perhaps you’ve heard of “Rawgust” but you don’t know what a raw pet food diet is? We’ve got the answers for you!

Whether you want to find out what Rawgust is, or you’re interested in diving into the world of the raw pet food diet, you’re in the right place. Read on for Bone & Biscuit’s pet guide to Rawgust.

What Is Rawgust?

Rawgust is the name for the monthly “holiday” that’s all about the raw food diet and takes place in August. It started as a way to encourage people to switch their regular diets and go on a cleanse and eat food in its purest form during August. But, we think it’s the perfect excuse to shed a light on the raw food diet for pets and provide pet owners with valuable information about this special diet.

A baking dish loaded with raw veggies of broccoli, potatoes and yams sits on a cutting board, with another bowl of veggies beside it, a cauliflower head above, and a knife on the side.
Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash

What Is A Raw Dog Food Diet or Raw Cat Food Diet?*

A raw dog food diet or raw cat food diet is exactly what it sounds like: a diet for pets that is based on feeding your dog or cat raw food. This means feeding your dog or cat raw meat, such as raw beef or fish, as well as adding other important nutrients to their diets such as vegetables, fruits, or other nutrient-rich food sources. Some also decide to combine a regular pet food diet and a raw food diet, instead of doing one or the other.

When creating a meal for your pet’s raw food diet, many opt to include in their cats and dogs’ raw food diet things like:

red-meat

**While many pets won’t have allergies, you’ll want to be careful with certain ingredients in case your pet is allergic. Some common allergens include beef, chicken, eggs, dairy, wheat and soy.

A raw pet food diet is tailored to your pet with raw meat and ingredients that are as close to their natural diet in the wild as possible. Generally speaking, it is a fresher, more limited-ingredient diet than the typical dry or canned pet foods you’ll see on the market, and offers a purer form of food for your pet.

What Are The Benefits of A Raw Food Diet for My Pet?*

While the raw pet food diet isn’t the only healthy option for your dog or cat, there are plenty of benefits that make it an excellent choice. Many pet owners who’ve made the switch have found it to be the right choice for their dog or cat and have found great changes in their pets’ health. If you’re considering the raw food diet for your dog or cat, there are plenty of benefits that make it worth your while.

1. The Raw Dog Food Diet and Raw Cat Food Diet is a More Natural Option, and Closer To What They’d Eat In The Wild

Because the raw pet food diet is as close as you can get to what your dog or cat would be eating in the wild, it’s a more natural choice. It also cuts out a lot of many consider unnecessary additives and ingredients you’ll find in a typical dry food or canned food option.

2. The Raw Pet Food Diet Allows For More Control Over What You Feed Your Dog Or Cat

The raw food diet is also inherently a limited-ingredient diet, meaning it cuts out additives, ingredients and preservatives that have to be added into most processed, dry pet food products to keep them fresh. Because it can cut out those ingredients and tailor every ingredient you put into your cat or dog’s meal, it gives you more control over what your pet does, and doesn’t, eat.

3. The Raw Food Diet for Dogs And Cats Can Be A Great Option For Pets With Food Allergies

Because of the control it offers, the raw food diet is often a better choice for cats or dogs with a lot of allergies. For instance, a common allergen for dogs is chicken. Many dog food products contain chicken ingredients, such as chicken protein, chicken meal, chicken by-products, or chicken fat; even the ones whose primary protein source is another meat product could still have chicken-based ingredients. And while this is usually fine for most dogs, for pet owners with dogs that are allergic to chicken, this can make it incredibly difficult to find dog food that won’t give their dog an allergic reaction. But with a raw dog food diet, pet owners can control the food they put in their dogs’ meals and eliminate any chicken from their diet.

A bengal cat scratches behind its ear while outside in a garden.

Of course, there are tons of wonderful, limited-ingredient dog food brands and products on the market that give allergy-prone pets plenty of options. But when you’ve tried everything, a raw pet food diet might do the trick.

4. The Raw Food Diet for Dogs And Cats Can Have Other Benefits and Improve Their Overall Health

Many pet owners have found that switching their dogs or cats to a raw food-based diet has shown improvements in their pets’ health and well-being.

Some of these health improvements include:

  • Shinier coat and healthier skin 
  • Better digestion
  • Better dental health
  • Boosting their immune system 
  • And even giving their pets more energy.

What Are The Drawbacks of A Raw Food Diet for My Pet?*

Here at the Bone & Biscuit, we love the raw pet food diet, but it doesn’t work for everyone. Before switching your dog or cat to a raw food diet, it’s important to consider all the drawbacks and do your research, and, most importantly, consult with your veterinarian before making any major changes to their diet. The raw food diet isn’t the only healthy option for your dog or cat and has its own set of potential risks to keep in mind as well.

1. It Can Be Difficult to Find the Right Balance for A Healthy Raw Pet Food Diet

Because a raw food diet relies on you finding and combining ingredients, it can be difficult to know how to balance their diet for the healthiest option. A raw pet food diet isn’t only about the meat and protein but also about making sure they’re getting everything they need from fresh veggies and fruits, probiotics, and other important nutrient-rich ingredients.

Two fillets of raw salmon on wax paper sits on a cutting board with carrots in the background for a raw food diet for Rawgust.
Photo by CA Creative on Unsplash

Many raw food brands and products provide great nutritional information, tips and instructions to help you get started and learn about the diet. However, they shouldn’t be your only source of information. Because it’s up to you to find that right balance for a healthy, and safe, raw food diet for your dog or cat, you should always do your research and consult with your veterinarian before starting a raw food-based diet.

2. The Raw Food Diet For Pets Can Lead To Cross-Contamination And Bacterial Issues

Like any raw food diet, a raw pet food diet (especially raw meat) can have issues with cross-contamination and bacterial issues. If not stored or prepared properly, raw food can grow bacteria that can be harmful to your dog or cat, and even cross contaminate with your food, too. Because the food isn’t cooked, it’s especially important to choose ingredients that are packaged properly or as fresh as possible, to store it safely in your refrigerator or freezer, and to always keep your surfaces, and yourself, clean when handling raw food.

It’s also important to choose raw pet food brands that are diligent about testing for bacteria, and who are careful when packing their foods to be as safe as possible. Some options also store better than others, such as freeze-dried or air-dried raw pet food, although frozen raw food is still a great option for a raw diet. Make sure that you’re careful when preparing their food to avoid cross-contamination and bacteria growth, store your ingredients safely, and research your raw food sources.

Here at Bone & Biscuit, we value high-quality pet foods that will keep your pets healthy and safe, and the products we bring in our stores are ones that we approve of and can recommend (be sure to ask us in-store for more specific recommendations).

3. The Raw Pet Food Diet Can Be Expensive

There’s no real way around this side of a raw food diet – the raw pet food diet can be an expensive choice for your dog or cat. Simply put, the ingredients and preparation involved to make safe raw food products, and to store the raw food safely in stores, are more costly on average than a typical pet food product. Depending on your budget, a raw food diet might not work for you and your pet.

A pink piggy bank with white polka dots stands tilted on a wooden table with coins spilling out.
Photo by Andre Taissin on Unsplash

3. The Raw Pet Food Diet Can Be Expensive

There’s no real way around this side of a raw food diet – the raw pet food diet can be an expensive choice for your dog or cat. Simply put, the ingredients and preparation involved to make safe raw food products, and to store the raw food safely in stores, are more costly on average than a typical pet food product. Depending on your budget, a raw food diet might not work for you and your pet.

4. The Raw Food Diet Doesn’t Fit For Every Dog Or Cat

Even with all its benefits and drawbacks considered, sometimes a raw food diet just isn’t a fit for your dog or cat. Some pets can be picky eaters and do not like the taste, while others have a very particular diet that can be thrown off by introducing a raw diet, and sometimes pets have sensitivities to digesting raw meat, vegetables or other ingredients often in a raw diet. Because of this, when trying out the raw food diet for the first time we recommend consulting with your veterinarian first, and then getting enough to make the gentle transition over, plus an additional week of supplies to watch for any reactions (no need to stock up yet) – this way, you can see if your pet’s digestion is taking to the diet, or if they even like it.

Should I Try A Raw Pet Food Diet for My Dog Or Cat This Rawgust?*

Because every pet’s needs are unique, deciding to try a raw diet for your dog or cat this Rawgust depends on you and your pet.

When considering the switch, we recommend thinking about the benefits and drawbacks we’ve mentioned and asking yourself these questions:

  • Have you tried a lot of other pet foods that aren’t working for your sensitive or allergic dog or cat? 
  • Do you have the budget to invest in the right products for a raw food diet?
  • Do you have the time to prepare a balanced raw pet food diet, and do the necessary research before starting?
  • Is your pet’s current diet working well for them?
  • Have you consulted with your veterinarian about a raw pet food diet?
A black and white spaniel runs in a grassy field with a grey cat chasing behind him on a sunny day.

These are some questions to help you figure out if you should switch your pet to a raw food diet. Before you make any big changes to your pet’s diet, especially when switching to a raw pet food diet, we always recommend consulting with your veterinarian. If you need a little more advice about switching your pet, be sure to check out our past blogs for more tips:

Rawgust At The Bone & Biscuit

Whether you’re considering the switch, or are already an avid fan, we’re celebrating Rawgust with some appetizing Boneified Deals. You can find deals in-store on some of our great raw pet food brands and products, like Ziwi Pets and Bold By Nature. Be sure to check out our deals in-store to take advantage of the savings, or to get more raw pet food advice from our wonderful store owners and staff. Happy Rawgust, everyone!

*Disclaimer: The contents of this blog post, such as any graphics, images, text and other material contained on this site are for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding your pet’s medical condition. Never disregard professional advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

If you think your pet has a medical emergency, call or visit your veterinarian or your local veterinary emergency hospital immediately. Reliance on any information appearing on this website is at your own risk. If you have medical concerns or need advice for your dog or cat, please seek out your closest holistic or integrative veterinarian.

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