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Raw Feeding

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                                            Prey Model Based Raw Feeding

The
                           domestic dog and the wolf are one and the same. Dogs are not
                           omnivores, as some have claimed. Dogs are carnivores, exactly like
                           wild wolves. Geneticist Dr. Robert K. Wayne at UCLA has conclusively
                           proven that the domestic dog is a subspecies of the wolf. Subsequent studies 
                           have verified this conclusion.
                           
                           Next, it must be understood what wolves actually eat in the wild,
                           especially when they are not pressed by loss of habitat and human
                           intervention. Contrary to some claims, wolves do not eat the stomach
                           contents of their prey nor do wolves consume much vegetable matter. 
                           The preferred food of the wild wolf is the meat, bones, and organs of large 
                           hooved Mammals. In times of scarcity, desperate wolves will try to eat a variety
                           of 
                           food items, just as would any starving creature, but they strongly prefer to eat
                           meat, organ, and bone. Dr. L. David Mech has been studying
                           wolves for decades, and has published many books and articles on
                           wolves and their diets.
                           
                           
                           Dr. Wayne's website:
                           http://www.eeb.ucla.edu/indivfaculty.php?FacultyKey=501
                           
                           Dr. Mech's website:
                           http://www.davemech.org/biography.html


 

Introduction -

Ok, make sure you read this, it sets the ground rules and understandings.

This FAQ is NOT a bible!

The raw diet, like life, has many different successful routes. I have tried to detail some of the basic questions that you may have which will hopefully get you onto the raw diet track.

People have different ideas about the raw diet and my suggestion if you become confused, is NOT to go back to commercial foods, but start thinking about what is best for your dog (or cat).

Start with the basics - a range of different raw meaty bones, or preferably whole items, such as chicken, quail, fish, eggs. For the majority of raw feeders - chicken is the base of the majority of their dogs meals. However, if chicken is not available readily, use what is available locally - raw meaty - lamb, beef, venison, duck, rabbit, kangaroo, pig, raw whole fish. You get the picture.

Where possible you want to avoid using items that have been raised inappropriately. For example, avoid beef that was raised in feedlots. Preferably the food should be as organic and natural as possible.

Please note: Dogs do not have the digestive system to cope with grains. Grains are one of the biggest sources of allergies in dogs. Grains make up the majority of dog food company food sources. Many people find when they switch to an all natural diet, the allergies their dogs had disappear. This is common.

Not only is feeding raw cheaper to feed than commercial dog foods, but there are enormous savings to be made by not having all those vet visits to fix your dogs' allergies. Are you asking yourself yet, "why hasn't my vet recommended this?" Yes, I would ask that of them too. Unfortunately most vets receive NO education at university on dog diet other than what the commercial dog food company reps tell them! (yes, this is the education they PAY to get - unbelievable. Luckily, some universities are realizing this mistake and are making amends).

Check out whether your vet can give out objective information on a raw diet, or have they (like most vets) received their education sponsored by a pet food company?

Join the raw feeding email list -


Please read this page, and please join the raw feeding email list at http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/rawfeeding/

.... and keep reading below for lots more information..... There are also over 100 different other smaller raw feeding email lists that you can join. Most people are on 2-3 raw feeding email lists.


What is Feeding Raw all about?

Feeding Raw - it refers to a type of diet fed to dogs (and cats) which totally excludes all commercial dog foods.

Why should I feed a raw diet?

A raw diet provides a range of benefits that commercial dog diets can never hope to even closely match.

These benefits include:

  1. no doggy odour

  2. naturally cleans teeth - no need for toothbrushes, de-scaling jobs, or gum disease

  3. the time it takes for a dog to chew a raw meaty bones give their stomach adequate time to get the acids moving

  4. much less stools produced - and they are firm, and turn chalky after a couple of days

  5. decreased or non-existant vet bills (your dogs are healthier!)

  6. less cost for dog food - commercial dog foods are ludicriously expensive

  7. mirrors what a dog would be getting in the wild - and certainly even the modern day dog has a digestive tract exactly the same as a wolf

  8. puppies develop at a more appropriate rate - and quick growth spurts are avoided. A GOOD breeder will want to stop fast growth in any pup.

  9. the ripping and chewing involved in eating raw meaty bones develops the jaw, neck, and shoulder muscles of the dog. Commercial dog foods will never assist in this important muscle development.

What have people have reported?

People who have switched their dogs to a raw diet from commercial dog foods have found the following:

  • dogs who were previously un-energetic, and sluggish become completely new dogs once the raw diet feeding begins

  • allergies their dogs previously had on commercial foods, disappear once they start with the raw diet

  • arthritis has significantly reduced or disappeared in some dogs switched to raw

  • better weight control

  • no more doggy odour!

  • their dogs are living longer on a raw diet than what their other dogs previously had survived on commercial dog foods

  • that their bitches managed their pregnancies better

  • better weight and survival figures in puppies


Why is commercial dog food not good for my dog?

There are a range of problems with commercial dog foods.

  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:

  7. your vet is most probably recommending a commercial diet because of financial inducements and a lack of independent learning.

Well then, why do so many people still feed their dogs commercial dog foods?

Yes, it confuses me too! However, commercial dog food companies have got the advertising part down amazingly well. They have entered the market at every point. With some companies, breeders and 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 (including vets) to talk about their product.

There are also considerable kickbacks vets, vet schools, and breeders can receive from recommending a commercial diet.

And most importantly, their advertising campaigns are slick, and tend to make people feel guilty if they feed any other way.

And people are suckers for good advertising.

Let me make this very clear to you, I make no money from recommending a raw diet, so you can be assured, by making such recommendations, I get no financial kickbacks, nor will ever seek any. As a breeder of dogs I could make a small fortune by letting my dogs be in dog food commercials, and by selling on commercial dog foods.

I only recommend feeding raw because I want your dogs to be getting the diet that will make them the healthiest that they can possibly be.

But how will I know how much to feed my dog?

You feed your dog based on their energy requirements. It will differ for how much work your dog does, and what their metabolism is like.

A good starting point is to feed about 2-3% of your dogs body weight, 10% bone, 10% organs, and 80% meat.  For puppies feed about 2-3% of the adult weight or 10% of current body weight. 

Look at your dogs and cats regularly - if they are looking a bit porky, then cut back on the amount you are feeding. If they look a bit thin, then, and feed a little more.

It's not hard to do, and when you get into a routine, it's darn easy. Trust me!

But aren't chicken bones dangerous?!!!

This is one of the biggest myths of all time! Raw chicken bones are fantastic for your dog. They are soft enough so that they bend easily, and break well for the dog to digest.

On the other hand, cooked chicken bones can be a problem, and I recommend that you DON'T feed COOKED chicken bones.

Some people are worried about their dog choking on bones. While such incidents are very rare (far more incidents occur with dogs choking on kibble), I encourage the feeding of bigger portions of meaty bones, or if available, whole carcasses, such as whole chickens or rabbits.

So could a raw chicken bone kill a dog? Well I guess that anything is possible. Certainly scientifically you can't prove a negative argument. However what we do know is that dogs have died from inhaling kibble the wrong way and choking and suffocating to death.

Feeding your dog is about management of risk. No matter which path you decide to take there is always risk. There is always someone who will criticise your decision. However you, and only you can decide what is best for your dogs. Weigh up all the benefits and risks. Do your own analysis. Do your research. Do what will have the greatest overall benefit for your dog.

My dog tends to inhale food!??? -

There is a real need to manage this.

This is common with some dogs who have been raised on commercial food who don't actually ever learn to chew.

You need to be careful with all dogs regardless of what they eat during their meal times. I've heard of dogs choking and dying on kibble, and dogs choking on raw meaty bones. - Just like I have heard of humans who have choked and died on a small piece of sausage or cheese.

You should supervise all meal times.

If a dog is scarfing down their food, I feed them by hand, in an isolated environment, until they learn how to chew. Chewing is critical for a dog. And literally some dogs need to figure it out as adults how to do it. Sometimes I will hold one end of the chicken quarter and not let them swallow it until they have chewed it a bit. Puppies that I have brought up feeding raw meaty bones from an early age never seem to have these sort of issues. But you never can tell.

Some dogs will try and inhale even large meaty bones, so you really need to work with these guys carefully. They should eventually work it out. As stated early, feed really large portions, that forces the dogs to chew.

There is an increasing understanding that best nutrition is achieved when feeding the whole carcass, rather than just bits of it. So to help a "scarfer" perhaps a whole carcass might slow them down. Be also careful of the greedy guts who thinks s/he will be starving unless food is consumed in great quantities immediately. Most dogs will learn eventually, but others, well, it may take a long time.

So in summary, monitor meal times, and be sure to watch out for the greedy guts - and manage them carefully.

How about pre-packaged raw foods?

Pre-packed raw foods are entering the market in a big way. However, for the most part, they are inappropriate food stuffs. Here's just some of the problems with them:

  • Different standards for packaging dog food than for packaging human foods

  • You don't know how much of different foods are in your pack (unless you are sent an entire carcass)

  • 5-10 times more expensive than buying directly from your butcher

  • Usually, they are ground food - which is not species 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.

Should I grind the bones?

When we wean our pups we do start them off on ground chicken carcasses but we switch to whole raw food as soon as the pups can chew the bones.

In a small number of cases, invariably where the dog/cat has a rare medical condition, ground bones are necessary.  

However, in over 99% of cases, dogs and cats should be fed whole meaty bones/carcasses. Ground bones are a poor substitute to whole bones. In addition, consuming such does not give the dogs the important muscle work out they need.

There has also been a very small number of cases caused by impaction of ground bones.

Frankly, feeding ground bones tends to help nervous owners get over the whole "can't possibly feed my dogs whole bones" mentality, but is not the best thing for your dog. If you insist on feeding ground bones, please understand the negatives of such.

What supplements should I feed?

Ah... to supplement or not to supplement! If you feed your dog/cat a variety of raw meaty bones/carcasses, then you're dog has the best platform upon which to base their health.

At Khayrick Rottweilers we do give our dogs vitamine B, E, Salmon oil and occasionaly fresh kelp,vitamine C, D. 

But what about bacteria on raw chicken?

So many good questions!

Ok, there is bacteria everywhere. Dogs have an amazing immunity system specifically designed to eat all manner of bacteria. And a healthy raw fed fed dog manages those bacteria without a problem.

E-coli, salmonella, etc are found on raw chicken, but those nasties are also found in your fridge, in your sink, on your floor, in your backyard, in your car, on the footpath, down at the park, and perhaps in your bed! Interestingly, the only cases I have heard of dogs dying from e-coli or salmonella, were dogs fed commercial dog foods.

The most important thing is to wash your hands thoroughly after feeding your dogs, and even after cutting up meat for your own meals. Our digestive systems are not quite as robust as our dogs, so we must protect ourselves.

I use a spray bottle containg white vinegar which I spray about when I need some disinfecting.

But my vet doesn't think that feeding raw is any good

Then your vet needs some serious re-educating!

Keep in mind that vets are told very little about dog diet at university. In fact, in some universities, 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, then that is a very sad state of affairs. Here's hoping you can find a better vet.

Given this age of the internet, there is absolutely no excuse for vets not to be educated on all feeding options. And there are plenty of vets on the internet who would gladly converse with other vets about feeding raw. You found this page, why can't they?!!

That being said, there are plenty of vets out there now who realise that there are significantly better alternatives to commercial dog food. Many vets who have changed their ways are very sorry that they did not "see the light" much earlier.

What do you feed your dogs?

Great question! These are the things we feed:

  • raw meaty bones and/or whole carcasses - chicken, beef, canned salmon/sardines (raw is even better), venison, pork, goat, rabbit

  • whole raw eggs in their shells (I let the dogs crack the shells)

  • organ meat

  • green tripe 

If green tripe is not avalable you can substitute with ground veggies (veggies must be ground or they are not digestable). Broccoli, celery, collards, mustard greens, spinach, romaine lettuce, bok choy, cabbage, summer squash, cucumbers, cauliflower, carrots, sweet potatoes, winter squash are some examples of veggies you can use. 

- do you get the picture yet - be relaxed about how you feed!

Grains

Dogs do not have the digestive system to cope with alot of grains. Most commercial dog foods contain more than 50% grains (yes, this includes all those fancy expensive ones too! ) Grains are one of the biggest sources of allergies in dogs.

My dogs have a diet that is high in protein, and low in carbohydrates - like nature intended.

Where can I buy this stuff?

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!

Can I feed my pregnant bitch on raw food?

Yes! Yes! Yes!

This is the best thing you can do for your bitch.

Do not change your bitches diet because she is pregnant, you will however need to incresse her food intake and offer many small meals a day. 

Can I feed puppies on raw food?

You most certainly can. And the good news is that unlike the commercial dog foods who recommend a confusing range of foods for different age groups, raw food fed dogs are fed the same regardless of age.

It is very important for large boned puppies like Rottweilers to get enough edable bone in there diet.  If they can not get enough edable bone in there diet you can add gound egg shell to the diet as listed in the chart below. 

How do I learn more?

There are a number of books on raw that have been written. None of them are perfect. Some recommend grains, or veggies, or fruit, or cooked food (including table scraps) of some sort. Despite our animals being "domestic", this has simply changed their behaviour, and has certainly not changed their digestive tract (despite what your well meaning vet might try and tell you.) By all means, look at the books on the market, but invariably, you will disappointed to some degree by each of them. In the end, the raw feeding email list is probably going to be the best source of information for you.




Weight of Meat

Ground Egg Shells

100 grams

1/4 tsp

200 grams

1/2 tsp

300 grams

2/3 tsp

400 grams

3/4 tsp


pound


1/4 tsp

pound

1/2 tsp

pound

3/4 tsp

1 pound

1 tsp


1 Jumbo Egg or 1 Large Egg


1/8 tsp

2 Jumbo Eggs or 2 Large Eggs

1/4 tsp

4 Jumbo Eggs or 4 Large Eggs

1/2 tsp

6 Jumbo Eggs or 6 Large Eggs

3/4 tsp

8 Jumbo Eggs or 8 Large Eggs

1 tsp


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