Feeding a cavoodle a raw diet Vs fresh Vs packet food one
There is so much information out there on google it’s hard to know what kind of diet is best for our cavoodles. You would have heard through your breeder, pet shop, friends, family, vet or just other dog owners talk about if they feed their dogs a fresh, raw or packet food diet. We are going to run through each of them, the benefits and the risks/cons so you can decide what diet is best for you and your cavoodle.
Now if you’re a person who gets easily offended this article might not be for you! Cavoodles are quite a special dog and only cavoodle owners truly know how fussy, sensitive, smart and cheeky they can be! There is never going to be one “right” answer for everybody about this topic due to household budgets, beliefs and the fact that not all cavoodles are the same, so let's dig into it!
What is a raw diet?
A raw diet is very straight forward, it's “raw” food! Usually in the form of raw organ meats, raw bones, raw eggs, fruits, vegetables, seeds and some dairy products.
Examples of foods in a raw food diet: sardines, liver, chicken bones, raw egg yolk + shell, kidney, pumpkin, sweet potato, green beans, peas, spinach, broccoli, blueberries, raspberries, grounded chia seeds, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds.
3 Reasons people believe feeding their cavoodles a raw diet is better?
- According to Veterinary Practice News the most common reason for feeding your dog a raw diet is that it is a “natural” and some argue because dogs descended from wolves it's the natural evolution and is “healthier” for them.
- Some claim raw diets have specific health effects like a better, shinier coat, better stool quality, lower risk of diabetes, allergies, cancer and other serious illnesses.
- Lastly as cavoodles and dogs in general become more part of the family and household routine then ever before owners believe that packaged commercial or supermarket dog food you can buy at woolworths and coles is nutritionally unhealthy, full of preservatives, additives and is not good enough for their furbaby as its the equivalent of feeding them Mcdonalds!
Benefits of a raw diet explained by 7 experienced vets
- Can improve skin and coat appearance
- Can mprove anal gland and gut problems
- Keeps teeth and gums healthy, free from plaque
- Can improve chronic diseases
- Helps to get exercise with their jaws, muscle and tongue
The risks & hazard of feeding your cavoodle a raw diet
- Bacteria in Raw Meat: Raw dog food has been found to contain salmonella and E. coli. The bacteria is shed in the canine’s stool and can be transferred to humans. Both E. coli and salmonella bacteria can be especially dangerous to people with auto-immune diseases, the elderly and small children.
- Unbalanced Diet: When switching to a raw food diet, lots of people believe they only need to feed their cavoodle meat only. But a cavoodle needs more than a high protein diet. The meat needs to be balanced with nutrients from grains, fruits and vegetables.
- Choking hazard from eating whole bones: Dogs can choke on bones. If swallowed, sharp bones can also cause lacerations and obstructions in the intestinal system. While there are some risks to feeding meat containing bones, there are also many benefits such as improving oral health and calcium intake.
- Gastrointestinal problems: Changing the diet too suddenly can cause diarrhea and other intestinal issues including vomiting for a few days during the transition.
Note: cavoodles have naturally sensitive tummies its very common with this breed so if you are going to try a raw diet you need to introduce it to them slowly with a mix of their old food with the new food and wean it off them checking with your vet what age is best to do this.
What is a fresh food diet?
A “fresh” diet is one that's made with natural, real ingredients such as chicken mince, breast, tenderloins, thigh, beef, lamb, some vegetables and fruits which are cooked and easy for them to eat. See below fruits and vegetables your cavoodle can and cannot eat, along with toxic human foods to keep them away from and examples of a fresh meal.
Benefits of feeding your cavoodle a fresh food diet:
- According to the AKC can do wonders for their overall well-being including:
- Improved heart health
- Increasing energy level
- Making coats shiny
- Breath smell better
- Improving eyesight
- More solid stool
Cons of feeding a fresh food diet to you cavoodle:
- These ingredients including mince, and protein can be expensive and add up over time
- These meals are time consuming to prepare and not always convenient, especially when travelling and on the go
- If not prepared right can lead to an unbalanced diet meaning you cavoodle may have nutrient deficiencies if there is not a good mix of the six basic nutrients including water, proteins, fats, carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins. These essential nutrients are required as part of the dog’s regular diet and are involved in all of the basic functions of the body.
What is a packet food diet?
A packet or commercial diet can also be known as wet or dry dog food that you buy either from the supermarket or specialist veterinary branded ones in the form of trays, sachets, tins, prime rolls and dry kibble in bags. See examples of pictures below:
Benefits of feeding your cavoodle a packet food diet:
According to North Bundaberg Vet Surgery, the benefit of feeding a premium or veterinary branded food is that the product has been scientifically designed to meet the nutritional requirements of your pets for each stage of life/lifestyle or to manage health conditions.
This is dependant on the brand, but they can also provide:
- The correct amount, balance and availability of nutrients to sustain physical and mental health and activity.
- Are pre-portioned to avoid over feeding which can cause obesity.
- Tastiness (palatability) to ensure the food is eagerly consumed.
- Convenience of storage, and for going on weekend trips when you might not have access to a kitchen.
Cons of feeding a packet or commercial food diet to your cavoodle:
According to The Healing Vet here are a few reasons why you might think twice before feeding your cavoodle commercial dog food.
- They can be high in carbohydrates - High carb food means your pets are running on a sugar metabolism. This is a chronic stress on their metabolism, and can lead to all sorts of health problems over time.
- The proteins in commercial foods can be processed at very high temperatures - This process denatures the proteins, making them less digestible and more likely to damage the immune system.
- Unhealthy additives - Commercial pet foods are designed to be addictive. They are made highly palatable by adding salt (bad for the kidneys, dehydrates the body, very harmful), and flavourings to make it taste better.
- Pet shops and Vets have a financial interest in selling you commercial foods - pet food is big money and these big companies that make these foods (especially the ‘prescription’ diets) influence the curriculum at universities. With the healing vet discussing that they were “lectured on nutrition” by these companies, and they own all the research.
Our own experience with all these diets feeding Bambi our cavoodle
One challenging experience we found when we got bambi as a pup was what to feed her! Because she was from a pet store they told us she was on packaged wet food and dry food, so we bought their recommendation and didn’t think twice about it.
When it was time for dinner, I gave her a sachet of this packet of food and she basically turned her nose and wouldn’t go next to it! It sat in her pen all night till the very next morning which made me so worried! She refused to eat it even when I tried spoon feeding her (talk about spoilt!). Getting worried I called the pet shop and voiced my concern about her not eating their recommended wet pre-packaged food, they told me to try shredded boiled chicken and to see how i go.
Boiling a pot of water and cooking the chicken until white all the way through, I shredded it up and next thing you know she was licking her lips at the sight of this fresh food and finished it all, which was a relief! Continuing to feed her this boiled chicken and dry small kibble, she would lick the bowl!
However if you’ve ever smelt boiled chicken it's not that nice and stinks the house out a bit so to stop myself dry-retching every day preparing her meals, I tried alternating and re-introducing her to packaged food I could get from coles or woolies as it was convenient on weekend trips away and easy on the household budget, fresh protein gets quite expensive and adds up over time, plus i didn’t see the health benefits of always feeding her chicken! But meeting more and more dog owners who would talk about raw and fresh diets I felt guilty I wasn’t going to the effort to also feed her raw or fresh food.
So we decided that we would try feeding her a raw diet starting by giving her raw turkey mince, well next thing you know… there was diarrhea everywhere! The change was too fast and her little sensitive tummy couldn’t handle it, so we went back to packet food.
In the meantime we visited our vet and discussed all these options of feeding between a raw food, fresh food and packet food diet. She informed me that raw seemed to be the new fad and that if not done correctly, can actually cause more health issues as she wouldn’t get the right nutritional balance she needed. She explained that high quality brands like royal canin, the hills, black hawk, all these brands you can also find at vets have been formulated and developed by pet nutritionists to meet high standards and that if it says on the packaging it contains a “complete balanced diet” then it's perfectly fine to feed your cavoodle.
But slowly she started to get bored of the packet food and we were at a bit of a crossroads as she was getting turned off her wet food and only would eat the dry kibble.
That's when we met a beautiful lady at the dog park who owned two cavoodles told us about this local Sydney business called Your Best Friends Butcher . They sell fresh raw pet food in 1kg containers, mixing through ingredients with their protein like coconut oil and stock 100% Australian produce that doesn’t cost the earth or your pocket!
Not feeling extremely comfortable completely feeding her raw again, we decided we’d cook these up in a pot and feed it fresh with some dry kibble mixed through. She went crazy over it and finished her meal in like 60 seconds licking the bowl clean! She’s never loved her food more and we continue to feed her this now. The great thing is we are also supporting a local business, one container is only between $8.60-$9.10 and feeds her for 5-6 days morning and night which is so reasonably priced and we no longer personally feel guilty about not giving her a wholesome balanced diet that's fresh! (Not saying if you feed your cavoodle packet food you should feel any guilt, this is just coming from our own experience.)
After recently taking her to the vet again for a check up, they said she's the perfect weight, is a healthy and happy pup which ticks all our boxes.
So at the end of the day, we always suggest you speak to your vet, pet nutritionist and research what you think is best for your own cavoodle puppy and whether a raw, fresh or packet food diet is right for your budget, time and your beliefs.