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Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Providing Semi-Neutral Raw Diet Updates

As subtly indicated in the previous post, we are starting Luna on a raw diet. In doing our research, we found that many raw feeding websites tended to be slightly cultic in their support for raw diets.

We wanted to examine personal testimonials of people who had had good and bad experiences with raw feeding. There was an overwhelming amount of good personal testimonials, compared to very few bad testimonials. This means one of the following:


  1. Raw feeding is really really really good for dogs.

  2. Raw feeding brainwashes people; they praise it no matter how bad it is.

  3. The economy will thrash about in death throes (think Jabba meets Leia's chain, or a fish out of water) if Hillary is elected.

  4. Raw feeders with bad experiences don't often post their experiences on the internet.

Or maybe none of those. Perhaps in their fervent support for raw feeding, raw feeders are willing to overlook a few negative effects here and there (if any). Similarly, if you really really really like Giuliani for 2008, you are willing to overlook his somewhat abysmal marital record.

At the moment, I tentatively plan to provide both positive and/or negative changes to Luna's health when we make the complete switch to raw feeding (currently we still have a dry/wet mix of Merrick brand that we're feeding her for dinner). The fact that we are feeding her raw meat twice a day indicates that we are already pro-raw, and thus, not completely neutral (hence the "semi-" in the title). However, in the interest of being as truthful as possible, we will post any negative changes as well.

It seems to me that raw diets are safe, but of course, not totally safe. No diet is totally safe. Are you vegetarian because you fear meat-based food poisoning? You are, in fact, not totally safe, because bacteria can still accumulate on vegetables (remember the spinach recalls in 2006?). Or for any kibble junkies, remember the massive pet food recalls of 2007? You are not totally safe with big brand name kibble either. It's not a salvation issue, so do what you think is right for your family/dog. But don't violate your conscience and feed raw when you "know" you should feed kibble, or feed kibble when you "know" you should feed raw.

"So how is Luna doing so far?" you ask. Well, it might just be cognitive bias on our part, and it might be way too soon to see results, but Harmony and I think that her coat feels a bit softer. She definitely has smaller and less frequent poop, although she seems like she's straining a lot to get it out. According to websites, the "smaller and less frequent" means that more stuff is being absorbed, but what about the straining? She sort of seems constipated. If any fellow raw feeders have any input, please provide.

As for negatives: the only thing I have noticed is that she seems to be much more hungry, or is just more vocal about it. I believe the current schedule for Luna is 0.25 pounds of raw meat a day, although I sort of forgot how we arrived at that figure. Judging by feeling her ribs, she seems to be at about the right weight.

Here are some other things that we will be looking for in the future:
  • Continued good breath and teeth (Luna hadn't developed problems with these yet, so hopefully they will stay away).

  • Poop that breaks down (biodegrades) quickly and has less odor. So far, we've observed neither.

  • Less ear itching

Related Posts:

5 have poured out their souls in electronic text:

  • Ron and Ginny

    Good going!

    I remember reading something about dogs being more omnivores than carnivores. In the wild, they go for the intestines first and eat what is in them (grass, plants, rotten stuff, etc.), before going for the meat. So, it would seem to me that making a food recipe that includes fiber and a variety of other stuff along with meat, plus feeding chunks of just plain meat would be beneficial and prevent constipation.

    I used this book for the wonderful recipes:

    http://www.amazon.com/Pitcairns-Complete-Guide-Natural-Health/dp/0875962432

    One thing I would recommend, if you can afford it, is to use organic, when possible. With all that is going on, it just plain makes sense. I'm sure you can find local people who raise organic/natural animals and you can get meat from them.

    http://www.localharvest.org/

    If you can't do it, don't worry about it. What you feed the dog will still be good for him.

    This is not pet owning, this is an adventure! :-D

  • Harmony

    "I believe the current schedule for Luna is 0.25 pounds of raw meat a day, although I sort of forgot how we arrived at that figure."

    Luna weighs about 5 pounds. Puppies should eat 5% to 10% of their current body weight, and 0.25 pounds is 5% of her current body weight.

    Adult dogs should eat 2% to 3% of their ideal body weight. Luna's ideal adult weight is 10 pounds (so 2.5% of that is 0.25 pounds). Some sources say that puppies should begin eating 2-3% of their ideal adult weight when this figure is less than or equal to the current amount they're being fed.

    For example: if we fed Luna 10% of her current body weight, that would be 0.5 pounds of meat. That's twice what she will be eating when she's at her ideal adult weight. So therefore, start feeding based on 2-3% of ideal adult weight, since that's the lower figure.

    Hopefully we're not underfeeding her. :-/

  • Ron and Ginny

    I would tend to overfeed and then work it down from there. That's what I did with our cat. According to "them", he should be eating 1-1 1/2 cups a day. I started out with that and am now down to about 1/4-1/3 cup a day. It sure doesn't seem like much, but that is all he will eat, so that is what I am giving him....

    I'm sure, as time goes on, you will figure out what to do for your animal. Charts are good suggestions, but you will learn from experience.

  • Alan

    BTW, Harmony's paternal grandmother does not like the raw idea. Oh well...

  • Ewokgirl

    Best of luck to you and Luna with this! I've glanced at the info in the past, but never bothered to make a change to our cats' diets. One has a super-sensitive tummy, so I'm afraid to move away from the commercial food that I know he can tolerate. The other cat begs for raw meat, though, every time I cook it.

    Seems like if Luna is straining to go potty, you'd need to add some fiber into her diet. I know an all-meat diet would constipate a human, but I don't know about dogs.

    I'll definitely be interested to see how this diet works for her!