Obstacles to Raw Feeding: Why and How to Overcome

spring 2011 069Because the objections to raw feeding typically either go to what we as humans think are good, or the pocket I’ll address those two this go round. I’ll also address the “but my vet says” argument a bit. This topic may end up having it’s own category here on Bark N Blog as we go along because it seems people just can’t seem, as a whole, to wrap their minds around this.

First though let me address the “why” because that’s simple. Dogs are carnivores plain and simple. They have not evolved miraculously into omnivores any more than horses have evolved into carnivores. Their entire anatomy and physiology are designed to eat raw meat and bones. Just because they are opportunistic – ALL animals are – and just because they will eat what you eat doesn’t mean they’ve evolved. I always say just because you stand in a garage, that doesn’t make you a car.

The best thing for the overall health of our dogs is to feed them what they were designed to eat: raw meat and bones. And to motivate you a bit, it means a HUGE savings in vet bills because your dog will be healthy. Health is something we really need to discuss here, but I will save that in depth topic for another blog post.

The how is also simple. If you are a do-it-yourselfer then this page will help you get all the information you need from articles, educational websites, videos showing dogs eating a variety of raw meat and bones, carnivore suppliers and educational groups you can join – this is a loaded resource I put together to help people who just want to DO this: http://aspenbloompetcare.com/resources/raw-feeding-information

For those of you who would like specific help and guidance, I offer canine wellness consultations. Just go to www.DrKimBloomer.org and fill out the Health History Form and the Authorization Form and SIGN them, physically, and get those back to me and we’ll go from there.

Okay now on to the two major objections to raw feeding.

Whenever I say I raw feed, the typical reaction I get is, “Ewww, gross” as if I were asking the person to eat raw meat and bones. The thing to remember is, this isn’t about YOU. It’s about your DOG. They are designed to eat raw meat and bones no matter what the veterinary community tells you. There is a reason they tell you not to feed this – and it doesn’t have to do with the health and well being of your dog but with protecting themselves and it’s what has been taught to them, without change, for decades. They are also not taught very much about nutrition. And they learn what little they do learn from the pet food industry. And then they learn how to sell you that processed junk. That’s it. Of course there are veterinarians who DO advocate raw feeding and who will support your decision to do so – they are the ones who have taken back their power of attorney by learning the truth on their own!

There is also quite an agenda, a cabal, a conglomerate forming between the veterinary community, drug companies and prescription pet food companies because sales are falling. Yes SALES. So the wise and prudent thing for us is to avoid that cartel and take back control of OUR pets’ health. We can only do that by being informed and knowledgeable about the truth so as to not fall prey to the big marketing campaign that is sure to ensure and flood the media with disinformation. In fact it has already begun with warnings against feeding bones – without qualifying cooked vs. raw bones. Caveat emptor!

And if you think because YOU are a vegan or vegetarian therefore your dog is, that’s just plain cruel and inconsiderate of your carnivore companion. He’d not do that to you if the roles were reversed. It might be better to have an herbivore companion if that isn’t within your scope of coping such as a rabbit, guinea pig or bird. I know plenty of vegans and vegetarians who have no problem feeding their carnivore pets (dogs, cats, ferrets) a carnivore diet.

So put yourself aside and know that your dog isn’t much different (less than 1% in his DNA) than his wolf cousin from which he descended so he can eat something other than processed junk food day in and out for all his days. Boring, dry, denatured junk food – oh so appetizing. NOT. Or that wonderful raw diet full of nutrients and variety. YES!

The second objection is: it’s too expensive, I can’t afford it. When there is a will there is definitely a way! And the payoff is a VERY healthy, strong, able, agile dog with a shiny, shiny coat; clean, white teeth; no body odor and virtually NO routine vet bills. That’s a HUGE advantage!

Ways you can counter the cost of raw feeding:
*Build a relationship with your local butchers, farmers, hunters. Ask them to give you their offal and stuff they don’t sell or use for human consumption.
*Ask family and friends to give you all their freezer burned meat – your dogs won’t care about that and it’s a darn sight better than any kibble!
*Restaurant suppliers often offer deals on things such as frames, backs, necks, etc.

I know of a Neo Mastiff breeder who raw feeds all nine of her Neos, about 1000 lbs per month in food for about $600. She couldn’t feed kibble that cheap!

So when there is a will there is a way. I think our animals deserve to be fed what they were designed to eat – NOT what we were designed to eat.

Have a pawsitively tail waggin’, NATURALLY healthy day!

PHOTO ATTRIBUTION: English Shepherd puppy Liam, by Krystal Beers

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DocKim

Dr. Kim Bloomer is an animal naturopath consulting on canine and feline nutrition and wellness. In addition, Dr. Kim is a proficient blogger, writer, speaker and presenter on natural pet care as well as the Co-Founder of the American Council of Animal Naturopathy. She is the author/co-author of three books including Animals Taught Me That and the newest Essential Oils in Animal Care: A Naturopathic Approach co-authored with her two colleagues. Dr. Kim’s articles have been featured in various publications in both print and online.