It has been a big step for someone who is a vegetarian since the day she had learned where the meat comes from... - so way longer as it has been popular to be one! 🙂 But I feed raw for over 2 years now and love it - could never go back, so I wanted to update on another question I often get, on what I feed my dogs. - In case you need a little encouragement for a switch 🙂
It always made sense to me that real food must be better as highly processed food like kibble, but being vegetarian my whole life, the thought of having to touch and prepare meat was just too heavy... Until La's cancer diagnosis. Reading about cancer and cancer diets, I decided I have to do it. I can still only touch meat with gloves on, but it's not all that bad as I'd thought - raw meat has very little smell so I actually handle it much easier as grilled or cooked meat!
I still use kibble for tricks (no, not giving meat from my bare hand any time soon!) or for occasional meal when impossible to take raw with us.
But 99% of their food is raw now and yes, I switched from one day to another, all dogs at once, without a single problem. They handle it perfectly, have not had a single diarrhea problem ever since, not even if I feed whole meal of organs - what I actually always do as it's easier for me to feed just organs one day, just meaty bones the other and just meat on other days.
I mostly feed venison from wild caught deer to, as much as possible, avoid supporting keeping animals in bad conditions. And, obviously, I feed parts that are not popular for human consumption anyway and would go to waste otherwise.
From that reason, what I pay for food now is actually much LESS as what I paid for kibble - just an info for those thinking it's expensive to feed raw. It's indeed crazy expensive if you feed commercial raw dog food, especially in Slovenia where they put crazy margins to it and charge you 3 times as much (no, I'm not kidding - the prices are just crazy) as for the same thing in Germany for example. So I just prepare it all myself - and those things that are hard to get here OR, like with tripe, I don't want to have anything else to do with it as open the package (outside, never in the house) and put it in a bowl 🙂 - I order some frozen pre-prepared things from Germany. And yes, they arrive frozen and are together with shipping still much cheaper as if buying the same thing in Slovenia!
I originally fed prey model, but since we had plenty of vegetables from our garden, I started to include some steamed vegetables too, mostly kale, chard, butternut squash, sweet potato, zucchini etc. I also add eggs from our chicken and some kefir.
As for effects I see - I see no difference in coat quality or energy level that some people report. I do see a huge difference in amount and consistency of poop that is telling me that they can definitely use raw food much better - while kibble just passes through. Also, To was always super skinny and had problems building muscle despite all the work on it and was eating the most from all my dogs. - But after I switched her to raw, she built great muscles and actually eats very little now. And of course, I can also see the difference in how white their teeth are!
And no, I don't think there is a magic cure for cancer - but avoiding processed food as much as possible definitely makes sense to me. - And it's easier as I thought when I was still feeding kibbe and fearing to have to have anything to do with real meat! - It's not that bad at all and it just feels sooo much healthier that I could never go back.