This post may contain affiliate links.
Raw Feeding from A to Z – K
Sharing Your Knowledge About Raw Feeding
When it comes to raw feeding unless you feed a 100% premade raw diet or have someone who can work with you, homework will be required. I read books, I grilled many veterinarians with questions, I followed leaders in the raw feeding community, and I joined Facebook groups. All of these resources helped me grow from a person who was worried that she'd harm her dogs to someone who makes raw food while binge-watching television.
I changed the focus of Keep the Tail Wagging® to raw feeding and dog nutrition when I realized how hard it is to learn how to feed our dogs. Over the years, I've learned a few things about sharing what I learn about raw feeding with others.
- I don't push my knowledge on to others. If a Facebook friend shares a picture a bag of kibble, I don't send a private message or leave a comment critiquing their choices in dog food and recommending raw. From personal experience, it's better to ask people if they're interested in your thoughts than push your thoughts on them. Personally, if you catch me on a bad day and decide to “educate” me, you're just going to tick me off.
- Don't assume that people feed kibble out of ignorance. There are many reasons why someone won't home cook or feed raw to their dogs. Someone's dog may not be able to eat raw due to a compromised immune system (human or dog). Someone may not have access to raw ingredients or premade raw. Or someone may not have the time to put into learning about raw feeding and switching to the diet.
- Don't hate on people for not feeding raw. I see this daily in Facebook groups, people judging friends, family members, and strangers for feeding kibble. I will admit that I have judged people as well, but then I take a step back and remind myself that five years ago, I thought I was doing great by feeding a quality kibble.
- Be open to other perspectives. I recently received an email from someone who told me that she didn't like my Facebook raw feeding group because she was trying to educate us and we were sharing different opinions, which made her feel attacked. I was disappointed to see her go, but I agree that my Facebook group wasn't the group for her because it was created to allow people from all around the world, with varying levels of experience, to share what they're learning. The discussions we're having are amazing and in only a few months, I've made so many beneficial changes to my dogs' diet because people have shared what they're doing.
If you want to share your knowledge about raw feeding with others, do so gently, respectfully, and without expecting people to change. It took me six months to start making plans to transition my dogs to raw because I wanted to make sure I knew what I was doing. Be patient and be kind.
Being Kicked Out of a Raw Feeding Group
If you're an inquisitive person like me then you will be kicked out of a raw feeding group eventually. You could do something over the top like calling someone names or attacking the Admin team. Or you can do something as innocuous as asking questions about eggs, yogurt, raw goat milk, vegetables, or a clarification on the rules – all of which have gotten me kicked out of raw feeding groups.
To make navigating the world of Facebook raw feeding groups, I offer the following suggestions:
- Read the group rules/guidelines. If the group says “no kibble talk,” don't ask people what kibble they recommend. If the group doesn't recommend vegetables, then don't share images of your dog's breakfast with broccoli, carrots, and kale. The guidelines are a great way to know what to expect and just because the rules are strict doesn't mean that you won't learn anything. Remember, there are loads of raw feeding groups on Facebook and if you're discouraged from eating vegetables in Group A, Group B may welcome the discussions.
- Don't take disagreements personally. There are going to be times when people question the choices you make for your dog's diet or offer advice that is contrary to what you shared when joining a discussion. Although it can feel like people aren't hearing you, don't take it personally. Unless someone prefaces their advice with “Hey! Moron!!!” then take everything as an opportunity to learn something new. And if you do feel attacked, don't engage. It's best to walk away from an aggressive discussion than engage with a rude person. It's pointless to argue with a troll, a control freak, or someone who is having a supremely crappy day. Walk away.
- And if you're kicked out, move on. It's tempting to crow to the world about the unfairness of being kicked out of a Facebook group. Only crow if you find it funny. The reason I started a raw feeding group called The Raw Feeders ‘Kicked Out' Club is because I kept getting kicked out of raw feeding groups. It became such a joke that people would add me to groups just to ban me. I've been accused of joining groups to start trouble (I asked if it was okay to discuss vegetables), of joining a group to steal one of the Admin's content (because they saw that I share a lot of articles on raw feeding on Facebook), and of poisoning my dogs (because I follow the BARF model of raw feeding). I was offended at first, but each time I got the boot, I saw the humor in all of it.
Facebook raw feeding groups are a fantastic place to learn more about raw feeding, to connect with other raw feeders, and to chat with people who understand why you feed raw. Not every group is for every raw feeder; take your time and you'll find the group that is right for you and your dogs.
Feeding Kibble and Fresh Food
One of the biggest fears many raw feeders have is having to go back to feeding their dogs a kibble diet after they've learned what goes into processed dog food. However, I'm no longer convinced that it's the end of the world if I have to feed kibble (but I don't want to do it).
If I find myself in a position where raw feeding is no longer feasible, I will do the following to improve the quality of the kibble I feed to my dogs:
- I will soak the kibble in bone broth. Bone broth is a very nutritious food that I give to my dogs as a treat, when they have an upset tummy or low appetite, and to help boost joint and immune system health. Soaking kibble in bone broth will make it easier for dogs to digest while pumping natural, fresh nutrients into their system.
- I will add fresh food to my dogs' meals. I have a glorious pressure cooker that makes it easy to mix up a cooked meal for my dogs that I can add to my dogs' meals as a food topper. I'd also add sardines, freeze-dried mussels, and give my dogs a treat of raw goat milk, ewegurt, or fermented fish stock.
- I will choose Carna4 because it's the best. Kibble isn't ideal and not something I want to feed to my dogs due to the excessive processing, mystery ingredients, and questionable sourcing. Carna4 has minimal ingredients, no synthetic vitamins, and it's slow bake instead of overly processed.
Thank you to Ewegurt for being a generous sponsor of Keep the Tail Wagging®. Ewegurt is an all natural supplement made with sheep's milk and other natural, healthy ingredients that help to ease anxiety in dogs. I add it to my dogs' meals as a food topper or I feed it to them as a treat before thunderstorms, windstorms, when there will be fireworks, and before they are exposed to a situation that increases their anxiety. It works great for my dogs and has no side effects.