Q: raw food diet

April 20, 2008 | By judy b. | 5 answers | Expired: 2833 days ago

judy b.

Just curious - has anyone out there ever had their dog on an all raw food diet? have been reading the pros and cons about it

Chosen Answer

Apr 22, 2008

I am a firm believer in raw food - not just for pets, but for everyone! Food in a raw state is in a natural state, and thus at its prime for eating. You truly are what you eat, and the sad fact is that the major companies out there are companies that want to make money, at the cost of pet's health.

Now, I will say that not all bagged foods are bad. I am going to recommend a few brands that are trustworthy, not to mention minimally processed. Eagle Pack in Mishawaka, IN is a tremendous food that has my endorsement, based on what I've seen from feeding it to the animals in my care at the Humane Society.

I think probably the best thing to do if you don't have the time or money to go completely raw is to go half and half with a terrific dry food. These are the ones I recommend:

Blue Buffalo - Eagle Pack - Innova - Wellness - Authority Harvest-Baked - EVO - Timberwolf Organics - Castor & Pollux - Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover's Soul - Newman's Own - Solid Gold

(This is not, of course, a full listing, nor are they in order of favorite to least favorite. These are just some staples to get your pet started on the road to wellness and health.)

If you're interested in going raw, here are some guidelines.

The major muscle meats to use:
1. Chicken
2. Beef
3. Turkey
4. Duck/Goose, which are higher in natural fats
5. Fish high in fatty acids, like salmon, mackeral, lake trout, sardines, and albacore tuna
6. Pork - some people will tell you not to use it because of possible health scares, but that really only applies to people - we have a very weak digestive tract compared to cats and dogs; they digest things much more quickly and have harsher enzymes in their systems, specially designed to handle raw/decaying foods. But you don't have to use it if you don't want to, especially as pigs are not the most discriminating creatures in the world - they eat all manner of non-food items, including fecal matter, and so that is what their body is composed of.

You can also give your pets raw bones for nutrition and to help clean their teeth. Bones are fine to feed unless they are cooked; then they weaken and splinter and should be thrown out. If you have a farmer's market or equivalent nearby, meat and bones should be easy to come by, and assuredly healthier than mass-shipped food you'll find in a Wal-Mart or comparable market.

Here are some vegetables that you can combine - remember, however, that onions and grapes, for whatever reasons, can have toxic effects on dogs, so leave those out:

asparagus; beets; broccoli; Brussels sprouts; cabbage; baby carrots; cauliflower; celery; collard; corn; dandelion leaves; eggplant; fresh green beans; kale; kohlrabi; okra; parsley; parsnips; peas (& pods); pumpkin; rutabagas; sprouts; squash; sweet potatoes; Swiss chard; turnips; zucchini

And you can also add:

EGGS - cooked or raw (don't worry about salmonella, their digestive system is quite able to handle it), they are a terrific source of protein and Vitamin B.

GARLIC and CHEESE (shredded/grated) - You can add these for yummy flavorl. Dogs absolutely LOVE garlic and cheese; you won't see many treats on pet shelves without these ingredients. You can sprinkle it into the food.

CHOPPED NUTS - Walnut, almond, and sunflower seeds can be added if they likes the crunchy sensation, not to mention they are also full of protein and good fats. You can sprinkle these in as well.

FRUITS and PLAIN VANILLA YOGURT - If your dog has a bit of a sweet tooth, you can add chopped/pureed apples, bananas, papaya, or any other fruit that they're partial to. You can simply add it in as part of their daily vegetables if you like. The yogurt is especially beneficial and they'll probably really like the taste. Add some to their food, or make them a fruit/yogurt smoothie as a snack.

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Readers' Answers (4)
Jill R.

Apr 21, 2008

It is controversial, the Veterinary Nutrition Association does not recommend to use it. Some people love it and recommend it.
The cons, of course, would be salmonella contamination. Also, a dog food should have the exact nutrients that a dog requires.

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Apr 22, 2008

GRAINS - These will add extra fiber if you want to add it; you can use oats; barley; a wonderful grain, if you can find it, known as Quinoa (keen-wa); brown rice (white rice is nutritionally dead); flaxseed, these are all very good. You can turn a dish into doggy Hamburger Helper :) Although cheaper, I'd stay away from the pasta - Creamette, Barilla's and things like that, just because it's more processed.

If you want to be sure they're getting everything they need, there are also websites like www.drsfostersmith.com/ and www.jbpet.com/ for nutritional supplements, usually in powder form that you mix into the food.

Here is a good website of facts concerning raw food, its overwhelming health benefits, and why its best concerning your pet's natural physiology:

The website from which I got most of my info regarding creating a homemade diet:

I hope this is helpful and informative, and I wish you and your pets the best!

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Apr 22, 2008

Here is an article I found at this new pet care website, www.petwave.com/Dogs/Dog-Basic-Care-and-Nutrition-Center/Nutrition/Choosing-the-Right-Diet/Need-to-Know/Choosing-a-Program/Homemade-Diets-Not-Always-More-Nutritious-or-Safe.aspx

Homemade Diets Not Always More Nutritious or Safe

The debate on whether or not your pet is better off on a homemade diet is an ongoing one. Without a doubt, feeding a commercially prepared diet is more convenient and more economical. Feeding a homemade diet can be very effective but can also be fraught with difficulties. For example, you must be sure that the diet that you prepare contains the proper amount and balance of all nutrients, that the ingredients are easily digested, absorbed, and utilized by the pet, and that it is palatable. You must make sure that the nutrients are not altered or destroyed in any way during processing and storage. You must also ensure that no contamination of the food occurs before, during, or after food preparation. Finally, vitamins and minerals must be supplied in the proper ratio to ensure good health. Commercial pet foods are routinely tested for nutritional composition, something most pet owners are unable to do on their own.

Problems can and do occur if raw foods are fed. For example, meats should not be fed raw because of the danger of transmitting parasites (e.g. toxoplasmosis) and harmful bacteria (e.g. Salmonella, E.coli, Enterobacter, Pseudomonas, etc.). In addition, studies show that most dogs and cats prefer cooked meat.

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Shanna D.

Apr 25, 2008

just another site about your dogs food (commercial food)

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