Why A Raw Dog Food Diet Is My Choice
I always knew I wanted to feed Amos a raw dog food diet, but I never knew how to do it. You see, as you know, I never grew up with dogs but I always just assumed dogs ate dog food. It wasn’t until I changed my diet due to my diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis, that I started to question why dogs didn’t eat “real food”.
It was at this point that I had decided to look into things a bit further. So today I am going to share with you what I have learnt and what I do in the hope that it makes things a bit easier for you to feed raw dog food too.
* Now I would like to state that I am not a qualified canine nutritionist or veterinarian and the views and opinions are expressed here are my own based on my life, research, and consultations with more experienced people. I strongly encourage you to do your own research and seek out help if required to do what is best for your dogs.
I have also recently listened to a fabulous podcast on Wear Wag Repeat with Dr Judy Morgan and I strongly encourage everyone to listen to it. It really is educational and I immediately went and purchased her book “Yin and Yang of dog food” of which I am still reading! If you are a kibble feeder, you absolutely have to listen to this podcast and NOW!
Raw Dog Food For Beginners
When we first adopted Amos from RSPCA Queesland, he was being fed the stock standard Hill’s Science Diet. I have no issues with this as Amos was starving and was being fed 3 times a day. You could see most of his ribs and he was definitely underweight. It is not possible for RSPCA, who rely so heavily on community support and donations, to expect them to feed a raw diet. I am truly grateful to them for saving my boy and getting him started so that I could then take over and treat him like the King he is!
Now before you continue, you have to understand that a lot of the food choices I make are based on my own health journey and experiences. I prioritise food over everything else and I would sell all of his fashion items just to get him the best food.
I am also not after convenience or cost cutting, I am after the best food I can get for my dog to give him the nutrition his body requires. I absolutely adore Amos and I want him to live as long as he possibly can and I truly believe that feeding him a raw food diet rich in essential vitamins and minerals will help this.
He is my Amos.
He is my world.
So lets’ go into a bit more detail and find out more about feeding raw dog food.
Raw Meat For Dogs
Like humans, dogs need an appropriate and varied diet so that their body can function as it is supposed to. Diet and nutrition is crucial for optimal muscle tone, skin condition, immunity, behaviour, dental hygiene and gut health.
People often get concerned about feeding raw as opposed to cooked meat for dogs. Cooking the meat destroys a lot of the essential vitamins and minerals and reduces the overall health benefit of the food.
Lets have a quick look at some basic anatomy of dogs to discuss why feeding raw food totally works!
The jaws and teeth of our furry friends are built for tearing, crushing and breaking down their food. The dog’s saliva is there to help kill bacteria as opposed to breaking down food as in humans. A dog’s jaw also moves only up and down and not side to side.
The dog’s stomach is like a blender and helps to mix and liquefy food. The stomach acid in dogs is also approximately 10 times higher than that of humans which allows for the digestion of raw meat and bones.
The intestine and bowel is much shorter than that of a human which means that nutrients are absorbed quicker and pass through much quicker reducing the risk of bacterial infections.
HEALTHY DOG FOOD
After adopting Amos we immediately started to transition him onto a grain free diet but took it slowly so as not to overwhelm his system. You see I had no idea what Amos was fed for his first 1.5 years of life. I highly doubt it was anything close to what I feed him now so slow was the key.
We also immediately added in some raw beef bones as we buy all our meat from a farmer and I had a freezer full of bones. As you do!
I still remember the first time he ate a bone. I swear he had never had one in his life. It was the sweetest moment watching him figure out how to eat that bone. He also ate it quickly and I think in that moment he realised that he had hit jackpot!
In our first few months with Amos we noticed that he was a food monster and absolutely loved food. He actually ate it so quickly I have never seen a dog eat that fast! And that is why we looked into enrichment for dogs and discovered the amazing Chew Chomp and Chill.
Despite changing his raw food diet, we did continue to struggle with :
Smelly yeasty ears
Eye goobers (that’s what I call them!)
Red belly rash which worsened every time he played in grass
So we chose to consult with Lyndall Pinchen, a recommended canine naturopath, of who we still consult with now and highly recommended. We chose to get help as I didn’t really know what to do to get rid of those symptoms. You can’t easily go and ask a lot of vets what to do as they don’t advocate a raw food diet for dogs, unless you find a good one!
Together we improved his raw diet along with adding in some supplements to help detox his system. One significant change being the introduction of leafy greens, of which I had no idea dogs needed, along with raw eggs and tinned sardines.
Thankfully, we never struggled with Amos disliking his food and he gobbled everything down.
So what did I noticed after switching to A RAW DOG FOOD DIET…
No more eye boogers
No smelly yeasty ears
Generally looks healthy
Smooth shiny coat
Athleticism and improved energy
These are all now signs that something is a little off.
I also check his teeth and gums daily and they are healthy!
RAW FOOD DIET FOR DOGS
SO WHAT DOES AMOS EAT NOW?
Now you need to know here that I have tweaked Amos’s diet a lot since fully switching to raw dog food. He is predominantly on an organic raw fed diet now but again as I stated at the start, I prioritise food over everything else.
We also discovered, after much trial and error, that Amos was allergic to beef. I will be writing a blog post on this and how I discovered it as it took me a very long time to figure it out.
So in terms of how much to feed, they say to feed your dog 2-3% of their body weight depending on their level of exercise. So Amos is 28 kg and he currently gets fed 2 meals of 200-250g per day.
Now I have also factored into that the amount of training I do with Amos on a daily basis and also he gets a bone per day.
So it is likely to be closer to 600g per day of food adding everything in. I keep a close eye on how Amos is looking according to the Dog Body Condition score chart below and tweak it as required.
The type of raw meat and raw bones I feed Amos include:
Turkey : mince, Frames, Necks, feet, Heart, no liver as Amos refuses to eat it
Goat : mince, heart
Lamb : mince, neck bones, rib bones, occasional shanks, Heart, liver
Chicken: mince, feet, frames
Fish : sardines, mackerel
Duck : mince and offal
*Please note I supervise all bones and I never leave Amos unattended with a bone. I would never give him a bone if I was going out. I know a lot of people do, I just don’t.
I am also extremely picky about where I get my meat from for Amos as a lot of meat is pumped full or hormones and antibiotics. I do not want Amos ingesting this as part of his daily meal.
Companies I currently purchase from include:
So a typical day looks a little like this :
Breakfast : 200g Suburban Pup Turkey (including vegetable meal mix) + egg + supplements
Training : Predominantly chicken or Ziwi Peak
Dinner : 200-250g Goat mince + bone + supplements
DOG FOOD FOR SENSITIVE SKIN
Note : If you follow us on Instagram, you will know that Amos has had 3 skin rashes now after reactions to certain products and garden weeds. I have since changed his diet to assist his healing and added in a lot of supplements.
More Details coming in a future blog on this.
DOG FOOD FOR CONVENIENCE
Now if you are after convenience or thinking of travelling as a raw fed dog, why not look into Ziwi Peak – BLOG coming soon.
So do you feed your dog a raw food diet?
Please do share with us in the comments below .
We hope you enjoyed it!
Mel and Amos