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Topic: Raw Food Diet for Dogs

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Subject: Raw Food Diet for Dogs
Date Posted: 9/21/2007 1:35 PM ET
Member Since: 5/30/2007
Posts: 404
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I was wondering if anyone did this for there dog and if they could explain a little bit about this and it's benifits. I was thinking of doing this for Stella but wanted to know what other people think.

thanks

Date Posted: 9/21/2007 2:30 PM ET
Member Since: 7/14/2007
Posts: 8,942
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I've seen it advocated on a couple of dog behavior list serves I get.  I haven't done it myself, but I understand that it's great for dogs with health issues - which means it's probably great for all dogs.  I have heard about dogs pulling through serious health crises after being put on meat protein only, but I'm not sure it was raw protein.  I think if your dog is ill, you have to be sure you get clean sources of protein, especially if you're going to serve it raw or lightly cooked.  I do know that it's a lot more work than just opening a can or bag of dog food.

Some dogs will also eat raw veggies - my dog likes cucumbers - and some don't, so I'm not quite sure how you'd balance that for her, or if it even needs to be balanced.  I guess it depends on whether you consider dogs to be carnivorous or omniverous.  Whichever it is, I'm pretty sure they get way too much grain in standard dry dog food.

Date Posted: 9/21/2007 3:15 PM ET
Member Since: 5/4/2007
Posts: 13,182
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My understanding is that wolves will take down an animal and eat the stomach contents first. So they do apparently need some of the nutrients from vegetable matter/grain. I do agree with Sharon, tho'. Our animals probably do get more meal than they really need...'balanced' (per the pet food companies) or not...

Date Posted: 9/21/2007 10:49 PM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2005
Posts: 571
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i think raw diets, done correctly, are fantastic. i fed raw for close to a year and it was a lot of work. i feed primarily kibble now. i think the most important things to keep in mind are to feed as wide a variety of meats and cuts as you can get, and to remember that it's balance over time that matters, not balance in each meal.

there's a good website with tons of info here: http://www.rawlearning.com/

i also like tom lonsdale's books, which are available on dogwise.com

Date Posted: 9/25/2007 6:27 PM ET
Member Since: 5/30/2007
Posts: 404
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thank you

i will check it out

Date Posted: 10/15/2007 9:19 AM ET
Member Since: 10/9/2006
Posts: 19
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I just switched my dog over to raw food this past summer.  She is doing so awesome!  Her teeth are sparkling clean, her coat is so soft and shiny and she looks and acts so healthy.  Plus she loves it!!  Her mouth drools the minute I ask her if she wants supper.  I have read about raw diets for a long time and resisted changing.  The whole bones thing scared me and I just thought it would be too complicated and scary and I thought I'd ned a separate freezer but I found it is really quite easy.  I keep my eye out for specials and then buy quite a bit and put 2 or 3 meal size pieces into freezer bags and freeze.  While a separate freezer would be nice (this is a big dog - a German Shepherd Dog) we have a good size side by side refrigerator and I've just made the bottom bin of each side hers.  When I get to the last piece in the frigerator I just grab another bag from the freezer and put it in the frig.  I try to buy a wide variety of meats and cuts, making sure I get some organ meat on occasion.  I but cheap ground cuts too and when I feed those I add raw eggs and some yogurt and sometimes a little shredded cheese.  he only other thing I add is fish oil.  I highly recommend it.  So does my dog!  :o)

Date Posted: 10/15/2007 8:17 PM ET
Member Since: 8/28/2006
Posts: 462
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As much as dogs may benefit from it please remember that raw meat may contain parasites that can make them sick and viruses or bacteria that can make them sick.  I had my dog on the raw diet years ago and almost lost him due to food borne illness.

 

Now, he gets kibble, raw eggs, veggies and bones (only while they are still frozen and they are stored in the freezer)...Dale has always had really bad food allergies which is what had prompted me to try out the BARF but I will never do that again and I strongly caution people against trying it....talk to your Vet...

 

Dale is on a food that is free of the things he is allergic to and gets supplemented with cooked meat (mostly fish) and raw veggies.

Date Posted: 10/17/2007 12:39 PM ET
Member Since: 6/13/2007
Posts: 174
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I had my black Lab Midnight on a raw food diet for about 6 years and now I've got Tage my 1and a 1/2 year old Bernese Mountain Dog on it. We chop up some vegetables in a small food processor and mix that with ground turkey of beef. Then once a day he gets a raw bone.

Date Posted: 10/17/2007 2:23 PM ET
Member Since: 10/9/2006
Posts: 19
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Candice - i'm so sorry to hear about your dog.  What food borne illness did he die from? 

No one is more cautious than me about food borne illnesses as I lost my 3 and 1/2 year old daughter to one (HUS from e coli 0157H7) many years ago.  I researched extensively before switching my dog over to raw.  I think there is risk with any kind of food.  Just look at how many pets got sick and died from kibble this past summer.  I buy good quality meat and freeze it right away and only thaw it in the refrigerator.  I am fanatical about cleaning any surface the meat touches when preparing it and make sure it is sealed well in the frig and freezer and stored on the bottom.  My dog eats outside in the grass.   Sure, talk to your vet but research on your own and make up your own mind.  Many vets just love to recommend Hill's Science Diet but then why not?  It makes them even more money.  A raw diet is not for everyone or for every pet.  Some do better on a good quality kibble.  On the other hand, "Meow Mix" and "Beneful" are not good for any pet. 

Date Posted: 10/19/2007 4:59 PM ET
Member Since: 8/28/2006
Posts: 462
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He didn't die...it was close though...I can't remember what bacteria the vet called it...

Date Posted: 10/19/2007 5:07 PM ET
Member Since: 6/13/2007
Posts: 4,731
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There's a great yahoo group too....K9 nutrition.  You have to join, but if you are considering raw I'd check it out.  I love the idea...but it just seems to complicated for me! 

http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/K9Nutrition/

Date Posted: 10/20/2007 11:02 PM ET
Member Since: 5/30/2007
Posts: 404
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I have her on Eukanuba All natural Lamb and rice for medium size dog's. I am prettty sure it is a good food. Otherwise what other dry dog foods are good? When you talk about bones for the raw food what do you mean?

Date Posted: 11/10/2007 9:48 AM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2007
Posts: 3,326
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Feeding a raw or b.a.r.f diet is the best thing  you can do for your dog!  Be warned though, that most vets are against it and will attribute all manner of problems your dog might have to the diet. It is *extremely* rare for a dog to get a disease or illness from the bacteria in food. Most dogs are perfectly happy to bury their food and eat it a couple of days later -- even this does not make them sick! (it may sicken their owners, however! :-)

The only sure thing you have to watch is raw fresh fish -- it *can* contain liver flukes or other parasites that can cause illness in a dog.  Unless the dog has a severe immunological problem they will not "catch" any disease or illness from eating raw. The food you feed your dogs is the same food you would buy for yourself and if you have clean habits and store the food the same way you would if you were going to eat it, there is not any problem you should encounter. 

There are several books out there about feeding dogs raw. I recommend _Switching to Raw_ by Sue Johnson. Do a google search and you can buy it directly from her website.  There is also a book by Bilinghurst that many people recommend. There are several others. Each author recommends a particular style of raw diet and gives their reasoning why they think it's best. Most people will develop their own style over time that blends a little from each of the main methods. Your dog will tell you what he likes and dislikes and unless you are feeding a *very* young puppy or a pregnant bitch it's very hard to cause any dietary problems over the long term.

I feed chicken, lamb, beef, pork, rabbit, venison, pheasant, llama, eggs and canned fish and any other meat that comes my way. I feed cooked or ground vegetables occasionally. I use very little supplementary vitamins or mixes. I show and compete with my dog and he is doing great. He's been fed raw since he arrived at 10 weeks old.

Date Posted: 11/16/2007 6:56 AM ET
Member Since: 3/10/2006
Posts: 2,819
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Dogs and cats have very short digestive tracts so even if they incur some bacteria (which is a lot of foods, raw and cooked), it passes through them very quickly, not having any affect.  

Date Posted: 11/17/2007 4:38 PM ET
Member Since: 11/5/2005
Posts: 571
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has anyone here raw fed a cat? i have a cat with recurring cystitis (not infection, not crystals) and i'm taking him completely off kibble. good quality canned food is *so* expensive. i bought some nature's variety frozen raw medallions, and i'm going to also feed plain old raw. i've fed him raw meat and organs as treats in the past, but never got to the point where he'd eat bones. we'll see what happens....

Date Posted: 11/28/2007 12:01 AM ET
Member Since: 8/12/2007
Posts: 277
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I fed my dogs raw for quite some time with no issues.  There is a slight risk of food borne illness if your dog is severely immunosuppressed.  Otherwise, dogs are carnivores and their digestive tracts are very acidic and are meant to handle raw meat.  The bacteria are killed by the acid as soon as it reaches the stomach.  Obviously, if you have a dog whose digestive tract is compromised, you may have some trouble, but the vast majority of dogs do just fine and are very healthy.

I also raw fed my cats which was a logistical nightmare.  I have 8, but I imagine it could be easier if you had less.  Some cats will go raw and some just won't - it depends on your individual cat.

I have a cat with kidney disease and another cat with chronic cystitis who blocks very easily.  One took to raw very easily, but the other wanted nothing to do with it.  I was able to bring my kidney cat back from the brink of death with a raw diet.  The vets told me she would be dead in 3 months and that was 2 and a half years ago and she's as healthy as ever.  Her vet couldn't not believe it when her values kept going down after she was diagnosed with such severe kidney failure and given a death sentence.  I took Lucy off the raw diet because it's hard to implement if you travel at all as they have to be fed once a day and you can't leave food out.  Believe it or not there is good kibble out there - not much, but it's out there.  Hard core raw feeders won't even say the word "kibble" and equate it with death - a tad overdramatic, IMO, but hey, whatever.  Nature's Variety has a Raw Instinct cat food that is grain free and this is what I feed all my cats, but it's been most beneficial for my kidney cat and my cystitis cat as it has no grains and grains have no place in a carnivore's diet. http://www.naturesvariety.com/  I feed one of my dog's Solid Gold's no grain formula and the other dog eats Nature's Variety also.  Innova has a grain free dog food as well.