While many pet owners are switching their pets to natural or grain-free pet food, there’s still a lot of mystery around raw pet food diets. What is a raw pet food diet? Will my pets get all the nutrients they need? How easy is it to make the switch?

Fortunately, transitioning your dog or cat to a raw food diet is good for them and easy to do. Read on for everything you need to know about raw pet food, its perks, and its ingredients.

What is a “Raw Pet Food Diet”?

In short, a raw pet food diet is composed of raw meats, organs, and bones that have been either freeze-dried or frozen, mimicking what our pets would eat in the wild. A raw pet food diet does not mean cooking food for humans and giving it to your pet. Raw pet food is also different from the refrigerated pet food you may have seen in stores, which can have very different ingredients and feeding guidelines.

The ALPHA Prey-Model

alpha prey model black cat

Raw pet food diets can range from food, treats, and supplements from brands like Vital Essentials, which is based on the ALPHA Prey-Model diet.  This means they include meat, vital organs, and bones only. In the wild, carnivores (like cats and dogs) catch prey. The Alpha of the group is the strongest and best-fed in the pack, eating the vital organs and best meat first. ALPHA Prey-Model raw food follow that example, giving your pet the (best) foods they’re meant to eat.

Protein, Protein, Protein

Since raw pet food like Vital Essentials products is made with real meat rather than grain, fillers, or vegetables and contains no additives; the food is packed with protein and other essential nutrients. On average, Vital Essentials raw pet food contains a minimum 50 percent crude protein, making protein the main nutrient in your pet’s food.

Protein and Nutrients: Traditional Kibble vs. Vital Essentials Freeze-Dried Beef Patties

dog kibble with grain vs raw dog food

No Grains, No Fillers, Fewer Carbs

raw dog food

Good raw pet food products are free of added fillers or flavorings, grains, corn, rendered by-products, and other ingredients that aren’t natural to your pet’s diet. This makes raw pet food better tasting, more nutritious, and more satisfying for your pet. It also reduces the amount of soluble carbohydrates in your pet’s food. Traditional kibble can contain between 28 and 45 percent soluble carbohydrates, creating blood sugar spikes and many other adverse effects.

So, What About Fruits and Vegetables in Pet Food?

dog chewing on toy

How can your dog or cat still get a balanced diet without fruits and vegetables as part of the mix? Adding fruits and vegetables to pet food actually adds soluble carbohydrates that your pet doesn’t need. The nutrients essential for your pet are contained in the proteins used to make the food. When your pets eat a raw diet, they get nutrients from plants by eating protein sourced from animals who eat plants.

Check out this video with expert animal nutritionist Dr. Richard Patton as he explains how pets get the nutrients they need from Vital Essentials and why our food doesn’t use fruits and vegetables.

For Boosted Nutrition…

Your pets can also get a boost of raw nutrition from snacks, treats and meal enhancers.  Vital Essentials offers a 100% protein meal enhancers or toppers that can be served as a complete and balanced meal or used as a seasoning to entice even the pickiest of eaters to devour their food.  Treats and snacks are a great way to keep your pet focused while training and can be high value rewards when you just want to show them some love, plus they’re healthy.cat and dog with treats and food

View cat treats, raw cat food supplements, dog treats, or raw dog food supplements for more information on the benefits they can add to your pet’s diet.

Ready to Ditch the Kibble?

Raw cat and dog food has higher quality ingredients than traditional kibble and offers countless benefits, including increased energy, healthy skin and coat, better oral health, and more, making raw food essentially a superfood for your pet. And, transitioning your pet to a raw diet is gradual and easy (see our raw feeding guide for more information).

how to transition a pet to raw diet food

With all of these benefits, your pet won’t miss traditional kibble. Find a pet store that carries Vital Essentials products or view our products to start giving your pet the healthiest food they can get, paws down!