Feeding a Raw Food Diet

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About a year and a half ago, my two dogs and I made the scary transition to a raw food diet. It was scary for me because I didn’t quite know what I was doing. Upon reflection, however, I find that I never should have put my two dogs on the kibble that’s available, as it is entirely unnatural for their systems and provides very little over all nutritional value.

Even though the kibble producers try very hard with science and the latest available information, there’s still nothing really out on the market that can replace real nutrition available through real food. Dogs, even my toy poodle, have in their genes the nutritional requirements that only raw meat, fruits, and vegetables can give them.

When I first switched them over, I was terrified about giving them bones and raw meat because I was afraid that the bones would splinter, then get caught in their throat and my dogs would end up dying without me knowing what to do. Worse, they would die because I made the choice to move them to a raw food diet. It would be my fault!

I decided to start them off with very large bones. I selected beef ribs because at least that way they’d have to work at getting the bones to splinter. What I didn’t realize was that raw bones don’t splinter, only cooked ones do. Of course, the cow ribs were way too big for my toy poodle, though she sure gave it a good shot to break into them and get the marrow. I refused, at the time, to even entertain the thought of feeding chicken wings or chicken bones of any kind, as there’s a lot of hype around chicken bones splintering in the throats of dogs in particular.

My next selection of raw meat was pork chops. Pork chop bones were much easier for my toy poodle to munch on, but I found that it gave her terrible indigestion. About that time, I found some friends who were also feeding raw food to their animals, and they have some suggestions for me about the indigestion. First, I shouldn’t feed just raw meat. I needed to include raw fruits and vegetables. The only raw fruits and vegetables I shouldn’t include were onions, lots of garlic, and grapes. They also suggested that I include a probiotic, a digestive enzyme, and a source of the omega 3, 6, and 9 oils. As soon as I got those into my dogs’ system, all traces of indigestion went away.

It was also hard to figure out how much raw meat, vegetables, and fruits I should give my dogs. I figured it was related to their weight somehow, but humans are supposed to eat no more food than the size of their fist at any given meal. But the size of the dog’s paw is pretty tiny, and I really thought they needed a little more than that. So, I talked with my friends again, who told me that an active dog should have 10% of its weight in meat, a senior or inactive dog should have about 5% of its weight in meat. They should have complete access to at least three different kinds of vegetables at all times. They should also have at least one, preferably two, different fruit choices at all times. That sounded like very sound advice to me, so I immediately implemented it, much to the delight of my dogs.

The benefits that I’ve seen, directly, from feeding a raw food diet include the dog’s body’s ability to find and maintain it’s ideal weight. I also discovered increased energy, more zest for life, and fewer cases of unknown vomiting episodes. I also witnessed faster healing times. Another benefit of feeding the raw food diet is far fewer visits to the vet’s office than ever before. I used to take my two dogs to the vet, on average, about once every three months. We went for outside of the routine checkups, for blood work, for trying to figure out the latest stomach upset, as well as for normal checkups. They’ve been in to the vet’s office only once, since we switched their diet, for their routine checkup – where they both got a completely clean bill of health.

My current recipe for their raw food diet is between 7% and 8% of their weight in raw meat, but I adjust that up or down depending on the weather and how busy they are. On any given day, I make sure they have access to four different types of vegetables and up to three different kinds of fruits. Each morning, they get one teaspoon of flax oil, one vegetarian digestive enzyme pill, one Sun Chlorella tablet, and a tablespoon of a liquid probiotic. This combination of raw foods and human quality supplements, has given my dogs the nutritional value their systems require. Not only did I completely avoid the rat poison in the kibble products that scared the nation for the past year, but my dogs are now far more healthy than when we began.

Disclosure Statement:  I am not a veterinarian; I do not diagnose medical issues, offer medical advice, prescribe drugs, or perform surgery.  I am a freelance journalist writing about my experiences with my own dogs , incorporating many different complimentary tools found for my own dogs to overcome potential health concerns I have for them. I have been keeping a journal of my findings since July of 1996; I have been privileged to work with several hundred other canines and their families in a wide range of life situations as of the writing of this statement and will gladly provide references should you desire them. Your dog(s) may benefit from the care I’ve provided my own dogs, based on knowledge gained through this experience, courses taken/taught, and animal communication. My role is that of facilitator, assisting you and your dog(s) to attain or maintain a naturally healthy state. The specific results you may see, should you decide to try some of what we’ve done in our family, will be different for each animal. In addition to the articles I write and publish, I also teach massage, Usui Reiki, Quantum Touch, and Animal Communication to owners, caretakers, and practitioners; sell products for animals in these and other holistic and vibrational modalities; provide references to other animal communicators and practitioners.

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