Raw Pet Food
Many people say the only healthy, natural diet for a carnivore is fresh raw meat.
It's well-known that cooking, especially at extremely high temperatures, depletes nutrients found in natural food. Many of the ingredients in processed dog and cat foods require grinding, boiling, re-processing and more boiling in order to sterilize them or make them edible.
This is especially the case with meat by-products and meat meal, often the primary source of protein in commercial pet foods. Even if these ingredients are all natural or organic, the processing significantly reduces the nutritional value to your pet.
Whether you choose an entirely raw, homemade diet or a commercial dog food or cat food, it is important to ensure you are getting the right mix of all of the nutrients your pet needs.
A truly natural diet for your dog's ancestors did include some grains (from the stomach of their prey), vegetables, and by-products as well. After all, they consumed almost the whole prey - bones, skin, feathers and all.
So, although raw meat is very healthy, it needs to be fed in the right combination with other ingredients to meet all of your pet's requirements.
Meat and bones on their own don't have the right calcium-to-phosphorous ratio, so a dog needs other sources of calcium. Oats, soybeans, pinto beans, tofu and cottage cheese are good sources of calcium.
Other excellent sources of high levels of protein are bones, eggs, grains like oatmeal and bulgur, and some legumes. Grains, legumes and some vegetables do need to be cooked to aid in digestion.