Research & Analysis

Research!

At Raw Health Canine Food we rely on research, nutritional facts and common sense! We made it very simple for you to read about some studies that were conducted involving raw feeding! These studies were put together by our Raw Health Canine Food Biomedical Engineer and our certified Holistic Canine Nutritionist! Enjoy reading about the summaries of the studies that were conducted over the years and the major findings that our team analyzed from the studies. Enjoy the read!

Dogs have been eating a meat-based diet for a longer period of time than a kibble diet, about 129,900 years longer [1], [2]. The mission of this company is to provide nutrition for dogs in the most natural and holistic way and to start a movement that returns the dog’s diet to the normalcy of their ancestors. It is essential to understand that diet plays a crucial role in the health of dogs. Originally, one would think kibble should be engineered to have all of these nutrients to ensure proper dog health. However, this claim is invalidated. Meanwhile, a diet focusing on raw food for dogs encompasses all of the necessary nutrients needed to ensure health. Raw food is a mixture of raw meat and vegetables. Below is a small sample of what a proper whole food and nutrient rich diet can provide for your dog.

It is widely accepted that tailored diets with proper nutrient supplementation through whole foods like meats, has an effect on the general health of dogs. For instance, dogs given certain supplementation (EPA and DHA) in a study showed dogs had significant improvements in the disease pruritus, self-trauma, and coat damage over time. It has also been discovered dogs with heart failure have low plasma concentrations of EPA [3]. These additives can be consumed by your dog through a well-balanced diet. These findings suggest certain naturally occurring compounds have an influence on diseases and if supplemented through diet, may improve health.  

To further exemplify the diet can affect general health of a dog, one researcher found diets high in antioxidants increased reproductive performance in dogs. Also, diets can be tailored to possibly be an alternative treatment of cognitive defects and behavioral disturbances in dogs if fed antioxidant and botanical enriched diets [4]. Furthermore, a study investigated the effect of an immune-modulating diet (IMMD) and a standard diet (SD) in 2 groups of dogs of different breeds and ages affected by the very serious disease canine Leishmaniasis (CL). When comparing the two diets, IMMD was able to restore T cell levels that were reduced and showed a decrease in T helper cells. This is important because helper T cells recognize antigens and a decrease in those levels signifies not as many antigens were present with the IMMD diet [4], [5]. Moreover, these findings suggest the immune response of dogs when affected by CL can be regulated by a specific diet during pharmacological treatment. Lastly, symptoms associated with Canine Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca have shown to be suppressed when dogs followed IMMD [6].

Therefore, gene expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines was studied of a diet consisting of kibble and meat food. Results demonstrated over the course of the study the kibble diet stimulated expression of pro-inflammatory cytokine genes, including CD40LG, interleukin (IL) 2 and IL1β, as well as other factors linked with an increased immune response. However, dogs fed a meat diet inhibited the expression of certain pro-inflammatory cytokines, including IL2, interferon γ, CCL5 and IL15. Evaluation of these markers are consistent with previous findings of kibble diets have a pro-inflammatory effect and the meat having an anti-inflammatory effect [8].

At first glance, owners may hesitate to give dogs raw food but, this is what dogs ate for 99.9% of their existence on earth. Raw food provides many health benefits, and is safe for the dog. Another study was completed by Belgian researchers where they found dogs on average lived 32 months longer when fed a homemade diet than those fed kibble [7]. Salmonella has been a topic of discussion for the raw diet however, this argument may be flawed. In Canada, where researchers fed dogs a raw diet containing salmonella, only 43% of dogs had traces of salmonella in their stool and no other signs or symptoms noted in this study[8]. Moreover, in another study, dogs fed a raw diet of unknown salmonella content, only 23% of dogs showed salmonella in feces, again with no other signs or symptoms noted in this study [9]. Some of the most important findings of these studies are dogs can shed salmonella without signs of illness and a healthy dog’s digestive system may be able to fight off salmonella.

A new study from Finnish Veterinary Scientists shows healthy human food leftovers offered to puppies significantly reduces allergy symptoms and skin problems later in life. This long-term, protective effect increased the more often real foods were added, so the more exposure puppies had to a variety of healthy leftovers, the more protection there was from developing skin issues down the road. “…even if the dog eats 80% of its food as dry, adding a minimum of 20% of the food as raw significantly decreased the risk of AASS [allergic skin disease] later in life.” – Dr. Anna Hielm-Björkman. According to the scientists, feeding a variety raw or minimally processed, real food early life may lead to microbial exposure that enhances the immune system early on, reducing allergic responses later in life. Some of the foods owners fed in this study were fish and meats, vegetables and roots, culinary mushrooms, buttermilk and other fermented milk products and berries.

In conclusion, this company was formed to improve the health of dogs. In order to achieve this goal, we believe we must return the dog to the diet which maintained the species for thousands of years. The nutrients dogs eat have been shown to have an effect on their health and with incorporation of appropriate vitamins and minerals, optimum health may be achieved. One of the most propelling findings is that dogs on a homemade diet live an average of 32 months longer than dogs on kibble and here at Raw Health Canine, we want our companions to enjoy the highest quality and longest life possible. If you have any requests for your dog’s food (i.e extra vitamin supplementation) or if your dog has any special needs, we will do our best to engineer a food specifically for them.

References:

[1] PBS, “Evolution of the Dog,” PBS WHYY.

[2] Pet food institute, “History of pet food.”

[3] E. A. Bobeck, “Nutrition and health: Companion animal applications: Functional nutrition in livestock and companion animals to modulate the immune response,” Journal of Animal Science, vol. 98, no. 3, 2020, doi: 10.1093/JAS/SKAA035.

[4] A. Di Cerbo et al., “Functional foods in pet nutrition: Focus on dogs and cats,” Research in Veterinary Science, vol. 112. Elsevier B.V., pp. 161–166, Jun. 01, 2017. doi: 10.1016/j.rvsc.2017.03.020.

[5] L. Cortese et al., “An immune-modulating diet increases the regulatory T cells and reduces T helper 1 inflammatory response in Leishmaniosis affected dogs treated with standard therapy,” 2015, doi: 10.1186/s12917-015-0610-7.

[6] S. Destefanis et al., “Clinical evaluation of a nutraceutical diet as an adjuvant to pharmacological treatment in dogs affected by Keratoconjunctivitis sicca,” BMC Veterinary Research, vol. 12, no. 1, 2016, doi: 10.1186/s12917-016-0841-2.

[7] G. Lippert and B. Sapy, “Domestic Dogs Life Expectancy”. 2003.

[8] K. F. Lunn, “Raw Food Diets in Dogs: Concerns for Canine and Human Health,” Advances in Small Animal Medicine and Surgery, vol. 24, no. 2, pp. 1–2, Feb. 2011, doi: 10.1016/J.ASAMS.2011.01.001.

[9] R. Finley, R. Reid-Smith, C. Ribble, M. Popa, M. Vandermeer, and J. Aramini, “The occurrence and antimicrobial susceptibility of Salmonellae isolated from commercially available canine raw food diets in three Canadian cities,” Zoonoses and Public Health, vol. 55, no. 8–10, pp. 462–469, Oct. 2008, doi: 10.1111/j.1863-2378.2008.01147.x.

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RAW PROOF STUDY (AAFCO AND FEDIAF)

This major study about raw diets being "complete and balanced" as per AAFCO and FEDIAF is incredible! It is the first in-depth research project I know of which clearly demonstrates that it is possible to formulate a species-appropriate, raw food diet for dogs that satisfies accepted international nutritional guidelines and proves dogs can thrive on such a diet. The purpose of this research was to investigate whether a complete species-appropriate (aka raw food) diet could be formulated in such a way as to meet an adult dog’s nutritional requirements.

The first part involved laboratory analysis. Five recipes, which together made up the ‘complete’ diet, were tested using the guidelines established by the European Pet Food Industry (FEDIAF). The diet was found to be wholly adequate. The second part involved a food trial. Over a period of 26 weeks, 23 dogs were fed a complete species-appropriate diet. Full records were kept and their health and weight were monitored at the beginning and end of the trial. The protocol employed met and exceeded the requirements of the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). All 23 dogs were found to have maintained their weight and to be every bit as healthy at the end of the trial as at the beginning.

In short, the raw food diet that was the subject of this research can be described as complete and balanced. This research will provide reassurance and comfort to those who have been concerned over the nutritional adequacy and safety of raw feeding. Of course, the findings only apply to the complete diet being analyzed and trialed. Nevertheless, the conclusion is clear: a properly formulated raw food diet, like our Raw Health Canine Food formulas, will meet an adult dog’s nutritional requirements.

 

Want to learn more about this research? Click this link!

https://honeysrealdogfood.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Honeys-Raw-Proof-Report.pdf