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Old 04.10.2012, 19:42
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Giving pets raw food

Hi EFers,

I've been wondering if the members who own pets give them exclusively raw food?
If so, what have the advantages/disadvantages of feeding raw instead of canned/packaged food been with respect to your pets?

Thanks for your input!
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Old 04.10.2012, 20:09
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Re: Giving pets raw food

We don't now but used to give our dogs exclusively raw food when one started to get sick. The pros are that there are no preservatives - same as if we eat packaged stuff all the time or actually eat veggies and meat that we prepare. Therefore it's healthier.

The cons - nothing is cheap in Switzerland although the cost of pet food and treats are cheaper here than back home in Canada so it makes the raw option even more expensive than most other things! you need to ensure the pet either eats any meat outside or is trained to eat it on a towel otherwise you are cleaning up a lot of mess. And the big con is the amount of time it takes to prepare.

Lots of cons but the bottom line is that our dogs LOVED it so if you have the time and the money, then go for it! Lots of websites out there to help you figure it out and some great forums to ask questions and get great answers.
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Old 04.10.2012, 20:23
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Re: Giving pets raw food

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Hi EFers,

I've been wondering if the members who own pets give them exclusively raw food?
If so, what have the advantages/disadvantages of feeding raw instead of canned/packaged food been with respect to your pets?

Thanks for your input!
evolution has prepared them best for raw food
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Old 04.10.2012, 21:11
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Re: Giving pets raw food

Yes, throw another cat on the barbie
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Old 04.10.2012, 23:46
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Re: Giving pets raw food

For me, the main impediment to feeding raw in Switzerland is the verb... I always have to chuckle at a thread on a dog forum I frequent titled 'Wir barfen!'

Being serious - I looked into it, and ultimately decided that it was not right for my crew. But several of my colleagues do feed raw, and their dogs look great. Your question really can only be answered for the individual owner/dog.

The reasons why I decided against it were:

I've often had food guarders among the pack - the whole dymanics of chewing bones or pieces that take time to finish would have been a ticking time bomb given that particular constellation of canine characters.

In the same vein, one of mine had no teeth - obviously bones and whole pieces of meat were out for him. But as he was very food oriented that would have meant again the potential for meal time conflict.

If you have more than one dog, do be sure you understand their behavior around food, and feed under supervision until you know that there are no resource guarding problems.

I also worried that I might not get the nutritional balance right - just a self-confidence issue I guess. There are supplements specifically designed to complement a raw diet, such as Barfers Best from Canina:
http://www.zooplus.de/shop/hunde/hun...itamine/171862

But the main reason I decided against it was that Psychocollie (an extreme food guarder) once snarfed a bone from a street market stall before I could stop him - and was so intent on keeping it all to himself that he swallowed without chewing it well. The bone got stuck in his esophagus… cue emergency surgery, touch and go, blah blah blah.

So - raw feeding is not for me given my particular dogs and set-up. But many people do and are very happy with the results. One should do one's research - especially nutritional balance - and decide on an individual basis.

Last edited by meloncollie; 05.10.2012 at 00:00.
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Old 05.10.2012, 00:50
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Re: Giving pets raw food

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The pros are that there are no preservatives ... Therefore it's healthier.
Errm, no.

We don't put preservatives in food just for the giggles you know. It's preserving the food from decay.

Dogs naturally tend to eat incredibly fresh meat, often while its owner was still trying to use it Raw meat that has been hanging around for a week or so isn't generally their first-choice.

Even "fresh" shop bought meat can contain large colonies of bacteria if you get unlucky, and doggy food poisoning is just as "colourful" as human food poisoning, just with less good aiming when it comes to avoiding your furniture.

Some preservatives aren't great in large amounts, but that doesn't mean that all preservatives are bad - for you, or your pet.
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Old 05.10.2012, 06:48
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Re: Giving pets raw food

I started to feed my former dog raw food because she just did not seem to do well on kibble -even when I switched to a grain free product. She loved the raw food and it was very good for her digestion.

For me, the advantages of a raw diet are that you really know what your dog is eating, it's very good for their teeth and in general has a great acceptance (even with food sensitive dogs) and they seem to have a lot of fun with the raw meat and bones.

I see the contras in the time you need to prepare the food and put it together (feeding a raw diet is not just feeding raw junks of meat and bones, but also some veggies, organs, fruit, an egg or two all in balance to create a diet as close to the prey animal as possible) and the mess it creates. I was lucky to have a yard -would never ever think of feeding raw tripe in my house... However, the biggest disadvantage for me was that vets usually frown when you tell them what you are feeding your pooch and always seem to wait for your dog to have some kind of problem in order to finally be able to tell you: "I told you so".
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Old 05.10.2012, 07:09
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Re: Giving pets raw food

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Some preservatives aren't great in large amounts, but that doesn't mean that all preservatives are bad - for you, or your pet.
Would YOU eat the stuff? Putting aside the fact it is dog food, some of the brands out there are more food coloring and words I can't even begin to pronounce than anything that is actual food. Yes SOME preservatives help, but when we are talking about food that starts out being the scraps leftover from what we eat and then is processed and colored and dried - kinda hard to say that is healthier than the raw diet.

And yet I give mine dried dog food - although I try for at least a brand that has the meat as the first ingredient instead of the corn/rice fillers. That said, she was MUCH happier on the raw diet and likely healthier - bacteria doesn't cause the same issue with dogs as it does with humans either.
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Old 05.10.2012, 07:26
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Re: Giving pets raw food

An interesting thread.

In SA I had 2 Jack Russells, one a rescue from abuse, and the other a baby of 4 weeks. The abused one had skin problems, and the baby could not eat hard food.

I made "stews" for them - cooking poultry with some form of starch such as maize/rice with pumpkins, and then began to add raw grated green vegetables to this. Cooking every 3rd day and adding the fresh grated veges.

The skin problems cleared up. Both had boundless energy, clear whites around their eyes, and clean fresh breath.

One day a week I`d give them a marrow bone to chew. They`d contentedly gnaw their bones, then bury them for another time.

I then inherited 3 more dogs, a Rhodesian Ridgeback, another JR, and an old feeble toothless blind Shaggy.
They all enjoyed their new diet! (Shaggy bypassed the bones and happily slurped her extra soft stew).
All of them thrived, also developing shiny clear eyes and fresh smelling breath. Shaggy even grew new soft hair and more energy.

At bone burying time they`d each go into Pink Panther mode .......
Whenever they heard me grating something - it was a "call" for food time!

For crunchies I`d bake home-made dog biscuits, for treats, full of (dog)healthy stuff.

Aahhh.... I miss them. Life was so easy on a farm with dogs!

I feel sorry for animals that live out of bags of dry bought food.
It`s mainly just sprayed with "flavour", and the ingredients are not itemised, except to state "% protein, % calcium, etc" so it could also include re-cycled egg boxes
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Old 05.10.2012, 07:37
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Re: Giving pets raw food

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bacteria doesn't cause the same issue with dogs as it does with humans either.
Dogs intestines are designed to deal with bacteria. They have short intestines, to rid the body of food very quickly, like Hyhenas, Wild Dogs.

Dogs have only relatively recently become the pets they are today. Originally they lived on the outskirts of human settlements and ate faeces, which they still would, if it was available! Tis a "delicasy" for dog, believe it or not. Why? Because it contains digested vegetables and rotted meat from our long guts, and lots and lots of bacteria - which their bodies crave because of the intense gut acid they have.

Hence also, why dogs love old rotting food in dirtbins.
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Old 05.10.2012, 10:07
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Re: Giving pets raw food

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Hence also, why dogs love old rotting food in dirtbins.
Some of the more interesting things I did in my previous incarnation as a market researcher were dog food taste studies.

We would bring in a bevy of doglets and test flavor acceptance among a wide variety of tastes and textures. Bio, human quality, grain free, premium brands, discount brands, and every price point inbetween. Every test the hands-down winner:

Carrion.




ETA:

Carrion flavored food failed the human acceptance test, though, and never made it to market.

Last edited by meloncollie; 05.10.2012 at 10:19.
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Old 05.10.2012, 10:37
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Re: Giving pets raw food

Our rabbits exclusively eat raw food!

Tom
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Old 05.10.2012, 10:59
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Re: Giving pets raw food

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The pros are that there are no preservatives
...
Therefore it's healthier.
AAaaargh. this sort of thing really gets my goat. Why on earth do you make the assumption that preservative=unhealthy? For thousands of years humans have been finding ways to make food less likely to kill them, i.e. healthier, so why is it that some folks these days are so firmly committed to the idea that this is now a bad thing?

As for the question - our cats supplement their diets with a reasonable amount of raw rodent, but mostly they're fed on dried foods, with occasional wet stuff (tin/sachet) or offcut meat trimmings as a treat. The fact is that manufactured foods have been formulated to best supply the range of nutrients that an animal needs. You may debate how good the makers are at getting this right, but I tend towards the view that they know just a little bit more about it than I do.
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Old 05.10.2012, 11:15
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Re: Giving pets raw food

Our cats are hunters so their diet is naturally part raw. Otherwise they are amazingly picky and agree to eat some chicken fillet sometimes, ignore it the next time. Same with wet food - favourite brand one day, won't touch it next. So with them, raw feeding would be a waste of time, they get the occasional pouch but mainly dry food we know they like. And whatever they catch.

With dogs, it's mixed raw and kibble/can. I would like to feed mostly raw, because they love it and it's of course actual meat, not dried gound granules. On the other hand, dry food or cans are far more conveinent, therefore they'll get those as well. (They get high quality, 80% fresh meat, grain free dry food though, so I wouldn't feel as bad about being too lazy to feed all raw.)
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Old 05.10.2012, 11:22
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Re: Giving pets raw food

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We don't now but used to give our dogs exclusively raw food when one started to get sick. The pros are that there are no preservatives - same as if we eat packaged stuff all the time or actually eat veggies and meat that we prepare. Therefore it's healthier.

The cons - nothing is cheap in Switzerland although the cost of pet food and treats are cheaper here than back home in Canada so it makes the raw option even more expensive than most other things! you need to ensure the pet either eats any meat outside or is trained to eat it on a towel otherwise you are cleaning up a lot of mess. And the big con is the amount of time it takes to prepare.

Lots of cons but the bottom line is that our dogs LOVED it so if you have the time and the money, then go for it! Lots of websites out there to help you figure it out and some great forums to ask questions and get great answers.
Why does the raw diet take a long time to prepare?

Can you not just whack down a raw steak, chickel fillet, pork steak, sausages? What am I missing here.

Generally my dog is on the kibble for Frenchies, occassionally i boil up chicken and rice, and or chop up some sausage / ??? wurst and give him that, sometimes boiled, sometimes raw.
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Old 05.10.2012, 11:38
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Re: Giving pets raw food

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Would YOU eat the stuff? Putting aside the fact it is dog food, some of the brands out there are more food coloring and words I can't even begin to pronounce than anything that is actual food. Yes SOME preservatives help, but when we are talking about food that starts out being the scraps leftover from what we eat and then is processed and colored and dried - kinda hard to say that is healthier than the raw diet.

And yet I give mine dried dog food - although I try for at least a brand that has the meat as the first ingredient instead of the corn/rice fillers. That said, she was MUCH happier on the raw diet and likely healthier - bacteria doesn't cause the same issue with dogs as it does with humans either.
I think you're confusing preservatives with additives.
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Old 05.10.2012, 11:47
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Re: Giving pets raw food

I dont give my dog raw meat or bones because it makes him poop
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Old 05.10.2012, 11:47
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Re: Giving pets raw food

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I dont give my dog raw meat or bones because it makes him poop
And he doesn't otherwise?
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Old 05.10.2012, 11:48
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Re: Giving pets raw food

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I dont give my dog raw meat or bones because it makes him poop
You need to take him to the vet if he is not pooping otherwise
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Old 05.10.2012, 11:49
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Re: Giving pets raw food

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And he doesn't otherwise?
Beat me to it
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