In the quest to keep your dog at peak health, you may have stumbled upon information about raw diets for pets. A raw food diet is exactly what it sounds like: instead of feeding your dog kibble, you feed them real, raw meat. This might sound strange, but raw meat is actually very healthy for dogs. Here are just four reasons to switch your dog over to a raw food diet:

1. Know what your dog is eating.

Prepackaged dog food is full of many obscure ingredients. If you're committed to eating fresh, whole foods yourself, it makes sense that you'd want the same for your dog. When you feed your dog a raw food diet, you'll be feeding them meat, raw bones, and organ meats. These are all healthy and natural whole foods, which takes the guesswork out of choosing a dog food. Spend less time reading labels and feed your dog real meat instead.

2. Help your dog lose weight.

Obesity is a major health concern in pets. Dogs who are overweight are at risk for many illnesses, including hip dysplasia, cancer, and heart disease. Commercial dog food contains lots of fillers, which can contribute to weight gain. Many owners find that their dog naturally loses weight after switching to a raw food diet. Meat is naturally satiating, so your dog won't feel hungry as they shed excess pounds.

3. Improve your dog's health.

Many pet owners report that their dog is healthier after switching to a raw food diet. The most cited benefits are a glossier coat, fresh breath and teeth, and increased energy, according to WebMD. If your dog suffers from health concerns, especially if they have food sensitivities, try starting them on a raw meat diet.

4. Take control of your dog's nutrition.

When you feed your dog a raw diet, you're in charge of the quantity and type of nutrients they receive. This means you can tailor your dog's diet to suit their particular needs. If your dog is in a stage of life when they need more calcium, you can provide it by including more bones in their diet. If you're worried that your dog won't get all the nutrients they need from meat alone, you can enhance their diet with pet supplements. A good multivitamin will fill in the gaps in your dog's diet, providing key vitamins and minerals they might be lacking.