Scientists Determine if Raw Fed Dogs are Healthier

Scientists Determine if Raw Fed Dogs are Healthier

As a proponent of raw feeding for dogs, I've always believed in the health benefits of a raw food diet.

However, a 2021 study challenges this notion, suggesting no significant difference in health between dogs on a raw diet and those on high-quality kibble.

As someone who often defends raw feeding, I delved into this study to understand its implications.

Study Overview: The Health Comparison

  1. Study Size and Demographics:

    • The study involved 55 dogs, a mix of adults ranging from 1.5 to 13 years, fed either raw or kibble for over a year.
    • Dogs recently vaccinated or on certain medications were excluded.
  2. Diet Brands Used:

    • RAW diet: Primarily Titan Blends and Ross Wells, with one dog on Texas Tripe.
    • KIBBLE diet: Varied brands including Purina ProPlan, Hills, Iams, Taste of the Wild, Royal Canin, Diamond, and Pedigree.
  3. Health Assessment:

    • The study assessed blood tests, urinalysis, and clinical health scores, focusing on dental, ear canal, and skin health.
    • An unbiased evaluator assigned health scores.
  4. Data Analysis:

    • Researchers used statistical methods to analyze the relationship between health outcomes and factors like age, breed, and gender.
    • The Composite Clinical Health Score (CCS) was calculated and compared between the groups.

Study Findings:

  • Differences were observed in certain biochemical and hematological parameters between the raw and kibble groups, but these were not consistent across all markers.
  • No significant differences were found in the overall clinical health scores.

Personal Reflections on the Study:

  1. Population Size and Diversity:

    • Larger studies offer more reliable results. A study with a vast number of diverse dogs would provide a more definitive conclusion.
  2. Baseline Health of Dogs:

    • Starting with already healthy dogs may limit the ability to observe significant changes. A longitudinal study tracking dogs’ health over time, including those with existing health issues, might offer more insightful data.
  3. Lifestyle Factors:

    • Factors like exercise, weight, stress levels, and environmental toxins also play a crucial role in a dog’s overall health and should be considered.

Conclusion: Is Raw Really Better?

While I believe in the benefits of fresh food, it’s essential to acknowledge that many factors contribute to a dog's health, including genetics and lifestyle.

This study doesn’t conclusively prove that raw-fed dogs are healthier than those on kibble.

Nonetheless, more comprehensive research in this area is needed to draw definitive conclusions.

I look forward to future studies exploring the impact of different diets on our canine companions’ health.

For now, the debate between raw and kibble diets continues, underscoring the need for personalised approaches to canine nutrition.

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