18 July 2018
DRY FOOD VS RAW FOOD
Most pet owners must have experienced confusion when considering what foods are best for their pets. Some people prefer to provide raw food, but the others prefer to provide dry food to dogs or cats.
In the wild, animals belonging to the family Felidae (family of cats such as tigers, lions, panther) and family Canidae (dog family like wolves, coyotes) are carnivorous animals that get food by hunting and prey on other animals to eat. But the dogs and cats that are preserved now belong to domestic cat and dog species that are part of the families of Felidae and Canidae that have been domesticated for thousands of years. Historical findings prove that the relationship between animals and humans has been around since approximately 14,700 years ago where archaeologists discovered the remains of human buried with dogs. These species of domestic dog and cat also has differences in terms of food and nutritional needs compared with other members offamiliesof Felidae and Canidae. Along with the development of science and technology, scientists have conducted research to develop food that is devoted to dogs and cats like dry food by taking into account in detail the basic nutritional needs and the convenience factor for animal owners.
Some people still often give raw meat to dogs or cats because they think dogs and cats are supposed to eat raw meat as if they were in the wild. Actually which one is better given to dogs and cats? Here we will review the comparison of dry food and raw food for dogs and cats.
The minimal nutritional requirements that must be met in pet food have been regulated by various international pet food associations such as NRC (National Research Council); FEDIAF (Fédération Européenne de l'Industrie des Aliments pour Aminaux Familiers); and AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials). Minimum standards must be met to avoid any disorders or diseases caused by nutritional deficiencies.
Dry frood is a specially formulated food that takes into account the standard nutritional requirements of dogs and cats. All raw materials that have been analyzed their nutritional content will be incorporated into the calculation matrix to obtain food formulations that have more nutritional value than minimal requirements. Calculations are done in great detail down to micronutrients such as vitamins, minerals and amino acids.Raw food does have high protein content, but not necessarily meet the minimum needs of micro-nutrients such as minerals, vitamins and amino acids.As for the dry food making process, it is possible to make adjustments so that dry food can be produced with a balanced nutritional content. In addition, the age of the animal also affects the nutritional needs required. Therefore, dry food for dogs and cats was also adapted to the life stage of the animal. The puppy/kitten food formulation is not the same as adult food because of different nutritional needs.
Lots of bacteria are present in raw foods. Without the cooking process, the bacteria can cause disruption, especially in the digestive tract of pets. The process of making dry food includes cooking with high temperatures up to 120-1600C for some time so it can kill bad bacteria. Research conducted by Rokey and Baldwin showedthat at temperatures below 800C enterococcus bacteria and salmonella can live, but by heating at extrusion process with temperatures above 800C bacteria can no longer be found in food. Therefore, the provision of dry food is relatively safer for dogs and cats compared to raw foods.
The price of beef per kg is approximately IDR 120,000 while the price of chicken meat is about IDR 45,000. When compared with dry food, dry food prices are relatively more affordable. With prices ranging from IDR 20,000 per kg, dry food with a customized formulation to meet the minimal nutritional needs of dogs and cats can be obtained.
Dry food is usually stored in a dry container with a tight cover. Food stored in a humid place can increase the water content that may reduce the appetite of the cat. In addition, high water content can also trigger fungal growth. However, as long as storage is made in a dry and tightly closed container, dry food may be stored for up to 1 year or more from the date of production, depending on the brand. In addition, storage containers for dried foods are widely sold with designs that make it easy for the owner. Raw food can not last more than 24 hours so it requires special storage media, ie refrigerator. Depending on the temperature setting, the meat can last for 3-5 days if stored in the refrigerator with a temperature of 2-40C. Storage in a freezer with a temperature of -180C can maintain raw meat roughly up to 6 months depending on the type and type of freezer. In the 1-door refrigerator, the freezer temperature is less stable than the 2-door refrigerator so the meat can not be stored for too long.
Dry feeding is very practical where during meal hours dry food can be directly served according to the dosage. Giving raw food requires longer preparation because it takes time to wash and cut the meat. If the meat is kept in a frozen state, it may take longer to melt the frozen meat before it can be served.
Pet food in dry form is a result of the development of food processing technology with various advantages to facilitate the owner in the presentation and storage while still taking into account the ideal nutritional contents. So what kind of food will you give to your pet?