A new study tested the health benefits for dogs of various types of popular fresh and raw commercial diets relative to traditional kibble diets. The findings suggest that all commercially prepared diets–raw, fresh and kibble–were healthy for dogs.
Fresh and raw diets for dogs may have health benefits, study says
Many dog owners think of their furry companions as part of the family, and now products are available to feed them that way, too. Some owners are moving away from traditional extruded kibble products, instead choosing ultra-premium fresh and raw diets found in the refrigerated aisle. The foods may look more similar to what we’d feed a member of the family, but many of the newer diets haven’t been rigorously tested for performance in dogs.
The researchers tested the palatability and digestibility of three commercially marketed fresh and raw diets for dogs, as well as a traditional extruded kibble diet. The diets included a lightly cooked roasted-refrigerated diet; a lightly cooked grain-free roasted-refrigerated diet; and a raw diet. The lightly cooked roasted diets were pasteurized, and the raw diet was treated with an acidifying bacteria that makes the food inhospitable to harmful microbes…
Eight beagles were successively fed each diet for one month. After a 14-day transition period onto each new diet, they were monitored for voluntary physical activity, and then urine, stool, and blood samples were collected and analyzed.
The roasted diets turned out to be more digestible than the kibble, and both the grain-free roasted diet and the raw diet resulted in lower blood triglyceride levels than the kibble diet, even though they were higher in fat… Voluntary activity didn’t differ across the diets…
All the diet formats tested in the study, including kibble, would be healthy choices.
Journal Reference: Kiley M Algya, Tzu-Wen L Cross, Kristen N Leuck, Megan E Kastner, Toshiro Baba, Lynn Lye, Maria R C de Godoy, Kelly S Swanson. Apparent total-tract macronutrient digestibility, serum chemistry, urinalysis, and fecal characteristics, metabolites and microbiota of adult dogs fed extruded, mildly cooked, and raw diets1. Journal of Animal Science, 2018; DOI: 10.1093/jas/sky235