One of the more heated debates amongst Golden Retriever owners is: Should we feed our Goldens raw food diet or kibble diet? This question has divided our community into two groups, and it’s hard to say which group is right. There are certainly pros and cons for both options, and one should educate himself before making a choice. In this article, we will look into the pros and cons of a raw food diet for Golden Retrievers.
To make things clear, we do not advertise a raw food diet or a kibble diet. Our stance is that every Golden Retriever owner should educate himself, and then choose the best option for his dog.
Pros Of Raw Food Diet For Golden Retrievers
Less smelly poop
There is no debate about this poop from the kibble diet that really smells awful. On the other hand, poop from the raw food diet is smaller in quantity and doesn’t have that appalling stench.
Fewer problems with anal glands
Anal gland problem is common in Golden Retrievers, and the dog’s diet can be the direct cause of this issue. Two anal sacks are expressed when the passing poop puts pressure on them.
However, if the poop is not firm enough, it will pass without anal glands being expressed. This, in turn, can cause inflammation and all sorts of problems. When feeding your dog a raw diet, the bones it digests will form firm poop that will put enough pressure on the anal glands.
Of course, not all dogs that are fed a kibble diet will suffer from anal gland problems. Some Goldens that are fed a raw food diet will probably have that issue too. However, there is a strong correlation between a raw food diet is good for the health of the dog’s anal glands.
Reduced risk of bloat
This potentially deadly condition is caused by the stomach rotation and the cutting off of the blood supply. Bloat needs to be treated immediately to save the dog’s life. Studies have shown that certain types of kibble foods can cause bloat in Golden Retrievers.
It’s a well-known fact that many Golden Retrievers today suffer from gum disease and dental problems. It is also proven that raw food diet keeps your dog’s teeth clean and healthy. Teeth are cleaned by bone fragments that have an abrasive effect on them. You will notice the improvement in your Golden’s dental health within a few weeks on the raw food diet.
Reduced risk of obesity
We all know that obesity is one of the biggest problems in Golden Retrievers. It can lead to all sorts of nasty health issues such as hip and elbow dysplasia, diabetes, etc. Golden’s love to eat and will often overfeed if you allow them. However, when we talk about the raw food diet, they tend not to overeat. Also, a raw food diet has no additives and sugars, so that is another plus if you want a healthy dog with a slim figure.
While owners claim that switching to a raw food diet helped their dogs with allergies, there is no conclusive evidence. However, with all the additives in kibble food, your dog may be allergic to one of them.
Shinier coats and increased energy levels
This is also purely anecdotal. Some owners claim that the raw food diet has made their Golden’s coats shinier and increased their energy levels. However, for a neutral observer, it is hard to notice any difference in coat quality or energy levels between dogs fed on a raw diet and dogs on a kibble diet.
Cons Of Raw Food Diet
There are certainly risks of internal injuries and digestive system blockage from swallowed bones. However, these are very rare situations, and most owners that feed their dogs on a raw food diet will never face this problem.
Risk of infection
As we all know, there are many pathogens in raw meat, especially chicken meat. These pathogens can cause serious health issues to humans. On the other hand, dogs seem to have no problem with them. They can cope with these pathogens. They will have absolutely no effect on the health of an average dog. However, the fur around Golden’s moth could be contaminated with these pathogens after the feeding. This can cause serious health issues for you and other members of your household.
Kibble food diet comes in handy when training your puppy. On the other hand, it is difficult to train your puppy with raw food. However, some companies have already started with the production of 100% meat treats.
The most important thing is to educate yourself, as the raw food diet is not for everyone. If you have a puppy and small children, maybe it’s better to feed your Golden on a kibble diet and then switch to a raw food diet. This way, you will train your puppy, and your kids will grow enough to be more resistant to the potential pathogens.