Natural Raw Feeding Info

Here is that info about raw feeding.  The below info is a great place to start.  In our home the puppies get ground up meat, bone, skin, organ, and natural supplements.  If you don't have a grinder that can go through bone,then you don’t necessarily need to go out and buy one.  It won't be long till the puppy can chew through a chunk of chicken with the bone. After a few weeks in your home they should be able to eat through some of the bones.  They will be slow, but can eat it. Unfortunately, some chicken can be full of hormones, steroids, etc. Make sure and get some that is labeled as “Natural” or “Antibiotic Free” or something close to that to help it be free of all that stuff.  

About Natural Feeding

Rule #1 - Don't get overwhelmed by all of this. After reviewing everything listed below, if the only thing you do is add a raw, hormone free, chicken leg quarter to your meal plan and then crack a raw egg yolk over their kibble every now and then, you can pat yourself on the back and know that you've made a step in the right direction.

Rule #2 - Find a good kibble, then work your way into a more raw and natural food plan over time.

We feed our dogs raw meat.  Yes, raw in not cooked... with the skin and bone.  While most traditional vets will disagree with this, we, after much research, feel it is what’s best for our dogs.  If you don’t want to feed your dog a raw diet, that is fine. We won’t judge you, or try to push you into it:) But if you would like some info on it, we are happy to share what we know.  You can also look up Dr. Karen Becker and/or Dr. Dee Blanco, who are holistic vets who share info on a natural approach to raising our pets. Here are some links to Dr Becker’s videos. We know these videos will take some time to watch.  It’s worth doing and considering the info.

Becker Part 1

Becker Part 2

Becker Part 3

Becker and Brown Part 1

Becker and Brown Part 2

We have not always fed raw.  We started out feeding the typical dog food...lower quality dry kibble that had too much grain in it.  It was the stuff you buy in really big bags. We still feed some kibble, but now we only feed higher quality and grain-free kibble.  Here is why. Daisy was our first Vizsla. We fell in love with the breed, and did 10 years of research on them before the stars aligned and we got Daisy.  She is a beautiful girl!!! She has a great personality!!! We LOVE her!!! But she always looked skinny and boney no matter how much we fed her, and her skin didn’t look healthy etc.  I started doing research. I found out the nutrition classes at many vet schools are paid for and taught by the big dog food companies...hmmm maybe there is a bias going on here. Now, please don’t get me wrong.  I am NOT anti-vet!!! We have a great, working relationship with a wonderful vet. He has helped us when we need help, and he does a great job getting puppies ready for their new homes. I am not against veterinarians at all, not in the least.  I am not even saying our vets are trying to mislead pet owners. I truly believe the vets love and care about our pets very much. Just understand why your vet may possibly be opposed to raw feeding, it is just how and what they were taught in vet school.  I did more research. Dog foods are full of non-digestible fillers so they can make them cheap for a big profit. Worse than that they often have downright poisonous ingredients in them. And they are often made from rotten roadkill, diseased and cancerous animals, and sometimes euthanized cats and dogs.  Gross!!!  Not healthy!!! Criminal?  I think so!!! They don’t have to fully disclose what is in their food, and can use vague terms like protein...what kind of protein?  Terms like meat meal, bone meal, etc. What kind of meat and bone were used? Were they diseased? Were they just the trimmings that have little nutritional value?  These things got me looking further. I started considering the raw diet. I found out that dogs have such acidic stomachs, and the food is only in their stomach for such a short amount of time, that unless they are unhealthy with a compromised immune system then there is really very little risk of “germs.”  E Coli, Salmonella, etc are not the same kind of risk to a dog as they are to you and me. Keep in mind, I am not saying to feed your dog rotten meat...just raw meat. Further, they have found that kibble has about the same level of these “germs” as raw meat. If you are feeding pork or fish then parasites could be an issue.  This can be addressed by just not feeding these or by freezing the meat for a while first. Also, for the fish the bones cannot be fed-they must be removed before feeding. We just do not plan to ever feed these two meats. The biggest risks of raw feeding is 1-Bones and 2- not getting the proper balance of nutrition. As far as bones go, there are a few things you can do to make it safer.  A bone fragment can puncture the dog’s digestive tract somewhere along the way, and can cause death.  Kibble is not without risks too.  Just do a little research on how many dogs are killed each year by bad dog food and kibbles full of undisclosed and toxic ingredients.  Anyway, to make bones safer follow these rules. 1) Never feed your dog cooked bones, only raw bones. When they are cooked they become much drier, harder, and more brittle.  They will break into sharp shards. 2) Know your dog. Do they chew or gulp their food? If they don’t chew well, bones may a bit more risky for that particular dog. But to start out with you can hold onto the piece of meat and bone while they eat and watch them till they have learned to slow down and chew.  3) When your puppy is younger and still learning to chew up bones, always choose a piece of meat and bone that is way too big to be swallowed whole so that they have to chew it. Have the bone with the meat on it start out close to the size of the dog’s head. 4) Don’t feed weight bearing bones from large animals.  For example the leg and pelvis bones from animals such as cows, deer, elk, buffalo, etc. These bones are harder and may break into shards when eaten.

I have learned that raw feeding was not as scary as I originally thought.  We have given it a try. We started by giving each of our dogs a raw chicken leg quarter each day.  It is the leg and thigh all in one piece with the bone and skin. We saw a huge difference. Their weight longer looking thin (despite eating tons of kibble.)  Their coats became shiny and healthy. Their teeth are sparkly white (and we never brush them or give them those artificial teeth cleaning bones), and their doggie breath is way improved!  They are energetic and healthy! And besides, they poop less too:) I am sold. Raw it is at our house! Our dogs still get a small serving of high quality, grain-free kibble. But we feel feeding them all kibble is kind of like only feeding a child cold cereal everyday.  Sure it has some vitamins added, but how healthy and balanced is it really? We eventually will transition to full raw, but are still working on that. For suggestions on the better kibbles you can visit our website. Anyway, they get a small serving of kibble. We usually add a little raw egg, plain yogurt, or RAW goat milk to the kibble.  This ups the nutrition and the appeal for the dogs. Too much egg/dairy will make their poos soft and messy though, so watch that.

So, we have been doing a partially raw diet for a couple of years now.   We have seen a drastic change in our dogs. Here is our routine for our adult dogs. They get the chicken with bone and skin in the morning.  They get a SMALL serving of kibble for lunch with some natural supplements added.  Then for dinner they get raw ground meat with organs and different natural supplements added.  I have been doing this a while and know it to be excellent. We are looking for good sources on other raw meats so we can go full raw.  If you plan to go full raw, here is some info. You will want to diversify your meat sources, for example chicken, beef, venison, etc.  You also have to make sure your dog is getting meat, bone, skin, and organ meat (but not the “guts” aka the digestive tract). The other important part is to get those all in the proper ratio.  Try to mimic the ratio that a wild dog would get while hunting prey.

It is certainly important to feed the cleanest protein you can find.  By this I mean try to avoid meats that come from animals who have been given lots of antibiotics or hormones.  These substances will come through the meat to your dog. If you can possibly make it work, feed organic meats or meats from a local farmer that employs “clean” farming methods.  Organic meat in addition to being free of antibiotics and hormones will also have been fed non-GMO feeds that are free of pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides.

If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask.  And for info from holistic vets giving their opinion on the subject (and how they feel modern dog food is what is causing most of the cancer, degenerative disease, and autoimmune disorders so common in pets these days) look up Dr. Karen Becker and/or Dr. Dee Blanco.  While they each have a bit different approach to raw feeding, they can offer a very experienced and educated view on the subject.

It is a lot to digest:)  Again, we won’t tell you what you have to do.  We just want people to hear about different options and then make their own decision that they feel good about!  If you have questions or would like to discuss the subject we are happy to help.

Here is a good video of two "regular people" who are raw feeding and are making baby steps to better health for their pets.

And if you want to take things even a step further look up Dr. Karen Becker’s YouTube video where she is interviewing the maker of pet vaccines.  This interview is long and somewhat boring, ok really boring:) Watch it on double speed:) But it does offer an interesting perspective. The summary being that even the maker and researcher of the vaccines says that pets are being way over vaccinated...causing harmful side effects for our pets.