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Friday, March 26, 2010

My Raw Fed Dog

When we first got Duffy, I was still buying into the philosophy held by many, that dogs are omnivores. The arguments seemed compelling enough but I did like the idea of raw, unprocessed by heat, food too. So, for the first 2 months I had Duffy, he was fed an organic kibble and raw, pre-formed frozen patties that had veggies, oils, grains (not corn or wheat), organs, and meat. But I kept reading and after joining The Truth About Vaccines Yahoo group, I was advised  by one member to join the Raw Feeding group too. I did and boy, were my eyes opened. When I realized that dogs were only .2% different in their DNA from that of wolves and that their digestive tract was exactly the same as all the undomesticated canines, despite having associated with man and been fed a variety of man connected foods for 1000's of years, I had to switch my dog to total raw, total meat.

The Yahoo Raw Feeding group is moderated by people who have been feeding their dogs this way for 10, 15, 20 years. They are founts of wisdoms on all aspects, all possible problems, and any other question a person might have. Reading the posts gave me the courage to stop the kibble and frozen patties cold turkey--well cold chicken actually, as that's the recommended first meat. The method is referred to as the Frankenprey model, as most of us don't have access to a whole carcass to give our household wolves. But we approximate the carcass by feeding 80% meat, 10% bone, and 10% organ meat, 5% of which should be liver. The starting point for amount fed per day is 2% of the dog's adult weight. This can be tweaked so that the dog doesn't get fat or thin. The bone content can be tweaked as well so that the poops are nice and firm. A real bonus to this method of feeding is that the dog poops at least half the amount he would if on kibble, and it's not so smelly either. 

After almost a year and a half on this diet, Duffy eats chicken, turkey, elk, venison, bison, pork (lots of pork--it's cheaper and a red meat), lamb, and some beef. He doesn't tolerate a whole meal of beef very well (pudding poops)  and I wonder if 100% grass-fed beef might eliminate that problem. One day, I'll try some.  And yes, those meats are all raw, he eats all the chicken bones, the pork and lamb rib bones, without incident. He used to eat salmon, but after I tried to get him to eat herring, he was turned off fish entirely! But I make his dehydrated training treats from fish and he loves them. So here are some pictures of my wolf and his species appropriate diet! Oh, and the local magpies love his diet too!

Cleaning off a beef neck

This a turkey drumstick wedged in his mouth.

Duffy eats outside, unless there's a howling blizzard going on and it's -30 '. I don't even bother putting the food in a bowl anymore. I just put it down on the sidewalk or porch and Duffy starts in. No muss, no fuss!

I will continue with more about raw feeding another time.


Squishy said...

Duffy looks very happy eating his RMB in the snow!!
Good post!!

J. said...

Love it! I'm so intrigued...I bet there's a whole range of health problems in pets that could be avoided by going raw and avoiding grains. I wonder why on earth owners think dogs and cats should be eating grain casseroles? I remember in the CBC documentary that a vet said grains are particularly toxic to cats, yet look at all the cat food that has grains as filler or the main ingredient...

Can't wait to read more!

Dianne SS said...

Thanks Squishy and J.! Yeah I love the commercials, especially the ones for cat food where they tout the fact their brand has more meat!Well then, why not go to the supermarket and buy raw meat?