The Raw Alternative

Filed Under: Pet Nutrition

This has been an amazing week for me.  The raw food movement is gaining so much momentum and this week, I was able to visit with a number of our raw fed dogs and see just how much their lives have improved.  It is probably the biggest reason I do this job, seeing how we can, through a little education, make pets lives better.


Playing with a few customers dogs this week has reaffirmed my commitment to spreading the word.  These dogs were so amazing, friendly, happy, bright white smiles, gorgeous coats and no doggy smell.  And their people just gush over how wonderful the experience of living with a raw fed dog is. 


Anyone who knows me, knows I have become a huge fan of feeding pets species appropriate foods.  For dogs and cats, this means raw meat, because both are carnivores.  For decades, we've been trained that dog and cat food is little brown pebbles.   That these little brown pebbles are nutritionally complete, and what our pets are supposed to eat. 


It is very hard to overcome the training we have been given, that those little brown nuggets are what dogs are supposed to eat.  Don't get me wrong, your dog or cat isn't going to die if you feed it kibble.  There have been tremendous advancements in dry pet food manufacturing over the past 20 years, and there are some very good products out there for people who can't/won't feed raw.  With a little research, you can find a product that is better for your pet than what has been available for the past 100 years.


Carnivores are built to eat and process meat.  From their teeth to their butt, a meat diet is what they are set up to process.  Most can survive on kibble, but they are meant to eat meat.  Sure, it can be a little more work, and a little more expense.  In the long run, though, it all balances out, and can end up actually being easier and cheaper! 


We have been taught that you should never give a dog chicken bones, but that's only partly true.  The proper advice is that you should never give a dog *cooked* chicken bones.  Dogs and cats have never owned stoves, or cooked over campfires.  Until you cook them, chicken bones are soft. Try and do the wishbone thing with a raw chicken or turkey wishbone.  It won't happen.  But cook it, and it becomes brittle, and when it breaks, it becomes dangerously sharp. 


Raw meat can take some getting used to, but once you see the results, it gets a lot easier.  Soon you start looking for other raw things to feed, what other "parts" can be healthy for your pet.  It is surprising how many vegetarians, who abhor meat for themselves, but embrace it for their carnivore pets.  If they can get past it, anyone can.


I fostered a 7 lb poodle for a few months, and fed it a 100% raw diet.  His favourite meal was a chicken back.  Yes, he would attack a whole chicken back, chewing up the bone and cartilage along with the meat and skin.  1/2 a chicken back was a meal for him, his other meal was a balance of ground meats and organs.  His teeth went from yucky to awesome during those two months.  Never had an issue with the bones.  


If you are willing to embrace the raw, you will be well rewarded.  Google it, check out facebook groups, and you will see why this "new" way of feeding pets has come full circle.  Feeding your pet what it is built to eat just makes sense.

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