Here is the second part of this article, the part about dogs. The first part is my own experience of The Primal Diet, a raw diet by Aajonus V.
FEEDING RAW FOOD TO DOGS
I had read about feeding raw food to dogs and cats years before I ate the Primal Diet. I tried it with my cat but I didn’t succeed. He was too old and was used to easy to eat, mushy food. I gave up.
Then we got a dog for my son. I began reading. I mostly based my dog’s diet on “Raw Meaty Bones” by Veterinarian Tom Lonsdale.
Dogs can eat raw bones (if bones are cooked they become brittle and dangerous) and they are essential to add to raw meat. You can adjust how soft or hard your dog’s poop is with the amount of bones you feed. More bones means harder poop, fewer bones means softer poops.
Most animals’ bones are soft enough for a dog to chomp up, except beef. Large beef bones (specially marrow bones) can break dog’s teeth. The exception are smaller beef bones like ribs which larger dogs can chomp up. Do not feed the last joint of a chicken wing as dogs have been known to choke on that. I just cut it off and trash it.
I learned that Aajonus, the founder of The Primal Diet, said to give green juice to dogs. I find dogs get growly tummy (acidic) unless there is a green component. I also learned that it is very important that dogs eat organ meat as approx 10% of their diet. Dogs can develop ACL knee problems as a result of not enough manganese that organs provide. I found this to be true during a period I was being lazy about feeding organ meat. When I reintroduced liver my dog’s limping leg got better!
It is most important that you DO NOT FEED PREVIOUSLY FROZEN MEAT. Only feed “never been frozen” meat. Aajonus wrote: “When only frozen meat was fed to carnivores, they developed mange and other skin disorders, and sometimes scurvy”. I have found dogs to be sensitive to frozen meat. They get itchy skin very quickly.
I had a friend whose dog had mange while she was feeding her a raw diet. We read the above quote and went straight out and bought never been frozen meat. The dog healed from mange in about 2 weeks! As a side effect the dog was far more satisfied, so much so that she stopped her annoying begging while we ate!
Note: Most of Trader Joe’s meat has been frozen. Ask in any supermarket if it “comes in frozen”. If you ask if it has been frozen they do not necessarily understand because it isn’t frozen now.
This is approximately what I feed dogs:
80% meat, sinew, ligaments, fat (cheaper cuts are better. Always meat that has never been frozen)
10% edible bones (dogs can chomp up pork, chicken, lamb and small beef bones, like ribs)
10% organ meat (heart is considered muscle not organ. I use mostly liver as it is hard to find other organ meat but it would be preferable to mix it up)
Green juice (¼-½ cup day depending on size of dog or if I don’t have any green juice I use chlorophyll drops from a health food store. I use 7 drops twice a day for a 60 lb dog, for example.)
Eggs (1 or 2 a day)
Raw Dairy, small amount (I use up my sour raw milk, cream or kefir and swish the empty containers with water to give my dogs)
Leftovers, small amount
Do not worry too much about the proportions.
Here is a raw food for dogs calculator to estimate portion size. http://www.raw4dogs.com/calculate.htm
If the dog has itchy skin add raw butter to the diet.
Some dogs take to raw meat and bones immediately and some need a little help. Ground raw meat is easiest to start with. If that too is unappealing put something on it like pieces of cheese, bacon fat, anything to get the dog started. Then introduce raw meaty bones. It can take a few days to get them used to it but it’s well worth the effort!
I often get ground leftover raw meat from my health food store butcher or any large chunks of meat. I then buy small sections of beef ribs or I go to the Mexican supermarket and buy pork neck bones which are inexpensive. I also give my dogs all parts of a raw chicken. It’s particularly easy to find drumsticks or thighs which work very well. I might add an extra piece of meat with that, an egg, some leftovers and green juice or drops. It’s fine to mix different types of meat together. No need to give small pieces of meat. Large pieces are actually more natural so better.
Aajonus says not to worry about the source of muscle meat, so buy anything inexpensive if budget is a constraint. If you can afford it buy organic meat and bones. But, ORGAN MEAT MUST BE ORGANIC! (Having said that, I have a friend who cannot get organic organ meat so she feeds conventional organ meat and her dog is MUCH healthier than she was on kibble. In fact she took her dog off her arthritis meds as her legs were so much better!)
Dogs fed raw food do not smell bad the way their kibble eating relatives do, neither their bodies nor their breath. Their poops are small, firm, easy to pick up and hardly smell. Their teeth and gums are clean and healthy. You can tell how much indigestible food there is in your dog’s food by how big their poop is. Even expensive raw frozen brands recommended by vets create large poops. This is not a good sign.
Here is a blog I wrote about dog’s dental health and raw food based on an interesting and shocking study. http://www.ronitcorry.com/blog/dogs-dental-health-and-raw-food
I helped a woman who had a young dog, 1.5 years old, who did not have normal energy levels and had constant itchy skin. The woman was a vegan but understood her dog needed raw meat. She had been using a very expensive frozen raw brand of dog food that didn’t help her dog. We switched the dog to the diet described above with extra butter for his skin and 2 eggs a day. The dog became energetic and no longer had skin issues within a couple of weeks. She was thrilled.
Another tip, slightly unrelated:
I adopted an older pitbull. After she was spayed she developed urinary incontinence, which is a result of lowered hormones. I took her to the vet. We tried some very expensive Chinese herbs. They didn’t work. I asked if I could give her some of my estrogen/progesterone drops, which I use on my skin (Bezwecken PhytoB-L 4x, clean and good product). She said I could but wanted to try more expensive things instead.
I went home and gave my dog 1 drop of the hormones a day in her food and the problem resolved. It takes a while to build up in the system, so be patient. I had to increase her dose to 3 drops/day as the years went on but I no longer find pee all over my house!
Note: This product has a little progesterone which is sometimes given to calm dogs down.
Like my husband says, “I’ve never met a dog who owns a stove”. Dogs are designed to kill and eat small animals raw, bones and all. On a raw diet your dog will definitely be happier and healthier. Give the dog a bone… a RAW bone!
Happy Raw Dog Feeding
Ronit Corry, Santa Barbara, California, USA