Since becoming a member of TP, I have noticed that there are quite a few members that feed their pets a raw diet. Could someone please enlighten me about what exactly a raw diet is? What do you do, what is fed to them, why does it benefit them, how often..etc. Basically you are explaining this to someone who is very uneducated about it. Please help me to understand. Thanks.
My husband owned two rotties before he met me. They were working dogs, he trained with a k-9 academy for bite work. The academy fed their dogs raw chicken - it's supposed to be healthy for them, I can't remember the details but I know it also helps their coat. Anyway, his rotties got one raw chicken leg quarter a day and they were very healthy, strong dogs. I wish I could remember what exactly it was supposed to do, but I know it worked! :) I'll ask him when he gets home from work.
Forgive me if I sound stupid, but raw as in uncooked???? You can feed a dog raw chicken? What about samonilla (sp)...that's how much I know...when I read anyone talking about "raw diets" I didn't actually think it was literally raw...wow, you definitely learn something new everyday.
I am very interested to know if anyone on here feeds their pets raw food, "barf"....if so, what are some things that you make for them? And if I decided to try out some raw foods for my dogs...would that benefit them?
I definitely thought it was weird and when Rick wanted to put Sassy on the raw chicken diet, I went biserk! I thought she could get hurt from the bones or get sick or something. But, he told me that cooked bones splinter and raw bones don't, so it is not harmful. I tried Sassy on the diet and she loved it, it did make her coat glossier and silkier. However, it is greasy and if you don't brush your pet's teeth often, it will be horrible for her teeth and gums! Trust me on this one. She is now on dry food. The raw chicken diet was great for her, but I preferred the dry food because it helps get the plaque off.
When I don't have three hurricanes hit back to back (ouch!), I feed raw. I'm currently transitioning back to it. Raw diets are one of the BEST diets (if not THE BEST) for a dog when done properly. However, they require LOTS of knowledge to prepare- a poorly balanced diet can do plenty of harm. Dogs have extremely short intestinal tracts- ours are MUCH longer. They aren't anywhere near as susceptible to illnesses like Salmonella- because the "bugs" are swept through their system so quickly. NO amount of human manipulation has been able to change the fact that dogs are carnivorous animals- they're BUILT to eat meat- and not grains. Raw veggies are not part of a nutritional diet- they must be steamed for a dog to absorb nutrients from them. They make great low-calorie snacks, though- green beans and carrots (in moderation- they're high in sugar) particularly. Raw meats are very easy for a dog to digest- it's what they're built for. I feed pre-mix meals I purchase from a local supplier- I've fed Kangaroo, Emu, Rabbit- lots and lots of variety! :) I also feed skinned chicken necks and short marrow bones on a regular basis (even while I'm feeding kibble) because they're EXCELLENT for the teeth! There's NOTHING that keeps a dog's teeth in condition like raw bones. Kibble does NOT clean teeth- a total myth. Think about it- how do YOUR teeth feel after eating something with the texture of kibble? It actually *contributes* to tartar- yes, even SD's cleverly marketed tartar formula. :( Raw eggs (with crushed shells), unflavored yogurt, cottage cheese- all easy additives to kibble- and included in many homemade/raw menus. There are literally a ZILLION different recipes and types of raw meals- BARF being only one. Steve's, Omaha and Bravo are all good pre-mix brands- and an excellent way to start. It's generally NOT recommended that you feed kibble AND raw- they digest so differently that it can cause stomach upset. There is LOTS of debate- you can find intelligent people on both sides of the fence. Definitely do lots of your own research before considering a switch- it's a very personal choice.
LongDogs4me, if kibble doesn't help clean a dog's teeth, how can you explain that all of the dogs I've ever had that have been on dry kibble diets and nothing else haven't had to have their teeth cleaned, despite the fact that I never brush their teeth? Regardless of breed? I don't give bones to my dogs either. Am I just that lucky? Or does it actually help? I'm inclined to believe the latter, from personal experience.
I feel two types of raw. I feed the Bravo (which my dogs like the best) and I also feed the Aunt Jeni's. In my opinion the Aunt Jeni's is the better quality food but my dogs prefer the Bravo. I'm not going to tell you how I feed it because its not the correct way. It works for my dogs and my vet also said they think its fine. (My vet does prefer raw to kibble and at this point I don't think most vets do.) In any case if you want to learn about it I would just research it on-line. A whole lot of good info. on there.
i feed scout kibble but when ever i am cooking there are a few things she goes nuts for. especially raw chicken. she literally would not let me take her outside one day when my husband was cutting up chicken breasts. she wanted some of that sooooooo bad. so now when i cook i throw her some of whatever it is i am making before it is cooked. another thing she absolutely loves are raw eggs. she will try and take the egg carton out of the fridge. i have also given her raw liver. i don't eat it but i bought some just for her and the cat. the only thing i have heard is you cannot give pork to them raw. anything else i believe is okay. i cannot afford to feed scout a raw diet or i would cause she just loves raw meat.
Sassy was on dry kibble first and I never brushed her teeth - never any problems with her breath either. She had pretty, sparkly whites. After having her on the raw chicken diet, I neglected her teeth ( I guess I was used to not having to brush them) and noticed a bad smell from her breath. She's very stubborn at letting me see her back teeth, but when I finally got a peek I noticed horrible discoloration. Her breath was horrible, too! I immediately brought her to the vet and they did a good cleaning and put her on antibiotics. He told me that the raw chicken diet is good, but if you neglect the teeth and gums, it results in this! I put her back on the dry kibble and her teeth has been great - the breath is back to normal. She absolutely loved the raw chicken, though. I think both are good.
I love the idea of a raw diet, I even tried it. Minnie loved it too. We were on it for about a month and a half, but she couldn't poop solid. She had constant watery stools. After countless trips to the vet, I changed her to Purina Dog Food. She is doing terrific, and I supplement with cottage cheese, yogurt, raw eggs and the occasional turkey neck. Good luck with your decision!
Wow, wow, wow, that's all I can say...How have I owned a dog my entire life and NEVER knew any of this?!?! Amazing! Really, it sounds silly, but to me this is awesome. I really appreciate everyone's advice, opinions and feedback. And thanks for putting up with my lack of knowledge. I will do my research on the net...sounds like it will be fairly easy from what ya'll say. I'm sure I can find answers to most of the questions that I ask, but it's always great coming from fellow TP posters. One more question...and feel free to include anything else that you might think would be helpful to me. If and that's a BIG IF, I decide to switch my dogs over..obviously I'll have to monitor them and what not...should I do it gradual? Like, keep feeding them kibble, but substitute maybe treats for a few pieces of raw meat? OK, more than 1 question..sorry and is it OK to feed them ground beef? Like if I'm cooking taco's, I can make a raw meatball and throw it to them? I know....I sound ignorant, but I have only heard of coyotes, wolves and dingos eating raw meat..as far as the dog family goes. I think it'll be cool if I can feed them some meat as I'm cooking dinner..D*mn..as I type this, I'm thinking of yet more questions....sorry again, but can I feed them cooked meat?? Of course without the seasonings and stuff and last question...what about the fat from chicken, beef and such, is that OK? Thank you guys soooo much!
Minnyar- it's definitely TRUE that some dogs have better teeth than others. My breed (dachshunds) are NOT a breed known for their lovely smiles. ;0) Commercial kibbles don't contain the enzymes that break down tartar. Raw meats DO. While the grinding action of a VERY hard kibble can chip tartar off teeth- it does NOTHING to prevent it from forming- and many forumlas actually encourage it. Gnawing through a chicken neck is fantastic for a small dog- the bones act as natural floss. Turkey necks are more appropriate for a large dog. My rescue girl came to my home with GREEN teeth- it was truly awful. She was only 2 1/2 years old- and had never eaten anything but Pedigree kibble. We scheduled an appointment with the dental specialist for the following week- but after only a few DAYS of raw food, she no longer needed any more than a simple, un-anesthetized scaling. :) I don't agree with feeding dogs cheap, commercial kibble for MANY reasons. But my dental issues aren't my main concern. After all- EVERY dog deserves to have their teeth maintained- brushing is as important for them as it is for us. For long lived breeds like my own- it's even MORE important to start early and stick with it. So, though I'm VERY glad you've had such luck with it... many, many, many people and their pets DO NOT. It's very important for people to understand that every dog is different- and one person's experiences will vary from the next. If you feed a dog a HEALTHY, BALANCED diet (raw chicken on it's own is NOT an example of this, btw) they will benefit in all manners of health. YES- kibbles can be healthy, too- SOME can. But ALL dogs should see the vet regularly, and deserve basic dental hygiene. A kibble diet on it's own- will NOT accomplish this without EXTREME luck.
Here are a couple of links if you're interested in raw and or BARF diets. Some of the things you can use as a supplement to whatever you feed. The pet-grub site is great and easy to understand and is for raw diet. The other site is good also, and is for the BARF diet. Read them. You'll learn a lot! http://www.pet-grub.com/ http://www.touchmoon.com/dotters/raw/index.shtml LTLGTO
Minniyar-You know my story about my old cocker spaniel and her nasty teeth and she ate nothing but Iams kibble for years. No table scraps, just kibble. It didn't help her any. I think you are lucky. I think some dogs are just more tartar prone.