First let me say I am not a veterinarian, so these are strictly my opinions and I am in no way telling you what you should do with your dog but I am offering my viewpoint on what I feel is the healthiest diet for our pets.
Yesterday evening I sat on the grass in the small yard behind our Townhome rental while Darci chowed down on dinner. A worker that was doing some gardening for the complex walked by and said ” Hi Pup” and Darci looked up at him with a huge raw chicken leg quarter hanging out of her chompers. The look on his face was one of confusion and intrigue. “Is that RAW chicken she’s eating?!” was his exclamation.
YES WE FEED OUR DOG RAW MEAT AND BONES.
This is not the first time we have been approached with questions surrounding Darci Pants’ diet. You name it worry, confusion, disgust, curiosity we’ve seen it. People have expressed worry that she will get sick, they’ve asked if she’s getting all of the nutrition she needs, and of course what if she doesn’t like raw meat? The answers are no she will not get sick-dogs stomachs are made for raw meat, yes she is receiving optimal nutrition (better than any bag of dog food) and too bad she will eat it anyways because she is not the pack leader and that’s what she gets (besides, she LOVES her raw diet). While we like to pretend we don’t sometimes..we like Darci (ok fine maybe love)..we want her to be healthy and balanced so we would never do anything we thought was detrimental to her health, just as we would not sit around while her health went down the drain.
I’ve worked with animals quite a bit, especially dogs and cats, in both a veterinary setting and a grooming setting. I’ve watched thousands of companions struggle with allergies, abnormal bowel movements, unhealthy weight, poor dental health, poor skin and coat health and many other conditions that seem to be becoming a regular occurrence among our furry friends. These pets are being diagnosed with human diseases just as often as we are. It’s baffling and honestly quite appalling. What do you think the rate of diabetes occurring in wild dogs such as wolves is? I can bet it’s slim to none. We are making our pets sick, just as we are making ourselves sick with processed foods!
Domesticated dogs are direct ancestors of wolves. They share DNA. Wolves are carnivores. They do not require fruits, veggies and definitely NOT grains. The meat they eat is not cooked before being consumed. Wolves have thrived their entire existence eating nothing but raw meat and bones. Look at the beautiful wolf-lean, strong, full of life and captivating. Why should dogs, their ancestors follow a different diet?
The answer is they shouldn’t. Dogs need raw meat, raw bones and organ meats in order to survive. That is the diet they were meant to eat. Darci has proved that to be true. Before going raw she was on a conventional diet of packaged dog food. Her first food (the one Chris had been told was good before I came along) was packed full of grains, and veggies and heavens knows what else. Darci was also plagued with Diarrhea, red runny eyes, smelly ears and skin allergies. We decided to switch her to a grain, corn and soy free food in hopes of it clearing up some of these issues. Her allergies improved slightly and her bathroom habits improved slightly, but not enough for us to feel comfortable with her level of comfort.
Then the lightbulb came on! Chris had fed his previous boxer a raw diet and had done a lot of research on it. He remembers Yuna being in great health, never any allergies or bathroom issues and her teeth at age 10 were impeccable. The vet couldn’t believe it. Why we didn’t do this before? I don’t know…blame it on being newlyweds-shameful :(. So the next thing I knew I found myself portioning and weighing out raw meat, bones and organs according to Darci’s weight and throwing raw eggs(shell on) in her bowl every week. And guess what? it worked! Darci’s allergies are gone…no more dry flaky skin and runny eyes (with the exception of the occasional sleepy goop), her coat shines brilliantly, her ears are clean and her poo? Amazing…barely any, almost no odor and it’s firm and basically will disintegrate on it’s own. Plus for us! Her teeth are pearly white and we don’t anticipate having to clean them ever since this diet keeps them clean and healthy. It’s really been amazing to see the drastic improvements in her. The vet recently checked her out and she has actually gained a pound and he said she is in fantastic health.
So yes it takes a little more time to weigh out her meals and yes I make special trips to the farmer’s market to score on great liver, heart and other organs, and yes she eats outside in the grass and I wipe her face down after each meal but she is healthy which makes it so worth it!
These 2 sites go into the benefits, science and how-to’s: Raw Fed Dogs and Raw fed. I used these sites to figure out how much meat, bone and organ Darci needs in her diet according to weight. She eats organ meat 3-4 times a week, and about 1 1/2 pounds of raw meat and bone a day. She also gets a raw egg,shell on, every Monday ( which she gets really excited about). Dogs need a certain amount of protein, raw bone and organ meat for the proper diet. And Yes the bones have to be raw and cannot be weight bearing bones from large animals. When cooked bones become brittle and splinter making them a hazard but raw bones are soft and easy to eat and bones too large and hard can damage teeth and become dangerous. So while it took a little bit of prep work and time in the beginning I now know exactly how much she needs to eat, what kinds of bones she can eat and i’ve got a super easy system down. Another plus is we are spending less money on her food now than we were with pricey packaged garbage!
Here’s what her typical meal looks like..
So if your dog struggles with health issues I strongly urge you to check out raw feeding…it’s really quite amazing. Whether you are disgusted or intrigued I urge you to read those 2 sites, they really do make sense!