The other day I was reading an article on The Telegraph about raw meat being to blame for the deaths of 40 dogs.  What I found interesting is that as I read this article, I read the following quote:

“However owners whose dogs have succumbed to the disease said they have never fed their dog raw meat further adding to the mystery surrounding the outbreak.”

~ The Telegraph

When I started researching raw dog food, articles like this drove me nuts, because it was confusing.  So is raw dog food safe or is it dangerous?  Am I going to kill our dogs if I feed them raw dog food?

If you're thinking about switching to a raw dog food or home cooked diet for your dog, each inconsistency that makes you uncomfortable is a good thing – maybe – because it will give you the push to learn more.

Don't let my decision to feed raw dog food pressure you into switching. Do your research. #RawFeeding

Pressure to Switch to Raw Dog Food

When I was first exploring the raw food diet, I had a lot of excited people willing to mentor me on the path.  Most were patient while others put on the pressure.

“Good luck at the vet.” – referencing that dogs fed kibble today will spend a lot of time at the vet with health issues as they get older.

“Feeding partial raw isn't feeding raw.” – when I was transitioning our dogs from kibble to raw, I decided to feed a partial raw diet at first to prevent Rodrigo from getting digestive upset from the change.  Some dogs get sick (diarrhea) when we switch kibble brands; I thought the same thing can happen with a change to raw feeding.

I didn't allow these comments to push me into moving faster, because if I made our dogs sick, it was on me; not some random stranger on Facebook.

Which Raw Food Diet is Right?

Once I made the decision to switch our dogs to raw, I struggled with the inconsistencies about the different models of raw feed:

Fruits and vegetables are great for dogs “When wolves eat their prey, they go for the digestive tract first to get the fruits and vegetables.”

Fruits and vegetables are just filler“When wolves eat their prey, they go for the digestive tract first, shake all the fruits and vegetables out, and then they chow down.”

Supplements are unnecessary“If you're feeding raw correctly, then you don't have to worry about supplements.”

You're feeding raw? You'll need supplements to balance“Are you also adding in parsley, kelp, taurine, turmeric, salmon oil and so on and so forth.”

You have to feed whole raw, not ground“Did you know that grinding your dog's meat leads to a taurine deficiency.”

Grinding raw dog food makes it easier and safer for the dogs to eat “We grind our dogs' meat too, it's just as healthy.”

And this is just a taste of the inconsistencies I've come across.  The trick is to find a method that works for you and your dogs, take in all the advice, and remember that most of the people dishing out advice are not dog nutritionists or holistic veterinarians.

All the advice is great, overwhelming, but great.  I've filed it all away and it's come in handy at each step in our education.  When we switched to DIY raw, I knew what to do, because of the advice I received from people who fed raw.  When our dogs got diarrhea from the raw chicken, I didn't freak out, because of the advice I'd received in the past.

So don't let it stress you out.

There will always be opinions.  Don't get distracted by what someone is doing with their dog thousands of miles away.  What works for me may not work for you, but we can still learn from each other.

And yes, a similar conversation happened in our house when I was trying to explain dog food to my boyfriend…

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