Just changed to a raw meat....

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by GD91, Jan 4, 2014.

  1. GD91

    GD91 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Diet for our dogs & cat.

    I've got to admit, it hasn't even been a day & I am already noticing massive improvement.

    I thought something was "off" after picking the thousandth sloppy poop out of the garden. It was completely disgusting & would just stick to everything like slop & ugh! I have worked with pigs & other bad poop machines, but that dog poop in my garden was seriously taking the mick.

    TMI, I know but it was just reddish (not bloody) brown slop everywhere & it smelt foul to the point of rotten. There was a lot of it & the dogs were going the toilet 5 x or more a day each & straining hard when they did while also looking fed up. #we have 2 dogs.

    I let our dogs in & one of them bolted onto the sofa & flattened herself against it with an expression of misery & discomfort, letting out a big stinky fart as she did so.

    What the hell?

    The past 2 years we have kept our dogs on a strict tinned meat & Wagg biscuit diet to try & help get rid of the gas, the smells & the obvious discomfort of one of our poor dogs.

    It didn't help at all... in fact I'd have said it made it much worse.

    Yesterday I finally decided to do some research. I'm a wannabe zoologist who went to a zoological college for 2 years & couldn't understand why I was feeding recommended food that was, to me, NOT doing my dogs any favors.

    I'll start with the issues & symptoms. These dogs are 6 years & 3 years. The oldest dog is suffering the most for about 4 - 5 years. Rottweiler (3) & staffordshire bull terrier (6).

    BOTH DOGS HAVE DULL COATS.

    BOTH DOGS NOW HAVE DENTAL ISSUES (ONE SERIOUS, ONE MINOR).

    BOTH DOGS HAVE CONSTANT ISSUES WITH DIGESTION, FLATULENCE & BLOAT, particularly after feeding.

    BOTH DOGS SMELL. NOT A DOGGY SMELL, MORE A MUSTY, ROTTEN TINGE.

    BOTH DOGS ARE ALWAYS LOOKING MISERABLE & UNCOMFORTABLE.


    Surely everyone who owns a dog doesn't put up with this, I wondered. Dog ownership is supposed to be a joy. After all, my commercial pet food says it "promotes healthy digestion" & "Keeps teeth healthy".
    Yet these symptoms being shown by my dogs were all signs I'd lean't as symptoms of Malnutrition at college AKA Lack of essential nutrients.

    And that's when I finally read the label.

    It contained "Rabbit (6%), Cereal & sugar."

    I was stunned. That does not make a healthy balanced diet, no way in hell even with supplemental additives etc. Its very, very poor. Their complete wagg was along similar ingredients & also included a load of additives & other gobbledegook which could be many things listed under one ingredient.

    The main ingredient seemed to be cereal... no wonder they were bloated & constantly going the toilet!

    I quickly got on line & of course stumbled upon the raw meat diet which I spent hours researching all night. I gathered tons of data on canine nutrition, the livestyle of wolves & feral dogs. I also gathered online data & the reports from fellow poet owners who have moved their pet from a pet food diet onto raw meat.

    Of course I read some cases where some people had had bad experiences with feeding the raw meat diet, but they were opposed by many more people promoting this feeding method & seemed in the minority. Of course each canine & their owner is different, but it seemed to me an all round option worth a try.

    So I did (hubby wasn't keen & needed a little persuasion) but I was on a roll after being up all night.

    My dogs began on it this morning & the change is unbelievable.

    They have passed light wind twice ( I gave them a slice of bread each which probably caused it, won't feed it again) but its been nowhere near the powerful stenches they were producing. For the first time in 2 years they have been allowed to roam the home & lie in the living room today. Before the smell from their farts made this extremely unpleasant & they had been confined to the hallway with the door shut & windows open & still the smell was really powerful.

    Both dogs have only been the toilet once today & they both seem much more comfortable & playful. We gave them a rawhide chew each & rather than trying to gulp it down in one go, they both relaxed & chewed calmly, enjoying themselves.

    Their coats have already improved a little.

    The change was almost immediate too, it was very surprising.

    Also I have noticed they are no longer eating the other animals excrement (Chickens, cat, quail) or stealing rabbit food (Yes, RABBIT FOOD!) & bird fatballs (Yes, BIRD FATBALLS!).
    For now I will assume that they were trying to make up for nutrient deficiencies by doing the above.

    So far they have had raw rinsed bacon with rinds, raw eggs & vegetables.

    They completely ignored the veg & left it in the dish. Everything else went down with relish & there have been no side effects so far. This completely backed up the "Dogs are carnivores, not omnivores" theory I'd been coming across a lot online.
    This completely conflicted against what I always believed & was told at college by (You guess) a commercial dog food executive who gave us 3 lectures on dog & cat nutrition. Even our normal lecturer who sat in on these classes didn't know or believe anything he didn't mention. We were all told the same "They are the experts & any other diet fed will be deficient in nutrition". And we all believed that & spent our lessons learning about the minimal nutritional requirements (not ingredients) of dog & cat food.

    From what I know.... If a dog was a TRUE omnivore, it should not have a problem with eating or digesting raw vegetables that are not mixed in with meat. I believe that if fed a raw meat diet long enough including stomach content, my two dogs would give up seeking any fruit or veg completely. That's in theory.

    After all, a nutrient deficient animal WILL eat foods that are not good for it & not normally part of their diet to try & get any nutrients that the animal craves out of it.
    A bit like a pregnant woman will gnaw on things she shouldn't because she is suffering a deficiency (Sorry, it was the first example I could think of, no pun intended to anyone expecting a new bundle of joy).

    Anyway,

    Dogs should not be fed lots of cereal (note).

    My dogs are on a one week trial with this diet.

    So far the change is dramatic.

    If this works out I will never buy commercial dog food again, I would rather take time to prepare various raw meat meals myself & be glad my dogs are pleased & lively.

    The cat is also happier & being fed the same raw food as the dogs. His coat has slightly improved & he seems brighter eyed & bushier tailed.


    Oh, and you also have it from me.... people who go to animal colleges only know what we are told by commercial food brands. We were not even ALLOWED to discuss other methods of feeding during that course. We were only allowed to talk about feeding Science Plan & all of our work had to involve Science plan (I guess we know who funded the lecture).


    So.... Any raw meat feeders here with dogs or cats?

    How did you find it?

    Have you noticed any improvement to your pet?

    Your feedback is appreciated, Thankyou.
     
  2. nzpouter

    nzpouter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    your next move should be to whole prey diet...
     
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I've not changed to this yet, but am wanting to. Still need to do more research. Our dogs don't really have any issues as you've described, but I know the feed we give now has lots of corn in it and that's not what a dog's meant to eat. We have a new pup, a Great Dane, and I'm wondering how she'd do on it. Our previous Dane died from Addison's disease at age 4. I need to research Addison's more, but believe it's a metabolic disease and that always makes me think diet. Don't want to lose this pup to the same thing.

    I know expense is going to play into it a lot, especially for my husband. I'm hoping if I can recover enough of an immune system after the chemo, I'll be able to butcher my own animals. I already have cockerels coming out my ears (and am thinking about buying an incubator, so you know I'll have a never ending supply lol) and wouldn't mind raising a few rabbits. We've also butchered goats and deer, so I think that could mitigate the expense. just waiting to see how the poor old body recovers!
     
  4. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    I used to sell all of my extra cockerels to a young lady that used a raw diet for her show dogs.

    Then she found out how easy it was to raise chickens......
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2014
  5. GD91

    GD91 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thats, what we are planning. Currently we have rabbits, quail & chicken, but as I've just started on them we only have small numbers & not enough extras. In fact, there aren't any extra animals at the moment.

    I'm thinking just pick an extra, cull it & give the dogs half each fresh & raw once the animals begin breeding.

    Currently all our animals are too young to breed apart from the rabbits, but I still have yet to acquire a buck for my does [​IMG] [​IMG] His hutch is currently in my living room anyway brooding my quail. Its too cold here to put them out until spring & I have more quail eggs coming out to me.

    Still no smells [​IMG]

    DH has got them some raw mince for their tea tomorrow, I've got to find some organ meat & bone meat tomorrow. Local butchers, here I come [​IMG]

    I can't believe, after all the information I've found online, certain vets etc claim its irrelevant. Its perfectly relevant! Thats why the internet exists, to share information. They just can't be bothered testing anything & probably see it as outside their profession.

    But if vets don't help point owners & commercial feed producers towards healthier meals, who will? Vets should be more involved in the diet & nutrition, especially when it affects the overall health of pets.
    I know my vet would advise against it [​IMG] He's in love with Science Plan dry meal which I point blank refused to feed when He offered it many years ago. I've known too many pets on that stuff to die, mainly from degenerative organ failure. Ironic, I studied Science Plan, but what I studied about it never proved it to be any good. In theory it sounded great, in practice I've known many pets to fall ill on it.

    So, I'd never risk feeding it to any pet long term.

    My dog looks more comfortable, guess she's much happier not being a gas machine [​IMG]
     
  6. nzpouter

    nzpouter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    most vets endorsed whichever feed co supplement their income... so yeah, they'll push for the brand you'll see in their waiting lounge...
     
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  7. Chickerdoodle13

    Chickerdoodle13 The truth is out there...

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    Most vets don't agree with the raw diet because we see a lot of problems caused by it. Salmonella is a big one for both the animals and the humans of the household. The other issue is malnutrition. People often don't feed a balanced enough diet when they feed raw.

    When people tell me they are thinking about raw, I tell them the facts I know but suggest they research it VERY thoroughly, and not just the propaganda articles. I suggest reading scientific articles written by scientists that show actual results.

    A raw diet needs to consist of very varied meat, including organs and bones. They need dark meat, light meat, red meat, liver, kidneys, etc. and you MUST include vegetables. Your dog is not eating the veggies because they are not used to them. But dogs are not obligate carnivores like cats. There are many nutrients they cannot get from a meat only diet, so (mostly) veggies are a must.

    Know the signs and symptoms of salmonella though, and be prepared to see it. Some dogs never get it, but some do very poorly when they do contract it. The worst thing I think is the risk of salmonella for the humans though. Anytime you touch the animal, you should be prepared to wash your hands if you feed raw.

    Despite what many people think about raw, it is not cheap and not easy. While I am not fully against it, I would not feed my dog raw. The university hospital jokes that a raw diet equals a trip to the vet, which too many times turns out to be true :-(

    I encourage every person looking to switch pet foods to do their research to better make the best informed decision for themselves and their pet. That way, people will have a better handle on the actual risks and benefits of any diet. If you feed raw and accept there are risks and are prepared to feed a balanced diet, I have no issue with it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2014
  8. GD91

    GD91 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Very informative post. Are you a vet then? Yes, I'd read about some peoples pets taking badly to it. I assumed it was because of inappropriate feeding (or illness as you put ) . I also found scientific writings although they varied a little about the pro's, con's & general opinion.
    One thing that was clear was the diet had to have variety, as yours or mine would.

    I did read bits about roadkill being added to commercial dog food & many "scare" stories etc, to be honest those parts didn't bother me. I'm not looking for a miracle, just something to make my own dogs healthier. I feel let down by the fact that the bad stuff in those meals far outweighs the good & it even says so on the back of the tin. I also feel let down by the commercial dog food producers for doing this to my dogs. Also feeding raw is cheaper for us than buying better dog food which is ridiculously expensive here,
    [​IMG]
    I was actually thinking about just giving the dog the meat (freerange) with the stomach intact. In theory that should give them vegetation, as the animals we own are fed vegetables almost daily?

    When I put the dog wasn't an omnivore I didn't mean it required no vegetables or greens, I just meant naturally it would probably find that in what they eat. I bet dogs who wouldn't eat raw veg will eat it half digested from another animals stomach with relish, like most carnivores will. [​IMG]

    I know dogs have more vegetative requirements than cats, don't worry about me feeding them a no veg diet at all. Veg will be included in some form or another.

    So far we've had nothing but massive improvement,but we are only 2 days in. I have been rinsing the meat etc, my dh used to be a butcher so we know about food hygiene, bad meat etc

    I wanted to be a vet, but couldn't afford it ( only 22 years old) .I have worked at veterinary practices, one equine & one was a small town practice. I don't think vets are bad, in fact I know most are nice with the best intentions ,I just think they aren't educated enough on whats actually in the meal tins.

    Would you agree though,that if vets were better educated on nutrition then they could also study & compare some of the issues with their patients?

    Then, with the vets backing up the owners claims (If that was the case & suspicions were true) Pet food companies could be forced to improve their brands nutrition & pet owners wouldn't be feeding raw or otherwise.

    I don't know whether you could believe me, but the health problems we have had with our dogs the past 2 years since we kept them on only commercial food is unbelievable.They were on butchers & scraps , but the price went up dramatically & we had to switch to cheaper dog food.
    Originally we were trying to prevent health problems by limiting them to just commercial pet food. We stopped giving treats etc because we thought they were causing the problems with digestion, mainly evil smelling gas & bloat, constant pooping, dull,dry itchy coat, pale gums, dry eyes & just generally looking "Off" or in the staffys case, downright miserable & upset.

    It wasn't until I finally got fed up of it all yesterday that I decided to do some online research & I actually went to the shop & read through the labels of most of the dogs food & the main ingredients in each was cereal,

    Yet, one scientific paper stated grains are bad for a dogs health & should not be incorporated into the diet since dogs stomachs struggle to cope with it & that can lead to long term digestive problems.

    I really don't know what else to do except feed them a raw meat diet, its cheaper than the better brands of dog feed & I can't keep them on cheap food because its disgusting. My home was stinking, the garden was buried under poo & I mean a really horrible, rancid rotting smell (Dogs farting) to the point we couldn't even have people around. That smell is now gone & never, ever will it come into my home again. [​IMG]
     
  9. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I agree about the research and making sure you're giving a well-rounded diet. I've read so many places "Oh, I'm giving my dog a raw diet, I feed her half a boneless skinless chicken breast every night and that's all she needs cause she's a dog and dogs just eat meat" [​IMG]

    The little bit of research I've done since reading the OP has lead me to think we probably won't do it with our Dane puppy. Puppies seem to be harder to do raw successfully, and with the large breed/heavy growth rate my husband will be much more comfortable feeding a large breed puppy formula. I'll keep this in mind, though---information/education is never wasted!
     
  10. Chickerdoodle13

    Chickerdoodle13 The truth is out there...

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    I'm actually a vet student right now, but I work as a radiology tech and we get quite a bit of time in the animal hospital. It's been a really interesting journey, and I look forward to all that I learn! I'm currently interested in poultry medicine, but we'll see if that changes. I may find something else I like better. Pathology had also caught my eye, so I may look into that more!

    If you are interested in vet school, don't give up hope! I'm 24 and can't afford it either. I'm going to school on mostly loans but I feel good about being able to make the payments when I graduate, as long as I am smart about my money. It's a wonderful field, but not for everyone. School is definitely a lot of hard work! My classes are very tough, but it is worth it because I love what I do.

    I definitely think people (vets included) could stand to be more educated on nutrition. I go to a lot of nutrition lectures and research on my own. It does bug me that a lot of vets like science diet. I would feed it to my animal if I had no other alternative, but it's definitely not my first choice of food. They are constantly giving us free and discounted food though so a lot of vets push it because they feel obligated to do so.

    I've seen some wonderful things happen when people switch foods, so I definitely believe the food your dogs was on caused problems. We had a dog at the rescue where I volunteered who had terrible skin problems and was always stinky. I recommended switching her food and all of that cleared up.

    As far as veggies go, I'm not sure stomach contents are the best substitute. Good veggies are things like sweet potato, pumpkin, dark leafy greens, some herbs, etc. (you could probably look up a more comprehensive list online). Start slow and see what they like. Then try to increase the variation after you get a feel for what they like.

    You are right that grains are not the best, but I've also seen many dogs do just fine with them. It's really an individual thing I think. My family dog is in what is generally considered a more mediocre food, but he's old, has very few health problems, and has always been at a good weight. So I can't say that mediocre foods are bad for all dogs, but may cause problems for some.

    Sounds like you are on the right track. Just be sure to sanitize things very well and again, wash wash wash your hands. Also beware of having young children around your dogs while feeding raw. They are usually the most vulnerable.
     

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