Processed Dog Food Versus Raw Natural Feeding - FAQ
Tags: dogs, food, kibble, processed, raw, natural, feeding
Question Comment 1: Currently I'm feeding my pups large breed puppy from Iams, which was recommended by the breeder I got them from. She said she has used Iams products for years for all her dogs, pups to old adults. I've never really been a huge fan of the processed food, but until the last couple years there hasn't been much info available about alternatives. So like many people I would try to pick the lesser of the processed food evils based on other peoples (and vets) experiences and thoughts. Recently I've been reading more about feeding natural foods like raw meats and vegetables and I think I'd like to switch, but I have quite few questions about it and I'm looking for your experiences, good or bad. Questions:
1. Can you just do the raw meat halfway or just sometimes, or is it all meat all the time?
2. Ounce you switch to a raw meat type diet can you switch back to the processed stuff?
3. In reality, what would the cost be for 2 pups at 10 months old, then continuing into adulthood?
4. Is maybe just adding some raw fruits and veggies a good compromise? If so, what should be avoided?
5. Bottom line, has anyone have or had enough long term beneficial results to make it worth it in the big picture?
The Food that is Best For Your Dog
Comment 2: I am going to go out on a limb here. I think everyone would agree, if you were talking about people, that a diet that was full of fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy and meat and whole grains is a whole lot healthier than anything that has been frozen, is out of a can or out of a box or is salted, preserved, dried, enriched, heated or highly processed. Regardless of the state of its hormones, genetic enhancement, irradiation or pesticides etc. Fresh is still better than a preserved box o' food. Orange juice is better than Tang. But a real orange is much better for you still than orange juice!
The same goes for dogs. We run into trouble when we don't trust ourselves to provide balanced nutrition for the dogs because they are a different species. However, we trust ourselves to feed ourselves and also our children a balanced diet don't we? We read the articles about transfats and try to stay abreast of the nutritional information out there, right? And zoos maintain exotic animals and plenty of people keep highly tempermental birds and tropical salt-water fish....
Well, just because we know something is good for us or our dogs, doesn't always mean that we do it. We all cave to convenience at one time or another. We all eat fast food once in awhile out of laziness or sheer desperation
Whether or not you would want your dog to eat the meat (if you saw it) that they use to make most dog food and cat food is debatable. Let's just say that everything fit for human consumption is sold for human consumption and the leftovers are for the animal feed. Leaving that aside, the fact remains that a diet rich in fresh foods is going to be better (ie more available nutrition) for the dogs than one that is dried, extruded, heated or preserved with artificial vitamins and minerals added back to the mix.
Dogs overall actually do fairly well on a straight diet of kibble. They probably also did fairly well on a straight diet of table scraps and garbage pickings. My dogs also do fairly well, some on Innova green bag and others on a Raw diet. I daresay they even do VERY well, but without a controlled environment, this does not make scientific data.
I can only give you my anecdotal evidence; I have had three very old dogs who are unrelated to one another. I got started in showing in 1994. My very first showdog just turned 13 over Christmas and had a blood panel run up for her birthday present (well, that and a good brushing and a bath). All levels were great for a geriatric dog and her teeth (what's left of them) are sparkling and she does not have bad breath. I had another dog pass away from cancer last summer at age 12 . It is interesting to know that this boy's mom passed at age 8 and his dad and siblings didn't quite make it to 10.... I have another dog that just turned 11, who against the odds, made a great recovery from a pyometra spay last October and is still going strong. While I cannot take credit for their good genes, I do know that these guys well outlived most of their parents and siblings, some of whom were house dogs like mine and some who were not. To my knowledge, none of the others were fed raw.
However, even if my dogs had hip dysplasia and cystinuria and heart problems, and they died an early death, I still think that a good fresh diet is better than a preserved and dried one because--it stands up to reason LOL! You can still make the most of what you've got even if you got a bad roll of the genetic dice...
Whatever you eat or your dogs eat is a matter of personal choice. I think the old adage is still true, you are what you eat....
Your Milage May Vary
Comment 3: Iams made my dogs' poop smell so bad the house was unliveable when they pooped outside. Two out of my three wouldn't eat Evo (1/3 of a can mixed with their egular kibble), the one that did vomited it within minutes. Obviously, most dogs don't have these responses so no matter how great a food may or may not be, YMMV greatly.
Science vs History
Comment 4: You may not have modern science to back you up but you do have the thousands of years worth of canines that make up modern dog that were raiser naturally.
Comment 5: But then, “proving it” would entail a lot of research dollars, available to the dog food industry but not to those of us who home-prepare diets. There is however, good nutritional information on the USDA web site, and there is no reason that a home-prepared diet should not be balanced to at least minimum nutritional levels.
What works for you, works for you, and we can't argue against that. What has worked for us for the past 20 yrs is processed kibble (Iams Lamb & Rice). We've raised/known quite a few healthy 13+ yr old, kibble-raised dogs. Hey, we're all entitled to our superstitions/beliefs (big smile), but when it comes to ramming those beliefs down other people's throats-- claiming one way is the *only* rational way, that what works for them *will* work for everyone, and anyone who believes otherwise is poisoning their dogs-- that's when we say SHOW ME THE DATA
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