So after reading some of my other articles you may be asking yourself “Is A Prey Model Diet A Balanced Diet For Your Dog” and the answer is…absolutely yes, It can be. With a little bit of effort and following knowledgeable guidelines it most certainly is a balanced diet.
A Raw Meat Prey Model Diet
Not all raw meat diets are balanced. If a dog is fed a diet that contains only muscle meat it will not be balanced. Dogs need muscle meat, bones and organ meat. This kind of diet is called a raw meat prey model diet, it means feeding a diet that closely resembles the whole prey diet that they would eat in the wild.
To make a raw meat diet balanced you need to include a variety of raw meaty bones and organ meats. This combination of raw foods will give your dog the correct amount of fat, protein, vitamins, minerals, and enzymes.
It is easier to meet the dogs nutritional requirements than it is to meet a cats requirements. The dog does not need to have every single meal completely balanced. They will do just fine on rotation diets that will balance the diet over time.
A dogs body (just the same as human body) can handle vitamin and mineral deficiencies for a short amount of time. But keep feeding a nutrient deficient diet and problems will eventually arise. (Think about the standard American diet of fast and processed foods, you can eat it but it’s not nutrient rich and will cause problems if you continue to eat it. The trick is to provide a variety of foods and the diet will balance itself out over time.
Dogs (as well as humans) can store certain nutrients in it’s body and can use these stored nutrients if and when they need them. The other vitamins and nutrients that are required are known as essential nutrients and those are obtained through the foods they eat. Essential fatty acids and essential enzymes are found in fresh meat.
Dogs don’t really need vegetables. In fact a lot of the nutrients in vegetables aren’t easily available for digestion even when fully cooked.
Commercial pet food manufacturers have led us to believe that every single meal must be complete and balanced and that their food is the best option to feed our pets. But dogs have evolved eating a prey model diet for thousands of years, that is what they are designed to eat.
Premade commercial dog foods (think dry bagged kibble and canned wet foods) have only been around for about 100 years and our pets have not evolved to eat them. Pet food manufacturers use a guide to determine a balanced diet. This “man-made” diet includes fats, proteins and carbohydrates. But dogs (and cats) have no need for carbohydrates and feeding them can be detrimental to their health and longevity.
Nature and evolution are the best guides when constructing a complete and balanced diet. Feed as close to mother nature as possible and they will obtain a balanced diet.