I am sure you have seen it, flooded your Instagram feeds, seeing meal prep for dogs. And I am sure you were also shocked, confused and completely curious. Raw feeding is the controversy of the decade in the canine realm. People are very passionate when it comes down to the topic of what they feed their canine friends.
After watching our favourite Staffy friends, The Blue Boys, I was always curious about their raw food diet. Their mom swore by it since one of her little boys had a skin condition so bad that nothing helped it. Nothing but a change in diet. Ie no more kibble(dry food) and no more human table scraps. Three years later and they are as healthy and gorgeous as ever.
It is only month 3 of the raw food diet for my Sammy & Dean but here is what I have learnt thus far regarding myths and nutrients and even a hack or two. Major disclaimer. We are still beginners at this so please do not take my word as gold. Do research of your own, find out what would work best for your dog, and consult with your vet regarding portions and nutritional requirements.
After watching the videos of Dr Karen Becker, I soon realised that dogs and cats were meant to eat raw food. Like their families in the wild, they were born to hunt, and eat prey that is raw and pure. Not preserved and cleaned. Their bodies can handle bacteria in a way that we cannot which is why wolves eat their prey, fur and all. Their bodies resistance to common bacteria ensures they can consume an animal whole without getting sick. Having said that, their bodies are made up of the exact same genetic makeup as wolves and require nutrition to such an extent that only raw meat and veg can provide. Nowadays dry food i.e kibble includes far too much grain and starch that is of more harm to your pet. Too much of grain and carbohydrates can cause a list of problems, skin deficiencies being high on the list. A good balance of protein, fat, antioxidants, Omega, Vitamin A, B & E is what is suggested for pets and usually is what Kibble is made up of, but with added grain. Now imagine eliminating grain and feeding your dog food that is of purest, human grade form. The thought is beautiful isn’t it?
Types of raw food diets
There are two types of raw food diets. Home prepared (my preference) and commercial.
- Commercial raw meals are usually frozen and sometimes fresh are typically in a patty form, packed with the essential nutrients and requirements for your dog. These can also be minced and diced, altogether to allow for easier serving.
- Home prepped diets usually consist of raw meats, bones, veg, fruit and supplements (such as omega oils)…these mails may not be balanced each day but if designed properly should meet your dogs requirements over a long period of time.
Personally I take preference to home prepped meals because I like to see exactly what goes into each meal and I have a level of control in terms of the type of ingredients that go into it. All the ingredients are of human grade, purchased from Spar, Pick n Pay or Woolworths and more importantly from the general human fridges not the pet food section.
- White teeth healthy gums and no bad breath: The plaque and tartar that develop on the teeth of most conventionally fed domestic pets is due largely to the starchy, carb-rich ingredients found in most all kibble. When carnivores eat chunks of raw muscle, raw meaty bones, including attached tendons, cartilage, and other connective tissues, the ripping, tearing and gnawing they’re compelled to do with their teeth and jaws provides these animals’ mouths with a naturally beneficial scrubbing and flossing action.
- Weight Control: Obesity in pets, especially those that eat kibble, is an increasing problem. But most all pets that are started on raw very early in life as puppies or kittens have no problems with their weight.
- Soft coats and less shedding: Now don’t get me wrong, it is not going to stop shedding completely BUT it does help reduce it significantly.
- Friendlier, more affectionate demeanor: This is the bit that a lot of people actually don’t believe. We were all raised to believe that raw food can turn a domestic dog into a blood hungry monster, after putting my hand into my Staffy’s bowl whilst she was eating, I can confirm this is a negative. A complete myth. Whilst they may be protective of their food with another dog, when it comes to their human pals, they are sweethearts.
Again, please consult with your vet if you are unsure what to feed your fur pal, but if you are keen to try out the raw food diet for your dog, Dr Karen Becker videos are the place to start.