Raw Diet for Dogs with Allergies

A raw diet for dogs may be the answer to helping resolve some of your dog’s allergy problems. Let’s take a look at what raw diets are, how they became popular and what potential health benefits they offer your dog.

The Ingredients of a Raw Dog Diet

As the name suggests, raw diets consist of predominantly raw ingredients. They are also sometimes called BARF diets, which stands for “biologically appropriate raw food.”  This diet is also sometimes called the “bones and raw food” diet. Regardless of what you call it, a canine raw diet usually contains:

  • bones (whole or ground and always uncooked)
  • eggs
  • fruits
  • muscle meat
  • organ meat
  • vegetables
  • yogurt

Some raw diets also include vitamin and mineral supplements and other dietary additives such as kelp, garlic or alfalfa.

One common ingredient of commercially prepared dog food that’s missing in the raw food diet is grains. Since many grains have been implicated as allergens in canine diets, raw food diets may be beneficial for dogs with food allergies.

How Raw Diets Became Popular for Dogs

Although the idea of raw food diets for pets have been around since the early 1990s when Australian veterinarian Ian Billinghurst introduced the concept of raw dog food diets, the large-scale pet food recall in 2007 sparked the current wave of interest in raw dog diets.

The Benefits a Raw Diet Offers Your Dog

Proponents of a raw diet for dogs believe that this type of diet offers many canine health benefits, including two that will appeal to owners of dogs with allergies: better coat condition and healthier skin. Other potential health benefits include cleaner teeth, decreased stool size and increased energy.

Where to Find Raw Dog Diets

Although many dog owners opt to create their own raw diets from scratch, several companies do sell frozen or freeze-dried versions of raw diets. You can locate these manufacturers by conducting an online search for “frozen raw dog food diet” or “buy BARF diet.”

How to Feed a Raw Diet to Your Dog

There are two schools of thought on how to begin feeding a raw diet to your dog. Some dog owners opt to make a sudden switch from the dog’s former diet to the raw diet, while others transition their pets to the new diet over a course of days or weeks.

Young, healthy dogs are best suited to a swift dietary switch, while older dogs or dogs with pre-existing health conditions should be transitioned to a raw food diet gradually.

You will need to feed about 16 ounces of raw food each day for each 50 pounds of your dog’s weight. In case your dog doesn’t quite tip the scales at 50 pounds, or if he weighs more than 50 pounds, here are some general guidelines to follow:

  • Owners of toy breeds that weigh between 7 and 15 pounds: 4 to 8 ounces of raw food each day
  • Owners of small breeds that weigh between 15 and 25 pounds: 8 to 12 ounces of raw food each day
  • Owners of medium-sized breeds that weigh between 25 and 50 pounds: 12 to 16 ounces of raw food each day
  • Owners of large breeds that weigh between 50 and 75 pounds: 16 to 24 ounces of raw food each day
  • Owners of giant breeds that weigh between 75 and 100 pounds: 28 to 32 ounces of raw food each day