Species Appropriate Raw Food
- Health Begins Here
Let food be your medicine and medicine
be your food.
To quote Kymythy Schultze, A.H.I. and author of Natural Nutrition for Dogs
& Cats: The Ultimate Diet "The strength of your pet’s immune system, its
resistance to disease and its quality of life all depend on the type and quality
of food that it eats.”
Noted veterinarian and immunologist, W. Jean Dodds DVM, states that
“wholesome nutrition is a key component of maintaining a healthy
Let’s just jump into what is necessary to build a good prey animal in a feeding dish: make every attempt to find
“clean”, no antibiotics, no growth hormones, no nitrites/nitrates, but grass fed raw meat, raw bone and raw organs
(offal) including green tripe: approximately 60% meat, 30% bone and 10% organs. As many organic level foods
you can find, including organic eggs, is preferred. FYI: that pretty much eliminates ALL grocery store meats that
the average human consumes. USDA means nothing if the animal is raised pumped full of antibiotics, hormones
and feed that is less than desirable. Dogs love green tripe but never feed white, bleached tripe. Offal includes liver,
heart, kidney, chicken giblets, tripe, etc. That’s the bare bottom basics. Variety is also important over a week’s time.
Feed a good rotation of meat protein such as chicken, turkey, beef, venison, bison, duck, rabbit, lamb and pork. Same
for organ meat which can be from duck, chickens, beef, bison, venison, turkey, lamb, etc. For people who want it really
easy, there are raw food companies that provide all you need to feed your companion and it’s all ground up. See Resources.
Don’t Jump Prematurely
If I can impress one thing upon you it is this. If you plan to switch your kibble fed dog to raw, or if you are just starting out to feed raw to a new puppy, it is imperative that you READ, LEARN and understand what you need to know and do BEFORE you do it. Don’t just dump some meat into a bowl and call it a day. Kymythy Schultze’s book, Natural Nutrition for Dogs & Cats: The Ultimate Diet, is a good place to start. For support and guidance, connect with other people who raw feed their dogs. There are many raw feeders’ lists on the internet but while you will soon learn that no two raw feeders will feed the exact same way, the components of meat, bone and organs are basic and should not be shortchanged. If you are so inclined, I also offer consultation services. There are many excellent websites, such as www.rawlearning.com, that can also help in your education.
Health Immune System = Excellent Health = Long Life
How healthy do you think humans would be if our diet was changed to raw meat, raw bone and raw offal? Oops, humans don’t eat those things because we are not carnivores! We are omnivores and have a digestive system and dentition to prove it. How about if all we ate for breakfast, lunch and dinner was a processed food bar that the FDA said would provide our bodies a balanced diet and we ate this day in and day out without any intake of whole foods, fruits and veggies or even the occasional milk shake? Would you survive? Probably. Would you like it? No! Would you live to 90 and in good health? Not likely. I’d even wager that you’d be in the high percentile to develop cancer and that doesn’t even address other health issues. Let’s face it. You wouldn’t live long. So, whether we like it or not, what we put into our human bodies really matters. Check out www.thetruthaboutcancer.com
Now, what do you think is happening to carnivorous dogs that are fed a processed kibble diet, that AAFCO and the mega pet food industry, which pretty much is AAFCO, says is balanced? This dead food is being fed from weaning to old age, at every meal. Processed pet food will sustain; it will not promote a healthy immune system or longevity. Just consider the high incidence of GI (gastrointestinal) issues alone which include Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Gastritis, Gastroenteritis, Colitis Pancreatitis, Ulcers, Mega Colon and so on.
The dog tears or breaks up its food enough to swallow it and often bolts large pieces. Even kibble fed dogs bolt down their food. They do not masticate food then swallow like humans. The forty-two teeth that dogs have are designed for flesh eating. The twelve incisors are adapted for cutting, seizing and nibbling; the canines (fangs) are for grabbing, stabbing, puncturing or hanging onto struggling prey; the premolars for tearing and molars are used for breaking up and crushing bone. Now, just because the dog is domesticated does NOT mean its digestive system or dentition have changed from creation. Once again, man has changed their diet and I might add, by doing so, man has also created the health problems including periodontal disease in dogs. In Dr. Tom Lonsdale’s book, Raw Meaty Bones, he noted that by the time kibble fed dogs are three years of age, over 80% will have some form of periodontal disease. You won’t see tartar buildup on the teeth of raw fed dogs. Plus, wouldn’t you like to save your companion from risky anesthesia and your wallet hundreds of dollars by avoiding those dental cleanings? My raw fed Westies never need professional dental cleanings. See Benefits of Feeding Raw.
It is important to review that the dog/wolf, and human species, differ greatly in their digestive makeup and hence, what each requires to eat to support a healthy immune system, and have subsequent good health. As we read in The Dog Is A Carnivore, dogs and wolves have short digestive tracts and strong acidic digestive juices designed to digest raw meat and bone quickly. I tend to believe most people attach human traits on their animals (anthropomorphize) so if they wouldn’t eat a raw chicken neck, neither should their dog. However, dogs are scavengers by nature. We can thank the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the FDA and the mega pet food industry (interesting bedfellows don’t you think?) for instructing veterinarians to discourage (I say fear tactics) their clients from feeding raw to their companions. For more information see Articles.
Since I stress health, it is no wonder that the correct nutrition for the species must be the foundation if you want to give your animal a chance for the best immune system health they can have. Don’t forget, the immune system includes 80-85% of the digestive system so it is simple to understand why a correct species diet is paramount to feed. Everything relies on a healthy immune system. Everything!
Last but very important. If your animal currently has health issues and disease, switching to a proper raw diet is not a silver bullet but will be the necessary first step. In fact, many GI issues have corrected just by switching a processed kibble fed dog to raw and adding probiotics/enzymes.
You now know that proper nutrition for the species is the foundation to support good health and it can certainly help a body to heal. However, there are many other influences besides diet that will promote ill health. Read Supporting Natural Immunity to start your journey.