Raw Deal: The Raw Food Debate

21 Oct

DISCLAIMER:

For those who know me personally, I’m a big advocate of a raw diet for dogs.
I do completely respect those who have a different opinion on the subject –
Educate yourself, and do what works for you. For me, it’s raw.

Logan - November 2009

Logan - November 2009

Most of my show dog doberman friends swear by raw, and even just hearing them talk about it made my brain bounce around in my head.
So much info. So much food prep. So much to think about!
Plus, I live downtown. Where the heck do you get bulk deals on raw high quality meat?!

This was something I didn’t jump into, as I had Logan on kibble for over 2 years before switching over to this much debated option.

He’d eat. He’d poop.
Eat. Poop. Eat. Poop.
Logan’s poops were massive. We’re talking 2-hand pick ups. He’d poop like clockwork.

It was an obvious cycle that made housebreaking easier, but wait …

If he’s pooping these massive mounds, what is he actually digesting?
Is he absorbing any of this?

His skin was dry half of the year, his nub was itchy which was becoming a issue (I’d catch him knawing on it to the point where it would be bloody), his nails were very briddle and would break half way down his nail bed, his eyes were often gunky.

Logan’s temperament.
He was extremely jumpy, twitchy and wouldn’t maintain eye contact with me.
Was it his age? Is his personality hereditary?
At the age of 2, is he every going to calm down and show me that affection that every doberman pinscher owner talks about so passionately?

And a big one: he was always sooo THIRSTY.
I couldn’t even dream of leaving a bowl of water in the house, as he’d drink it up in a minute, and then pee in the hallway.
I’d catch him often, paws up on the counter, trying to get a few drops of water from the kitchen faucet.
This poor guy was always so thirsty!
Is my boy Diabetic?!

What’s going on?

But the more research I did on raw diets for dogs, things started to make more sense:

Rapid weight loss, no weight gain >> he’s pooping out his food
Dry skin  >>> he’s not getting the nutrients he requires
Hyperactivity>>> additives (including hormones) in manufactured kibble & dog food

As Logan got older, this all started to make more sense:   he just wasn’t gaining weight – I had basically come to the conclusion that he was never going to develop the thick Doberman body I had dreamed of.

My boyfriend is still not sold on it.
The thought of handling raw meat makes him cringe. And Logan chewing up bones, carcuses and red meat makes his stomach turn.
We did manage to find balance: I’m the educator, and the raw meat locator, handler & feeder.
The little involvement he has in it, the better!

But the results speak for itself.

I started Logan on a raw diet approx 7 months ago.
In those 7 months, I’ve witnessed huge changes.

His coat is glossy & rich with moisture, tail is all healed up, no more eye guck, his teeth are clean and his breath has no scent, his ears are also significantly cleaner as they aren’t producing the same amount of wax, his poops are small, dry and have a chalky consistancy.
He only poops a couple times a day, usually in the morning, and that’s it. They’re so tiny and scentless.

He has also gained 28lbslbs!

His temperament has also changed drastically.
I can’t say it’s all due to the diet (probably age has something to do with it) but I have a feeling he wasn’t responding well to something in the kibble I was feeding him.  He’s never been calmer, more affectionate and respondent to me before.
Our training sessions have gone from a 10 minute nightmare, to having an eager little monkey at my side just ready to make me happy.
He’s also a lot more jovial – I can easily get him to get his nub wagging, which is something he’s never responded to.

I’m a believer!

Logan, September 2010

WIKIPEDIA:

It is believed by many raw feeders that veterinarians are influenced by academic departments and professional associations that rely upon funding from pet food companies.[50] For example, Hill’s Pet Nutrition, makers of Science Diet and a range of prescription only food is a major sponsor of the American Veterinary Medical Association.[51] Another common belief is that veterinarians lack adequate education on raw diets or nutrition in general.[43]

Frequently, veterinary schools receive nutrition training that is sponsored or directly provided to students by pet food manufacturers.[52] The Wall Street Journal reports that Hill’s “spends hundreds of thousands of dollars a year funding university research and nutrition courses at every one of the 27 U.S. veterinary colleges” and that vets profit as much as 40% from sales of Science Diet and other foods sold from their offices.[53] Raw feeders are often skeptical of the motives that some veterinarians have in recommending the commercial foods they sell, pointing out the conflict of interest in them doing so.

Read more here.

One Response to “Raw Deal: The Raw Food Debate”

  1. Sara October 22, 2010 at 2:26 am #

    Thank you so much for sharing your journey regarding the raw food diet. Our Hally is 9 months old, and has similar issues to what you describe that Logan had before the raw food diet….gucky eyes, constant thirst, lots of big poops, really gassy,etc. She also seems to get alot of bladder infections but I’m not sure that’s related.

    I’ve been thinking about the raw food diet alot lately, and am seriously considering switching her diet. She is currently on the kibble that her breeder fed her.

    But I have a question…how do you control the mess of raw meat being ripped apart by your dog, all over the floor????Do most people feed the dogs outdoors? I am concerned about the germs of raw meat on the floor. How do you deal with this?
    Sara

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