Contributed by Alina
Everyone’s heard of “raw” by now. That may be all someone’s heard about it. The truth is this --
all raw is not created equal. However, the philosophy is simple -- feed your carnivore a species
appropriate diet. In a perfect world, your dog would be living with you as a companion,
symbiotically with nature. Hunting prey, grazing on vegetation and spending the majority of daysoutdoors and working. The reason being, their ancestors the wolf did so - minus the humancompanions. As such, their DNA predisposed them to this. But we do not live in a perfect world.
Many of our domesticated dogs in Canada today live as house companions. They spend the
majority of days indoors, waiting for their family to come home from their various life activities. If they’re lucky they get a walk, a scoop of kibble and a “good boy” or two. This new lifestyle has caused man to have much angst and guilt about the way their furry companion spends its days. So, the four legged family member is inundated with toys, baked goods and treats in hopes of resurrecting some happiness. Grim, I know. But realistic.
The raw feeding movement began as an idealistic movement to return dogs to the glory days of health. What it has turned into, is an express of love to negate the guilt. All of a sudden, the best part of your pet’s day is meal time. A fresh, whole food diet of raw meat (all important parts) and added vegetables/fruits simply cannot compare to a highly processed bag of irradiated carbohydrates. The excitement (sometimes overly) of preparing it’s meal brings joy to both the pooch and their human. The beauty of it all, is that this love and joy has translated into better health for our pets. Why? It’s simple. Carnivores have different bodies than humans - so feeding them a diet like ours - filled with processed junk food, heavy on starches/carbs, sugars and cooked food is simply not what their bodies were designed for. For decades now, it has been believed that feeding your dog dry pellets from a bag was somehow more appropriate for them because companies like Hill’s or Spratt’s many decades ago, decided so (see here for the history of kibble). If you think about it from a human perspective, if you went to a doctor and he encouraged you to eat less fresh foods, you’d probably accuse him of incompetency.
So what do dogs need to eat? The reason not all raw is created equal is because this mealtime
can be an expression of love - and not all love is expressed the same. So opinions flare on best
methods of this and best ratios of that. The commonly followed commercial raw food diet is
based on the premise of hunted prey. If your dog was to hunt prey, it would likely consume parts like various organs, muscle meat, tissues, and the stomach contents of it’s herbivore prey. But all is not as it seems. The raw feeding movement today is changing by the day. Those different beliefs in ratios of animal parts to consume, different beliefs on what proteins are appropriate for which dogs, how much they need and how often they need it start heated debates. So where do you start?
If you’re venturing on the path of finding more about raw, we highly recommend you visit a local independent raw feeding store in your area, one with nutrition experts who can provide you with guidance on your pet. One that does what they do because with every ounce of their being, they are dedicated to the health of pets and not the dollar behind it. Because the reality is this -- the one-size fits all raw can only take one so far.
Every animal, like every human, differs. Our genetics play an important role to disease and immune health. One size does not fit all -- and guidance from someone knowledgeable enough to explain that a Yorkie has a predisposition to dental disease or that puppies need to have calcium and phosphorus balanced can also help you understand where to start and most importantly explain why. Of course, there’s alwaysGoogle or Facebook groups... But those sources can not only confuse but also ostracizes someone new to raw feeding. They are also made up of the general population who may only have real experience with their own pets, not yours. There’s a million opinions on the internet on every topic. Only you can be your own compass on receiving proper information. And remember this: 100% of the time - you decide what your pet eats. Not them. So give them a head start in having a good quality of life and feed them fresh balanced raw food.
For more information on raw feeding, feel free to visit www.thehungrypooch.com/faq or visit TheHungry Pooch’s locations in Windsor, Ontario. Find us on Facebook and Instagram @thehungrypooch or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Hungry Pooch (Pet Health Food Store)