How Raw Diets Hydrate Your Cat or Dog
One of the major benefits of a raw diet for both cats and dogs is its crazy-high water content; I'm talking well over 70% and with veggies, even more. This is practically a mirror of the mammalian body, humans included. We're basically 3/4 water, a little less if you're like my third cousin, Izak, the cobbler, a man who sweat so profusely he looked like a glazed ham till the day he died.
All this to say that a raw diet is perfectly in equilibrium with your pet's body. Think of the food as a perpetual water fall constantly replenishing the water flowing within the system. And when I say water, I mean body liquids like blood and gooey organs - you know, the wet stuff that made you faint during your first dissection in biology class.
One of the many problems of dry food, is just that - it's dry. You might be lucky to pick up a bag that's got a 15% moisture content, about a fifth the level of your pet's body. Is it any wonder that after a meal of kibble, a dog will lap up water like there's no tomorrow? He is instinctively trying to bring back his body's water level back to normal. It's even worse for cats, which evolved as desert animals deriving all their moisture from eating whole live creatures like mice and lizards.
Case in point: A customer, who happens to be a vet, remarked that her cats rarely drank water from a bowl, that the few times they'd consume water was when it was in the form of a puddle, a tribute to the cat's natural instincts. (All the more reason to feed raw to cats, drinking from bowls is not instinctive).
Not only does a raw diet replenish body liquids, but it also cleanses the body of all the infiltrating junk. Think about it; urine is nothing more than liquid that flushes the impurities out of the system.
So we've established why the water content of a raw diet is critical for your pet's well-being, but that doesn't mean that your dog or cat doesn't still need water. Don't be fooled by the fact that if your pet is on a raw diet, he will urinate consistently throughout the day, even if he doesn't drink water, or like dog DJ, ignores his water bowl. It's easy to forget that fresh water should always be available. For example, after a romp in the dog park, a long walk in the summer or, a meal that leaves a film of fat residue inside his mouth, your dog will crave for H2O, the elixir of life. And the beauty of it is that water is always healthy, always good and fat-free.
My parting advice: Don't forget to always keep the water bowl full and fresh. Like my third cousin, Izak, the cobbler used to say, "Drink up, l'chaim, water is one of the few things in life that's free!"