Pet Food Recalls, Canine Nutrition, Ingredients Analysis
RAW MEAT DIET DECISIONS
The article on raw meat brings extraordinary feedback from dog breeders and dietary authorities. Below find more information on a natural raw meat diet pet food regime.
Denise Flynn, Staff Editor
There are sensible solutions for pet owners who worry that it takes too much time or costs too much to feed your dog real meat. Solution: buy a shoulder or hindquarter at less per pound. Costco, Sams, and most local butchers will separate the choice cuts for your table, coarse grind the rest and wrap your bones and “dog meat” separately.
Freeze your dog’s raw meat daily portions. Most nutrition experts advise adding green, orange, and/or yellow veggies to each day’s natural diet. Canned or frozen green beans are the top choice vegetable among breeders, with carrots and sweet potatoes running a close second.
To help you decide whether to feed a raw meat diet or just add it to your pet food, visit the Raw Meat Debate or read how other subscribers choose to feed and why...
I raise toys and also have two pet pit bulls, I feed raw meat only. Have never needed a dental on any of my dogs, and toy breeds are well known for their tooth problems, retained puppy teeth etc. Whelp nice size litters, don't put on excess weight and have nice shiny coats and healthy skin.
I have Great Danes and have fed raw for @ 10 years - bones in the AM, meat PM,Omega 3, ACV and coconut oil, sometimes pureed vegetables from garden. My dogs were never this healthy when I fed kibble - beautiful coats, no skin issues, no doggy odor, no bad breath, beautiful teeth. My bitches have litters of 11 or 12 naturally. Puppies grow right. If it's not raised or grown, it's NOT food. Kibble is DEAD, so devoid of nutrients it has to be sprayed with chemicals. Follow the money, it's not about health.
I am a senior citizen and raised 47 litters since the 70s. None of those pups ever got sick. None. They started eating raw chopped beef from the time their teeth came in. Then their dams barfed up for them. I always let the pups nurse until they went to their new homes and the ones I kept were allowed to nurse until their dam put a stop to it, which was around 9/10 weeks old. This for better immunity. I have even changed the way I feed my cattle and goats. As I do not want things that grazing animal are not meant to eat, I buy straight grains that are not GMO. We are what we eat and it does matter in the long run.
Totally agree with Carole Henry. I also know too well about Pat Hastings views on raw feeding. She should stick to what she's good at not what she knows very little about. I have raw fed Shelties since 1984 & there is no comparison between the raw fed healthy dogs we have now compared to the kibble raised ones we used to have. I have Great Pyrenees and feed them twice a day. Mine are fed Precise grain free kibble and cooked food. We do chicken, pork, beef with veggies with their kibble. I also use supplements.
First of all, I’m in complete agreement with the author of this article. It got me angry too. Second, I highly recommend that anyone considering feeding raw or looking for more information go to http:www.rawlearning.com. There is also a fantastic Yahoo group whose 2000 members are a vast pool of knowledge, the best I’ve ever found. BARF feeding is all about RAW meat and bones, never cooked. Cooking the food is not only unnecessary, but it destroys many of the nutritional benefits of raw. Dogs are ii Carnivors, with the same digestive tract as a wolf - short and highly acidic. It’s completely different from ours and perfectly capable of dealing with the kind of bacteria the author describes. If that were not the case, wolves would be extinct.
As for combining raw meat and kibble, it’s a terrible idea. The dog's system is not designed to process grain, the main ingredient in kibble. The result is that it slows digestion, which prevents the meat from digesting rapidly as it should. The raw diet is a combination of muscle meat, bones and organs, in approximately the same proportion as found in the body of a carnivore's prey. Feeding a dog nothing but ground beef, i.e., muscle meat, is totally unbalanced and unhealthy. Read more for ii The Carnivores Diet. Vets, by the way, get very little nutritional training in college and what they get is generally sponsored by dog food companies. Many sell commercial dog food at their clinics, and a large part of their practice is devoted to the skin allergies, dental disease, and weight problems of commercially fed dogs.
I had a dog who, for the first year of his life, suffered endless digestive problems. Tests were run, one food after another was tried and nothing helped. After reading everything I could get my hands on, I came upon the benefits of raw feeding. It made sense to me and I switched all five of my dogs overnight. In addition to ending what I later discovered was a wheat allergy, the results were astounding and changed my dogs' lives for the better. That was 15 years ago… re the vet tech who has seen perforation from raw poultry bones. My vet, who recently retired after forty plus years, said he has never seen any problems caused by raw bones of any kind. Of course one person's experience isn't scientific proof but now you have it from both sides. I agree with Dave Johnson in that whatever meat (or fish) you can get your hands on is great. Variety is wonderful.
I have seen a dog that ate store brand dog food with clean white teeth and lived to be 15 years old. I have seen a young dog fed top quality food with tooth decay. Mostly I see skin problems with kibble fed dogs. But, I must say my own dogs do best on raw. Clean teeth & fresh breath. Less pick up. Less vet bills. COSTS LESS! It also puts a plush, bright coat over my hard bodied Shiba that gave us the advantage in the show ring. As a trainer, I would even say better attitude. When I became physically unable to butcher my own poultry and sheep I tried all the expensive grain free options but could never duplicate the "look." Now I have to really supplement AND exercise to get a dog to be competitive. This takes added time and should certainly factor into expense. This is just my own experience of nearly 40 years in dogs.
As a small breeder of Havanese, I tried raw meaty bones and raw meat from a butcher's scraps, which I ground and fed my dogs a few years ago. Unfortunately, I had instances of campylobacter and other microbial infections show up, which particularly threaten young weaning puppies. I stopped feeding raw because of this. I can see why the Delta program does not allow raw fed therapy dogs after this, as many patients are immune compromised, similar to a young puppy whose immune system is not fully developed, and this could bring life threatening infections into their environment. I believe that for a person who has only one adult dog, a raw diet is a good choice, especially if they can afford the raw food that is specifically made for dogs, not butcher's scraps.
I agree with Carole who mentioned venison. My dogs love it, antelope too. We are careful with rabbit but basically any "wild" game is natural and likely it has not been eating contaminated grains or GMO corn. I'm a rancher but if I was a farmer I would never be brow beaten into growing food I would not eat or feed to my stock.
In the 50+ years I have been in dogs I have fed many different types of food. I do not feed raw because as a vet's assistant, I saw with my own eyes, from the inside, gastrointestinal punctures caused by raw poultry bones. Careful, peer reviewed research has shown that dogs fed raw have a high level of e. coli and salmonella in their mouths. While this may be OK for many people, small children, ill and elderly people are at risk from exposure to these. The Delta Society no longer certifies raw fed dogs as therapy dogs for this reason. (I believe their research is still available on the Delta Society website.)
I have long believed that no one food is best for all dogs. I feed mostly BilJac Frozen with BilJac dry when traveling for more time that I can keep the frozen food cold. With both I feed a lot of fresh foods...yogurt, cottage cheese, cooked beef and pressure cooked whole chicken as well as cooked vegetables and hard cheese. They get large beef bones to chew. Favored training treats are cooked liver and dried fruits. My standard poodles live long healthy lives, with most reaching fourteen and more than a few passing fifteen years of age. With the exception of three cases of cancer, they are healthy right to the end. they have finished championships breeder-owner handled and earned obedience, rally and agility titles. I don't avoid grains and have never had a dog with a food allergy or intolerance of any kind. I believe this is the result of being weaned on and always fed a varied diet. I know people who feed raw and if it works for them fine, but that is not the only way to have healthy long lived dogs.
I found the comments in the article interesting. Food does matter in a dog's health, however, I believe genetics play a very important role. Otherwise why are we so particular whom we breed our dogs to? Certainly good looks are part of the equation, but for my breeding program, the health of dogs in a pedigree that can be traced is at the top of the list of requirements for a stud dog or brood bitch. Would we not breed to a dog just because it ate kibble? Likewise would we not breed to a dog just because it ate raw food. I think that in the scheme of things what a dog is fed is pretty low in choosing a breeding partner. There are horror stories on both sides of the debate to be sure, but balanced quality food is the key in the food we feed ourselves and the creatures in our care. Raw food can create enormous problems if you don't know what you are doing. It's not as easy as just giving our dogs raw meat and vegetables. On the other hand, quality kibble can be source of complete nutrition. By the way.... chicken from Walmart???? I wonder if it needed a passport to gain entry into our Country and what chemicals were used in processing the chicken. I have Labrador Retrievers, and am a Breeder of Merit, and feed a kibble, whose source of American ingredients are processed in America.
Feed Bil-Jac dry food! Bil-Jac is vacuum cooked at 165 degrees. Any kibbled food has to be cooked at 500 degrees to make it into kibbles. Bil-Jac is the ONLY dog food you do not have to transition to. They have Grain Free, and Farmers, but the original recipe DOES have corn, but the corn is cooked for 45 minutes in another place, THEN added to the food, as carbs for energy. It is NOT a filler! It is chicken based (all of it), but a dogs' perceived problem isn't with the chicken, it's with the fat and digest (flavoring) that is put on the kibbles afterward, which is also why you would have to wean the dogs if you change to any other food except Bil-Jac. They guarantee ALL of their food, and have never in their 67 years, had a recall, except one they did themselves, of a small batch, that was RUMORED to have mold in the bottom of one bag. Bil-Jac's self imposed recall was only about 500#. Bil-jac comes in crumbly little pellets that look like rabbit food. You can crush(roll them into powder, because of their slow vacuum cooking. They don't advertise, so many people don't know about the dry food, which has been in existence for about 25 years. I suggest you try it, as many people that were feeding raw, have gone to it, with no transition, and report excellent results, as well as many show people with different breeds! It is no more expensive that other medium grade kibbled foods such as Science Diet, Eukanuba, Nutro, etc, and those brands are subsidized by huge corporations like Mars, Proctor and Gamble, Diamond, Del-Monte, etc. It is a small family run business, out of Medina Ohio, and only has one plant and can closely monitor quality the dog food (as well as dog treats, and frozen dog food), which is the only product they have made for the 67 years.
I feed a combination diet. My dogs get raw for breakfast and a grain-free kibble in the afternoon. This keeps them flexible in case I need to travel and board them - they'll eat kibble without a fuss. It also keeps their teeth clean and white, their breath fresh, their coats richly colored and shiny. I guess I'm not a purist, but I do like what the raw does for a dog. I just need the flexibility of having dogs that will eat kibble when traveling!
Feed raw, don't feed raw, it's up to each person. But don't pretend dogs can't be healthy on a kibble diet. My dogs are all kibble fed. My Dobe lived to be 14 3/4 (which for those who don't know, is ancient for the breed), my Rat Terrier lived to be 2 months shy of his 18th birthday. My Italian Greyhound lived to be 17 1/2. My Spinone is currently 10, never had a sick day in his life, never has had or needed a dental other than the removal of a broken tooth, is currently hunted (not hunt tests but actually hunted) and is 100% sound. A friend had a lab that lived to be 20. All of these dogs have been fed kibble their entire lives. No chronic health problems. No allergies. Just healthy, happy kibble fed dogs. We have been feeding grain free for several years. We feed a high quality food but I know a Cairn Terrier that lived to be 20 eating Old Roy canned food, Beniful and the soft moist packet food. That 20 year old Lab ate Science Diet regular food her entire life. My husband hunted over her when she was 18. Kibble does not equal ill health and raw doesn't always equal great health. It depends on the dog and the owner.
I want to do the best I can for my dogs...that being said...I don't eat meat and have a tough time even cooking for my guys. I'm not sure that I could provide the proper amount of each thing they need. I'm leaning toward trying to switch to raw a least for part of their diet. I know so many people who have had great results with this method of feeding. Mine get cooked food along with kibble twice a day...perhaps I can learn from you all and get over my aversion to the raw meat diet.
Have been feeding raw (based on Dr. Ian Billinghurst's model) since 2003 with outstanding results. My "allergic" dogs ceased having problems; gained weight, stopped scratching and grew their hair back. This year I decided to send a sample of my food to a lab for analysis to be sure it was adequate for a new baby pup and it tested perfectly for the right balance of protein to calcium, etc. It is right for my giant breed dogs and I see no reason to switch back to kibble. The overall health, good structure and longevity of my dogs are proof enough to me that raw is better for my dogs.
Thank you for your comments on raw feeing. I have been feeding my Tibetan Mastiffs raw since the 90's. My TM's coats shine, no skin allergies and clean teeth! Sadly I tried to get my male TM into a therapy dog program for the USO at our nearby airport to greet the returning soldiers. I was told that since I feed raw he cannot be admitted because he is "germy". He could be used if I would give him dog food for 6 weeks to clean him up. NOT!
I agree completely on the raw food. I am curious, however what greens and grains do you feed for the morning meal? Are any of the fruits canned or are they always fresh?
I'm glad that we can comment. Thank you very much! I have fed raw to my German, Belgian and Dutch Shepherds since 1990. My vet bills are almost nonexistent, my puppies are healthy and large, and the traditional "bad skin" German Shepherds are glossy, heavily pigmented, and have great teeth! It's possible that companion dogs, like poodles, having been bred to eat from the plate of its owner, could have problems, but as I say, "real dogs need real meat". In Michigan, where I live, it's deer season, and my complete kennel has been eating raw venison scraps for over a month. It's free, fresh, and really palatable, based on my dogs reactions! I feed raw primarily, with a kibble day every week. My kibble is 4 health, grain free. Clean up is so much easier, have had zero problems.
TheDogPress.com thanks all who add so much first-hand information by COMMENTING in the Raw Meat Diet Debate.
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