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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Any of you practice "Raw feeding"? What are the results like? Is it as good as some of the rumors say it is for your dog? Just curious as my wife wants to adopt another dog, and it turns out the dog she is trying to adopt has been raw fed. Any issues as far as switching to kibble? Thanks for the insite. Just want to know what everyone's thoughts are on the practice.
 

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Ive worked in small family owned feed store for 6 years now so i know alittle about dog food. There are people that put together raw food from grocery stores. They also have raw diets formulated that they sell in feed stores, IE B.A.R.F. diet, Steves real food, they are frozen but still raw diets. Then there is food like Innova's EVO dog food which is a VERY high protein dog food with no grain in it. Those foods arent the cheapest on earth but heard nothing good. There are also baked dog foods that are great. Other good dry foods are Canidae, Eagle Pack Holistic.
 

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I feed my bird dog raw venison that I harvest myself, IHe loves it.
does it make him healthier? I dont know, I just think the reasoning behind it makes sense that it will give him enzymes that he would not get from cooked food and certainly not from non fresh food (dry dog food).
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
What I am talking about is strickly raw meats - nothing else fed. Basically you give the dog part of a carcass, bones and all, for each meal. The main thing is raw meaty bones, raw eggs the whole shell and all, stuff like that. The deal with it is that you are supposed to feed only this, taking them completely off of other food. The idea is that this is what your dog would have eaten in the wild (especially no grains and vegetables). Anyone tried it?
 

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Bones and meat aren't actually exactly what dogs eat in the wild. They lack the inner organs and GI contents (including plant matter). If you are committed to going this route, contact a veterinary nutritionist and get the facts/diet plan so you can make sure you are giving your dog everything it needs. If you don't know where to find a nutritionist, most vet schools have a nutritionist on staff or can direct you to one.

I just noticed you are local. Send me a PM if you want to talk. I'm a DVM.
 

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I believe the theory behind the diet you describe is that only foods that a dog would have eaten in the wild is what you should feed him. The flaw with the theory is its like saying an eskimoe did not eat oranges so oranges cant be good for eskimoes. I am sure that properly researched raw foods would be good for your dog,along with fruits (not grapes or raisins) and vegetables, and whole grains. coyotes will eat berries and fruit that are on the ground. I would take Sharris advice about talking with a vet that has researched that area of canine nutrition.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I am not totally sold on the idea either. My wife is very interested in it. Here is the a link that has been the basis for what I am interested in. Please feel free to object to the opinions in it - I would really like to know, and know why.

http://www.rawlearning.com/rawfaq.html
 

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A raw diet is obviously what dogs are designed to eat. However, there are some caveats that need be considered. Raw eggs are not good as a steady diet, for people or dogs. Raw veggies are fine but dogs can't digest all plant materials. Carnivores in the wild get a good deal of their vegetable matter in predigested form when they eat the entrails of the herbivores they kill or scavenge.

Raw meats are another whole subject. Commercial meat critters are fed on antibiotic treated feeds and carry some resistant bacterial diseases. If you live on a farm and can raise free-range, organically fed, chickens and rabbits to feed your dog, then I'd say go for it. Any parasites the dog picks up from eating free-range meat and poultry, are purely a bonus :huh: . If you have to buy meats raised that way, the cost could be prohibitive.

I understand the concept and generally agree that it is sound, but am skeptical about some of the claimed benefits. For one thing, in the wild, a dog will get great benefit from eating the marrow of large animal bones. This also shortens their lives considerably. A dog in the wild never outlives the useful life of his teeth. I'm not certain, but I wonder if an old dog (one who has lived 2x his wild cousin's life expectancy) may not have some trouble digesting a raw diet. Especially the vegetable part.

I think feeding a dog a premium grade commercial feed, **keeping his weight under control**, and giving plenty of opportunities for activity are the best things you can do for a dog. A well thought out raw diet may add a year to his life--maybe two--but at what cost? Shopping for food, planning his diet, storing perishable items, and prepping the meals seems like a lot of trouble for an uncertain benefit. I'd have to be convince of some real-world advantages before I'd attempt to improve on the balanced nutrition my dog gets from commercial dog food. There are a couple of billion people on the planet that don't eat as well as he does.

I've owned giant breeds (average life expectancy: aprox 8.5 years) that lived to be over 12 years old, and died with good teeth and in good health--except for the being dead part.

I suspect this whole movement has been created by people who love their dogs a little too much. In the 21st century, people and dogs who eat sensibly, and exercise, live twice as long as their ancestors did a couple of hundred years ago. And still I hear people constantly going on about how processed foods and pesticides are killing us all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I appreciate all the knowlegable responses to a rather advanced topic. Although by no means do I have the learning or experiencing to make my opinion mean anything, I personally tend to agree with the general idea of avoiding the "raw diet," and for all of the same reasons mentioned. Thanks for all the professional opinions - it's access to that sort of advice and knowledge that make this site great. :thumbsup: I will not consider such a program until I have spoken in length to my vet (maybe give sharris a call too!) and weighed all the pro's an con's. Thanks again!
 

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Another thing to consider is that dogs, for the most part, haven't been truly wild for as many as 30,000 years. Feral dogs--even in cultures (like in Muslim countries) that view dogs as filthy pests like rats to be shot, poisoned, and stoned--typically exist on the edges of human civilization. They feed at dumps, and that means mostly cooked foods. How much has canine physiology changed over dozens (?) of millennia? Hard to say, but a canine generation is about a year to 1.5 years. A human generation is about 30. Canines react and adapt much quicker than we do.

If you want to make the case that wolves should eat a strictly raw diet, I would agree. Dogs ain't the same as wolves, though.
 

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Here's an interesting tidbit for you. The healthiest coyote I have necropsied was one that was captured as a pup by some ******** and raised like a dog in their backyard, including being fed commercial dog food. It had a nice full coat, good muscling and fat stores, etc. Granted other environmental factors probably played a role in this, it does seem to support the idea that natural is not always the best way.
 

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Lil' late to the party, but I have been feeding my dobe raw for his entire life now (almost 6), and the vet have no problem with his health.

I would suggest taking a middle ground regarding this raw diet. While it's true that, he eats nothing but meaty bones (usually pork necks), I do also throw in organ meats, liver, hearts and leftover scrap from game.

I am also not adverse to feeding him leftover rice, bread and noodles once in a while. He eats whatever he wants out of the garden when he's in the yard. It seems that he takes a liking to tomatos and if he can get to the non-prickly part, zuccini as well.

I also have regular dry dog food for times when meat runs out in the fridge and i'm too lazy to go to the store.

The way I see it. I try to eat healthy most of time, but I've also been known to wolf down a couple double bacon cheese burgers once in a while, so I do the same for the dog.
 
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