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by Suzie Cyrenne August 18, 2015 7 min read5 Comments
Feeding Fido raw dog food would seem to be a straightforward and super easy task for any dog parent, but did you know that there are some things you will need to consider first before feeding your fur baby a raw dog food diet? What? Why?
Although a raw dog food diet is oftentimes perceived as a dog’s natural diet or natural ancestral diet, plenty of us are not aware of what truly constitutes that.
These are just some of the questions that come to mind prior to feeding your dog a raw diet.
So, what is the raw dog food diet to begin with?
The concept of feeding your pooch raw food stems from the roots of the history of dog food. Dogs, or rather their ancestors the wolves, are classified by experts as scavenging carnivores (or carnivores with an omnivorous streak). But what do these terms mean?
Although both carnivores and scavenging carnivores have a strong desire to catch prey and eat them, scavenging carnivores will eat and will mostly be content with an omnivorous diet (omnivores eat both plants and animals, or whatever is available). But what is best for your dog?
Dogs are descents of wolves, and in the wild, wolves hunt other animals and eat the choice parts when supply is plenty, and eat every edible part when supply is scarce. We guess it goes without saying that wolves, the ancestors of dogs, are about 99% carnivorous and would only nibble on some greens when they are sick or if there are some other reasons to do so.
The raw dog food diet is designed to be as similar to the dog’s ancestral menu as possible. Yes, it is formulated to cater to the dog’s carnivorous bias and that’s why it is a lot better than what most of the world is feeding their dogs these days.
You see, a dog is not designed to eat corn or wheat. Just take a look at dogs teeth and the effects are pretty evident. Further more, the protein content of grain is not what is optimal for our dogs. Commercial kibbles are composed of at least 50% carbohydrates and that is far from the almost 99% raw meat diet which wolves and, down the line, dogs were designed to eat.
Some people may argue that “hey, dogs have evolved alongside humans for a few thousand years, surely they have adapted?” Okay, that is partly true, but again, a dog merely ‘putting up’ with what food you provide is not a dog who is getting what nature intended. It could be compared to withholding breastmilk from an infant. The infant will survive with formula, but nothing beats breastmilk. The same goes for dogs and the raw dog food diet.
We’ll talk about this more in the next chapter but feeding your dog raw food or the ancestral diet has so many benefits, we can’t stop raving about them!
Firmer stools, better weight management, reduced allergy symptoms, cleaner teeth, improved digestion, healthier skin and coat, higher energy levels, and an overall better health, all of which are surely worth any extra efforts you’ll have to put in.
As for the downside, feeding your dog raw food requires a lot of effort on your part. Why? It isn’t as convenient as opening a can of manufactured dog food or scooping out some dry food pellets. You need to plan ahead of time, learn about proper storage, and know the basics so you can protect yourself from food-borne disease caused by salmonella and E. coli which are found in raw meat.
First of all, we are aware that these days, even raw dog food has been commercialized to the extreme. There are even commercial varieties which combine raw grains, processed vitamins, leftover raw meat, and vegetables (we are not advocating that type of raw dog food diet for your dog). What we support is feeding your dog a mix of fresh raw meat and maybe a bit of vegetables and fruits as the healthiest menu possible!
See how mouth-watering these are (even if you are not a dog):
You’ll notice that with the above foods, the change in your furbaby’s health is almost immediate. It’s like the same effect a cleansing and juicing detox has on humans, only made doggie-edition!
Of course, you cannot simply switch your pooch to a raw dog food diet overnight. What we mean is, there are some things you will need to read up on and do first. Ready for them? Here they are:
Every good thing requires advanced preparation, and the same is true for feeding your pooch raw food. You cannot just decide to do it and start on the same day without any prior planning. Why? Well, this is concerns the health of your precious furbaby so you better be ready to put in some effort. Don’t worry, the returns are so positive, you’ll end up wondering why you haven’t done this earlier.
Without further ado, here are some of the must-knows and must-dos for feeding your dog raw:
Not all types and sources of meat are good for your pooch. We don’t mean to buy gourmet, but at least be sure that you’re getting your meat from reputable sources. Being safe does not end here either. You also have to know what types and parts of animals are safe to give to your pooch. As a whole, cow brains are not considered safe. A good rule to follow is to stick to animal parts which a dog would have access to if it were a wolf. Note that homeopathic supplements and probiotics can be used for your dog, especially if your baby is a bit on the older side.
Meat can get pricey in the long run, especially if you live in an area where meat production and supply is not as high. The answer for this? A big freezer and keeping your eyes peeled for meat sales! Hint, there is usually a meat sale after a holiday so go shopping on those days!
Feeding your dog raw means having to shop in advance and prepare food in advance. You can easily freeze them in batches, but don’t forget to make sure that you always have a bag thawing in the refrigerator for the next feeding. This means that you’ll have to be a bit more organized with your time. There’s a silver-lining in this though, reports by pet parents who’ve started feeding their furkids raw say that their lives are a lot better and smoother-running after doing so. Maybe the ‘skills’ learned in feeding your pet a raw dog food diet easily overflow to other areas of your life. It’s a grand slam!
Most of the detractors of the raw dog food diet say that the diet is not safe for the humans taking care of the dog because of contamination issues. Sure, a dog’s stomach can handle some nasty bugs (they are a bit tougher than us puny humans) but hey, sanitation and contamination issues are things all of us need to know and understand, no matter what food the dog is eating.
Feeding your pooch raw dog food diet can range from $2.50 per day up to $5 a day for a medium sized dog (25-35 lbs). This is not cheap compared to super-premium commercial dry dog food which usually costs $1 a day for a medium sized dog. At first glance, it does seem a lot more expensive, but remember that you will also save on vet bills and all other sorts of bills you’ll have to pay if your furbaby is not in the peak of health.
Have you ever wondered why there isn’t a lot of research about feeding your dog raw and why the majority of research you can find is mostly advocating a diet consisting of commercial manufactured dog food? Well, the answer lies in the fact that about 95% of all the research you can find is all funded by commercial dog food companies. Small wonder why they are advocating their own product, right?
Think about this, what are you going to believe? Research based on a few decades of commercial dog food and funded by the same companies peddling the food being advocated, or are you going to believe thousands of years of evolution and nature?
Are you going to believe photos of happy dogs eating kibbles or your on furkid nibbling away at a chunk of real bone?
There’s a lot to ponder, given the truth about manufactured pet foods for cats and dogs. Surely we’ve given you enough to think about?
We hope that this article helped you out and that you’ll be on your way to plunging head on into making the right choices for your pet. Got a question? A suggestion? Feel free to drop us a comment below or chat with us via the chatbox.
For more articles like this, you can check out the sneak preview to the raw dog food diet series and don’t forget to sign-up for the Zumalka by HomeoAnimal newsletter.
Welcome to the Zumalka by HomeoAnimal family!
HOMEOPATH & CO-FOUNDER OF ZUMALKA
Suzie Cyrenne co-founded Zumalka over five years ago, and has worked in naturopathic pet medicine for more than six. Day-to-day, she works as the lead manager for the Zumalka staff and specializes in training the team to have thorough knowledge of pet health and the company’s extensive line of naturopathic remedies.
Suzie has gained a lot of experience from years spent in the pet health field and she earned her degree in Homeopathy at the School of Classical Homeopathy in Quebec, Canada, (a partner of the European Academy of Natural Medicine (AEMN) in France).
April 18, 2019
Before going raw my dog ( Shepard/husky mix) he had skin allergies, loose stool and was over weight. Since feeding a mixture of home made and premade raw his health has improved greatly. Stool looks great, skin is good, no more stinky, oily fur,fur is shiny and he has loads of energy. He went from 36kg to 29.3 in 6 months. The vet was amazed at how clean his teeth were and his overall health ( and made sure I understood that raw was unsafe. Raw food cannot be prepared in the home safely. Funny how I cook my own family’s food from raw.) I’m amazed at how many people I’ve met that have been feeding raw for years. I’m just sad I didn’t hear about it when we had our previous dog who had so many allergies and problems.
January 13, 2016
Knowing what I now know about commercial food vs Raw , I would never ever use commercial food unless it was wheat free. My dogs eat raw Turkey necks ground up and raw veg (green with a bit of purée garlic ) and sometimes carrot with ginger for the stomach. My beagles whit on them is very whit , their teeth are plaque free and they thrive on their food. I a
Los will add flax oil , kelp and white willow at times Plus I put Coildial silver inthe water
December 09, 2015
I have a four month puppy and we’ve tried qa couple of hard dog foods and she is either not eating much or having diarrhea I would like to know if a raw food diet hurt her if we started it right away. The vet says says she is healthy and she has all her needles
“lady’s”. Mum. Margo
December 09, 2015
I have 2 giant breed dogs and feed them a raw diet. The oldest is 12 and in excellent health, they also have great teeth, good skin and fur and desire their food! I think raw is the only way to go
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May 31, 2019
Does feeding your dogs Raw meat does it have to be organic grass fed meat