Is a raw food diet for dogs crazy or conscientious? Weigh in below with your experience - share your tips for feeding your pooch with other Globe readers.
Nothing. I starve my dogs.
by Jennifer MacMillan7/10/2012 1:02:44 PM
We choose to feed our 80 lb Labrador raw food and have been doing so for 8 years with nothing but success. It costs us $71 per month (we buy Mountain Dog Food from Bones in Burlington), and our dog has never looked and felt better.
by The A Team7/10/2012 1:13:11 PM
Vets don't study nutrition. They also make 40% of their profits selling kibble and 'specialty' foods from the like of Hills and Science Diet. I rest my case.
by Michele Duval lane7/10/2012 1:18:15 PM
My family dog of years ago was on her death bed, barely left the front room, lack of appetite, she hairless patches and dry flaky skin. We'd had tried a number of medications, thryroid meds mainly. We were fed up and started feeding her raw. Her coat filled in and was shiny again, she became more active, even playful. She lived for 2 more years. Since then I have fed 4 other dogs this way with great success.
by Raw Dawg7/10/2012 1:18:48 PM
I would also like to agree with Michele below. I have done my research and continue read up on this topic and every time I talk with a vet I get much of the same response. Surprisingly, they all fall back on "these kibble companies have decades of science behind them." Sure, but kibble was founded on the waste products of the meat industry, another way to make money. You know what else has decades of science behind it? Tobacco companies. I could go on.
by Raw Dawg7/10/2012 1:24:08 PM
Completely agree with Gwen. Our boxers were losing weight, had dry coats and shed like crazy. Not to mention the 12 stools we were cleaning up per day - our backyard was ruined. We switched to raw and they are new dogs. They are the perfect weight, their coats are shiny and they have loads of energy. Now they have small, manageable stools that are easily cleaned up. Kibble is all about marketing and the majority of vets are uninformed about the benefits of raw diets. It's time for vet science to catch up with what dog owners have already figured out.
by Raw supporter7/10/2012 1:30:59 PM
My two are raw fed and no amount of kibble manufacturer sponsored "scientific" studies are going to dissuade me from continuing with raw. Their poops are small, firm and virtually odorless, their teeth are pearly white and they don't have doggie breath or doggie odor. A small nitpick: the article doesn't mention homemade raw which is significantly cheaper than commercial. The cost is about the same as a premium grain free kibble but with the added benefit of lower vet bills as your pet's health improves.
by Richard Day7/10/2012 1:38:03 PM
Going raw doesn't mean having to blow the budget! I have a Burnese Mountain- we had to do something different with her when we got her as a rescue dog- her appetite was insatiable- poor health all around - my friend suggested we go raw- I came up with Rosie's diet which I make -2-3 week portions at a time and freeze accordingly. Roughly 5 kilos lean ground beef (Costco 6.99/lb) mixed with ground pork (costco 4.59/lb). We mix in approx 8 cups cooked rice or cooked potatoes - sometimes sweet potatoes if on sale, finely grated carrots, ground flax seed and left over salads- lots of left overs. Plus 2 containers of yogurt from Costco.
by Monica savage7/10/2012 1:38:23 PM
Our two shelter dogs were skinny, undernourish, and almost bald. Today, after 1 1/2 years on raw, they could be show dogs. Our Coton De Tulear is a healthy weight, long flowing white fur and no more scratching from his allergies. The Phinnypoo, is now a healthy weight, thick coat, and a puppy demeanor (at approx. 5 years old).
by LeeLoo's Mommy7/10/2012 1:43:22 PM
Didn't finish: this dog has been happy and healthy ever since -3 years now - people thought I was nuts- so happy to see not everyone is brainwashed by the marketing strategies of the the kibble kingdom. Plus I don't remember the last time I threw out any food.
by Monica savage7/10/2012 1:43:23 PM
I have two dogs, one who is fed raw and one which we cook for. My raw fed dog thrives on raw and has been on raw since 10 months of age when he had every allergic symptom known. FYI, the type of raw that is written about here is "convenient raw", meaning someone has concocted a recipe of raw meat, veg, etc and thrown it in a grinder and voila. Convenient raw costs substantially more than buying the ingredients separately e.g. turkey necks.
by GSP Mom7/10/2012 1:46:15 PM
Didn't finish either... the writer might want to check out just how much nutrition education veterinarians get in school. Last I heard it was something like 4 hours total. Also, the writer might want to check out Foods Pets Die For by Ann N. Martin before she talks about the unsubstantiated claims about what is and is not in kibble!
by GSP Mom7/10/2012 1:48:51 PM
I have been feeding raw since 1995. My first golden was close to 3 when I started him on raw after years of stomach issues and expensive gastro prescription diet a friend convinced me to try raw. I was resistant. I don't know if a raw diet extends life (my previous golden died of a brain tumour which more than likely was genetic). My present golden was fed raw from the day I brought him home. During the first year I fed a commercial raw diet just to be on the safe side during the growth period but due to the expense I started to make it myself. I buy incredibly fresh meat from St. Lawrence Market, add calcium lactate because my dog swallows bones hole so he's not the right dog for the "BARF" diet and tweaked with the vegetables/grain according to his tolerance. He is 7 and rarely goes to the vet except for heartworm tests and 3 year rabies. In June my vet said my dog looked amazing for his age. Never farts which is unheard of in a dog and has the glossiest coat and the energy of a pup. It costs me maybe $60 a month not including dog biscuits. I would NEVER feed kibble unless I was desperate. I'm starting to supplement a bit with a probiotic, fish oil and glucosamine now that he is middle-aged. I think Dr. Joffe is parrotting the dog food industry's test that in my opinion obviously are geared to show that dog food is the only way to feed your bet. Human's eat a varied diet and live long healthy lives so how can anyone say that a bowl of pellets is the best way to feed a dog.
by Linda7/10/2012 1:51:09 PM
Our dog hated raw food. We put it in his bowl but would only eat it after I cooked it. He thrives on a half half mix of high quality Origen kibble and a home cooked chicken mash. He loves it and is healthy and full of energy. Too much pseudo science in this raw food movement. We could argue the same thing about humans. People saying things like if bacteria don't eat the kibble then it is no good. We can say the same about pasteurized products. Geez...
by Mr Scathing7/10/2012 2:06:29 PM
I teach small animal nutrition at the Western College of Veterianary Medicine.I believe all dogs and cats will be healthier on a whole food diet, not necessarily raw.
by Meg Smart7/10/2012 2:48:35 PM
To continue: Dogs and cats(especially cats) have no nutritional I
by Meg Smart7/10/2012 2:50:24 PM
Raw might be better, but it is worthwhile to acknowledge that not all kibble brands are created equal. I choose quality kibble ($50+ for a 13 lb bag) that is NOT from the grocery store or the vet. I vary the diet by rotating through different brands and recipes every 1-2 months, leaning towards the very low grain content.
by Qwerty7/10/2012 2:57:00 PM
I am having problems with my computer as it keeps sending incomplete comments. I have had 28 years experience and if you want to take advantage of my experience visit my blog petnutritionbysmart.blogspot.com
by Meg Smart7/10/2012 3:02:30 PM
Our personal experience with Raw Dog Food spans more than 20 years, however our family history goes back almost a century. There are many misconceptions about raw fed diets and dogs. Think about the biological makeup of the animal – from where your beloved pet originated. It was the wolf. All domesticated dogs can trace their roots back to wild ancestors. In nature, a canine will eat what they can kill, forage or steel. The alphas of the pack take the prime choices – which is the philosophy we feed our pets and provide to our clients. The ideal situation provides a canine 90% protein, 5% vegetation, 2% bone and 3% minerals. In nature, this is provided to the animal through eating their prey – the deer eats foliage, which is in the stomach and digestive track when it is brought down by the wolf. This in itself provides all the nutrition required. Domesticating the canine does not change their biological and chemical makeup. They still require this basic feeding structure. If you decide to feed raw to your pet – then make the change for 8 weeks. Your dog will go through a detox process where they may being excessive shedding, their eyes may water or be runny – this is completely normal. You are changing their diet to a healthy alternative – give them a change to adjust. A word of caution – once you being offering raw food, do not offer kibble, cooked or baked products to your dog. The digestion rate of raw food is extremely quick, however processed foods can take up to 12 hours to move through the dogs system. Mixing the two can cause serious health problems such as bacterial infections, or even death due to bloat. Prior to beginning, fast your dog for 24 hours to ensure that all the processed food has been digested and then you are good to offer their first meal. When deciding on what cuts of meat to offer – think “would I eat this?” – if the answer is yes, then it is good for your dog. Would you eat a chicken neck or turkey carcass or bones meant for soup stock as a nutritional meal? Neither would your dog. If you would place it on your plate – it is good for your dog. How much to feed your dog depends on their weight and activity level– we offer a quick glance chart at rawpetfoodcompany.com We are happy to answer any questions you may have and point you in the right direction to a better lifestyle for your dog. Bone Appétit! www.RawPetFoodCompany.com
by www.RawPetFoodCompany.com7/10/2012 3:04:20 PM
We can also be reached at 416-839-8400. RAW (Real Animal Wellness)