Is Fresh Raw Dog Food Safe?
Is it really safe to feed raw food diets to your pets? Yes! It is absolutely safe (and actually better) to feed fresh raw dog food and cat food to your pets. The problem with this conversation is that a lot of information can be found to argue both sides of the conversation. So, if you’re thinking about switching to a fresh raw dog food diet, but you’re not sure if it’s safe or how to transition, keep reading. The father of raw pet food diets, Dr. Ian Billinghurst, created a special message for us to share with you about the benefits of feeding raw to your pets.
Dr. Ian Billinghurst pioneered the fresh raw dog food movement in the 80s and 90s and is still the leading expert on raw diets for pets. We reached out, and he agreed to a personal interview with us to help us answer that question for you. Fresh raw dog food and cat food is the best option for your pets, and we’ll explain why that is true in this article.
Meet Dr Ian Billinghurst
Credit: Barf Australia
There is a lot of bad information out there about raw food diets for pets. Dr. Ian Billinghurst has been working with pets for over 40 years as an Australian Veterinary Surgeon to combat the misinformation and sometimes outright lies about fresh raw dog food and cat food diets. In opposition to the information you typically hear from dry pet food companies about the dangers of fresh raw diets, Dr. Billinghurst has realized and shared important information about feeding your pets correctly. He discovered that feeding pets fresh raw food diets greatly improved the health of his pet patients. Dr. Billinghurst has been the tip of the spear driving the conversation around raw food diets for pets for over 25 years. As he began to transition more and more of his pet patients to fresh raw diets he saw the drastic health improvements that came along with the transitions.
These grain based products act like a slow poison in the life of my patientsDr Ian Billinghurst
Billinghurst saw all kinds of improvements as more and more of his patients were changing over to raw diets. Everything from shinier coats of fur to cancer remediation. He realized there was something very important and very special about what he was discovering, and he was determined to bring his message and information to the world.
In 1993 Dr Billinghurst wrote a book that kick-started the raw pet food movement all over the world. He has since written several books on the topic but the work that started it all was a book called “Give Your Dog A Bone” . To this day, it is still the most well-known book on fresh raw dog food diets. He also founded the BARF Diet (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food).
Dr Billinghurst has extensive training in Veterinary Science, Agricultural Science, Chinese Medicine, and Education. Putting together his many years of learning in multiple fields as well as his 50 plus years of practicing as a veterinary professional has given him a strong and authoritative platform to speak out about fresh raw diets for pets.
He has certainly accomplished many impressive things over the course of his career. He is a public speaker in high demand and has spoken all over the world from the US, Canada, UK, and Japan. His message about the importance of feeding your pets fresh raw diets is backed by years of clinical research dating all the way back to the 1980s.
In his book, Billinghurst outlines the very simple and manageable way that you can transition your pet to a fresh raw dog food diet in just days or weeks. It may sound like a daunting task, but it is absolutely achievable. Here at BJ’s Raw Pet Food we exist to help you take the best care of your pets. We’ve put together a page for you all about how to transition your pet to a raw diet. The idea of transitioning your pet to a raw diet may seem very intimidating, it’s ok to feel that way. The truth is it’s actually not nearly as bad as you might think. Often, your dog or cat will be able to transition over the course of a few days or a few weeks at most. Check out our page all about the transition to raw food diets.
Since writing “Give Your Dog a Bone”, Dr Billinghurst has worked with countless pet parents to help them better care for their pets by transitioning them to fresh raw diets. Time and time again pet parents have seen their favorite furry friend’s health improve thanks to a raw diet. Energy levels increase, coats are shinier, and teeth and gums are healthier.
Dogs and cats are carnivores and their digestive systems are actually designed to primarily process raw meat. They have jaws that only move up and down. Anatomically speaking, they are designed to rip, tear, and consume a diet of mostly meat and bone. Herbivores like cows and sheep have jaw structures that are designed to chew and reduce plant based foods. Your dog or cat is totally equipped to handle a raw food diet. Dry kibble foods actually have fewer nutrients and are harder on our animal’s digestive systems than prey animals or raw pet foods are.
Our pet’s digestive tracts aren’t actually geared to process dry kibble. It’s harder for them to absorb important nutrients and vitamins from a dehydrated kibble. The extreme heat from the dehydration process actually takes away from the nutrients found in the ingredients of the dry food brands. A great benefit of the short digestive system and raw food diet combination is that your dog or cat will be able to quickly process their meals, absorb the nutrients, and produce less ‘waste’ after each meal. This is because a fresh raw diet allows your pet’s body to more easily absorb the nutrients from the raw food. No processed food and no fillers means there’s less waste afterwards.
One important thing to remember is that dogs and cats do still need a percentage of minerals and ‘roughage’ or plant based nutrients in order to function. It is critical to your pet’s health that when you switch to a raw food diet you are making sure that they are getting all the nutrition they need. BJ’s offers a number of premixed raw options to help our customers out with dietary planning. The temptation is to oversimplify a fresh raw diet and assume that as long as you’re feeding your pet a lot of meat they will be fine. Make sure you are including the plant nutrients they will need as well. We have supplements for your pets that you can add to their raw meals for specific purposes including completing a balance nutritional diet. Check our Dog Supplements page out to learn more.
Dr. Ian was gracious enough to explain for us his stance on fresh raw dog food diets. Hailing from the land down under, Dr Billinghurst recorded this special video for you, and we’re thrilled to be able to share it!
Fake industrial food is a potent recipe for ill healthDr Ian Billinghurst
Dr. Billinghurst is really “Off the Air” here (that’s Australian slang for being ticked off) but throughout his career he has seen drastic health improvements in the patients that have switched from kibble diets to raw. He’s passionate about animal health and has fought hard to get his message out to the world about raw dog and cat food diets. His patients have experienced kidney healing and even cancer survival and recovery. He has personally served over 2,000 patients and has seen success as many of them have transitioned to fresh raw diets.
It’s exciting and encouraging to hear from someone as experienced as Dr. Billinghurst that serving a raw diet to your pet is a safe and healthy option. We love our pets, and naturally we all want the best for them. That’s why BJ’s Raw Pet Food is here to help you get exactly what you need to feed your dogs and cats the best quality raw foods. We care so much about you and your furry family members.
After meeting us and learning more about how we are serving our clients, Dr. Billinghurst extended to us his official endorsement of our company. We are proud to share with you so that you know we are doing everything we can to support you as pet parents.
Dr. Ian Billinghurst Official Endorsement Statement
However, the good news is that — BJ’s Raw Pet Food — joins a growing band of genuine HEALTH heroes in our modern world, who are dedicated to providing pet parents with genuinely healthy whole RAW foods for the animals in their care. These are the foods that accurately reflect the evolutionary balance and genomic requirements of our furry family members.
What would you choose? For me, the choice would be easy. Would I feed processed pet food to the dog and cat members of my family? Definitely not! BJ’s Raw Pet Food — is offering RAW whole foods that I would happily feed to my own dogs and cats: raw whole foods that work with the body to produce health, vitality, and longevity. BJ’s Raw Pet Food — a true HEALTH hero and guardian.
But the truth is, the pet parents that are brave enough to seek a better quality of life for their pets, that we serve, are the true heroes. It is love that drives them to take a chance and discover something that changes the quality of life for their furry companions.
Dr Karen Becker Joins The Fight
Dr Billinghurst isn’t the only pet expert out there that believes in the benefits of a fresh raw dog food diet either. Dr Karen Becker agrees that switching pets to a raw food diet has many obvious benefits. She has written a number of articles about raw pet food that we found to be informative and helpful. She’s also boldly called out the processed pet food industry for trying to discredit the very real and apparent benefits of raw food diets for pets.
The rise in the popularity of fresh pet food is due in part to the growing awareness among pet guardians of the link between processed pet food and many of the diseases suffered by today’s dogs and cats.Dr Karen Becker
Like Billinghurst, Becker recognizes that many of the health problems affecting our pets are caused by dry kibble diets. She goes on in her article to talk about how her pet patients have benefitted from switching to raw pet food diets. Check out the rest of Dr Becker’s article and see for yourself what else she has to say about dry or canned food diets for pets.
Dr Becker goes into depth explaining why fresh raw diets are so beneficial for our pets. She explains how we domesticated animals like dogs and cats thousands of years ago. What that means is that although we use selective breeding to tailor the appearance of dogs and cats all the base genetic code in their makeup today is still almost identical to the wild wolves and predatory cats they descended from. So, that means that although our furry friends are loveable and playful, their bodies are still wired to process raw whole prey, just like the wolves and predatory cats in the wild today.
Fresh Raw Dog Food Saved Gemini’s Life
In one of her many YouTube videos Becker recounts her personal experience with the first pet that she transitioned to a fresh raw dog food diet which ended up saving its life, twice! She adopted a rottweiler named Gemini while she was in college. Gemini came in with some serious neck injuries from gang related violence. Dr Becker recalls connecting with this dog right away and deciding to adopt her instead of allowing her to be put to sleep. The problem was that as Gemini recovered from her injuries Becker was feeding her the free kibble food she was receiving from the vet school she was attending. Because of this very poor diet, Gemini ended up having some very serious liver issues and was close to death again. Karen decided to take one weekend, before letting go of Gemini, to try feeding her raw meat and some liver supplements as a last ditch effort to save her beloved pet. Miraculously when Monday came around Gemini started showing improvement. Then Tuesday came, and she was better than Monday. Before Dr Becker was even a Doctor she discovered the power of fresh raw diets by treating her own pet. Gemini went on to live to the ripe old age of 13 and Karen realized through that experience just how important diet and nutrition are for pets.
The digestive stress that unnatural processed dry kibble put on cats and dogs is very taxing unlike what they experience when enjoying a raw diet.
Feeding our domestic cats and dogs dry kibble is actually harder on their bodies than processing raw food. The process of creating the dried out kibble type food requires extreme heat. Heat changes the structure of the food ingredients and destroys a lot of the nutritional value the ingredients may have originally contained. The evidence of this is easy to spot when you compare pets that are only being fed dry kibble diets to pets that are being fed a fresh raw dog food diet. The pets eating only kibble have to go to the vet more often and have more frequent and more serious health complications. Pets that transition to raw diets do much better and visit their local vets less often.
Dr Karen Becker is currently one of the most renowned veterinarians in the world and has done extensive work in the field of raw pet food diets. She has followed in Dr Billinghurst’s footsteps and advocates strongly for raw pet food diets. Becker has a doctorate in veterinary medicine from Iowa State School of Veterinary Medicine, she’s certified in animal acupuncture, and she’s a federally licensed wildlife rehabilitator. Dr Becker also consults and writes for healthypets.mercola.com one of the most popular pet sites on the internet that she helped to create. She speaks all over the world and has lots of online videos on the Mercola Healthy Pets YouTube Channel to help pet owners like you to make the best decisions possible about your pet’s nutrition.
Dr. Becker is also a member of the following organizations:
- American Veterinary Medical Association
- American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association
- Association of Avian Veterinarians
- Association of Reptile and Amphibian Veterinarians
- Association of Wildlife Veterinarians
- International Veterinary Acupuncture Society
- American Association of Veterinary Acupuncturists
- Academy of Veterinary Homeopathy
- National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association
- International Association for Animal Hospice and Palliative Care
- International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management
To this day, Dr. Becker is still active as a veterinary clinician. She spends time with patients part-time while she is managing her speaking career, developing healthy pet food diet options, and writing for Mercola’s Healthy Pets website. Dr. Becker strongly advocates for integrative, common-sense approaches to pet treatment. She has dedicated her life to ensuring that as many pets as possible live the best lives. She’s doing this by speaking out about what she knows to be true, that fresh raw diets create the best nutrition for our pets and help them live longer and happier lives.
Are You Ready To Switch To A Fresh Raw Dog Food Diet?
We’ve included some resources to help you get started.
If you are new to raw dog food and would like to know more about what it is, then we recommend visiting our Feeding Dogs Raw Meat page. It will break down some information on what’s raw feeding is and some benefits of this diet.
If you are ready to transition to raw dog food but aren’t sure how to go about it, then you will find our Transition to Raw Dog Food page helpful in understanding the different approaches. We want to equip you with making an educated decision to what is best for your cat or dog.
Are you looking for some suggestions to which meals are best for your dog? We have two pages with some helpful information. First, visit the Best Dog Food page to find out what are our most popular meals. Many of our customers are very educated about raw dog food and have already done the research, and experimented to see which is most popular among their furry companions.
The second thing you can do is check out our Feeding Calculator where you can input your goal weight for your dog, and it will calculate how much to feed your dog. Now, this is a rough estimate, so we suggest adjusting if it looks like it is needed. You will be given an option to receive meal suggestions and coupons for these suggestions. These suggestions are based on your goal for your dog.
Well, we hope this is helpful. Remember we are not veterinarians and are only making suggestions. If you have any medical questions, please consult your veterinarian (ideally, a veterinarian who fully understands Dr. Billinghurst’s research). If you have any questions about our products or service, please feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.