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The Benefits of Raw Pet Food

The digestive systems of dogs and cats are designed to digest meat. Modern dogs and cats are carnivores, just like their ancestors before them. Meat is what your pet craves! Dogs and cats do not easily digest processed foods that are packed with fillers. In fact, a diet with too many carbohydrates is a leading cause of obesity and diabetes. That’s why our selection of pet food at The Cheshire Horse includes a variety of brands with quality protein sources as primary ingredients. We offer a great selection of raw pet food (available for in-store pickup), which is fresh, protein-rich, natural food for your pet.

Why Feed Raw?

There are numerous benefits to feeding your dog or cat a raw-based diet, including healthy digestion, vibrant skin and coat, healthy teeth and gums, stamina and vitality, and palatability.

Healthy Digestion

The digestive systems of dogs and cats are designed to digest meat. Raw pet food contains no grains or gluten, so it can be very helpful for pets with food sensitivities or allergies. Many pets will experience better digestion and absorb nutrients more easily when fed a raw diet that mimics eating habits in the wild: muscle meat, meaty bones, organs, and raw fruits and vegetables.

Vibrant Skin & Coat

The oils and omega fatty acids found in whole, natural foods support your pet’s skin and coat. Essential fatty acids can reduce inflammatory responses and reduce the severity of skin issues such as itching, hot spots, and atopic dermatitis. Learn more.

Healthy Teeth & Gums

Natural enzymes and ground bone found in raw pet food formulas promote a clean mouth for your pet. Raw meaty bones can work alongside a raw diet to keep your pet’s teeth in top condition. When feeding raw meaty bones, monitor your pet carefully to ensure that they do not break apart and swallow any of the bone.

Stamina & Vitality

Meat, organs, and ground bone support lean strong muscles, stamina, and vitality.


Pets love the taste of protein-rich meats in their natural state. Chicken, duck, turkey, beef, lamb, pork, venison, and rabbit formulas are available.

Introducing a Raw Food Diet

To allow your pet’s digestive system to transition to a nutrient-rich, raw food diet, start slowly. Begin by mixing the raw formula into your pet’s current food at a ratio that your pet will eat, and that will not shock their system. You can start with as little as one quarter of raw food and three quarters of your pet’s current food. After a few days, as long as your pet’s stool appears normal, offer raw foods for the complete morning meal, and their current food for the evening meal. After a few days of this, ensuring your pet’s stool still appears normal, begin feeding raw foods for both morning and evening meals.

During this process, you may notice some common symptoms as your pet eliminates toxins from their body. You may see discharge from the eyes, excess wax in the ears, shedding, or minor skin rashes. These symptoms should lessen and disappear after a few weeks feeding a raw diet. If they do not, consult your veterinarian.

Keep Everyone Healthy

As you feed your pet a raw diet, it is important to avoid cross-contamination between you and your pet’s food. Always store raw pet food in sealed containers on the bottom shelf of your refrigerator as it thaws, and use a separate sponge to clean your pet’s dish. Stainless steel dishes are best for feeding a raw diet, and they should be stored separately from utensils used for humans’ consumption. Wash hands and surfaces frequently and thoroughly, especially after feeding. The FDA recommends washing your hands for at least 20 seconds after handling raw pet food, and disinfecting all surfaces and objects that come into contact with raw pet food.  A solution of 1 tablespoon bleach to 1 quart (4 cups) water is an effective disinfectant. Always discard uneaten portions of food after they are left out for more than two hours. Never let your pet lick your face after they have finished eating raw food, and wash your face if any accidentally “kisses” do occur. Learn more about safely feeding a raw diet to your pet.

Choosing What’s Best for Your Pet

We carry raw pet foods that are made from human-grade ingredients and are nutritionally balanced for both cats and dogs from Primal Pet Food and Stella & Chewy’s. They make feeding raw easy! When you feed these brands, you can be confident your pet is getting their nutritional needs met. Chicken, duck, turkey, beef, lamb, pork, venison, and rabbit formulas are available.

Freeze-dried dog and cat formulas are also available. These foods are a convenient alternative to a traditional raw food diet. They still provide your pet with all-natural, protein-rich, raw food.

We also carry ORIJEN and ACANA pet foods, which are dry formulas that are created to be biologically appropriate using both raw and fresh natural protein-rich ingredients.

If you have questions about determining the best diet for you pets, please contact us! Many members of our staff are pet owners who understand the ins and outs of the many different pet food formulas available today.

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