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Feeding Raw...Nom Nom Nom!

posted Apr 28, 2011, 12:59 PM by Katie Young   [ updated May 25, 2011, 5:12 PM ]
Before I even started looking to buy a dog I researched various dog foods. I wanted to make sure I was feeding my dog the best I could.  After weeks of researching different manufactured dog foods, I came across articles and websites on feeding raw. 

While reading I found that most manufactured dog foods contain ingredients that dogs don't need and can't even digest.  Grains are the major source of dog allergies.  The health benefits by feeding raw are amazing.

Quoted from "Raw Diet For Dogs"
  • Shinier, healthier skin
  • Fresher breath/cleaner teeth
  • Improved digestion
  • Improvement with allergy symptoms
  • Decreased shedding
  • Increased stamina
  • Firmer, smaller stools
  • A general increase in overall health

Quoted from "Raw Feeding FAQ"
A raw diet provides a range of benefits that commercial dog diets can never hope to even closely match.

These benefits include:

  1. no doggy odour
  2. naturally cleans teeth - no need for toothbrushes, de-scaling jobs, or gum disease
  3. the time it takes for a dog to chew a raw meaty bones give their stomach adequate time to get the acids moving
  4. much less stools produced - and they are firm, and turn chalky after a couple of days
  5. decreased or non-existant vet bills (your dogs are healthier!)
  6. less cost for dog food - commercial dog foods are ludicriously expensive
  7. mirrors what a dog would be getting in the wild - and certainly even the modern day dog has a digestive tract exactly the same as a wolf
  8. puppies develop at a more appropriate rate - and quick growth spurts are avoided. A GOOD breeder will want to stop fast growth in any pup.
  9. the ripping and chewing involved in eating raw meaty bones develops the jaw, neck, and shoulder muscles of the dog. Commercial dog foods will never assist in this important muscle development.
People who have switched their dogs to a raw diet from commercial dog foods have found the following:
  • dogs who were previously un-energetic, and sluggish become completely new dogs once the raw diet feeding begins
  • allergies their dogs previously had on commercial foods, disappear once they start with the raw diet
  • arthritis has significantly reduced or disappeared in some dogs switched to raw
  • better weight control
  • no more doggy odour!
  • their dogs are living longer on a raw diet than what their other dogs previously had survived on commercial dog foods
  • that their bitches managed their pregnancies better
  • better weight and survival figures in puppies

There are a range of problems with commercial dog foods. I will provide some links below, but in summary:
  1. a dog's food should never be cooked. It should be fed in a raw natural state like nature intended. Cooking a dog's food ruins most of the nutritional value.
  2. dogs should have access to raw meaty bones. These clean their teeth, work and develop their neck and jaw muscles, and the chewing action prepares their stomach for the incoming food mass. Chewing bones also slows down the eating process considerably, making it far harder for a dog to over eat.
  3. dog foods have as their main ingredient cereals - the main ingredient your dog should be eating is raw meaty bones. And it is these very cereals that cause a range of problems such as allergies.
  4. commercial dog foods are laden with preservatives, colors (dyes), and salt. They have additives to make the food taste better so that the dogs will overeat.
  5. the vast majority of commercial dog foods have far too much carbohydrates in them. High levels of carbohydrates are linked to over-eating, diabetes, weight gain, and numerous other problems. Dogs should eat a diet with only a small amount of carbs.
  6. there is no substitute for a raw diet.
  7. your vet is most probably recommending a commercial diet because of financial inducements and a lack of independent learning.

Feeding your dog can be cheap and easy.  In fact, it is cheaper than feeding manufactured dog food most the time.  How much should you feed your dog?  Most articles I have read say 2% to 4% of the adult body weight of the dog.  Each dog needs to be considered differently based on breed and energy level.  If your dog is super energetic and high metabolism, then you will need to feed it a little more.  Always keep an eye on your dogs weight (ribs & waist).  You will want to watch to see if the dog starts to gain weight. If so, cut back a little on meals for a few weeks.  If your dog starts getting a little thin, then give it a little extra at meals for a few weeks.

The size/breed of your dog doesn't matter.  I have a neighbor that even feeds her Chihuahua raw.
  She was brought onto feeding raw by her parents who feed their German Shepards raw.   It doesn't matter how old the dog either.  I started Zombi on his raw diet as soon as I got him from the breeder.  Breeders are even feeding the puppies raw as soon as they are weened off their mom.  Your dog is never too old to start eating raw either.  A lot of people switch there dogs to raw later in life for their allergies.  Make sure you supervise your dog when first learning to eat raw.  They are not use to chewing properly.

Here is a brief list of things to feed your dog:
Chicken (yes, even the bone as long as its not cooked)
Beef (yes, even the bone as long as its not cooked)

Fish (yes, even the bone as long as its not cooked)
(yes, even the bone as long as its not cooked)
Eggs (including the shell)
(yes, even the bone as long as its not cooked)
(yes, even the bone as long as its not cooked)

Some people give their pets plain yogurt once a week.  I have done it a few times, but Zombi seems to not like it. When feeding fish you can feed your dog a whole fish.  Just hand them a trout you just caught while fishing. Canned Sardines & Mackerel in water is great.  Never feed your dog canned fish in oil.

You want your dog to eat the bones for the calcium. Also chewing on the meat and bones promote neck & jaw muscles.  Your dogs diet needs to contain 10% of organs per week (liver, etc.).  Heart is not an organ, it is a muscle. You can feed your dog heart, but don't think that is their organ allotment for the week.

Some articles says you have to feed so much fruits and vegetables per week to your dog, but a lot of articles say they don't need it.  How often do you see a wolf eating an apple or carrot?
Encyclopedia of Science by Bill Nye

It is bad for a dog to eat any fruits and vegetables period. Since the intestine of a dog is much like a wolf from who they evolved is carnivorous. Dog's belong to the Canine family a family which has been from the beginning carnivorous. If an animal is carnivorous it means that their digestive track, and need for food is set up only for meat. If he was an herbivore or an omnivorous creature than I would feed him fruits and vegetables, but since he is a carnivorous creature do not feed him fruits and vegetables. Instead let him chew on grass if he wants.

Although he doesn't need it, as treats I will feed Zombi pieces of carrots or a piece of apple.  As a super awesome treat I will give him a little piece of cheese, piece of hot dog or peanut butter.  NEVER EVER feed a dog raisins, grapes, onions and sugary foods/candy. I don't recommend commercial doggy treats, but raw hide bones are always fun.  I can't give Zombi commercial doggy treats or kibble because it gives him stomach aches, gas and diarrhea. 

What not to feed your dog:
quoted from
  • Chocolate
  • Onions / Garlic
  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Avocado (all parts) - the toxic ingredient in avocado is called persin (toxic amount unknown). Most documented cases of poisoning have been in livestock that have eaten all parts of the avocado and in large amounts. The toxin may be confined to the leaves, bark, skin or seed but the flesh is thought to be poisonous to birds.
  • Pear pips, the kernels of plums, peaches and apricots, apple core pips (contain cyanogenic glycosides resulting in cyanide poisoning)
  • Potato peelings and green looking potatoes
  • Rhubarb leaves
  • Moldy/spoiled foods (keep garbage lid firmly on)
  • Alcohol
  • Yeast dough
  • Coffee grounds, beans & tea (caffeine)
  • Hops (used in home brewing)
  • Tomato leaves & stems (green parts)
  • Broccoli (in large amounts)
  • Raisins and grapes
  • Cigarettes, tobacco, cigars
  • Xylitol (sweetener often found in sugar-free gum)
  • Cooked bones - they can splinter and cause gut perforation, as well as blockages in the intestine, tooth fractures, and cooked chop bones can get stuck across the roof of the mouth
  • Corn cobs - a common cause of intestinal blockage requiring surgical removal

  • Just thought I would share some brief information on Feeding Raw.  Please, always read up on what you feed your pet even if it is commercial.  You wouldn't eat crappy food, why should they? Happy Nomming!