cat thinking about raw food

It’s hard to ignore all of raw pet food’s benefits for your pet’s health and happiness—a raw food diet is, after all, what nature intended. But, maybe you’re not ready to make the switch because raw food can be more expensive than traditional kibble or feel like a daunting transition.

Some dog and cat owners who feel similarly boxed in to buying traditional kibble think about adding raw food, treats, or supplements to their pet’s diet but wonder if their pet will really benefit from it.

There’s good news.

While completely making the switch is the only way to fully reap the benefits raw food has to offer your pet, adding even some raw food, treats, or supplements to their existing diet provides essential nutrients and can reduce the amount of soluble carbohydrates they’re consuming.

We’ll tell you why (and how you can add it to your pet’s diet) below.

More Raw Food, More Protein

dogs eating vital essentials raw food

Because Vital Essentials products are made from only meat, bones, and vital organs, they are higher in protein than traditional dry kibble. In fact, Vital Essentials raw pet food contains a minimum of 50 percent protein, while comparable traditional products have about 27 percent protein.

That means adding raw food to your cat or dog’s kibble not only increases the protein in their diet, it also reduces the amount of carbohydrates they’re eating. One downside of traditional kibble is that it creates excess soluble carbohydrates due to fillers like grains, corn, flavorings, or rendered byproducts, which can lead to several negative health effects down the road. Learn more from our video with expert animal nutritionist Dr. Richard Patton. He discusses the effects that excess soluble carbohydrates have on your pet.

Health Benefits

Vital Essentials raw food helps reduce the risk for obesity in cats and dogs by eliminating excess carbohydrates, and our treats and supplements offer health and wellness benefits, too. Vital Essentials freeze-dried treats for dogs, for example, offer an added boost of vitamins, protein, and stimulation, while helping keep their teeth strong and healthy. And, we also have options for your feline friends—Vital Essentials freeze-dried Toppers™  boost their metabolism and immune system.

By eating raw food, your dog or cat also get Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, taurine, iron, and other essential minerals. Explore all Vital Essentials dog products or Vital Essentials cat products to discover which would best work for your pet.

Ways to Add It

dog making treats cat waiting for minnows

You don’t have to choose any one way to add raw food to your pet’s diet or completely switch over—there are a few different options (and you can mix and match!):

1. Mix Raw Food with Dry Kibble

A lot of pet owners go this route because it makes it easier to fully transition their dog or cat to raw food once they decide to do it. Their pet will already be used to eating it and might even prefer it over their dry kibble!

But, if you’re ready to make a complete switch to a raw diet for your cat or dog, be sure to make it gradual so you don’t upset your pet’s digestive system.   Simply introduce small portions of the new raw food to their existing diet, increasing the amount of raw and decreasing the current food over a 10-day period.  Here’s an easy-to-follow guide.

day by day guide to raw food

2. Add Supplements and Toppers

Vital Essentials has a variety of supplements and toppers for both dogs and cats. Vital Essentials beef tripe patties are a favorite among dogs and an excellent source of probiotics, calcium, essential fatty acids, and, of course, protein. These supplements can help manage sensitive stomachs and reach even the pickiest eaters. Tripe can be added on top of their dry kibble or given separately between meals.

Vital Essentials freeze-dried beef, chicken, and turkey meal toppers give both dogs and cats a taste of real meat for dinner and can be used as a full meal, supplement, or mix in with their diet, giving you a variety of options in terms of how much you want to add. And, adding them to your pet’s food is easy! Simply mix the products with the existing food according to the feeding guidelines for your pet’s weight. For a complete and balanced meal, simply mix the Topper with water, bone broth or other liquid to the consistency preferred by your pet and serve.

raw treats bar for cats and dogs

Explore all Vital Essentials dog or cat supplements to learn more about all they have to offer!

3. Give Them Treats!

You know how much your pet loves treats, and with Vital Essentials, there are plenty of options you can choose from to easily (and affordably) add raw food to your cat or dog’s diet. And, with Vital Essentials treats, you don’t have to worry about junk ingredients—our treats are all-natural.

Adding freeze-dried minnows or cod skins is a great way to appeal to your cat’s instincts, and your dog can gnaw on a freeze-dried pig ear or a moo stick instead of a bone, which will give her essential nutrients, better dental health and even calm an upset stomach. Raw treats are a great way to give your pet increased nutrition and satisfaction between meals without having to fully transition to raw pet food.

Check out a Vital Essentials Raw Bar near you so your pet can sample a raw treat!

Start Giving Your Pet the Benefits of Raw

With all the variety of Vital Essentials products available, there’s a way for every pet owner to bring the benefits of raw food to their pet. Find a store near you or shop online for products your pet will enjoy (and that are lighter on your wallet)!