No subject obsesses dog owners more than how to feed a proper diet to their dog. Sadly, it’s a subject that causes as many fights and quarrels as training methods. Facebook has several Raw feeding/BARF pages,(Biologically Appropriate Raw Food), as well as links to other groups and pages. Some of these pages are quite friendly, and really do seek to help, and discuss the subject.https://www.facebook.com/groups/RawHealth/?hc_location=stream This one is my particular favorite.
http://www.rawinstinctsmagazine.com/RIM2.html And this is the online magazine that Erica Danow is behind. I can’t find a more even keeled and informative website anywhere on this important subject
I really have enjoyed the pages that Erica has set up on FB, as well as her Raw Instinct Magazine website…
Other sites, which I will not dignify with identification, have a “My way or the Highway” approach. Perfect!! Just what the Dog World needs…More reasons to fight and carry on…It’s tiresome and really quite off-putting. But, we still have freedom of speech…at least for the moment. I’m only going to express my disdain of these websites and pages by NOT MENTIONING their names. On with the meat of the matter…(Raw meat, specifically, organ meat)
I did not start out as a Raw diet feeder. And I’m still NOT doing it 100% My reasons are probably typical, (Assume whiney voice)…”It’s too much work!”, “It’s Expensive”, “I didn’t have time to visit the butcher…”, “I’m on the road so much…”(We do Search & Rescue work), “I need to figure out what else we can add to supplement…” You’ve heard these and more yourself, maybe even said them yourself. Truth be told, all of these things are true…But the more I switch over, the benefits to my dogs are so striking, that it all falls away like chaff. Let me address these whiney excuses one at a time:
“It’s Too Much Work”- Oh shut your pie-hole! Raw meat, maybe a few pieces of sweet potato, (my dogs love them!) a dollop of plain yogurt occasionally, green beans…It doesn’t take any longer than dumping a bowl of toxic kibble into a bowl and then praying that your dog will eat it. Another surprise I got was the enthusiasm which the furkids attack a Raw meal…Hesitation? I don’t think so…As you practice and collect new ideas, it becomes simpler and more routine.
“It’s Expensive!”- Lets see, in my case, two German Shepherds equals roughly two and a half large bags of “Premium” kibble per month. That’s about $190.00 each month. Then add in the expense of treating their itchy skin, hotspots, and nasty tartar build up in their teeth. Add another $300.00 in Vet Bills. Then, consider the long term medical effects of feeding overcooked, under nourishing kibble, and you can add another $5000.00 to $10,000.00 amortized over 10 years. With a little creativity and learning, Raw feeding can be done quite nicely for around $200.00 per month. But that’s me…Some spend more, some spend less. Hey, here’s a crazy idea…STOP Spending $8.00 on a Starbucks Cup-O-Sludge!! Again, the savings from Vet bills can be substantial. AND, Your dog will be much happier!
“I’m on the road so much!” My personal stand by excuse. Ever hear of a gadget called the Coleman Cooler? Used by hillbillies with 4th grade educations everyday of the summer to keep beer cold while floating down a river on an inner-tube! Surely you can figure out a way to use one in your Ford Expedition or Chevy Malibu. (Maybe not in a Fiat, but why would you want a car smaller than the cooler and with less horsepower anyway?) They even have these coolers that plug-in to your dash and make their own cold air!!
“I didn’t have time to visit my butcher…” Oh my sweet, giddy-aunt… Get over yourself and schedule your life in a more adult manner!
“I need to figure out a varied meal plan to make it interesting for the dog…” You know what? You’re right. But between the resources above, and the people who hang out there, and the top-notch writing at Raw Instinct, and the friendly group on Facebook’s “Raw Health”, you should have no problem coming up with something. Or a bunch of somethings…Hop to it, Jack! (Or Jackie as the case may be)
Okay, I’ve allowed myself to blow off some irreverence in this post, and you’ll notice that I’m NOT giving specific advice on WHAT to feed, or when, or how. Please, make these resources the place for solid information. You’ll develop your own Raw Feeding program eventually, that works for you and your dog. You’ll find people there that make mixes of their own, you’ll find those that really go back to nature in a big way. For instance, twice a month my dogs get freshly killed chickens, (One per customer Thank You!) feathers, beaks, and feet included. They love it, and their health displays it! For the squeamish, there’s a lot of alternatives. Pick what works!!
I want to Thank my friend Dharma GSD for first getting me on the ” Road to Raw” (Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, 1945) My dogs health has been all the better for it, and our Vet really hates us!