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What About That Food?

As a raw feeding advocate, I hear a number of comments when telling people I feed my dogs a 100% raw meat and bones diet. The most common response I get is usually something like, "Yuck! You feed your dogs RAW meat???" or they have concerns about whether the dogs will get sick from the bacteria. Others are under the false impression that our dogs have evolved into omnivores, and require fruit and vegetables to thrive. These are a few of the responses I hear, but the list is pretty routine, and some people just aren't ready to accept the fact that their beautiful dog is a CARNIVORE, designed to eat the flesh and bones of other animals. Many have been told by their vet, whom they trust with the health and care of their pets, that their dog is an omnivore. While this may be what they sincerely believe, since dogs have not evolved into omnivores, it is incorrect. 

Another thing to keep in mind is that most vets sell prescription grain based or other high carbohydrate processed foods in their offices for a nice profit. Remember, even though it says 'grain free' on the bag, the last time I checked, rice is a grain, quinoa is a grain, and potatoes, while not a grain are loaded with starch and carbohydrates, and are not good for our dogs and cats either. While it is true that dogs can eat just about anything and survive, this does not mean that they will thrive, or that they should. They are not their healthiest and most vibrant when eating what most dogs are fed today, and as a result, far too often suffer with many completely avoidable illnesses that are certainly not helped by the processed diets they are fed. In fact, too often the processed diet itself is one of the main triggers for many of the ailments that our companion animals suffer with, such as allergies, ear discharge, itchy feet, and other common skin abnormalities. Just because they can or will eat something doesn't mean it's good for them. For example, many dogs will lap up antifreeze or gobble up chocolate, either of which can kill them. They are, after all, true carnivores, and although they are opportunistic, they are not omnivores. If you need confirmation of this fact, just open your dog's mouth and see how many flat, grinding molars are in there to grind fruit, vegetables and grains. I'll wait...

Okay, now how many of those molars did you find in your dog's mouth? None? I thought not!

The latest trend in raw feeding is to incorporate lots of fruits and vegetables into the diet of our carnivores. Sadly, this isn't in their best interest. As an example, I used to be one of those who thought feeding fruits and veggies was just great for my dogs, as my vet, who overall is a wonderful and very caring vet, had told me that dogs are opportunistic omnivores. There are also many well-known veterinarians who host websites with huge followings online that advocate feeding these things to our dogs, although the carnivore digestive tract is not designed to properly process plant matter. It isn't a matter of preference or opinion, but of physiology.

At the time when I decided to add fruits and veggies into my dogs diets, I didn't really think much about it since my vet was the one with the license, degree and years of schooling, and I was just starting to make the transition away from a commercial diet for my dogs. I was still very new in my learning journey regarding proper carnivore nutrition. I fed mostly cooked meats and leafy greens, but added things like organic pumpkin, flax seed, etc., thinking that my dogs were gaining nutrition from it. We humans, being omnivores, thrive on this type of diet. Since I was told that my dogs were also omnivores, I figured they would as well. Something to keep in mind is that out of all of the animal species on Earth, humans are the only species that cook their food. All others eat it just as nature creates it: raw.

Sophia
Since a dog's digestive tract is not designed to digest these types of foods properly, plant matter either passes through mostly undigested, or it can upset the delicate balance of gut bacteria and flora, overtax their organs, and in general can lead to an assortment of health issues in some dogs.

One of those dogs was my Sophia. Shortly before I began studying Naturopathy, Sophia had injured her ear, so I took her to the vet to have him take a look at it, as it seemed infected. She was given a course of antibiotics, and it appeared to be fine by the time she finished her prescription. Unfortunately, it wasn't really fine at all, just suppressed, and within a couple months, it was back even worse than before, but there was no injury this time. Seeing her misery inspired me to do a lot of research to understand what was causing her ear issues, and it was then that I started to make the connection that what she had was related to diet and toxins, not injury. It turned out that she was quite toxic from the cooked and processed foods she was eating, as well as toxins in her environment.

I decided to make some changes to her diet, switching her to a 100% raw, prey model species appropriate diet, and employed some herbs and other natural remedies to ease her discomfort. I also removed several toxins from her environment, and within just a few weeks I started to see some pretty amazing improvements in her ears, and even though it took about 3 months to really get things completely cleared up, she was truly well this time.

All five of my dogs now eat a prey model raw, species appropriate diet, and are calm, with soft and sleek coats, have clean white teeth, fresh breath, and a healthy level of energy. Their temperaments have improved as well, so in my humble opinion, a win-win all the way around!

If you have questions, or would like help transitioning your dog or cat (your beautiful felines are most welcome!) to a natural, species appropriate diet, please feel free to contact me. I can also assist you with the use of herbs and supplements and help to guide you in correcting dietary imbalances and other lifestyle issues, enabling your companion to achieve their most vibrant health.   

Yours in Health and Wellness,
Gloria with Sophia, Mandy & Hadassah out for a walk on a beautiful
January afternoon. I just love New Mexico Winters!

Gloria Gray, CSAN