Raw food questions

Use this section to discuss pros and cons of variuous feeding regimes and other matters relating to nutrition
beeeerock

Re: Raw food questions

Post by beeeerock » 29 Jan 2014, 20:07

Bid wrote:
beeeerock wrote: FWIW, if a vet doesn't have a clue about nutrition, you should be looking for another... it's very much part of what they SHOULD know. If your doctor prescribed cholesterol meds but didn't mention that perhaps you should reduce your consumption of A, B, and C foods, would you have any confidence in him/her?
Lol - you're missing the point, which is that nutrition in detail is not part of the vets training over here.
I'm not going to argue over how much of the subject they had in university or even how many of them slept through it. But the basics of nutrition are pretty much the building blocks of the core understanding of how an animal works. Just because a vet graduated doesn't mean he's good. They're human... some are smart, some not so smart, some lazy... etc. If your vet isn't able to show knowledge where you think he should, it's time to go shopping for another. You'd move on if your GP gave you blank stares in response to your questions about your own personal health.

If raw feeding is going to be healthy for a dog, the owner MUST do the research to ensure they are providing the correct balance to the diet. Concerns about fillers and preservatives aside, a quality dry food has had some expert input into what is required to maintain a balance. Here's an extract from this page - http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/he ... -pets.aspx - that discusses balance:

There should be four primary components in a nutritional program for your dog or cat, including:

Meat, including organs
Veggie and fruit puree
Homemade vitamin and mineral mix
Beneficial additions like probiotics, digestive enzymes, and super green foods (these aren’t required to balance the diet, but can be beneficial for vitality)
A healthy dog’s diet should contain about 75 percent meat/organs/bones and 25 percent veggies/fruit (this mimics the GI contents of prey, providing fiber and antioxidants as well). For healthy kitties, the mix should be about 88 percent meat/organs/bones and 12 percent veggies.

Fresh, whole food provides the majority of nutrients pets need, and a micronutrient vitamin/mineral mix takes care of the deficiencies that do exist, namely iron, copper, manganese, zinc, iodine, vitamin D, folic acid, taurine and Biotin (for cats).

Keep in mind that just because nutritional deficiencies aren’t obvious in your pet doesn’t mean they don’t exist. A considerable amount of research has gone into determining what nutrients dogs and cats need to survive. At a minimum, you do a disservice to your pet by taking a casual approach to insuring he receives all the nutrients he requires for good health. The kitten who is the subject of this article is a good example of a pet whose breeder meant well and didn’t see any immediate damage to the animal, yet the kitten became acutely ill on the raw chicken-only diet.

If you’re preparing homemade food for your pet, I can’t emphasize enough the importance of insuring the diet you feed is nutritionally balanced. It doesn't matter whose recipe you follow, but it does matter that it's balanced. You can accomplish this by using balanced pet food recipes you prepare at home, or by feeding commercially available pet food that meets the minimum standards set forth by NRC, AAFCO and/or the ancestral diet analysis.


Embarking on the RAW lifestyle for your animal requires a serious commitment from the owner and attention to the details. Humans can live as Vegans, but they usually wind up getting B-12 shots and suffering from other issues relating to what is missing from their diet... unless they pay strict attention to their dietary needs and not just what they "can't" eat.

In both cases, you have to be sure you're not just jumping on the band wagon because someone said it was fantastic.

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Bid
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Re: Raw food questions

Post by Bid » 29 Jan 2014, 22:30

Always bearing in mind of course, that Dr Becker who writes the Mercola pet health advice, sells exactly the sort of supplement she says we should be giving them! :wink:

You are right about doing your research of course, whatever you choose to feed, and if you prefer to feed a dry food it is every bit as important to research the ingredients as feeding a raw diet (especially in the case of the Hills food, which as far as I can tell is pushed by every vet in the UK! )
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Roodlepippin
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Re: Raw food questions

Post by Roodlepippin » 29 Jan 2014, 23:09

I agree, Beeerock, that's quite a balanced article. (Although the author does rather ruin the scholarly effect at the end by saying words to the effect of "most of the preceding information is based on anecdotal evidence" :D ).

I also agree that massive claims are made for raw diets which aren't necessarily backed up by research (has there been any proper research yet?) and that done clumsily or in ignorance it could be detrimental to the dog.

But the problem is, if you instructed people to make sure they got x-y-z minerals and trace elements and in exactly the right quantities at all times, we'd be so terrified and anxious that we'd all be on kibble too! It sounds awfully difficult and complicated, when in fact most people manage to feed themselves perfectly adequately, year-in, year-out.

Vegans may well end up having b12 shots, but that's because they deliberately exclude a vast range of foodstuffs from their diet. By comparison, the great advantage of a raw diet is that you do tend to feed a wide variety of foodstuffs, so most bases are covered, most of the time. Woody has a huge range of protein, carbohydrates and fats every day via raw meat, eggs, leftovers, vegetables, fruit and treats.. I defy any normal animal (or person) to find themselves nutritionally deficient given that smorgasbord to choose from.

Kibble, on the other hand, is marketed as "complete" so the person dishing it out feels - justifiably - that they shouldn't need to give their dog anything else.

Anyway, it's each to their own, isn't it. I'm sort of falling between two stools, feeding raw and a bit of kibble. But it's obviously going to have to be one of those areas where we agree to differ!
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beeeerock

Re: Raw food questions

Post by beeeerock » 29 Jan 2014, 23:17

Bid wrote: (especially in the case of the Hills food, which as far as I can tell is pushed by every vet in the UK! )
Interesting that you mention them specifically... because I've understood that company tends to be quite 'supportive' (shall we say...! :roll: ) of veterinary programs. Probably a good thing that Big Tobacco doesn't support M.D. university programs...

However, when a vet appears reluctant to support or recommend raw feeding, I suspect it is often because doing so could start something nobody wants to finish... simply that the vet knows the average pet will do fine with typical dry food. He/she has no way of knowing whether the pet owner is going to do the research and make the extra effort necessary to *safely* feed raw. It's completely out of the vet's control and supporting the plan could lead to liability later, when the dog has issues with what it's been fed.

Much like a mechanic supporting a customer's idea to buy an old Morgan or Jaguar... if the customer isn't committed to keeping it running, that business relationship is toast...

I appear to be down on raw because I think 9 out of 10 people do it incorrectly or inadequately - however you want to state it. On average, the typical animal will therefore be better off with dry food. If anyone is relying on a forum such as this to get the details down, they probably shouldn't be going that route... it's bigger than that, and more important than that... IMHO.

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AustinsMumma
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Re: Raw food questions

Post by AustinsMumma » 29 Jan 2014, 23:39

:roll: :roll:
Austin Doodle came to town riding on a pony......
Austin's profession?... Eating Mummy's STEAK
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Liz!!
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Re: Raw food questions

Post by Liz!! » 29 Jan 2014, 23:45

Just been accepted onto the 'ARSE' !! site on FB. They do seem very keen to say they don't support kibble and raw - but I have no choice, I have to be able to feed Lola, as an assistance dog, on some kibble, so if we go away or out for the day or whatever i have some food I can carry with me to give her - she is with me all the time of course.

I couldn't carry raw meat. But feeding her kibble after giving her a raw diet when at home for most of the week would be wrong as well.

She is the type of dog that brings up bile if her food is too far apart, so I couldn't leave her till at home.

It does say on the site to leave 12 hours between the last kibble and the first raw, to allow the kibble to pass through - so I could do that every day, make sure there is 12 hours between her last feed of kibble and cooked meat Nature's Menu, (say at 6pm) and her first feed of the day, raw, at 9-10 am.

Anyhow, I've ordered sachets of raw complete food from Nature's Menu now (I'd never do the raw by buying the stuff we don't have enough freezer, in fact we only have a fridge freezer).
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Lola is a UK Assistance Dog, trained to alert me for low blood sugar by Medical Detection Dogs (http://www.medicaldetectiondogs.org.uk)

beeeerock

Re: Raw food questions

Post by beeeerock » 29 Jan 2014, 23:53

Roodlepippin wrote:Vegans may well end up having b12 shots, but that's because they deliberately exclude a vast range of foodstuffs from their diet. By comparison, the great advantage of a raw diet is that you do tend to feed a wide variety of foodstuffs, so most bases are covered, most of the time. Woody has a huge range of protein, carbohydrates and fats every day via raw meat, eggs, leftovers, vegetables, fruit and treats.. I defy any normal animal (or person) to find themselves nutritionally deficient given that smorgasbord to choose from.
Yes, vegans deliberately exclude, often with religious fervour. Problem, and what I was trying to say, is that many people toss down some mixed meat and bones believing that's all the dog needs. So the dog is deficient due to the owner's poor understanding or assumptions. "It's what wolves eat, so it must be good for my dog..." Wrong. Wolves ate pretty much everything, including the stomach contents. And wolves weren't manipulated by man to become little toy animals with all the potential issues associated with these intentional mutations. Darwin governed, and if there was a problem with a sharp bone, or a blockage ensued, the animal died. People don't tend to be quite as dispassionate or accepting of nature taking its course when it comes to their pets... and in reality, dogs have probably evolved to eat closer to what we eat which is of course a mixture of many things.

If you look through the plethora of posts over time, on this site alone, talking about raw feeding, you'll probably note that vegetables and fruits aren't mentioned very often. And if they are, it's often in passing without the recognition of their importance.

As per my comment in the post above, the fact that you recognize the complete meal requires these other things likely puts you in the 1 out of 10 category I mentioned! :)

Liz!!
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Re: Raw food questions

Post by Liz!! » 29 Jan 2014, 23:58

beeeerock wrote:"It's what wolves eat, so it must be good for my dog..." Wrong. Wolves ate pretty much everything, including the stomach contents.
They do eat stomach contents but not bowel. (Friend who films wolves for long periods told me exactly what the eat.)
beeeerock wrote:If you look through the plethora of posts over time, on this site alone, talking about raw feeding, you'll probably note that vegetables and fruits aren't mentioned very often. And if they are, it's often in passing without the recognition of their importance.
Some people probably don't recognise the significance of stomach contents - they eat herbivores in the main, whose stomach contents contain partially digested fruit and veg etc. from which they obtain certain minerals etc.
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Lola is a UK Assistance Dog, trained to alert me for low blood sugar by Medical Detection Dogs (http://www.medicaldetectiondogs.org.uk)

beeeerock

Re: Raw food questions

Post by beeeerock » 30 Jan 2014, 00:17

Liz!! wrote:
beeeerock wrote:"It's what wolves eat, so it must be good for my dog..." Wrong. Wolves ate pretty much everything, including the stomach contents.
They do eat stomach contents but not bowel. (Friend who films wolves for long periods told me exactly what the eat.)
Yes, I should have clarified that... Thinking back to some poop threads here, I can only assume they're like dogs and prefer to eat that stuff *after* it's been deposited on the ground!! Although without a human around to voice disgust, maybe they don't bother... :shock: :lol: :lol:
Liz!! wrote:
beeeerock wrote:If you look through the plethora of posts over time, on this site alone, talking about raw feeding, you'll probably note that vegetables and fruits aren't mentioned very often. And if they are, it's often in passing without the recognition of their importance.
Some people probably don't recognise the significance of stomach contents - they eat herbivores in the main, whose stomach contents contain partially digested fruit and veg etc. from which they obtain certain minerals etc.
Bingo. I should have extended my comment to make that clear! :) It's the key to why the vegetables and fruit are necessary! :)

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Bid
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Re: Raw food questions

Post by Bid » 30 Jan 2014, 00:20

In the wild, wolves only eat the stomach and contents of small mammals such as rabbits. which they consume whole. Larger animals - the wolves will shake out the stomach contents and eat the stomach walls.

Fruit and vegetables aren't actually important parts of the dogs diet( although a lot of people choose to feed them). The only nutrient they need that they can't get from muscle meat, liver, bone, fish and egg, is molybdenum - for my dogs I feed a kelp supplement to provide that.
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Pollydoodle
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Re: Raw food questions

Post by Pollydoodle » 30 Jan 2014, 00:49

My girlie says she likes to help herself to the raspberries in the garden when they're ripe :wink: On the otherhand Smilie says banana is near as good as rump steak and if you turn your back in the veg garden an entire cabbage disappears if he is about :lol:

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Re: Raw food questions

Post by Liz!! » 30 Jan 2014, 00:49

[quote="Bid" Larger animals - the wolves will shake out the stomach contents and eat the stomach walls. [/quote]

My friend was quite clear on this point - he lived with them for months. The stomach AND contents are eaten - they also eat grass etc. But leave the bowels.

I questioned him quite closely because I was thinking of feeding Lola Orijen and wanted to know why there was fruit and veg in it. He told me - and then i asked what he fed his dogs. It was Orijen.
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Lola is a UK Assistance Dog, trained to alert me for low blood sugar by Medical Detection Dogs (http://www.medicaldetectiondogs.org.uk)

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Bid
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Re: Raw food questions

Post by Bid » 30 Jan 2014, 01:13

Liz!! wrote: Nope - my friend was quite clear on this point - he lived with them for months. The stomach AND contents are eaten - they also eat grass etc. But leave the bowels. .
Interesting - his observations are different to all the wolf studies I have read on that. The thinking to explain the behaviour observed is that as wolves are not equipped to digest carbohydrates, and as the contents of the stomachs of herbivores is predominantly undigested vegetable matter, they don't eat it, although they may consume some digested veg matter that is stuck to the intestine walls. :|
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beeeerock

Re: Raw food questions

Post by beeeerock » 30 Jan 2014, 02:35

Bid wrote:
Liz!! wrote: Nope - my friend was quite clear on this point - he lived with them for months. The stomach AND contents are eaten - they also eat grass etc. But leave the bowels. .
Interesting - his observations are different to all the wolf studies I have read on that. The thinking to explain the behaviour observed is that as wolves are not equipped to digest carbohydrates, and as the contents of the stomachs of herbivores is predominantly undigested vegetable matter, they don't eat it, although they may consume some digested veg matter that is stuck to the intestine walls. :|
From what I've understood, dogs/wolves don't have the enzyme necessary to digest cellulose. Depending on the vegetable matter in question, the cellulose content will vary and could presumably be non-existent. No big deal, as it just goes through them anyway. I've scooped proof of this from the back yard... 8)

And yes, I could still read it... :lol:

Speculating... perhaps the herbivore has already begun the digestion process and the absence of the enzyme is moot.

Whatever the case, dogs can and do absorb nutrition from plant matter. There is plenty of information around relating to carbohydrate content in dry foods, arrived at from plant matter... how different plant matter impacts blood sugar levels... etc. How much of this is required for good health is the question.

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Bid
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Re: Raw food questions

Post by Bid » 30 Jan 2014, 09:34

The plant matter fed to dogs isn't digested using enzymnes, but fermented using bacteria lower down in the gut, which is why dogs fed a diet high in carbs tend to have gas and sloppier smellier poo than those fed a species appropriate diet. As already mentiojned by others, it's one of the delights of raw feeding - non-smelly firm poo to pick up! :D :D
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