Dr Nick Thompson, The Holistic Vet on Skin Problems
How Can Raw Food Help Dogs with Skin Problems?
Itch, redness, infection and smell; skin disease is the number one problem for all dogs and cats, according to the UK's PDSA website.
How can a raw diet help? In two ways. First, a raw diet provides nutrients that help the body keep skin healthy. Secondly, it does not contain elements that can provoke skin disease.
Skin Friendly Nutrients
Good raw diets contain the following skin-helping foods:
- Omega-3 fatty acids - uncooked fish, flax, seed, meat and herb oils all contain these essential anti-inflammatory fatty acids. Cooked and extruded pet foods are not required to contain these skin-food elements. Veterinary dermatologists worldwide agree omega-3 fatty acids are essential for normal skin function and in helping with inflammatory skin disease.
- Vitamin E - vets call them tocopherols. They come in up to 125 variants of this life-giving vitamin. Ultra-processed foods such as tinned and kibble only require one synthetic version. Raw foods containing animal fats, seeds and leafy green veg offer a whole range. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant to help the cells in the skin fight inflammation and stay healthy.
- Good raw diets also contain undamaged proteins, naturally occurring minerals and all the required vitamins presented in the best form for your pet
Good raw diets do NOT contain:
- Cereals - cereals like corn, wheat, barley and oats contain allergenic (skin allergy/sensitivity forming) glutens and lipopolysaccharides which can lead to leaky gut problems, which, in turn, can provoke skin disease. Grain-rich foods contain phytates that can bind with iron, zinc, magnesium and calcium, reducing nutrients available to your pet.
- Cereals commonly contain glyphosate, a weed-killer that farmers use on crops to kill unwanted pest plants and to help dry the crop as it is harvested. Glyphosate is toxic to our pets in many ways. It is thought to be associated with IBD diseases in humans, such as Celiac disease. It binds to fundamental nutrients like iron, cobalt, molybdenum, copper and other rare metals, and it has an antibiotic effect damaging your pet's microbiome bugs. Good raw diets that do not contain any cereals are much less likely to contain high levels of toxic glyphosate.
- Raw food is often better digested than ultra-processed foods. Poorly digested foods are associated with colitis, which in turn can be associated with skin disease.
- Advanced Glycation End products are carcinogenic products of fusing proteins and sugars at high temperature. This happens in cooked and extruded products like tinned and kibbled food, not in raw food.
Cat and dog owners who change to raw food are often surprised at how quickly the skin improves, sometimes in only days or a few weeks!
Benyfit's Hints & Tips
Dr Nick mentioned Omega-3 as being a vital ingredient in your dog's diet. We use Flaxseed Oil in all our Working Dog recipes as it is a high source of quality Omega-3. Another ingredient rich in Omega-3 is muscle meat from grass-fed cows. All our beef is grass fed for ultimate nutrition for your pup.