I have stepped into a new world of raw feeding my dogs. It’s something that I have been interested in for months. In fact, I have almost felt convicted when it comes to my dogs. My family eats so clean and Paleo, but twice a day I find myself pouring kibble out of a bag down for my dogs. I started to feel guilty in a way. I didn’t even think there was another way that I can afford. Since our children were born, we have had to discontinue the use of $50 bags of high-end dog food. I thought since it was expensive, then it must be good. Well, not so much.
Dogs are carnivores. If out in the wild, they would live on a diet high in raw meat. It’s only when we started to socialize dogs with humans that processed “dog-food” came about. And even if you were to look at the ingredients of a bag of dog-food, you would find that it would be mostly grains and veggies…with some meat fillers. Poor doggies! So, that’s how my quest for finding the proper nutrition for my dogs began. I’ve heard of raw-feeding but I thought I could never do that. I have no idea why, but all I needed was the “push” to get me started on this path.
Yesterday, a natural group that I am in on Facebook started talking about raw-feeding. My mind couldn’t grasp it because it seemed too easy. I mean, seriously, you just throw a piece of raw chicken (bone-in) down for the dogs to eat? What about the bones splintering? What about the bacteria? What about them becoming blood-thirsty and possibly devouring my leg in my sleep?
Whatever, I’m doing it. I threw a chicken leg down for my fawn colored pug and a chicken thigh down for my black pug. They spent the next 30 minutes eating it, enjoying it, savoring it. It was the first real food they had EVER had. I almost cried. I saw the pleasure and delight in their eyes. You know when you bite into a savory, perfectly-cooked steak? The “oh-my-goodness-this-is-the-best-thing-I-have-ever-ate” feeling that you get? I actually feel like they love me more now. Last night my fawn pug, Samson, became more lively than I have ever seen him. He is my dog that hates eating. I would put kibble in his bowl in the morning and he would finally eat it at 8pm that night when his stomach became so fiercly hungry. I just figured he didn’t need much food. When I gave him the chicken leg it actually took him like 20 minutes to figure out how to hold the leg with his paws so he could tear away the meat! In less than 24 hours I have noticed a huge difference in him.
I’m not sure on all the proper methods of raw-feeding, but I plan on following the Prey Model diet for dogs. This is 5-10% organs, 10-15% edible bones, and 80-85% edible meat. The models and resembles, as closely as possible, what carnivorous canines have been eating for thousands of years.
Raw-feeding also seems like it’s going to be cheaper than feeding packaged dog-food. Yesterday I bought 10lbs of chicken, 2lbs of chicken organs, 3lbs of pork necks, and 3lbs of chicken backs (with meat) for under $15. This should last them a little over 3 weeks. I also plan on giving them some kefir every morning to help assist with the digestion of this new diet. Today as I was portioning the organs they got a few chicken hearts and split a big can of sardines! Needless to say, I am their hero!
More info on raw feeding: