Dr Nick Thompson, The Holistic Vet on Gut Problems
How can raw feeding help dogs/cats with gut problems?
Raw feeding helps many conditions that are impossible to counter with conventional food options. How does it do this? Two reasons - raw contains ingredients that are impossible to find in tinned and kibbled foods, and raw food does not contain many constituents found in ultra-processed options.
Ingredients Unique to Raw Diets to Help the Gut
Proteins - the proteins in raw food are as nature intended them to be eaten, as our pets have been eating them for millions of years. Cats and dogs have the enzymes and the microbiome uniquely suited to an evolutionary diet. We don't feed horses rump steaks, after all.
Fats - Well made raw food diets are high in many fats. Some of the most important are the saturated animal fats that we know support immune and hormone metabolism and have anti-inflammatory capacity. They are also high in Omega-3 fatty acids, some of nature's most potent non-drug anti-inflammatories.
Leafy Vegetable - good raw diets are low in sugars, starches and gluten. Sugars overstimulate the pancreas and insulin production. Starches break down to sugars in the extrusion process and the pet's gut, further promoting gut damage through microbiome challenge. Gluten, a protein found in grains, can induce IBD and gut sensitivities. Many good raw diets contain vegetables, but these carbohydrates are not over-processed like those in tins and kibbles.
Ingredients Unique to Ultra-Processed Foods to Damage the Gut
Above, we have mentioned directly or indirectly denatured proteins, products low in polyunsaturated fatty acids and pro-inflammatory Omega-6 molecules. We mentioned damaging sugars, starches and gluten contained in all tinned and kibbled foods. All these ingredients are absent from raw food but always found in processed food.
In addition, in tins and dry food, we find:
Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs): acrylamide, nitrosamides and polycyclic aromatic amines form when DNA molecules or proteins irreversibly cross-link with sugars. This linking occurs when foods are put under high temperature and pressure, as found in the canning and extrusion process.
AGEs are associated with obesity, cancer, liver, gut and heart disease. They are only present in small amounts, but exposure over a lifetime is considered dangerous.
Mould toxins: moulds are an inevitable part of making dry pet food. They form on cereals when incompletely dry and decaying vegetation. They are very common and represent the main reason that dried pet foods are recalled in the USA. At their mildest, they cause nausea, gastrointestinal disease and vomiting in pets.
They are some of the most toxic substances on the planet. They include Aflatoxin, Ochratoxin and Vomitoxins.
Benyfit's Hints & Tips
Our favourite quote from Dr Nick is "Never feed a treat with more than 1 ingredient"
Remember, if you are cutting out an ingredient from your dog's food, you need to make sure your treats match that cut.
Our new Air Dried Treats are as natural as it gets. 100% natural, air dried animal parts, with no other ingredients.