Fears About A Raw Diet
Because feeding a species-appropriate raw food diet is new to most of us, many people are understandably a little apprehensive about making the switch. If you have some anxieties about switching your dog to a carnivore diet, read on!
Detailed answer: Many people are initially nervous about switching to a raw diet because they worry that their dog may choke on a bone. Choking is primarily caused by eating something that is too small. Carnivores don’t chew their food—instead they rip, tear, shred, and gulp—so sometimes they choke when eating something small, like a piece of kibble or a very small bone. When a dog eats appropriately sized raw meaty bones, they must spend time ripping the meat off the bone and scraping the cartilage and tendons off to separate the muscle from the bone. This slows down the rate at which they can inhale their food, significantly reducing the threat of choking (especially when compared to eating something like kibble).
Remember, too, that carnivores are able to regurgitate their food. Sometimes a dog may bring its food back up again if it hasn’t pulverized the food to a small enough piece; generally, it will just eat the food again after bringing it back up. This differs from vomiting and is no cause for worry.
Short answer: Raw bones are almost incapable of perforating your dog’s stomach since they don’t splinter into pieces that can pierce. Cooking, on the other hand, makes bones brittle, so cooked bones may splinter and pierce the stomach lining.
Keep in mind: When you first switch your dog to a raw diet, they may vomit up small pieces of bone. This is not because they were in danger but rather because they haven’t built up the digestive enzymes. After they’ve built up the enzymes by eating a raw diet for a few weeks, this will no longer be an issue. This is no cause for concern and will disappear once they’ve adjusted to the diet.
Short answer: Your dog is not likely to get a salmonella or e. coli infection because of raw meat. It’s more important to wash your hands and utensils!
Detailed answer: Many times, I have heard people express a concern that a species-appropriate raw food diet carries a high risk of salmonella and e. coli infection (or possibly some other bacterial infection). But how come wolves, coyotes, and other canines eat raw food without issue? Only really weak or compromised pets are at risk, and there are some things you can do about this. To keep you and your pets safe, just follow good food-handling techniques (thoroughly wash your hands, utensils, and cutting surfaces that come into contact with the raw meat).
A survey with 1000 dog owners found that while no raw-fed dog has had e.coli or salmonella, 3 kibble-fed dogs have.
Short answer: Diarrhea and constipation are issues that can occur if our pets are fed too much bone (constipation), too little bone (diarrhea), or introduced too quickly to rich organ meat or a new protein source (diarrhea). It’s the same as when people eat too little fiber (constipation) or too much fiber (diarrhea). It’s about balance, and with guidance, this balance is easy to achieve. Also, as happens to us when changing our habits, introducing a new diet to your dog requires the body to adapt, and it’s normal to see some diarrhea and/or constipation when this happens.
Keep in mind: While you may still see occasional tummy upsets, with our guidance you’ll be able to adjust what you’re feeding to assist your dog through those upsets while still achieving balance over time.
One thing to keep in mind when you switch your dog to a raw diet is their stool will change. The stool of a raw-fed dog is much denser, more compact, and smaller than a kibble-fed dog’s. Raw-fed dogs also have to strain a bit more to get it out (which helps keep their anal glands clear). Sometimes people think that their dogs are constipated with a raw diet, when in fact they’re just eliminating much less frequently because their bodies can use almost everything in the food.
Detailed answer: If something occurs, it means the body was out of balance and this imbalance presented as pancreatitis or kidney disease (for example) when the body began to go through the healing response and throw off the toxins.
Healthy animals will not present with disease when switched to a raw diet. If a dog does exhibit disease symptoms when switched to a raw diet, it is important to stay with the raw diet to start giving the body the nutrients it needs to support and re-balance itself. If necessary, other modalities may be used to lend the body additional support.
This is why expert guidance can make all the difference in whether your dog gets everything he or she needs.
Short answer: Raw-fed dogs are generally much calmer than their kibble-fed counterparts.
Detailed answer: Some people have told me that they think their dog may become vicious and aggressive eating a raw diet. They seem to think that their pet will develop a taste for blood and turn into a dangerous killer. This has no scientific basis.
As thousands of raw feeders can attest, in reality, raw-fed dogs are generally calmer and happier. This is because they’re getting the nutrients they need, they’re burning energy eating their food (they have to work at getting the meat off the bone and crunching through the bone), and the very act of eating taps into something primal and satisfying for them. There are plenty of reports of raw-fed dogs peacefully co-existing with other animals, even animals of the same species as what they are being fed.
Short answer: You could actually save thousands of dollars you might otherwise spend trying to fix diseases related to poor diet, and have your dog for 3 years longer in exchange for a few extra minutes each week. And, raw diets don’t have to be expensive. We specialize in helping people find ways to make raw diets affordable!
Detailed answer: Most people find that, after some practice and experimentation, feeding a raw diet is just as easy as feeding kibble. High-quality meat can be found at reasonable prices (we include customized information about where to find meat as a bonus in our packages! We want you to succeed).
And this adds up to the fact that since raw-fed dogs generally don’t have many of the health issues that a kibble-fed dog does, you save money in the long run on vet bills, teeth cleaning, and even things like anal gland expression.
Your dog is amazing and he deserves the best chance to live life to its fullest. Is he worth a few extra minutes each week? Is he worth caring for to give him as much as 3 extra (healthy!) years with you? We think so!