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Random Question Wednesday discussion in the Raw Feeders "Kicked Out" Club

Random Question Wednesday discussion in the Raw Feeders “Kicked Out” Club

 

Random Question Wednesday is a feature in my Facebook group, the Raw Feeder's “Kicked Out” Club. Because the group guidelines state that we discuss raw feeding (and raw adjacent) topics only, Wednesday is a day when the floor is opened to everything.  These posts may also include random questions I receive via email or blog comments.

On this week's Random Question Wednesday, I reached out to a few of the leaders and bloggers in the raw feeding world to ask them to share a frequently asked question and how they respond.  I find it interesting that these questions come up a lot in my raw feeding group too.

How Can You Stomach Raw Feeding?

Shelby Gottschalk, For the Love of Paws

“I was never really one to get grossed out by raw meat, I just make sure to keep everything clean. It brings me much more joy to see my dogs enjoying the highest quality form of food for them over being grossed out by anything.”

Kimberly Gauthier (me), A Novice's Guide to Raw Feeding for Dogs

I don't have an issue handling raw meat and while this may sound morbid, I love handling hearts and other parts and knowing that the nutrients these foods hold are making my dogs healthier.  On the other hand, I'm not ready to slaughter or butcher animals for my dogs, nor will I be picking up downed farm animals for my dogs.  Their food comes already butchered and I prefer it that way.

Do You Lose Nutrients If You Cook Darwin's Pet Food?

Christine Caplan, Life with Dogs PDX 

“No! According to experts and nutritionists (e.g. Steve Brown), it's ok to lightly cook raw diets for dogs that tolerate it better cooked… here's the post that talks about it! Life With Dogs PDX | Darwin's: We Love Lamb

Kimberly Gauthier, A Novice's Guide to Raw Feeding for Dogs

When I started feeding my dogs Darwin's Pet Food, I used to warm it up a little because they weren't used to eating cold food.  Warming it up (just a bit) brought out the smells, made the dogs more interested, and made the transition easier.  As time went on, I warmed it up less and less, until they were eating food from the fridge.  While some of the nutrients are compromised when heat is applied, not enough to make the food unhealthy (or a waste of time) and feeding any fresh food (cooked or raw) is better, in my opinion, than feeding kibble to my dogs.

Isn't Raw Feeding A Lot of Work?

Jodi Chick, Kolchakpuggle.com

“It doesn't have to be. There are people who love to prep and make their own raw in bulk, others who don't do much prep work and some who feed a commercially prepared raw. It's as much (or as little) work as you want it to be.”

Kimberly Gauthier, A Novice's Guide to Raw Feeding for Dogs

At first, raw feeding was a lot of work because I have a bad habit of over thinking things when feeding my dogs.  When I was feeding pre-made raw from Darwin's, life as a raw feeder was easy.  Then we became a four dog home and I couldn't afford 100% pre-made raw.  That's when the over thinking took hold.  When I switched from balancing per meal to balancing over time and introduced whole cuts of meat (duck frames, duck necks, etc.) into my dogs' raw diet, raw feeding became easier and less work.

I used to spend a few hours every week grinding and mixing food.  Now I break out the grinder once a month, maybe, when I need to grind duck wings because a grind takes up less room in the freezer.

My Cats Will Only Eat Kibble!!!

Jae Kennedy, The Two Crazy Cat Ladies

“Cats can be finicky and hard to transition diets because we teach them what “food” is at a young age. The good news is that studies have been conducted that prove cats WILL choose the more nutritious diet if given the option over time. Start slow and don't give up. Patience is your friend. The best way to ensure success is to keep trying.”

Kimberly Gauthier, A Novice's Guide to Raw Feeding for Dogs

I have been shamed repeatedly for feeding my cats kibble.  I tried canned and raw many times and they weren't going for it, so I kept water handy and bought them the best quality kibble and they loved it.  After I lost Jaffrey to a heart condition, I decided that it was time to fix Cosmo's diet.  Cosmo has the same heart condition and he's deterred the prediction that he'd die young.  Cosmo is now 11 years old.

As Jae stated above, transitioning a cat to a better food requires patience and it's important not to give up.  It took me about four months to get rid of kibble and now, more than a year later, Cosmo is a healthy cat that I expect will live a long time.

Will Raw Fed Dogs Get Sick from Salmonella?

Krista Powell, VibrantK9.com

“Dogs are carnivores and have a specific anatomical design to accommodate all these issues. Clearly, in the wild, their meals are not always perfectly fresh and certainly not freshly prepared. In fact, quite the opposite in that they often eat dead and rotting carcasses that are potentially ridden with disease. Luckily, nature has already solved these problems just on how they are anatomically built.

For example, their abdominal (gut) pH is very low, between 1-2, allowing for an extremely elevated acid level. Those acid levels would literally burn a hole in our stomachs. Their system is built to immediately start destroying all the bad bacterias from the time it touches their tongue until it is completely digested, therefore letting all the nutrient dense meat, bones, organs and such be digested and absorbed.

Yes, our dogs are domesticated, but their digestion capabilities are the same as any wild wolf, coyote or jackal. When preparing a raw meal for your dogs, always handle, wash and clean up in the same manner you do while handling raw foods for yourself or your pets.”

Kimberly Gauthier, A Novice's Guide to Raw Feeding for Dogs

It makes me sad that so many in the veterinarian and pet food communities are spreading this myth about raw fed dogs.  Feeding raw won't make a dog sick or their human family.  Raw is biologically appropriate for dogs, which means that they were meant to eat raw meals – their bodies were created for this diet.

I've responded to several people who have spoken out against raw feeding through blog posts that serve to educate people about the facts of raw feeding instead of the myths being perpetuated:

Why Don't You Feed Your Dog Raw Dog Food?

Tonya Wilhelm, Raising Your Pets Naturally

“I’m a big fan of a raw-food dog diet. However, it’s not for every person, and it’s not for every dog. Dexter is one of these dogs. With Dexter’s neurological condition and weakened immune system, he does not tolerate a fresh raw diet very well; he tends to get the scoots., I typically home cook his meals or modify a prepared raw diet by gently cooking it “rare” (i.e., cooking the meat, but not the ground bones). This is what I do when feeding a prepared raw to Dexter, and he does great, with no digestion issues.”

Kimberly Gauthier, A Novice's Guide to Raw Feeding for Dogs

I get this question all the time, but about my cat, Cosmo.  I tried to switch my cat to raw but he wasn't interested.  I've learned that older cats are challenging to switch to a raw diet and I believe it.  I lowered my expectations and did the work to switch him to soft food and he eats freeze dried raw that I mix in (adding extra water) and freeze dried treats (Minnows are his favorite).

 

Thank you, Shelby, Christine, Jodi, Jae, Krista, and Tonya for helping me with this blog post.  Please take a moment and give the following Facebook pages a like; you'll get a lot of great information and entertaining posts:

 

Join us in Raw Feeders “Kicked Out” Club to learn more about raw feeding in a friendly environment.  You will be asked three questions before your membership is approved.  These questions are our attempt to weed out troublemakers or people who want to spam the group with sales posts.

 

 

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