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RAW MEAT DIET: THE DOG FOOD DEBATE
Carole Henry, Vandy Keeshonden/Australian Cattle Dogs
The article on Raw Meat vs. Cooked  has me angry. First of all it is dog food, not raw food that has actually caused harm to dogs. There are pet food recalls every year.
First, the study mentioned in the article, APHI of Colorado SU; by whom was the study funded? I question this as the dog food companies are challenged by home feeders which is a loss of revenue to them. Any undesirable bacteria or ingredient found in raw food can be found in cooked commercial dog food. That the researchers “think” it came about after processing means they do not know.
All of the problems listed by M. Wakeman DVM can be found in pet food fed dogs. All of them. Plus dog food causes gum and teeth problems that raw fed dogs DO NOT have.
Most veterinarians do not even ask what food the dog has been eating. As my old vet said, he was tired of treating symptoms and not the problem causing it. When I started on raw food and he saw the difference in all my dogs he became a proponent of raw feeding. This man, Dr. Wendel Moore, was well respected in his era. When I decided to switch to raw meat diet in the early seventies, that was the time just about no one was “feeding outside of the box.” Remember we are what we eat.
Anyone who thinks they cannot feed a balanced raw meat diet for their dog should sit back and THINK. If they can feed themselves a balanced diet, surely they can feed their pets a balanced, natural diet based on raw meat? Is eating food found in the grocery store (but not pre-prepared boxed foods) meant only for people? The clue is variety in feeding a dog. Look at what coyotes, foxes, and wolves eat in the wild. Note that their natural prey is filled with digested greens, nuts, fruit and grains. All canines need that variety. My dogs beat me to the wild persimmon tree fruit on the ground.
Having fed GENERATIONS of Keeshonden on raw since the seventies, I offer as proof my success in both the breed ring, obedience, rally agility, and now herding work, with over 50 champions and 100s of working titles - many titles achieved by dogs working into their teens. My first agility dog was 11 years old when started. First dual HOF in the Keeshond breed was won by a 13 year old Kees who finished her UD and point requirements after being started in CDX at age 9 years. All puppies started on raw meat at age 4 weeks. Ten generations. A bitch line started in the seventies with no other bitch brought into the line from the outside.
Now to the comment by Pat Hastings about being able to tell which dogs are on meat diet because the front end structures are invariably deformed. I have to take that with a grain of salt because she couldn’t know how many dogs she has awarded top honors to that were fed raw meat diet. Her opinion (and that’s all it is because it is not backed by evolution or science) as was quoted is puzzling because she has awarded many of my raw meat fed dogs. One example comes easily to mind. Pat Hastings was judging at the KCA National in Ohio. She kept going between my bitch LoJo and another bitch because she liked them both. She finally went with the other bitch which was fine. But my LoJo was meat-raised, from the last Keeshond litter I bred. She became GrCh Vandys URL LoJo, TT, JHD, HTADl. She was my second time around the alphabet (U), all raw fed.
Raw feeding was continued with my first ACD (Australian Cattle Dog) pup. I had to breed her to fulfill the sale contract and all her pups were raw fed. The three I kept are now 8 years and still working hard. Two of them are breed Chs. and have numerous herding titles and still are competing in herding and winning/placing against other breeds. One finished his Championship in two weekends by winning three big majors in supported entries plus an AOM at a specialty. “Invariably deformed” front structures??? I think not!
Raw Food-Natural Diet For Dogs
My dogs are fed a varied mix of greens, grain, eggs, and fruit in the morning. At night they get either whole frozen 6/7 sardines, turkey necks, chicken quarters, beef, whole rabbit, or whole goat. I never feed commercial chicken backs or necks because they are a waste of money and have little to contribute to my dog’s nutrition.
You asked about sourcing. Chicken quarters are found in Walmart in the ten pound bags. Turkey necks can be ordered at meat markets in thirty pound boxes. Whole rabbit can be found online. Beef and goat I raise myself for my own dogs but that also can be found on line. You can also contact your local Ag. department. They usually have resources about small farms that will sell to raw feeders, and you can contact slaughter houses to buy beef heart and scraps.
What do you feed and why? What is your breed? Email the Nutrition Editor with your knowledge!
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Suzi Ironmonger - I switched back to feeding raw many years ago when we were still living in the USA. I sourced my wide variety of raw from ethnic markets and also a raw feeders' "co-op" we had in the area. I had to keep my costs down with the number of dogs I was feeding, but I found it cheaper than feeding a super premium kibble. I wean my litters directly onto raw, as well. Pat Hastings has evaluated two of my litters over the years, as well as used some of my adult dogs as "examples" in her seminars. She always asks what the litter is fed and always told me that my puppies were in great shape and obviously had great nutrition. She was amazed that they were raw fed. Not sure what this means other than she has seen too many litters where the pups were just given ground meat (muscle meat) and not any or not enough bone. My breeding bitches have all milked really well and I leave my puppies on the bitches until 6 weeks of age. I totally avoid any supplementation until the pups are over 5 weeks of age as natural mother's milk is the best for any species.I find it easy to spot the difference between "kibble fed" and "raw fed" puppies. The latter are so much healthier and aren't gutty. A variety is what is best....for people and animals. Feeding one brand of kibble is like feeding your kids a good brand of macaroni & cheese that is vitamn & mineral fortified.... every day. You wouldn't do that, so why would you do it to your pets??? Also, the reason vets recommend processed pet foods is because 1) they get very little nutritional training, 2) the nutritional training they get is sponsored by the major pet food companies and 3) they are given heaps of bags of dog food and are offered incentives to push various brands. I know, I started off Pre-vet and I also have several friends who are vets who can confirm this. So most vets would not have the knowledge to give good advice on nutrition.
Dr. N - I had a house call practice for 33 yrs. After discovering the same symptoms returning time and again no matter the medical treatment, i researched raw meat diets. The diet alone has "CURED" everything from diabetes, to "incurable" epilepsy. My (nature's) success rate was far higher on raw diet alone than on any pharmaceutical treatment for chromic symptoms. Not ALL things are cured by diet alone, but it is always where i start any treatment. Why waste time searching for cures when nature usually has a simple answer...you are what you eat. Carnivores eat raw meat.
Sharon - I have fed raw food for 8 generations, roughly, maybe more, my breed is a short-lived one and my dogs outlast the aveage! Also I have much larger litters than the average. My dogs never need anal glands cleaned, teeth are shinny and coats also.
Anonymous - What is your feeling on feeding raw pork to dogs?
Jo-Anne - I have 5 Papillon dogs from 16 years old to 20 months old on raw food diet. They eat Grandma Lucy's freeze dried fruits and vegetables. It is mixed with Grizzley Salmon Oil and Blue Ridge Beef (natural) or Blue Ridge Chicken (with bone) meats. They enjoy small raw chicken necks. They also get Innova Evo Kibble. They seem to all be doing well. I give them a Pet Tabs Plus advanced formula which is a vitamin-mineral supplement.
Paula - hi, all my dogs are fed the raw food diet too. One think i have noticed is that my bitches produce alot more milk and for much longer than when fed on dry and dog food. Also they do not get any skin allergy problems and manic scratching where there are no fleas. I have just bought a male dog who has only ever had dry food and he is having trouble making the switch over - if i offer him red meat he turns up his nose, or sardines or anything else I agree with this post wholeheartedly and what i cannot understand is why vets are so hell bent on pushing the dry food barrow - i always get a lecture from my vet about not feeding dry food and where do they get their balanced vitamins from it makes me sad that our health professionals are so narrow minded.
Diane - I have a Chow Chow that is almost 16 years old and I have added ground beef, chicken and turkey to his food since the beginning. Due to his age he has developed a small amount of arthritis but has always been healthy and his weight well maintained.
Frankie Wells - Oh! I missed this. New subscriber, late reader. Vet said change food so I searched. This is not what she meant but laughing, this is what I will do. How can we be so stupid about dog food? If I put a tv dinner in front of my husband he would leave the table but my poor dog has no choice. He will be so grateful.
Cheri Fellinger - I too tell my puppy buyers and all the people that inquire about my dogs that if they can feed themselves a fairly balanced diet of quality foods then they can feed their dog from their own shopping list, right off the preparation table before it's cooked. Feeding raw can be that simple when you have one dog. It's when you have more than 1, like most hobby breeders who has 3-15 dogs that you have to get creative and it's the ultimate to live on a plot of land where you can raise your own meat animals. I used to keep a large poultry yard with ducks, chickens, turkey and geese and I had a small herd of miniature sheep but it became too much work after a car accident. I applaud all that can feed 10 Rottweilers, or any combination of the equivalent, a raw diet!
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