If you choose to feed raw diet there are somethings to remember…
1. A dog’s food should never be cooked. It should be fed in a raw natural state like nature intended. Cooking a dog’s food ruins most of the nutritional value.
2. Dogs should have access to raw meaty bones. These clean their teeth, work and develop their neck and jaw muscles, and the chewing action prepares their stomach for the incoming food mass. Chewing bones also slows down the eating process considerably, making it far harder for a dog to over eat.
3. Dog foods have as their main ingredient cereals – the main ingredient your dog should be eating is raw meaty bones. And it is these very cereals that cause a range of problems such as allergies.
4. Commercial dog foods are laden with preservatives, colors (dyes), and salt. They have additives to make the food taste better so that the dogs will overeat.
5. The vast majority of commercial dog foods have far too much carbohydrates in them. High levels of carbohydrates are linked to over-eating, diabetes, weight gain, and numerous other problems. Dogs should eat a diet with only a small amount of carbs.
6. There is no substitute for a raw diet.
and most scarey of all:
6. Your vet is most probably recommending a commercial diet because of financial inducements and a lack of independent learning.
Commercial dog food companies have got advertising down well. Vets get major discounts and kick-backs for selling their product. They sponsor dog shows, they advertise in dog magazines, they get high profile people to talk about the product.
People are suckers for good advertising.
Dog Inhaling Food
You need to be careful with all dogs regardless of what they eat during their meal times. Dogs choke and die on kibble, or on raw meaty bones.
You should supervise all meal times.
If a dog is gulping down food, feed them by hand, until they learn how to chew. Dogs NEED to chew. Hold one end of the chicken quarter do not let them swallow it until they have chewed it a bit. Puppies that have brought up on raw meaty bones from an early age never seem to have these sort of issue.
Some dogs will try and inhale even large meaty bones, you have to, and need to work with these guys carefully. They should eventually work it out. The larger the portion the harder they have to work at it.
Monitor all meal times, and be sure to watch, and manage them carefully.
Pre Packaged Raw
Pre-packed raw foods are entering the market. However, for the most part, they are not appropriate food stuff.
Some of the problems with them are as follows:
- There are different standards for packaging dog food than for packaging human foods.
- You don’t know how much of each food item are in your packs.
- About 10 times more expensive than buying directly from your butcher.
- They are ground food which is not appropriate. Both dogs and cats need whole raw meaty bones and/or carcasses.
- Contain unnecessary supplements
- Contain fruit and vegetables – which are just not appropriate for dogs or cats.
In some cases, where the dog/cat has a medical condition, ground bones are necessary.
But in 99% of cases, dogs and cats should be fed whole meaty bones/carcasses. Ground bones are a poor substitute to whole bones.
Feeding ground bones helps nervous owners get over the “can’t possibly feed my dogs whole bones” thing, but is not the best thing for your dog.
Don’t fall into feeding supplements “just in case”. If you feed your dog/cat a variety of raw meaty bones/carcasses, then you’re pet has the best platform. Just remember – NEVER EVER FEED KIBBLE!
Bacteria everywhere. Dogs have an amazing immune system specifically designed to eat all manner of bacteria. And a healthy raw fed dog manages those bacteria without a problem.
E-coli, salmonella, etc are found on raw chicken, but are also found in your fridge, your sink, on your floor, in your backyard, your car.
The most important thing is to wash your hands thoroughly after feeding your dogs, and even after cutting up meat for your own meals.
Use a spray bottle containg white vinegar for disinfecting.
Vet Says NO
Keep in mind that vets are told very little about dog diet at university. In fact, reps from the dog food companies, come and do presentations on dog diet, as part of the curriculum. Many vets get their education on dog diet by dog food reps.
And many vets make a lot of money by retailing dog foods.
If you have a vet that doesn’t want to be re-educated, or will not discuss options, find another vet.
There is absolutely no excuse for vets not to be educated on all feeding options. There are many of vets on the internet who would be happy to converse with other vets about feeding raw.
That being said, Today there are plenty of vets now who realise that there are significantly better alternatives to commercial dog food.
Where to buy
Talk to your local butcher, abbotoir, or chicken processor. Many of the leftovers that these guys consider waste, us raw feeders people consider fantastic for our dogs. Things like chicken carcasses, chicken necks, chicken feet, and chicken heads are considered rubbish, and are sold for next to nothing. You should be able to get these fairly easily.
You can also try things like pigs’ trotters (that’s pig’s feet), ox tail, lamb’s necks. Some people also have access to ostrich carcasses, and deers. Be creative. And don’t forget raw whole fish!
Now onto the diets.
Divide a one week period into 7 meals (for adults) if you want to feed 2 x a day divide daily rations in half. Puppies eat more food than adults. At present these 7 meals are distributed as follows;
1 Offal meal a month. Green tripe if you can get, it smells awful but they love it. This is not cleaned tripe like people eat. It is the stomach that has not been or cleaned. You can get it through raw feeder coops in your area.
Raw Meaty Bones Meal
Chicken (backs) , Turkey backs, Turkey necks, Lamb flaps, Lamb shanks, Lamb necks, Lamb vertebrae, Beef vertebrae, Calves hoofs, Venison shanks, Venison necks, rabbit,
Notes about the Raw Meaty Bone Meal:
• Bones must always be raw: when thawing frozen RMB’s do it naturally or under water etc. Do not microwave as this cooks from the inside out and will cook the bones first. This is dangerous!!!
• Try to vary the diet over the various different kinds of bones.
• Feed beef shin bones/knuckle bones occasionally.
• Occasionally feed raw fish whole, including the head.
The rest consists of of occasional minced Offal (kidney, liver, brains, hearts.
Eggs and Natural Yogurt.
• Sometimes add other things that might be around such as berries (not Grapes)
• Make a big batch and freeze it in plastic containers that hold enough for one meal for each dog.
Liver, kidney, brains, heart are the choices for offal. Try to vary the contents of the offal meal regularly.
Beef heart also makes a good clean training treat cut in small bites