Why Raw is Better for Dogs!
There is a worrisome pattern I have noticed with many people who have dogs; they know that healthy foods are better for us (the humans), and yet they feed their dogs a diet of processed food. And though many people point to the obvious difference between a dog and a human, the fact remains that Healthy Living is Healthy Living. If we've accepted that a diet of fast food and processed food is bad for us (the humans), why would we believe that a diet of processed food (kibble) is biologically appropriate and healthy for a dog?
Do not be fooled by dog food and treat labels that say something is all-natural.
After spending three years trying to find a food that Rodrigo could eat, I finally realized that if it’s processed, it can’t be all-natural. In other words, if it comes in a bag and has been pressed into cute, dog-friendly shapes, it cannot be considered a healthy option. And it's beyond disappointing that we're seeing marketing campaigns that insinuate that these hard pellets are what wolves would eat.
During those three years, Rodrigo's vet at the time treated his digestive issues, joint issues, and allergies like a virus, prescribing antibiotics again and again. I didn't understand the damage that was being done to an already compromised gut. I didn't know that the gut and the immune system worked as a partnership. I didn't realize that Rodrigo's vet was making him sicker – chronic ear infections, itchy paws with sores, skin rashes, yeast infections, loose stool and diarrhea, behavioral issues, food intolerances, environmental allergies, and so on and so on.
If you are frustrated with the pet food aisles, your veterinarian, and the massive amounts of information on the Internet, I know how you feel. It's frustrating when the people we're supposed to trust – the veterinarians and the pet food companies – don't seem to value our pets as much as we do.
After two weeks of feeding a raw food diet, Rodrigo was a different dog. Nearly every health issue that he had suffered with for three years had vanished and he was only eating a partial raw diet (I fed raw in the morning and kibble in the evening until the bag was empty). Rodrigo's vet said that my dog would live a short life; he was wrong. I'm thankful that I followed my gut and did what I knew was right for my dog. I also have a new vet.
Order your copy of A Novice's Guide to Raw Feeding for Dogs to learn more about my experience as a raw feeder.
An Easy Raw Dog Food Recipe and Meal Plan
Today, I feed my dogs a diet based on the BARF (biologically appropriate raw food) Model that I call FrankenBARF. Here is an example of what I feed my dogs in a day:
- 1 duck neck
- ground duck wings
- offal/liver/green tripe blend from GreenTripe.com
- vegetable mix
- oysters or sardines
- digestive supplement or raw goat's milk
- raw egg
- golden paste
- milk thistle
It may seem like a lot, but I don't fish, eggs, or goat's milk daily.
The reason I don't provide measurements is that each of my dogs eats a different amount that is based on their weight, activity level, health needs. You can take these ingredients and create a meal that works for your dog no matter their size.
I alternate proteins weekly and I feed green tripe on the weekend.
My Interview with Fernando Camacho about raw feeding on The Great Dog Adventure, Episode 76. Please note that during the section where we discuss feeding raw bones, I failed to mention that cooked bones are dangerous for dogs.
Ram Ratfliffe of Vegas Rock Dog Radio reads my blog post “Trust Me, I'm a Raw Feeder.” This was my response to the BBC video, “Trust Me, I'm a Vet,” where they perpetuated myths about raw feeding.
Raw Feeding Chat with Christopher Green, the host of The Groomer Next Door. He asked me to share something that gets me fired up and eventually he couldn't shut me up.