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Everything You Need to Know About Raw Pet Food (and What to Ignore)

Raw food diets have been around for a long time, and the benefits they can offer cats and dogs speak for themselves. If you’re unfamiliar with what a raw food diet is, it’s basically a diet consisting of raw meat, uncooked fruits, and uncooked vegetables. You can feed your pet a raw food diet several ways, some of which are safer than others. Some people go the DIY route and make raw meals themselves, but a pre-made, complete and balanced diet from a trusted brand is best and safest.

Many veterinarians have noted the benefits of raw feeding. And some vets, including vet nutritionist Susan G. Wynn, DVM, DACVIM (Nutrition) endorse them because of what they’ve seen in the animals they’ve treated. “In my practice, the changes I saw in patients with skin allergies, arthritis, and GI disorders were dramatic and life-changing,” Wynn says.

As you can imagine, a number of rumors and myths surround raw pet food. But the majority of these claims are unsubstantiated — there’s not much concrete research behind them. So, to set the record straight, here are the most common myths about raw pet food, debunked.

Myth #1: Raw food is no better than kibble

Many pets prefer raw pet food to their kibble, and some studies suggest that it’s healthier. That said, you won’t know how your pet feels about raw pet food until you offer it. One way to do that: Add raw food as a topper to your pet’s dry food. Doing so can be a boon for your pet’s health. Research suggests that eating at least 20 percent raw food as a puppy results fewer skin and gastrointestinal problems in adulthood, according to Wynn.

Myth #2: Feeding your pet a raw food diet is much more work

If you wanted to make all of your pet’s food from scratch, then yes, feeding a raw food diet would require a considerable amount of work and time. It’s very difficult to make raw pet food that provides complete and balanced nutrition. However, a pre-made raw diet like Instinct is complete and balanced, providing the right nutrients in the optimal amounts to best support your pet’s health. Its most advanced variety, Instinct Raw Longevity is crafted by pet nutrition scientists to give dogs and cats a longer, healthy life and is backed by more than ten years of research. With little to no effort on your end, food is on the table — or rather, in the bowl.

Myth #3: There’s a high risk of contamination in raw food

Raw food can, in fact, be very safe to eat. Just like the food people eat, raw dog and cat food is all about quality and sourcing, so it’s important to know that your raw food is being handled properly. All frozen and freeze-dried raw food from Instinct undergoes High Pressure Processing, which ensures that it’s free of pathogenic bacteria, including salmonella, E. coli and listeria. HPP is 100% natural and has minimal to no effects on nutritional value, vitamins, or minerals, with no compromises on taste or color. Instinct also tests every batch before it ships, and provides clear instructions on how to store and serve it properly. The risks are low with a brand like Instinct, while the potential benefits of serving your pet raw food are immense.

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