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Feeding a Raw Diet

For anyone interested in feeding a raw diet, there is now a very good resource page at www.rawfeddogs.net which was started by a member of the Yahoo group called Rawfeeding. I've raised 3 Caucasian Ovcharka puppies on a raw diet from weaning and they are in superb condition. The site and group mentioned here do not follow the BARF model, since a carnivores diet generally doesn't include veggies, and BARF is often unnecessarily complex and expensive compared to the prey model which is based on raw meaty bones. If you've looked at BARF and decided it was too complex or time consuming, check out this alternative to a less processed, grain free way of feeding. I've had dogs all my life, 3 on commercial dog foods including kibble before I got my first CO and switched to raw (what his breeder fed). I would never go back, the differences in health, fitness, and general calm are striking.

Michelle

Replies (24)
  • Feeding BARF is a common sense way of enriching your dogs life and diet. However, the forum here is not a know all, end all. If you are interested in switching your dog to a more natural diet, please do your homework. Read everything and make good decisions. This forum is to educate and entertain, Molosserdogs.com, nor the contributor of the information has no liability or responsibility to any damage cause or alleged to be cause by the information posted here. This forum is a place to share ideas, feel free to contribute. thank you Admin
    • For anyone interested in feeding a raw diet, there is now a very good resource page at www.rawfeddogs.net which was started by a member of the Yahoo group called Rawfeeding. I've raised 3 Caucasian Ovcharka puppies on a raw diet from weaning and they are in superb condition. The site and group mentioned here do not follow the BARF model, since a carnivores diet generally doesnt include veggies, and BARF is often uneccessarily complex and expensive compared to the prey model which is based on raw meaty bones. If you've looked at BARF and decided it was too complex or time consuming, check out this alternative to a less processed, grain free way of feeding. I've had dogs all my life, 3 on commercial dog foods including kibble before I got my first CO and switched to raw (what his breeder fed). I would never go back, the differences in health, fitness, and general calm are striking. Michelle
      • No offence, but wild canids do not just eat meat & bones. I've personnally watched coyotes eat the entrails 1st out of deer. The green tripe is full olf particaly digested plant material, material that dogs canidfs can metabolize. I'vce also seen the aftermath of wolves hitting a caribou over night and what jackles did to a blesbok in South Africa. No veggie/fruit/grain is just not true to the natural world.
        • I totally agree with your comments Platz but one has to remember that a dog is most likely not a domesticated wolf and one of the the current theories is that dogs and wolves descended from a common ancestor not the former from the latter. To follow up on that pioint I just want to throw out some information for people to consider about the whole natural diet issue that hopefully will help them with their decisionmaking about what and how to feed. A genetically healthy dog can generally survive on any diet as long as it is calorically rich be it carbohydrate, protein or fat.

          In many parts of the world working dogs rarely if ever see meat and they live reasonably long and healthy lives. Go to the mountains in central and eastern Europe and ask the shepherds how much meat they feed the Livestock Giuardian Breeds. Chances are not much if any. Also in the US before the advent of commercial kibble and moist meats, people generally fed dogs leftovers and table scraps. A combination of bread veggies fruits meat bones and who kows what else. And these dogs prior to the commercial dog food era lived long lives.

          I can remember my father and mother, god rest their souls show me pictures of dogs from their childhood and those were dogs fed this way living to 17 18 years of age. Bring on the the kibble generation and I've seen dogs raised on nothing but cheap kibble that I wouldn't give to my worst enemy's dog and the dogs live into their mid to late teens. Bring on Dr. Billinghurst, and his BARF diet 40 years after the true and still to me the best resource on raw meat feeding, Juliette de Bairacli Levy, and some people short cut his diet and feed nothing but boney chicken parts to their dogs and many of those dogs seem to live healthy lives. Conversely try to feed a wolf or a high content wolfdog nothing but a dry kibble dog food and they will more often than not do nothing but have continual diarrhea and up in poor health from malnutrition. Wolves truly are a carnivore. And to your point about the veggies and grain, there really ain't that much igrain or grasses in the gut of a wild or domestic hooved animal when devoured by a pack of wolves to contribute much to the diet.

          Coyotes and foxes although they prefer to feed on prey animals are also know to eat fruits and berries for nutritional sustenance. So part of the point to my unfortunately long post is that there is no right or wrong way to feed a dog. Some methods are obviously better than others but it is surely a combination of numerous factors. To me the biggest factor is genetics, (I point back to my comments above about longevity and questionable diets) but also, the quality of the raw foods, quality of the kibbles, use of probiotics, use of digestive enzymes, omega 3 and other supplements, rotation of foods just to name a few.

          Because of these differences in wild canines (especially the wolf) and the domestic dog in what they are able to eat and digest well in order to maintain their general health, to me it shoots holes in the theories of all of these new age natural diet authors who set up all of these "the dog is a wolf so it must eat x,y and z" or it won't be healthy rules. That whole paradigm just drives me nuts because most of those authors are really clueless about what and how wolves eat and haven't even seen them eat in the wild like you have let alone in captivity. However, that is still not to say that a dog won't do perfectly well on Billinghursts BARF, or Volhards, or Pitcains or Yarnells or any of the other dozen or so natural diet authors' feeding protocols. Or others who kind of go the middle of the road and combine raw meat with high quality aftermarket kibble or even others who buy the 40 pound bag of kibble in the local supermarket for $12.

          Me personally, I feed kibble and whole ground carcass meats (no fowl at all) and I have fed that way to wolfdogs and pure wolves since the mid 1970s and to my domestic dogs since the late 80s with good results in health and longevity. I've had four of eight canines make it to 15, one to 16 and one to 17. Of the two that didn't one passed from cancer at age 8 and the other at age 5 from a genetic defect, Ventricular tachycardia. Overall I think a good track record. As far as all natural diets being fed to dogs, the healthiest and longest lived dogs I've seen on those types diets are dogs fed predominantly whole ground carcass land mammals namely goat, lamb, rabbit, bison, and beef with minimal amounts of fowl.

          I know a great dane fed this way 16 years old, nominally arthritic and still very agile. Antther dane owned by the same person is 12 and looks and acts like a five to six year old. To close this epistle, people should do as Estrela suggested, do your research and decide to do what is best for your dogs, no matter if it means feeding kibble, veggies, fruits and grains and raw or cooked meats as long as the dogs are healthy and their owners are comfortable with what they are doing that is all that matters. Sorry for the long post.

          • The dogs were/were not decended from wolfs or some missing link debate is mind numbing. Dogs Wolfs & other wild canids digestive system is virtually the same despite thousands of years of domestication. They have very short intestinal tracts geared to the consumption and digestion of raw foods. The amount of predigested plant material availble does not negate the fact that wild canids do not only eat the gut, they eat it 1st. It's irresponcible for any Dog Food Guru to suggest that meat & bons is a healthly diet choice. Just as the Vegan claim that mat is unnessary. Fom my stand point as dog owner and a hunter with personnal observations of wild canids I find it funny when pepoplethat never leave thier living room theorize about the natural world.
            • Hi Platz, Paco's opinions are sound. The personal jab was not necessary. If you have a counter point to the argument lets read it. With that said - I am feeding my dogs Raw meat, veggies and other crap mixed in with it. That is my choice. Any usefull info provided by anyone on this site will be acknowledged by me and where appropriate incorporated in my feeding program. I would rather feed meat and bones than bagged kibble since I don't have a bunch of wild animals running around my yard. :) It is the best I can do right now.

              I always wanted to feed raw but could not until I found a reasonable supplier. Would you mind telling me how/what you feed yours. As stated by Paco - dog feeding is a personal choice. It also depends on the means and availability of food varieties. So, the more informed we are about the choices we have the better we should take care of feeding our dogs.

              Not right, not wrong - just different. It is about choices. All the best.

              • [quote=Estrela]Feeding BARF is a common sense way of enriching your dogs life and diet. However, the forum here is not a know all, end all. If you are interested in switching your dog to a more natural diet, please do your homework. Read everything and make good decisions. This forum is to educate and entertain, Molosserdogs.com, nor the contributor of the information has no liability or responsibility to any damage cause or alleged to be cause by the information posted here. This forum is a place to share ideas, feel free to contribute. thank you Admin[/quote] Let us not forget what Cindy said when she started this thread. Still good advice.
                • Gary - Nothing negative not directed at Paco. It was my thoughts reference: "Because of these differences in wild canines (especially the wolf) "the dog is a wolf so it must eat x,y and z" or it won't be healthy rules. That whole paradigm just drives me nuts because most of those authors are really clueless about what and how wolves eat and haven't even seen them eat in the wild like you have let alone in captivity. " As Paco is driven crazy by Wolf/Dog comparisons, I get irritated with the "mystic" wolf culture. Physilogically the Wolves, Coyote, Jackels, & domestic dogs are the BASICALLY the same. Of course ANY Wolf or Dog that has it's diet dramitically changed is going to have issues. That's a point that gets trotted out regularly that has no objective scientic value.
                  • Just to go back to my point about captive wolves eating kibble. In my experience it is rare that a wolf can digest kibble and have solid stools with any regularity (no pun intended) if at all and maintain any level of good health. Whether one attempts to raise wolves on kibble from birth or transitioned to it later, diarrhea always seems to be a persistent problem. Even with wolfdogs there seems to be a correlation with the higher percentage wolf content and the tougher ability to digest kibble. Its just a general observational rule of thumb with them and I've seen exceptions to that. Granted the digestive systems of wild and domestic canines should be much the same especially considering that wolves, dogs, coyotes and jackals can all interbreed with each other and their offspring are fertile as well but anecdotal observation suggests that there are differences. I can't explain it I just know what I have seen. Domestic dogs and feral dogs seem to be garbage disposals that can thrive on a wider variety of foods than their wild counterparts, especially wolves. I just wish someone could explain why.
                    • [quote=Paco]Domestic dogs and feral dogs seem to be garbage disposals that can thrive on a wider variety of foods than their wild counterparts, especially wolves. I just wish someone could explain why.[/quote] I'll give it a try to explain why domestic dogs thrive on a wider variety of foods than their wild counterparts. Dogs allready live a long time together with humans. Depending on the source allready for 10 000 - 30 000. No matter what the origin was (Wolf, etc.) the dogs living with us lived different lives than their wild relatives. For food they were now mostly dependant on what humans provided and spilled. Hence the fact that meat and animal protein was a luxury for most humans for a long period of time and still is in large parts of the world people would not be very keen on providing this precious food to their four legged friends. In stead they would have been provided with food items which were readily available and in plenty supply. Most parts of slaugthered animals would have been used for personal consumption which in fact meant meant all parts. Again today we are spoiled with the prime cuts but people in the past ate almost the entire animal including tongue, organs, marrow (soupe). This was not a choice of taste but one of scarcity. The dogs would have been provided with the parts that remained which meant bones which were cooked clean, etc. Food items which were readily available were usually grains, potato's etc.

                      Typically stuff that the dogs wild cousins would not eat in large amounts. With this in mind selection jumps in. Individual dogs which had a need for high animal protein diets would not have done well. Dogs which had a bigger tolerance for low quality food would have performed better and probably lived longer. The low tolerance dogs probably have less chance to breed due to shorter life span and not being selected for breeding by the human owners. (you won't breed with a dog in bad condition / sickly life and or high feeding demand.) Over time this meant that the average tolerance for low quality foods and a larger amount of food items in dogs increased resulting in your observation that dogs can thrieve on a wider variety of foods than their wild counterparts. By the way With this I do not mean that low quality / low animal protein food is the right food for dogs. It just gives an explenation why dogs can manage better than their wild counterparts on these diets. Another similar thing People look at the wolf's diet as an example of what a dog should need. But who says that the diet wolves eat in the wild is the right one.

                      Life in the wild is tough for wolves. They cannot shop for the right nutrients (and how should they know?) they simply go for the easiest prey and shop for calories. Also which wolf would you take as an outgoing position. There are various populations of wolves and their used to be a lot more. All had their own diets. Typically wolves in the North prey on larger animals (and are also bigger)than their southern relatives. Typically wolves are highly adaptable like us. Who says what a certain wolf or wolf population is eating is the right diet? Its like debating wheather Chinese food is better than Italien. Both diets both have their strong points as their weak points but neither is the perfect diet. We all know that McDonalds isn't the most healthiest food for us and the same principle counts for dogs. But who says that high quality commercial food is bad for a dog or any other type of food.

                      Whe still know so little about our own diet let alone the dogs diet. So why all this complacency about what everybody is feeding their dog. Who says you do it right and another person wrong? We still know so little though we think the opposite. There are more roads leading to Rome so I would say that if what you are feeding your dog fits your wallet and lifestyle and the dog is doing well what's the point? You can still learn more on these forums but keep in mind there is no totally right way of feeding your dog.

                      • sometimes i wonder are we not too worried about does our dogs get all the things they need in their food everyday. Look at our little kids.Sometimes they eat almost nothing.I dont think they always get whats in the books called needed and they grow up and are healthy too. Dogs in other countrys sometimes almost nothing to eat.They are skinny but most of the time no joint problems. Are we always worrie too much? I must say that sometimes i am more worried about if my dogs get what they need than my kids.That is crazy.
                        • hai yea des I agree
                          • Just don't give em chocolate :mrgreen:
                            • If you want to feed raw, its quite simpel to do it right. and if you do it, your dog will love you highly for doing it. It allso make the immunsystem very strong. You can feed raw from the puppys are 2 weeks old(give them there first bone) do like this- 1/3 meat 1/3 blended vegetables 1/3 oak (the one that is halfe crushed for horses) every thirth day, you allso give the dog 1 kg off bones Mix it with warm water, and leave it for 10 minutes. you have to give calcium and omega3 (3 capsels pr dog) every day to. calsium is given, after the waight of the dog. meat is not just meat for the dog. the only kind of meat they can use 100%, is lambmeat(lungs, liver, head, heart ans stuff like that) and kallun(the stummac from the cow). You allso have to add some fat into the food. use the fat from the lamb or the cow. fresh fish is allso brilliant. never feed bird, pig or cow(except for the bones)
                              • Never feed bird, pig or cow? My dogs would starve:-)
                                • The member who posted this text was banned - and the post is depricated.
                                  • se it like this.. a person can live a long life, even they eat burgers and french fries every day, or frozen diners made in the microwave . But its not healty and they dont get as strong, or pretty as they could, on that diet. And there immune system does not get as strong, as it could be. Most important, they dont live as long, as they could on a healthy diet. thats the same with the dogs. some meat is designed for the dog stummack,and some isent. pig contains to much fat. cow, wich is the tuffest kind of meat for the dog to digest, is bad in two ways. first of all, it contains urin acid, and the dog cant digest more that 40-50% off the meat. It allso give stummack pain to the dog. bird do not contain enough protein, to satisfie the dogs system. I only wrote this to be frendly and helpfull, nothing else. My knowledge regarding this, comes from my education as a vet nurce, and 29 years of experience with feeding raw food to my dogs. you can use my advise or not, its up to you. but please no stupid comments, thats not nice, when people just try to help..
                                    • It's not a stupid comment- it's true! Here in the USA those are main staples when talking of meat, and traditionally it's what is available cheaply. Chicken contains higher protein than anything else- rough numbers based on differing parts- Veal- 21g per serving venison- 22g pork- 22g ground beef- 16g salmon- 20g chicken leg-37g
                                      • thats the main staple of the dosa diet....whole uncooked chickens...thrown into a meat grinder bones and all...got that one straight from the source....and their dogs are huge
                                        • My dog gets totally sick from raw chicken. Would anyone know why this is? I tried it twice and he violently threw up. He does totally fine on raw beef or cooked chicken. It must be that our chicken is just not clean enough from where i purchase it. I don't feed raw, just occasionally.
                                          • LeLe......these chickens were raw...whole chickens...bones...guts...beaks...feet...everything but the feathers...ground up with rice...pasta..tables scraps....a coarse hamburger style grind
                                            • LeLe, Is he eating it too fast?
                                              • [quote=4myneo]LeLe, Is he eating it too fast?[/quote] *nod* My Dane eats raw chicken too fast and will glurp it if I just give her a bowl full. I feed her the pieces one at a time and she does fine with it. For some reason she won't vomit cooked chicken. LeLe, you might want to try feeding chicken pieces one at a time (if you haven't been completely scared away from the chicken). Also, be sure to rinse off the pieces well before you serve them if you get your chicken from a grocery store. I've heard of some scary things they do to chicken in grocery stores to keep it fresh smelling. :?
                                                • This was such a good topic on the subject of feeding a raw diet - so lets continue it.

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