Lately there have been so many scary articles and studies that specifically target the Raw feeding community. For many novice Raw-feeders, this is very overwhelming and we will not even mention the fear that people considering an all-natural diet experience, when getting bombarded with all these types of articles and social media posts.
Let’s start with basic facts and look at the real reason the anti-raw community find it necessary to scare Raw feeders.
“A RAW DIET IS UNBALANCED”
Facts about nutritionally balanced meals and possible deficiencies
It is true that not all raw diets are balanced and yes, an unbalanced diet can pose a health threat for your dogs.
Despite what some people think, it is not just a matter of feeding your dog mince and a few bones. There is a very fine balance between what I like to call – “the Franken-prey-model diet” and just feeding random selection of meats to your dog. It is very important to look at balance between organ meat, fat, muscle meat and bone. Balanced levels of Phosphorus and Calcium are crucial to your dog’s diet, to name but two minerals. Other elements that need to be balanced are Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, certain amino acids etc.
Going raw should not be about feeding cheap offal meat – it is about healthy, quality sourced meat that is free of antibiotics and growth hormones. It is crucial to make sure that the meat you feed is rom pasture fed animals and that there are no GMO foods in their diet.
“You are what you eat” is so important; the protein we feed is a direct result of what the source (animal) ate. Know your meat source and know that you feed a well-balanced thought through diet. This will give you peace of mind that your dog gets the bestbalanced nutrition available. When you feed a pre-made raw food, make sure of the source of ingredients and what the manufacturer uses.
Balance and variety of especially protein sources, is key!
“FEEDING YOUR DOG RAW WILL CAUSE BACTERIAL INFECTIONS AND ILLNESS”
The truth about bacteria and diseases that could affect your dog
Lately the social media platform has been bombarded with articles why you should not feed a raw diet to your dog.
Let’s look at the facts and make educated and informed decisions. A very recent article originated from a study in Australia which claimed that raw chicken necks will paralyse your dog, ndue to Campylobacter. This has been a hot topic all over the world in the raw feeding and pet community. There is certainly much misinformation out there that is starting to cause a scare and make the average pet owner very wary of feeding their companion a species appropriate raw diet. This seems to be the case in many bacteria related issues. When symptoms such as diarrhoea and vomiting present itself in a dog, it is common to blame raw chicken as the culprit and carrier of the bacteria. But, it can also be found in many other food sources like other birds, fish, rodents, fleas, beef, pork, cow’s milk, fruits and vegetables. Contaminated soil or water sources that were contaminated with faeces are just as guilty. Most bacteria such as Campylobacter, E-coli, Listeria (the list goes on), are not limited to raw diets; it has been proven in various studies that a homemade cooked diet can also be the primary cause for infection. Listeria has, for example, been found in cooked and processed meats, fruits and vegetables.
How does your dog deal with bacteria? Once ingestion of the bacteria has taken place, it must travel to the small and large intestine to multiply, which will only happen if the stomach acid does not neutralise and kill said bacteria. This is highly unlikely to be a big deal in a healthy dog on a balanced raw diet, as various studies have indicated that the pH level in such dogs’ stomachs is below 2, which is VERY ACIDIC, thus an environment that would normally neutralise and kill off any bacteria and other “baddies” ingested. Another fact here is that most dogs have Campylobacter and other bacteria in
their systems, but healthy dogs don’t usually get sick from it, so it’s not considered a primary cause of illness in dogs.
DO YOUR RESEARCH
A balanced raw diet, obtained from a trusted source, has many health benefits for your dog, including balanced growth, a stronger immunity, greater bone density, cleaner teeth…and the list goes on. As a loving and caring dog owner, it is up to you to do the necessary research and decide on the best for your dog. Perhaps you can be guided by questions like – “Is a dog a carnivore?” and “What would they have eaten in the wild?” Dogs are facultative carnivores meaning that in dire need, they will scavenge for what is available, but primarily consume and thrive on meat.