Raw Pet Food Feeders
I’ve met a LOT of interesting people while working with wabbits… Preppers, homesteaders, 4hers, FFAers, and many others that don’t fall into a neat “ers” category. One of the groups of “ers,” the raw pet food feeders, has caught my attention as of late. I have a small pack of mismatched mongrels that I have grown to love. They are annoying and destructive, but I want them to be happy and healthy. So when I received a phone call from some one wanting to feed rabbit to their dogs to make them healthy and happy, I understood… I just didn’t know why they would feed the meat raw…
The Carnivore on the Couch
One compelling argument is that wild dogs don’t husk corn, roast it and eat it cold later… They kill their prey, eat the soft parts first, and then chow on the meat and bones. They even eat a good portion of the skin and fur. This is supposed to maximize life and preserve health in dogs and cats. The raw feeders claim that feeding raw helps with the pets’ oral care as well. The dogs and cats are getting a natural flossing from the tearing and chewing of raw bones, meat and tendons. This cuts down, and in some cases eliminates, the need for vet visits for teeth cleaning.
A Widening Problem
It is plain to see that we have an obesity problem in our pets. Sure the chubby little corgis are cute, but that dragging belly isn’t doing them any favors. Obesity can be blamed on carbohydrates nearly completely. And before you say, “I feed grain-free kibble” know this: even grain free kibble needs a binder to maintain form. And what is the binder the major dog food companies use? Corn syrup and other high fructose gels. Dogs and cats have NO need for sugar in their diets. The only real way to avoid these binders and any other carbohydrates is to feed raw pet food.
So, lets talk doo-doo… If you own a dog one of the worst parts of doggy care is poop clean up. The raw feeders are claiming that the large “kibble powered” poops are a thing of the past. On a raw diet, the animal is making use of much more of what they eat, leaving less exiting the body. Raw feeders are also claiming the poop breaks down faster, sometimes within a few days and leaves a less noxious smell.
A Change of Attire
Animals on the raw pet food diet are said to have thicker, softer, shinier coats than those on kibble diets. The idea is that they make use of the raw animal fats and oils easier and it shows in their skin and fur. After the switch to raw, some pet owners see the old dull fur shed off and become a rich and shiny coat.
I don’t claim to be an animal dietitian or nutritionist, I’m simply learning about these things my self, and sharing what I learn. There are a few precautions I would take before starting raw feeding. The first is checking your meat source. I have the advantage of not only knowing where my meat comes from, but actually being the guy that raises it and butchers it. Where most people would go to the store and pick up chicken and pork for their pups, I can just increase production and raise more rabbits, fish and quail. I would NOT want to feed my pets chicken that may contain E coli or Salmonella. I’d feel safest going to the farm itself and asking for the meat fresh. Meat that comes from the processing plant has a higher probability of bacteria exposure.
Quantity control is another topic to research further. It is unwise to replace the kibble with the raw pet food ounce for ounce. It takes LESS raw food consumption than kibble to get all the nutrition needed, and over feeding is a no-no. This may need some experimenting on portion size and vet advice.
Transitioning from kibble to raw should be done slowly. The good bacteria in the digestion tract needs to change with the food. A method i use with rabbits when changing feed brands takes about a week and a half. Feed 25% new food and 75% familiar food for 3-4 days, then go 50-50 for 3-4 days, then 75% new 25% familiar for a few more days. It’s less abrupt and will be more comfortable for your pets.
I don’t know if this is the answer to longer life in dogs and cats. I think that my doggos would be happier eating fresh rabbit and quail than eating the same old carbon copy kibble… Talk to your vet about feeding raw, It might be worth a try! And if you DO wanna start raising food for your pets, let me know, I’ll set you up with rabbit and quail cages!!!