We’ve touched on this subject before, but there’s more to our reasons for feeding our dogs raw food, specifically meat with small amounts of fruits and veggies.
1. Luna doesn’t throw up nearly as often when on raw food. On kibble, even chicken-free, beef-free, and grain-free, she threw up almost daily. Besides being concerned she wasn’t getting the nutrients she needed, we were also concerned the frequent bouts of puking was causing damage to her esophagus. It was also financially burdensome as she was puking up 1/3 to 1/2 of the food we gave her that we then had to clean up and flush down the toilet. Our vet couldn’t tell us why this was happening even after running multiple tests. As far as they were concerned, Luna was perfectly healthy.
2. I like knowing exactly what I’m feeding our furry little friends. Ever read the label of cheap kibble? There’s a lot of meal stuff. Chicken meal, beef meal, fish meal, meat meal … what does that mean? Meal is usually made with leftovers after the animal has been butchered. But what, exactly, is in meal? Is it meat and bone and organs and fat, or do they add hooves, feathers, beaks, and other such fillers merely to up the protein content? And what is meat meal? What kind of meat? Beef? Chicken? Fish? Deer? Bison? Pork? Horse? Dog? Cat? Roadkill? When there’s fish, are these farmed fish which can contain toxins or heavy metals, or are they wild caught? What kind of fish is it? River? Lake? Farm? Salt water lake? Ocean? The labels are so ambiguous that I feel very uncomfortable feeding kibble, any kibble, to our dogs and cats because I don’t know what I’m putting into them.
3. My belief, and my sister’s belief, is that a raw diet is healthier for our fluffybutts than kibble. A little more than a century ago, there was no kibble. Dogs were fed scraps, often from their owner’s table or from the butchering of their animals on the farm. They got meat, raw and cooked, and likely had raw bones to chew on. Their diet in the present day is drastically different. Some argue that dogs have evolved to be able to digest fruits, veggies, and grains, and that very well may be true. I, however, don’t believe the evolution of the dog has made them so they can digest those things well enough, pull all the nutrients they need from them, for kibble to be the best diet for them.
As for cats, they are and always have been obligate carnivores. This means their diet should consist mostly of meat, like 95% or more I would think. Cat kibble, however, often contains fruits, vegetables, and grains that they simply aren’t equipped to digest, so they put out a lot more waste than they should and eat more than they should need. Cats a little more than a century ago got their food by hunting mice, birds, voles, squirrels, and other vermin, and they thrived on it. A raw diet seems like the best and healthiest way to go for our obligate carnivore fluffybutts. (We haven’t been able to afford raw for our cats yet, but you can bet once we can they will be quickly switched to raw!)
4. I’ve seen, firsthand, the benefits of a raw diet. Our dogs’ fur is softer, their skin and fur healthier, smoother, and shinier than it ever was on kibble.
Their poo is smaller because they use more of the food and, therefore, expel less waste. They only poo 1-2 times a day compared to the 3, 4, 5 times when they were on kibble due to the large amount of fillers in it. Their poo is also more solid and disintegrates faster. It stinks a lot less, too.
(I know there are icky yellow spots in our lawn. Consequence of not pooper scooping as often as I should.)
They eat less because their body uses more and poops out less.
They have more energy (which isn’t always a good thing for Luna, lol).
Their teeth are cleaner and healthier with the use of raw meaty bones. Pixie’s teeth used to have a fair bit of tartar build-up; now, there is much less (only a ring near the tops of her canines) and her teeth are much brighter. Luna, at only 2 years old, wouldn’t have much tartar build-up, if any, even if she was on kibble, but so far her teeth are as bright white as when they grew in.
Their breath doesn’t stink! Well, it stinks of raw meat just after they eat, but that fades quickly, and then it just smells like normal doggie breath.
Pixie is prone to putting on weight and I felt bad having to reduce the amount of kibble she got. On a raw diet I don’t have to drastically reduce the amount I’m giving her; I just need to give her more of the leaner meats like chicken and less of the heavier red meats like beef.
And Luna isn’t throwing up every day!
5. Our cost is down because we’re not throwing out 1/3 to 1/2 of the food we bought for Luna. It’s also down because we have a very nice butcher who lets us take home as many scraps, organs, and discarded bones as we want/need. So we get beef and pork and raw meaty bones practically free. We do buy chicken and turkey to add to the variety in their diet (variety in a raw diet is good) and that costs anywhere from 25 to 45 dollars every 1 1/2 to 2 months. Not bad, right?
Are our reasons for going raw clearer now?
Even though we do believe a raw diet is best for our pets, we do not believe it best for all people in all circumstances. Shelters and rescues, especially, cannot afford to feed high-end pet foods, let alone raw, given all the animals they take in. Plus, if I was to say “you’re a bad pet parent because you don’t feed raw!” I’d be telling people they shouldn’t rescue pets unless they can feed raw. But that, my friends, is ridiculous. There are so many homeless dogs and cats out there. It’s simply not viable, and rather irresponsible in my opinion, to tell people they can only rescue/adopt/purchase a pet if they can afford to feed raw. Sure, cheap kibble is far from the best food available for our pets, but if it enables someone to adopt/rescue/purchase a pet that needs a home, then good on them!
Understand we are not against feeding kibble, we only prefer not to feed it to our pets and will certainly encourage others to look into the real nutritional values of the pet foods they feed their beloved fluffybutts.
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