When you first hit my website or my FB page and you see RAW food or a BARF Diet for my dogs, I am sure the first question that pops up is what’s wrong with the food I feed my dogs currently!!!
Historical feeding of dogs:
If we go back 15 - 20 years we always used to feed our dogs table scraps or leftovers or a big bone from the butchery or whatever the dogs could scavenge or kill. All our dogs then, were extremely healthy and had no issues with longevity etc etc. We didn’t have the processed kibble or preservative laden tins back then.
We now know that processed foods are not at all healthy for humans, so why would processed dog foods be good for our furry friends? As a society in general we have become used to eating convenience foods, and unfortunately we have passed this ‘convenience’ on to our furry friends as well.
It is much easier to purchase a bag of kibble that will last a month from the local pet store or supermarket, especially if we are told that this includes all the nutrition for our dog’s needs, rather than worry about our dog’s nutritional needs during every meal time. However, it is pertinent to note that health issues that were unheard of years ago are nowadays worryingly common in our furry friends; from obesity to food intolerances to diabetes to kidney failures to dental conditions to cancers and much more.
Unfortunately, this has been on the increase since processed pet foods became the norm in our country over the last 15-20 years
Much of the protein in commercial kibble diets are plant based and if the meat (waste) is used at all the same is sourced from rendering plants. Kibble gained popularity for its convenience, high shelf life, and because it was cheap. So, if the dog has survived off this cheap, convenient, low-protein source for the last so many years then why should it be of a bother now?
The answer? – Chronic degenerative disease, auto-immune disease, allergies, pancreatitis, liver diseases, cancers are all the rise within our pet population and continue to rise ever since. (Knueven, Doug, DVM, CVA, CAC. The Holistic Health Guide, Natural Care for the Whole Dog. (2008).
I cannot help but quote a study done by Dr. Kollath, of the Karolinska Hospital in Stockholm, on animals. Dr. Kollath noted during his study “When young animals were fed cooked and processed foods like kibble they initially appeared to be healthy. This is because the younger animals were able to produce their own enzymes to digest the foods. In nature, wild animals eat entirely enzyme-rich raw foods being free of the degenerative diseases that afflict humans”.
Kibble is not a type of food your dog would have eaten in the wild. Processed dog food goes through various cooking stages, and cooked food damages some of the valuable ‘live’ enzymes found in raw meat and vegetables.
Many of us have considered that kibble food is the best because of its ease and convenience. Let’s face it; kibble is convenient, easy to store and relatively inexpensive. On the face of it our dogs do eat and appear to enjoy it. However these foods often contain products such as rice, wheat and corn.
And this brings us to a very important factor. Dogs are not humans; they have a different anatomical structure and are therefore not designed to eat grains.
Almost every dry commercial pet food have at least 60% grain added in as a cheap filler. A dog does not need grains in his diet, and certainly cannot properly digest the amount of unnatural carbohydrates found in such feed. Ever seen the stools of a dog on a kibble diet or a cooked diet? The dogs on a commercial diet have much bigger stools than those fed on a raw diet. That is one of the first things people notice when they move over to raw feeding; smaller, less smelly stools due to the higher digestibility and higher absorption of the natural food. It takes upto 18 hours for a dog fed on a kibble-based diet to digest kibble. Whereas on a natural raw diet such as BARF, the food is digested in around 6 hours.
Unfortunately, many well intentioned consumers who want to give their pet a high quality commercial diet choose to buy expensive, “grain free” kibbles, with claims of all natural – or even organic – ingredients, believing they are purchasing a more nutritious pet food. But the fact is, that the kibble even if produced with high quality ingredients will be subjected to high temperatures which will nullify the nutritional value of the ingredients.
We would never feed our family members food that we suspect could lead to health problems, so the same rationale must apply to our dogs as our dogs rely on us to provide them with love, exercise and correct species appropriate nutrition and diet.
And this is where we find that raw dog food comes into play.
Make the switch! Give your dogs the natural diet that they so rightly deserve.