There is a persistent myth that connects parasites to a raw diet for dogs. We’re taking on this myth, showing the reason behind why some dogs have parasites and how you can make small simple changes that will save money, save time and, most importantly, improve your dog’s overall health.
What are parasites?
The literal translation of a parasite is an organism (which can be plant or animal) that benefits from another organism by relying on the host organism’s nutrients for survival.
So what does this mean for dogs? If a dog is being fed commercial kibble instead of whole food nutrients found in natural food, this can lead to internal problems, which puts pressure on a dog’s immune system. A parasite loves this type of environment because the weak immune system allows for easy access to your dog’s already limited nutrients.
The myth behind raw dog food
Many people mistakenly think raw dog food hosts more parasites than other commercial dog food like kibble. This is used as a marketing tactic by large kibble corporations to convince us to buy commercial dog food.
Dog’s digestive system have evolved to naturally process raw foods, unlike dehydrated kibble. A raw food diet helps to boost your dog’s immune system and since parasites hate a healthy host, raw food that is handled safely can work to protect your dog from any future health risks! Even if a parasite does become present, a raw fed dog will have a stronger immune system that is more able to take care of it before it negatively affects them.
If you’re still feeling a little uneasy you can purchase raw dog food and freeze it. For example, salmon is often frozen for 24 hours to remove any parasites. Some parasites may require longer freezing to ensure safety. If you’re concerned, please contact us for advice.
Safe practices for your dog
Here are six steps to help keep your dog parasite free:
- Natural pest control. There are many recipes online or pre-made solutions available at your local pet supply store.
- Attention to natural grooming with a clean living space (remember dogs can get into places we can’t)
- Research and educate on raw diets, habits and exercise to help maintain a healthy and happy life
- Regular use of flea comb
- Maintaining a healthy raw diet (check out Iron Will for the best local ingredients) with lots of fresh water served in clean bowls.
- Avoid allowing pets to injest other animals’ excrement or animal meat/carcass from unknown or unsafe sources.
Protecting your dog from a parasite can seem like a stressful task because you want them as healthy as possible. Following safe practices, providing the right diet and understanding parasites will help keep dog's healthy and give you peace of mind. Contact us to get started with the right raw diet for dogs!