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.
In case you are searching some kibble alternative for travelling…
We have tried it last year for EO/BCC trip, one big pack was enough for 3 BCs. They really like it and it was so easy to carry it around, since the whole pack has only 2,5 kg. 🙂 We have ordered it here:
Thanks -- will look into it! For EO, I can bring meat in a cooling box, but need something when hiking.
I also became a vegetarian as a kid when I found out where meat came from! 😀
I feed raw to my dogs also, but since they are so tiny, it’s affordable for me to feed commercial raw…and it’s not quite as bad to handle. If I had to do homemade raw, I would, but it would be a struggle for me to have to cut up meat and organs. My husband eats meat, but I won’t touch it to make dinner for him. Just the dogs.:)
Ha ha, I can relate to that! And yes, cutting meat and organs was hard at first, but I got used to it and I like to see exactly what they eat, so I actually prefer it over minced things now!
I’m living in Germany and I’m thinking to feed raw also. Which raw pre-prepared packages do you recommend?
I order from here: : http://frostfutter-perleberg.de/ -- but I’m sure there are many other good options available in Germany.
I am so happy to read this, I remember about La. I was feeding my dogs raw already back then, because of some health problems Aukan was having, and I wanted to mention it to you, but I did not know how 🙁
I have noticed major changes with Aukán since they are all eating raw, he has muscle tone now, big time! He has no health problems anymore, and the allergic reactions are very seldom now (only when he pees on something bad -- LOL).
I think it was the best decision ever for my dogs, and I am so happy you are feeding them raw too 🙂
Yes, I love it too! I’m sure it can make a great difference for allergies! I don’t think it’s magic solution to all problems as some people seem to think though -- but it certainly looks as healthier option as kibble! 🙂
I would like to switch Loki to raw but I have such limited fridge space living full time in the van that I’m not sure I can make it work. Maybe in winter when it’s cold outside I can just leave it outside the van (recently in north Sweden and -5 out I jokingly said I was gonna put my leftovers in the freezer and dropped it out the side door) but otherwise I’m not sure how I’d make it work unless I was buying stuff from the supermarket every day or every other day 🙁 maybe when I’m settled somewhere long term.
Yeah, not so easy in that scenario! I guess the only good option would be buying prepared frozen dog food. I know it’s easy to get it in Norway in any pet shop, packed in convenient sausages. I hope you’re enjoying Sweden!!!
I am mostly following a vegan diet but used to eat some meat. I can assure you, Silvia, it gets better and easier touching raw meat. These days I handle it all except I am still having issues with one day chickens for the cats and I haven’t been able to feed them dead mice yet. I also have scruples when I hold dead heads in my hands for my dogs. Unfortunately difficult and/or expensive to find in Switzerland. BTW when I participated in your camp in 2011 I brought all meat for the dogs along with me Agree more logistics and complicated but doable.
Hi Silvia, im planning on getting my new boy on raw since day one with me, but i have a question, i see thet in your videos you use kibble, or are those treats?
Should i go and get messy with training with his food or should i train with kibble? If is with kibble,how do you keep the weight in a good zone?
Yes, I use kibble for treats. With adults, that’s a very small %, so I don’t worry about it, but with a puppy, that’s such a high % of their daily intake that I’m not too happy about it and am considering getting messy with my next puppy and use a spoon or a glove…