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Mud Bay talked to our in-house veterinarian, Dr. Katy Patterson-Miller, to get answers to your top seven questions about grain-free dog food, taurine and heart disease (DCM) in dogs. We also included a handout that explains everything we currently know about the FDA investigation, as well as our dietary recommendations for concerned dog owners.
“Cooking destroys some vital nutrients, which is why many foods need added vitamins to meet your dog’s nutritional requirements,” explains Store Staff Member Max Hanckel. “With raw food, you’re getting what you need directly from the food. And with a raw product, you preserve the natural living enzymes in the food that are killed through the heating process. “
“If you want most of the health benefits of feeding raw food, we recommend feeding at least 50 percent,” said Shoreline Store Lead Kelsey Deans. “For dogs, that can be a very easy transition to make. For example, with my own dog, I feed her half kibble and half raw. It’s a cost-effective way of meeting her nutritional needs [with some raw food].”
Mud Bay recommends a raw diet for dogs because it offers a wide variety of benefits to them. One of the biggest benefits is the amount of moisture that raw food can add to your dog’s diet. A frozen raw diet contains intercellular moisture locked into every bite, while freeze-dried and air-dried foods can easily be rehydrated on an as-needed basis.
“People often don’t think about the differences between a carnivore’s body and herbivore’s body. It’s not just about teeth shape,” explains Dr. Katy Patterson-Miller, Director of Dog and Cat Health and Nutrition at Mud Bay. “Herbivores have long digestive tracts that can efficiently break down plant matter so it can be used by their bodies. Carnivores, by comparison, have much shorter digestive tracts. And they don’t make the necessary digestive juices to fully digest plant matter.”
“I’ve looked at the studies surrounding muscle loss and senior dogs, and if your dog doesn’t have a health condition that requires a low protein food, it’s better to look for a food with at least 24 percent dry matter protein,” advises Dr. Katy Patterson-Miller. “If you look at the back of a can, pouch or bag of dog food that translates to 8% for raw frozen dog food; 5 % for wet food; and 22% for kibble and freeze-dried foods.”