A well balanced diet for dogs: The Raw Diet

Scout devouring raw chicken thighs after a hard day of training at Baden K9

Scout devouring raw chicken thighs after a hard day of training

Scout and Copper eat a raw diet consisting of veggies and meat. When I say raw, I mean raw. Scout’s favorite is a whole chicken, gizzards, bones and all. Scout is no lady when she eats it. She uses paws and all to get in there and rip and tear the chicken. Copper on the other hand isn’t all about getting his paws dirty. I think dainty is the best description.

“But Case, dogs aren’t supposed to eat chicken bones!!!” False. Dogs can’t eat cooked chicken bones. Let’s rephrase that because we know dogs will eat anything you put in front of them. So dogs shouldn’t eat cooked chicken bones because the bones could splinter. Raw chicken bones with meat attached don’t pose that problem.
“But Case, there could be salmonella ¬†in the raw meat!” True but dogs have developed an excellent immune system to handle it. Most if not all of it goes through their body and ends up in their feces. Don’t eat dog poop and wash your hands if you have to handle it. Problem solved.

“But Case, my vet said I shouldn’t feed raw.”¬†According to the Pet Food Institute, Americans spent 21.4 billion dollars on dog and cat food in 2014. Most companies provide vet clinics dry food for sale. The pet food business does not want owners to switch their dog to a raw diet. Dogs have not evolved to eat a dry food diet. Their teeth are made for ripping and tearing muscle and crushing

Ash and Cop showing off pretty teeth

Ash and Cop showing off pretty teeth

bone. Look at dogs teeth that have been fed a dry food diet and notice the discoloration and build up. Copper was fed a dry food diet until we got Scout. We kept telling ourselves we needed to schedule a dental cleaning for him. He started on the raw diet and has been on it since. His teeth now look like brand new pearly white puppy teeth. It was amazing.

Copper's teeth are so much cleaner since we switched him to raw

Copper’s teeth are so much cleaner since we switched him to raw

From the studies conducted on the feeding patterns of wild dogs and wolves, dogs being omnivores has not been proven. They may occasional eat veggies of some sort being the creatures of opportunity that they are. Most evidence suggests they are perfectly adapted to being carnivores and get all the nutrients they need from their prey. A well balanced diet consisting of meat and vegetables is not needed. Ever wonder why the veggies that go into your dog don’t change much when they come out? The dog’s body isn’t made to process and utilize the nutrients in the vegetables. My wife and I made this mistake until I researched the raw diet again today and saw the error in our ways. We were feeding the dogs alternating days of meat and then vegetables. Occasionally a day of fasting is included. Contrary to popular belief, dogs don’t have to eat two meals a day everyday. In nature they experience inconsistent feeding due to availability of prey animals so when they do feed they typically gorge themselves in preparation for the days ahead of no eating. I read last week African wild dogs can gorge up to 20 pounds of meat after a kill. Scout definitely loves the opportunity to gorge on a nice large chicken.
We believe our dogs perform better and are healthier on a raw diet.
Links:
rawfed.com– common raw diet myths busted
Primer on Raw Diet– overview on getting started on Raw Diet

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