Raw Diet…a Whole New Frontier of Dog Food!!

“A wild wolf in genetically little more distant from the domesticated dog than a wild mustang is to a quarter horse”

–> That is to say that just because our dogs are domesticated does not mean that we should feed them food so drastically different from what they would eat in the wild. Raw meat diet (or a raw meat/kibble/etc. combination diet) can help to bridge the gap between domestication and a wild dog diet.

Nutrition Benefits:

  • With raw diets, all nutrients stay intact. Cooking foods, such as kibble, breaks down nutrients. Much like when humans cook green beans, they taste delicious, but contain more nutrients in the raw form.
  • Beneficial Grains, such as Pearl Millet, can provide proper nutritional balance for domestic dogs.
    –> Pearl Millet helps to settle upset stomach issues, lowers glycemix index, provides unparalleled energy supply for your pet. Pearl Millet is also high in protein and amino acides and resistant to Aflatoxins (cancer causing fungi found in corn).

Digestibility:

  • Raw meat will most often eliminate digestive upsets
  • Cooked meat is much more difficult to digest than raw meat.
  • Chronic digestive upsets can be due to a pets inability to break down cooked meats and also a lack of viable probiotic material.
    –> Probiotic material is simply healthy bacteria in your dog (or cats) body that helps to properly break down food and utilize the vitamins, minerals, and proteins provided in the food.
    –> Some animals are lacking proper probiotics in their systems – thus we supplement our animals with probiotic supplements OR raw meat diets!

Allergies:

  • Proper nutrition can help to alleviate some allergic reactions such as: protein sensitivity, grain/wheat intolerance, skin allergies, etc.
  • Corn, Wheat, and Soy contribute to hot spots, itching, scratching shedding, digestive upsets, and MANY other problems.

Weight Control:

  • Proper digestibility and high quality foods help control obesity (much like humans).
  • With a combination of kibble, raw meat, raw vegetables, and certain supplements (such as sun dried kelp) a dog or cat can maintain a healthy weight through calorie exchange. For example: Feed half the kibble you normally feed and replace the other half with raw chicken sprinkled with kelp!

Natural:

  • Mimics Nature – domestication causes a lot of issues (allergies, vitamin deficiencies, protein and grain sensitivities, etc.)
  • Variety and quality are key; wild dogs gain food variety in many different ways. If a dog catches and eats a rabbit, she is not only eating the raw meat but also the half digested fruits, berries, grains, and veggies inside the rabbits stomach – this is a great source of balanced carbs!  Our goal is to mimic this food combination!
  • Raw meat contains high levels of natural bacteria (Probiotics!!) that help digestion – cooked meat is much harder for a dog’s stomach to digest.
  • Corn/wheat/soy diets do NOT provide balanced carbs in the diet.

Safety:

  • A shorter digestive tract helps to lessen the risk of parasites or bacteria from raw meat causing issues. That is not to say that you should not handle and prepare any raw meat (for you OR your dog) with caution and care!
  • Dogs, especially those on a raw meat diet, have an extremely acidic stomach – this helps to break down meat and prevent bacteria from colonizing and causing health issues.
  • And as we all know – dog saliva also has antibacterial enzymes that help to kill bacteria

Supplements:

  • Supplements to any diet can be very important to a dog or cats overall health. Certain diets (such as a strict kibble diet) are lacking important things such as added Omega-3, probiotics, animal protein. Not all kibble diets lack these things! But a raw meat diet provides a lot of these supplements naturally.
  • Omega – 3: which is a fatty acid, also referred to as “Fish Oil” is useful for many reason! FIsh oil helps to nourish your dog’s coat, skin, joints, and any inflammation issues.
    —> If you have a dog with inflammation problems, infections, allergies, or joint pain they may need an increased amount of Omega-3’s!
    —> A few products you can use with a raw or kibble diet include: “Grizzly Salmon Oil All-Natural Dog Food Supplement,” or any Fish oil capsules that DO NOT include any soy or soy-lecithin because of possible allergies. The capsules can be fed as is or popped and poured over food. The salmon oil (liquid form) can be pumped over the food.
    —-> Hemp Seed Oil  is another option for Omega-3 fatty acids – recommended to be used in combination with Fish Oils
  • Probiotics: Help to maintain dogs “good” vs. “not so good” bacteria ration in the system. Probiotics also help digestive issues and bowel problems such as diarrhea or inflammatory bowel and generally are going to help the immune system as a whole. If your dog is ever on antibiotics we recommend keeping them on a probiotic to replace the “wiped out” bacteria – antibiotics do not discriminate between good and bad and often times leave a dog or cat with no bacteria or an imbalanced flora in the digestive system!

Feeding Breakdown:

  • Meat: Chicken (bone-in), beef roasts and ribs, pork ribs, pork shoulder roasts, turkey quarters, fish, leg of lamb, venison, rabbit and other game.
  • Vegetables: –>cooked or pureed (we recommend the latter – because puree holds the natural nutrients where cooking does not!)
    —> Vegetables add fiber and essential vitamins and minerals to the diet and are low in calories!
    —> carrots (eye sight), spinach (vitamins and minerals), alfalfa (digestion), white and sweet potato (carbohydrates), celery and broccoli (cancer fighting agents).
    —> Sojo and Canine Caviar provide dehydrated vegetable mixes for raw diet dogs!
  • 10% of the diet should be bone and the REST meat (and veggies).
  • Feed your dog 2% of his body weight daily.
  • What NOT to feed: NO cut bones (like pork country style ribs), NO bone-in chuck roast or bone-in steaks, pork chops, or other meats with sharp thinly sliced blades of bone. NO beef bones.
  • OK to feed with bones: Chicken, pork, and lamb (softer bones).

Getting Started:

  • We recommend starting with something bland, such as Chicken. After your dog or cat gets used to the chicken you can slowly add new foods (ONE at a time).
  • Some dogs have soft stools at first – this will pass…if it does NOT pass, consult your vet and reconsider the raw diet for your specific dog.

Home Prepared Raw:

  • Whole pieces of raw meat (chicken, beef, pork, lamb, etc.).
  • Less expensive than prepared raw foods
  • Contains whole bones which helps to keep teeth clean and provides calcium and minerals
  • NEED freezer space (in order to stock up).
  • ALWAYS practice good hygiene when handling raw meat for you or your dog.

Prepared Frozen Raw Food:

  • Quicker and easier than Home Prepared Raw Diet.
  • Many popular brands such as : Primal, Stella and Chewy’s, and Bravo.

Primal.Primal Pet Foods Raw Dog Turkey & Sardine Patties 8 lbs
Pros

  • Food is in its natural state
  • Food is available in many forms such as nuggets, burgers, bars, chubs
  • Lots of meat choices, including beef, turkey, chicken, lamb, buffalo, rabbit, venison

Cons

  • More expensive than home-prepared
  • Need enough freezer space for storage
  • Must remember to remove a piece to thaw
  • Need to practice good hygiene — careful handling and cleanup

    Freeze-Dried Raw
    Freeze dried raw foods are an easy way to feed raw.
    Pros

    • Easy to store and carry if you are traveling with your dog
    • Good choice if you live in an apartment or have limited freezer space
    • Helpful if you have a dog sitter or need to kennel your dog, or with anyone who might not be comfortable handling frozen raw food

    Cons

    • More expensive
    • Since it is freeze-dried and not frozen raw, there many be some small nutritional differences
    • Must be re-hydrated and need to allow a little time
    • No dental or chewing benefits

    Raw Food Diet can be EASY – it does not have to be scary and difficult. This diet is not for every dog, but even a little raw meat/raw veggies can be GREAT for your dog or cat. Sometimes all they need is a variety and some change in their diet. Keep these facts in mind – pick and choose what works best for you and your dog. Trade some kibble here and there for a small slab of chicken.

    If you have any questions do not hesitate to ask!

    ***Information sourced from Canine Caviar***

    ***and http://www.squidoo.com/rawmeatdietfordogs***

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